Toyota to replace gas pedals on 3.8m recalled cars in US | Shanghai Daily

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November 26, 2009

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Toyota to replace gas pedals on 3.8m recalled cars in US

TOYOTA Motor Corp will replace gas pedals on 3.8 million recalled vehicles in the United States to address problems with sudden acceleration or the pedal becoming stuck in the floor mat, The Associated Press has learned.

As a temporary step, Toyota will have dealers shorten the length of the gas pedals beginning in January while the company develops replacement pedals for their vehicles, the Transportation Department said in a statement provided to AP. New pedals will be available beginning in April, and some vehicles will have brake override systems installed as a precaution.

Toyota, the world's largest auto maker announced the massive recall in late September and told owners to remove the driver's side floor mats to prevent the gas pedal from potentially becoming jammed.

Popular vehicles such as the Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger car in America, and the Toyota Prius, the best-selling gas-electric hybrid, are part of the recall. It includes the 2007-10 model year Camry, 2005-10 Toyota Avalon, 2004-09 Prius, 2005-10 Toyota Tacoma, 2007-10 Toyota Tundra, 2007-10 Lexus ES350 and 2006-10 Lexus IS250/350.

On Tuesday, Toyota announced a recall of 110,000 Tundra trucks from the 2000-03 model years to address excessive rust on the vehicle's frame.

The recall involving the accelerators was Toyota's largest in the US. It was prompted by a high-speed crash in August involving a 2009 Lexus ES350 that killed a California Highway Patrol officer and three members of his family near San Diego. The Lexus hit speeds exceeding 195 kilometers per hour, struck a sport utility vehicle, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and burst into flames.

A family member in the runaway Lexus made a frantic call to police moments before the crash, telling emergency responders that the accelerator was stuck and the driver couldn't stop the car. The call ended as someone was overheard urging others to hold on and pray, followed by a woman's scream.

In Japan, Toyota President Akio Toyoda called the fatal crash "extremely regrettable" and offered his "deepest condolences" to the California family.




 

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