toyota unintended acceleration

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The big recall might affect Toyota’s image

Toyota Motor Corp.'s image takes a beating due to the recall of 3.8 million vehicles it had announced days ago. While Toyota has yet to estimate the costs related to its largest US recall ever, analysts are already saying that it would be Toyota's reputation that would suffer the most. The recall stemmed from an accident that had caused the death of 5 people.

A loose floor mat is said to have caused a jam in the accelerator. The Prius hybrid is included in the list of models to be recalled, says Autonews.

Aside from the damaged image, the recall would also lead Toyota to disrupt its plan to cut on spending in order to recover from record losses forecast this year amid a global collapse in auto sales.

Read the entire article The big recall might affect Toyota’s image

Report: Toyota denies allegations over floor-mat cover up

In response to a reprimand for reportedly misinforming the public, Toyota Executive Vice President Yukitoshi Funo said that it is not part of Toyota's culture to cover up anything. In fact, talks are ongoing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to determine the cause of the safety recall of 3.8 million vehicles.

He also denied claims that Toyota attempted to sidestep engineering or design defects leading to the safety risks.

Toyota was earlier rebuked by the NTHSA for issuing inaccurate and misleading information about the safety recall.

Read the entire article Report: Toyota denies allegations over floor-mat cover up

Report: NHTSA knew in 2007 of unintended acceleration reports in Lexus ES 350s

The Washington Post's report that claims Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had known since 2007 of unintended acceleration reports in Lexus ES-350s in Ohio has added to the confusion.

The report said that of every 100 Lexus ES-350 owners in that state, at least three experienced unintended acceleration. The Post reported that the investigation concluded that only a small number of vehicles were affected.

Back then, Toyota and the NHTSA determined that the cause was the accelerator getting stuck in the grooves of all-weather floor mats.

Read the entire article Report: NHTSA knew in 2007 of unintended acceleration reports in Lexus ES 350s

Toyota recalling 3.8 million U.S. Toyota and Lexus models

Due to the risk of accident posed by unintended acceleration, Toyota will be recalling 3.8 million U.S. Toyota and Lexus models to fix floor mats that may snag gas pedals. The recall, Toyota's largest ever, was sparked by an accident on August 28 in San Diego during which four people were killed in a Lexus. In the meantime, U.S. regulators are asking car owners to remove their driver-side floor mats.

The Toyota vehicles involved are 2007 to 2010 Camrys; 2005 to 2010 Avalons; 2004 to 2009 Priuses; 2005 to 2010 Tacomas and 2007 to 2010 Tundras.

Lexus models are 2007 to 2010 ES 350s and 2006 to 2010 IS 250s and IS 350s. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the warning was issued because of incoming reports of vehicles accelerating rapidly after drivers released the accelerator.

Read the entire article Toyota recalling 3.8 million U.S. Toyota and Lexus models

In relation to Toyota's largest US recall in history, instructions have been sent to the dealers in order for them to be able to continue selling and delivering both new and used vehicles.

Specifically, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. is telling dealers to attach floor mats to seat frames on the driver's side of select vehicles with self-locking wire ties to prevent the mats from snagging on gas pedals and causing unintended acceleration.

Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said that the company has been working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to come up with a semi-permanent floor mat installation process. Toyota is recalling 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus models to secure the mats.

Read the entire article Toyota instructing dealers to tie down floor mats

Toyota Motor Corp. is urging 3.8 million owners of certain Toyota and Lexus models to remove the floor mats from their cars while the company figures out what has to be done to avoid the accidents that may result from unintended acceleration. Toyota will be sending out letters on Friday.

In a recent memo, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its findings of an Aug. 28 accident involving a runaway Lexus ES 350 in San Diego that killed four people. The initial suspicion had been that a floor mat caught on the accelerator and this caused the excessive speed, leading to the accident.

Now, the NHTSA reports cited other significant factors: The accelerator pedal. The rigid, one-piece lever is formed from a composite plastic. Since the lever is not hinged beyond the main pivot, it has no means of relieving forces caused by interferences; The floor mat was not secure and was made for the Lexus RX crossover.

Read the entire article Report: Toyota urging owners to remove the tainted floor mats from their cars

The wrangling between Toyota Motor Corp. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the largest recall ever in history has concluded with the carmaker's pledge to reshape or replace accelerator pedals on 3.8 million affected vehicles. The recall was announced in late September, citing the risk that a loose floor mat could force down the accelerator and causing crashes.

This was suspected to be the problem that had resulted to an accident that killed five persons. Toyota has stated that the problem is linked to floor mats and not a vehicle design flaw or problems related to braking, fuel or accelerator systems. To cut down the risk of jamming, Toyota said that it will reconfigure the shape of accelerator pedals.

