Breaking: Department of Transportation Investigating Toyota Electronics as Cause of Unintended Acceleration

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

The U.S. Department of Transportation has now said it will look into electrical issues as a possible source for the unintended acceleration of Toyota products. Toyota recently recalled 2.3 million cars and trucks due to pedals that stick or are slow to return and has since announced a fix for the problem that it says is mechanical, not electronic.

According to an unnamed Transportation official, interviewed by Automotive News, the Federal government’s investigation into the pedal issue will include a look at Toyota’s electronics.

Shinichi Sasaki, Toyota’s to man in charge of quality today repeated Toyota’s position that the problem was mechanical and not electronic. The maker of the supposedly faulty pedal, CTS Corp, has said that it does not believe the problem originates with its product.

The accelerator pedal recall affects 2.3 million vehicles in North America, including eight models: 2009-2010 RAV4, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2010 Highlander, 2007-2010 Tundra and 2008-2010 Sequoia.

This news come on the day that Toyota launched an advertising blitz in U.S. newspapers, with Toyota U.S.A. president Jim Lentz quotes as saying, “We have launched a comprehensive plan to permanently fix the vehicles we’ve recalled because in rare instances, accelerator pedals can, over time, become slow to release or get stuck. We know what’s causing this and what we have to do to fix it.”

Apparently the Feds aren’t so sure.

[Source: Automotive News]

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  • Don Don on Feb 04, 2010

    We have a 2000 Sienna XLE we bought new. In 2003, with cruise on and speed @ 70 mph, I accellerated a little to pass a car that suddenly wanted to stay right along side of me. Instantly it was as if the cruise was on \resume\ and it wanted to take me to 120 mph! After a second or two of panic, I checked to see if the floor mat was the problem (no), hit the brakes to shut off the cruise (no good), stomped on the accellerator pedal several times (felt normal but no reaction), turned off the cruise, and then repeated all of the above. I was getting ready to shift into neutral when the problem ended and we were back to normal driving mode. I left the cruise off the rest of the trip and took car to Toyota dealer next day. They could find no problem and a call to Toyota said no other problems had been reported so they had no clue! We still have the Sienna, drive it daily, and have never had this happen again. However, I do NOT use the cruise in traffic, or accellerate with it on. As far as I'm concerned it is cruise contol or fuel mechanism related. I have a 2007 Camry V6 - no such problem so far :).

  • John Scher John Scher on Mar 31, 2010

    Before I read some of the comments on the possible cruise control program, I thought about the cruise contro as a possible source of the problem and went on the internet to see if I could find any information. To my surprise, Auto Repair had some very interesting information about the system components of cruise control and what can go wrong. There are several possibilities but one of the most obvious seems to be that the vacuum diaphram inside the actuator can develope a leak and leaking or broken vacuum lines are usually the cause of this problem. I'm assuming tyhat all the possible cruise control sytem components possible malfunctions have been thoroughly gone over by Toyota engineers but I learned long ago...nothing should ever be assumed.