Jump to content

Toyota drivers report issues after repair of gas pedal

Recommended Posts

Toyota drivers report issues after repair of gas pedal

By Jack Kurtz, The Arizona Republic

By Jayne O'Donnell and Rachel Huggins, USA TODAY

At least 131 Toyota owners report experiencing unintended acceleration after their recalled vehicles were repaired at dealerships, a USA TODAY review of federal records shows. Daily complaints — from three on Monday to 11 on March 5 — to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration come as Toyota continues to contend mechanical, and not electronics, issues are to blame.

NHTSA and Toyota are analyzing data and vehicles to "assess whether the recall remedies are being applied correctly and whether they are able to prevent the problems they were designed to address," NHTSA said in a statement Tuesday. In two cases, NHTSA says, it appears improper repairs were made, but it is trying to determine whether the problem was human error or the fix itself.

LEXUS WARNING: 'Consumer Reports' says don't buy the GX 460

Critics, including Sean Kane of the plaintiff attorney-funded Safety Research & Strategies, say continuing reports of unintended acceleration after recall fixes suggest electronics are to blame.

NHTSA's complaint data show a few of the consumers took their cars back to dealers to have their gas pedals replaced. Toyota told customers last month that if they aren't satisfied with the pedal modifications, they can get free replacements.

Toyota says it has repaired about 1.4 million vehicles with pedals that could stick and almost 1 million models with floor mats that could jam the pedals. It is repairing about 200,000 vehicles a week.

"We remain committed to investigating reported incidents of unintended acceleration in our vehicles quickly," Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight says.

Toyota says it shares results of these probes only with the owner, law enforcement and regulators.

Here's what two Toyota customers told NHTSA:

•A Toyota Tundra owner from Needham, Mass., had the accelerator pedal repaired in February after the car took off while in reverse. "I just thank God there was not a child behind my car," the driver told NHTSA. Since then, the driver says, the car accelerates on its own at least five to nine times a week.

•After a Toyota Avalon was repaired under the sticking-pedal recall, the driver from Garden City, N.Y., told NHTSA the brakes began to fade in traffic. In neutral, the engine roared, hitting over 4,000 rpm before returning to a normal speed.

While the percentage of complaints to NHTSA compared with the millions of vehicles repaired is minuscule, safety regulators say they take recall repair problems seriously. NHTSA "considers any fix that doesn't work for recalls to be a problem, regardless of how many vehicles are involved," the agency said. NHTSA's complaint process is voluntary and may not include all post-recall problems.

Software glitches are a growing problem for automakers. NHTSA data show there have been at least 40 recalls in which software was listed as part of the problem; about 75% were in 2005 through 2009. Software errors have led to recalls for stalling, reduced braking power and increased engine rpm.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...