Toyota will also replace original equipment floor mats with redesigned mats and as an extra measure of confidence, a brake override system on the involved Camry, Avalon, and Lexus ES 350, IS 350 and IS 250 models will be installed.

Read the entire article Toyota dealers can use existing tools to reshape accelerator pedals

By next week, the first parts to fix accelerator pedals of up to 1.8 million Toyota cars that will be recalled in Europe will start arriving, according to Toyota Motor Europe. Toyota's engineers have developed and rigorously tested a solution that involves reinforcing the pedal assembly to eliminate the potential risk of excess friction that could cause the pedal to stick.

Toyota said that it has not received reports of accidents in Europe of an accelerator pedal sticking in a partial open throttle position or returning slowly to the idle position. These European customers affected by the recall are being contacted.

Toyota said it has already implemented an effective production solution for vehicles to be sold in Europe. Toyota Motor Europe CEO Tadashi Arashima said that since the company has identified the problem and how to fix it, it will be its focus now to complete the repairs as quickly as possible. Last Jan. 29, Toyota said that it would recall eight of its top-selling models in Europe.

Read the entire article Toyota says that parts to fix pedals will arrive in Europe next week

If Toyota President Akio Toyoda had his way, he would have us believe that "Toyota cars are safe," according to his latest statement. Toyoda had apologized for safety problems that have placed the carmaker "in crisis" as it is now considering a second recall.

This time, it is related to the brakes on some Prius hybrids. Toyoda's news conference came after rival Ford Motor Co. said that it has prepared a software update for the braking system on two of its own hybrid models.

Speaking at the company's base in Nagoya, central Japan, Toyoda said that the company was "in crisis" and faced big challenges.

Read the entire article Toyota President Akio Toyoda apologized for safety problems… again!

It is apparent that the investigation of Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles has widened when five leading automobile insurers were asked if they had notified U.S. regulators of unintended acceleration reported by consumers starting in the year 2000.

Letters were sent out to Allstate Insurance, Farmers Insurance Group, GEICO, Progressive Group and State Farm Group by House Energy Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., on Tuesday.

These companies were asked to provide copies of their communications with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about defects in Toyota cars by Feb. 17.

Read the entire article Lawmakers seeking Toyota acceleration warnings from insurers

The number of fatalities related to unintended acceleration of certain Toyota Motor Cor. vehicles has risen to 34, with a third of these complaints occurring very recently. Since Jan. 27, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has added nine crash reports to its database from 2005 to 2010, alleging 13 fatalities and 10 injuries.

US regulators say that after a major automotive recall, it is common for complaints to rise. In recent months, Toyota has recalled millions of vehicles due to complaints of unintended acceleration. Lately, the reports have been centered on safety issues and the congressional investigations.

In a statement, Toyota said that it is taking all customer reports seriously and that it is taking the necessary steps to establish more stringent quality controls, to be more aggressive in investigating complaints, to maintain open lines of communication with safety agencies, and to quickly respond to identified safety issues.

Read the entire article Toyota unintended acceleration complaints rise in the U.S.

As Toyota President Akio Toyoda is headed to a congressional hearing to give his testimony on the series of recalls the company has been deluged with, he faces another setback. A document had emerged stating that Toyota Motor Corp. saved money by agreeing to a cheap fix for the defect.

This document says that Toyota saved over $100 million by convincing US regulators to conclude a 2007 investigation of unintended acceleration complaints with a floor mat recall.

The 2009 internal document given to lawmakers and made available Sunday is proof of Toyota's Washington staff's announcement of the amount of savings it had gotten due to the move.

Read the entire article Toyota saved $100 million by persuading U.S. regulators to agree to a cheap fix

To put a stop to complaints that only Toyota has access to data from black-box crash recorders in its vehicles, hundreds of data-decoding machines have been shipped to the US. These event data recorders, which will help diagnose vehicle problems, will be made commercially available later on. These machines are actually similar to the black boxes on airliners.

They record information such as vehicle and engine speed in the seconds before a crash. Toyota is currently under fire over the recalls due to unintended acceleration and the deaths associated with them.

Toyota got even more flak from lawmakers and the representatives of the crash victims because its black-box data are encoded. Only Toyota's proprietary reader machines can crack the code and the problem is that in the US, Toyota only has one device.

Read the entire article Toyota to show what black-boxes recorded

There is no evidence of failure in the electronic throttle system or the fixes, according to Toyota Motor Corp.'s partial review of complaints of unintended acceleration after vehicles were repaired. More than 6 million Toyota vehicles in the U.S. were recalled due to loose floor mats that can jam the accelerator and gas pedals that do not spring back as designed.

