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NHTSA investigating claims of stalling on 2006 Toyota Corolla, Matrix

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Filed under: Government/Legal, Recalls, Safety, Hatchback, Toyota

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When it rains, it pours. With recalls on the books for Toyota floor mats and corrosion problems, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is now investigating reports that Toyota's Corolla and Matrix vehicles may have engines susceptible to stalling. Owners of the 2006 model year Corolla and Matrix vehicles with the questioned 1ZZ-FE engines have described stalling in intersections and on highways, putting drivers at a safety risk while they attempt to restart the engine. There have been no reports of crashes.

It's important to note that about 397,000 vehicles are covered by the review, and that only 26 complaints have been lodged (that works out to about one in every 15,000 vehicles). Since it is a preliminary investigation, there's no recall until NHTSA investigates and determines that the stalling is caused by a specific design or parts defect. Of course, they may also find the stalling issue is attributed to poor maintenance or bad gas... nobody is pointing fingers. Yet.

[source: Reuters]

NHTSA investigating claims of stalling on 2006 Toyota Corolla, Matrix originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 07 Dec 2009 17:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Of course, they may also find the stalling issue is attributed to poor maintenance or bad gas... nobody is pointing fingers. Yet.

Give it time.....

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Toyota Corolla gets scrutiny for stalling engines

AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

DECEMBER 7, 2009 - 9:18 AM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. safety regulators are investigating complaints of engine stall in 2006 Toyota Motor Corp. Corolla and Matrix vehicles, the latest in a string of quality issues to affect the Japanese automaker.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received 26 complaints related to vehicles equipped with IZZ-FE engines. The review covers 397,000 cars sold in the United States.

Motorists alleged random stalls, with some cases occurring in intersections and others on highways, according to NHTSA documents. The review was launched on Nov. 30. In many cases, motorists had trouble restarting the engine.

There were no crashes reported in the complaints, NHTSA said. Several reports cited a Toyota service bulletin in 2007 calling for replacing the engine computer following complaints of stall.

NHTSA's preliminary review does not mean a recall is likely. One could follow if the investigation moves beyond the paperwork stage and regulators affirm the allegations and identify a design or parts defect.

Toyota officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Quality cloud

Toyota's carefully built reputation for quality has come under a cloud in the U.S. market in recent months as it fights restructured domestic manufacturers and other rivals for business in a sluggish market.

Toyota announced in November it would fix gas pedals on 3.8 million vehicles to address a safety issue linked to bursts of unintended acceleration and crashes, some of them deadly. It was the largest recall in the automaker's history.

Just before that action, Toyota said it would recall about 110,000 older model Tundra pickups due to corrosion problems.

Analysts say Toyota's brand loyalty is strong and its vehicles are among the most fuel efficient on the road, a priority for millions of U.S. motorists seeking to lower their gasoline costs and reduce their "carbon" footprint.

Some of Toyota's quality problems, experts say, are related to its strong sales growth globally in recent years.

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I think the idea was that the stalling problem would fix the unintended acceleration problem.

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Analysts say Toyota's brand loyalty is strong and its vehicles are among the most fuel efficient on the road, a priority for millions of U.S. motorists seeking to lower their gasoline costs and reduce their "carbon" footprint.

So, are they fuel-efficient because they stall while moving? I mean, that'd allow the car to coast without using gas and definitely could lead to people claiming they're reducing their "carbon footprint".

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Which engine was this, and if it ends up in a recall, will the Vibe be affected?

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