Toyota announced this morning that they have a fix in place for the 2.3 million vehicles affected by their recent sticky gas pedal recall. The company says dealers are receiving training on how to fix the pedals and new parts are being shipped to dealers immediately.
Toyota calls the remedy “a solution that involves reinforcing the pedal assembly in a manner [that]eliminates the excess friction that has caused the pedals to stick in rare instances.” A small piece of steel will be inserted inside the pedal assembly that will remove that surface friction.
Customers will begin receiving calls and letters from their dealers to fix their vehicles soon.
“We are focused on making this recall as simple and trouble-free as possible, and will work day and night with our dealers to fix recalled vehicles quickly,” said Toyota’s President Jim Lentz. “We want to demonstrate that our commitment to safety is as high as ever and that our commitment to our customers is unwavering.”
Note that the Pontiac Vibe is included as it shares its platform and parts with the Toyota Matrix. No Lexus Division or Scion vehicles are affected by these actions. Also not affected are Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser and select Camry models, including all Camry hybrids, which will remain for sale. Camry, RAV4, Corolla and Highlander vehicles with Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) that begin with “J” are not affected by the accelerator pedal recall.
Toyota’s fix comes none too soon for consumers and dealers. The company announced a recall on January 21 and then a suspension of sales on January 26, leaving consumers with many questions about whether or not they should drive their vehicles.
Here’s a timeline of the recent events for the sticky gas pedal recall:
– October 2009: Toyota receives its first technical reports that three vehicles had sticky pedals.
– January 21, 2010: Toyota announces a recall of 2.3 million Toyota products for problems with a sticky accelerator. Over 6,000 AOL users take a poll in which 53% say that the recall has not influenced their decision to purchase a Toyota.
– January 26: Toyota announces the suspension of sales of 8 models, including the popular Camry sedan. Over 14,000 AOL users take a poll in which the majority say Toyota is doing the right thing by stopping the sales of its products, but they should have done so earlier.
– January 31: A class-action lawsuit is filed against Toyota over the pedal recall. The suit claims that as a result “of these recalls, Toyota owners lost the use of their vehicles, and sustained, among things, economic losses and severe emotional distress.”
– February 1: Toyota announces that it has “a fix” and goes on the airwaves to discuss what they’ll be doing to fix the problem. A small piece of steel will be inserted into the pedal assemblies to remove friction out of the pedal. Toyota offers a public apology to owners.
– Feb 2: Dealers will start receiving new parts. Some dealers will remain open 24 hours a day to fix vehicles. A view of the part itself, with Toyota’s notes on the fix, follows below:
Detailed information and answers to questions about issues related to this recall are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. In the future if you want to see if you’re vehicle’s been fixed (you won’t be able to tell just by looking at it), Toyota recommends you visit http://www.toyotaownersonline.com/ and enter your VIN number to see if it’s been cleared.