On the heels of a second massive recall, automobile giant, Toyota, said that it was aware of a throttle problem as far back as last year. USA Today said that accelerator-pedal assemblies received from supplier CTS had problems that were insufficient to issue a recall.
Now that the defect has been linked to increased problems, Toyota announced a recall of 2.3 million Toyotas, back to model year 2005 models, said USA Today. “The quickness that this all came together is one reason why I don’t have numbers” of complaints, U.S. safety spokesman, John Hanson, said, quoted USA Today. “And why we don’t have a fix,” Hanson added.
The recall involves an unknown number of 2009-10 Pontiac Vibes, which were both designed and built by Toyota for General Motors’ Pontiac brand, which has been discontinued, said USA Today, noting that the Vibe is similar in design to Toyotaâ€™s Matrix, which is included in the recall. Although GM did confirm that the Vibe is included in the recall, it did not make an announcement to that effect; neither did Toyota indicate the Vibe in its recall announcement said USA Today.
According to Hanson, said USA Today, a remedy announcement and approval by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) could take weeks.
The announcement of the throttle problem came on the heels of another massive Toyota recall. To fix the issue that sparked that recall, Toyota will be replacing accelerator pedals on over four million recalled vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. The pedals, said the Associated Press (AP) previously, can become stuck in floor mats. The NHTSA said the cars involved contain an â€œunderlying defectâ€ that involves accelerator pedal and the driverâ€™s side foot well, said the Los Angeles Times previously. Toyota long maintained the issue is with an â€œimproperly installed floor mat,â€ but did finally issue the massive recall of Toyota and Lexus vehicles late this September. According to Toyota, said USA Today last week, about 1.7 million vehicles are involved in both recalls.
Regarding the two separate recalls, “I think it’s questionable” whether the two are separate, said Jesse Toprak, vice president of industry trends for TrueCar.com, quoted USA Today. TrueCar.com is â€œan auto-pricing and industry-tracking site,â€ noted USAToday.
Until Toyota can correct the throttle problem, it is advising drivers to: shift into neutral, pull off the road, and call a dealer,â€ in the event of throttle sticking, said USAToday. For now, dealers will be handling the situation a “case-by-case basis,” quoted USA Today. It remains unclear what a solution and interim measures could entail.
According to Hanson, the emerging problem involves a rough feeling in the gas pedal when the driver presses down on the pedal; in later stages, the throttle pedal will not immediately return to its prior position when the driver removes his/her foot; finally, the throttle will remain open even when the foot is taken off, said USAToday. Hanson advises drivers to contact dealers at the first sign of trouble. “We don’t want that vehicle on the road, and we want to keep that owner mobile. We’ll do whatever we can on a case-by-case basis,” Hanson said, reported USAToday.
The Los Angeles Times previously reported that Toyota â€œhas delayed recalls, kept a tight lid on disclosure of potential problems, and tried to blame human error in cases where owners claimed vehicle defects.â€ Toyota and Lexus vehicles have been involved in auto accidents that caused 19 deaths, a figure larger than at all other carmakers combined, said the Times.