Toyota revealed that as of this week, more than 1 million cars had been fixed. Nevertheless, U.S. regulators continue to review over 60 complaints, claiming that the problem remains and that the fixes made on the recalled vehicles had not resolved the issue.

Koji Endo, auto analyst at Advanced Research Japan, said that this dispute will take some time to settle since it can't be determined right away if there really are still problems with the cars.

Read the entire article No evidence of throttle failure in fixed cars, says Toyota

The report about a 2008 Prius speeding out of control in San Diego, California, just showed people exactly how serious the risks are of driving Toyota's cars. Fortunately, a California Highway Patrol officer had been instrumental in guiding the car's driver to a halt. Toyota has started an investigation of this incident.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. released a statement that a field technician specialist has been dispatched to probe the matter as well as to offer assistance. According to a Highway Patrol dispatcher, a blue Prius was traveling east on Interstate 8 around 1:30 p.m.

Then, all of a sudden, the hybrid car began accelerating on its own, making the car get to a speed of more than 90 mph. The dispatcher said that the trooper gave instructions through a loudspeaker.

Read the entire article Toyota investigating a report of a Prius that sped out of control in San Diego

In Canada, Toyota Motor Corp. executives are facing allegations from lawmakers that they waited too long before informing the government about faulty accelerator problems in its vehicles. Canada's transport minister said his department would start an investigation into Toyota's actions. The department is even considering toughening up disclosure laws further.

Of the 8 million vehicles that Toyota recalled due to risks of unintended acceleration, 270,000 are in Canada. At a hearing last Tuesday, Yoichi Tomihara, CEO of Toyota Canada Inc., said that Canadians are experiencing anxiety and inconvenience due to this crisis.

Toyota insists that Transport Canada was informed of the problems with the sticky pedals on Jan. 21, the day that the recall was announced. Last Jan. 26, production of the 8 affected models was halted in North America while waiting for a fix.

Read the entire article Toyota accused of waiting too long to inform the government about faulty accelerators

"Driver error" may be the reason behind the March 9 New York crash of a Toyota Prius that US safety officials investigated as a likely case of unintended acceleration. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an examination of the 2005 hybrid's "black box" data recorder found no braking right before it hit a stone wall in the Westchester County town of Harrison.

The NHTSA found that the throttle was "wide open," which makes it appear that the gas pedal was accidentally applied instead of the brake. Police say that it's still too early to draw conclusions.

Since October, Toyota Motor Corp. has recalled about 8 million vehicles globally over complaints of unintended acceleration due to loose floor mats that can jam the accelerator and sticky gas pedals.

Read the entire article Safety officials say driver error may be behind the N.Y. crash of a Toyota Prius

The US arm of Toyota Motor Corp. received a subpoena last Wednesday from Michigan's attorney general, who is seeking information related to the safety recalls due to unintended acceleration. The subpoena cited Michigan's consumer protection act. In a statement issued by his office, the attorney general, Mike Cox, said that concerned Michigan drivers deserve to get answers from Toyota.

Cox revealed though that Toyota has been cooperating with Michigan officials as it prepares to respond to the subpoena.

Aside from determining the causes of unintended acceleration, the subpoena also wants information that Toyota is holding and which it intends to provide the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Read the entire article Michigan subpoenas Toyota’s U.S. arm for information on safety recalls

With the car market being up by 24% and Toyota experiencing a sales surge of 41%, many have commented that the carmaker's incentive scheme has truly made an impact. It was set to end on April 5 but Toyota says now that it doesn't have any immediate plans to end the offering.

Toyota Division boss Bob Carter said that dealers needed to restore sales quickly. He acknowledges though that heavy incentives would cause long-term damage on residual values, and eventually, the incentives will have to end. Carter described the brand to be "bruised" and that he has to "rebuild the brand."

The massive recalls that started in late January have resulted to a 9% drop in February sales for Toyota Motors Sales USA.

Read the entire article We have to restore sales, and we have to do it now! says Toyota

In South Korea, 12,984 Toyota cars are being recalled due to its floor mats that can cause pedals to stick. This is the latest in a series of recalls involving over 8.5 million vehicles worldwide due to acceleration and braking issues.

In an e-mail, South Korea's Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs divulged that the recalls cover Toyota's Camry sedans and Camry hybrids as well as its Lexus ES350 sedans made between Nov. 29, 2005, and Jan. 27, 2010.

The ministry also cited that the list includes 635 vehicles imported by individuals, and 444 cars that were recalled earlier.

Read the entire article Toyota recalling 12,984 cars in South Korea because of floor mats