As many suspected, it turns out there's more to the claims of unintended acceleration at Toyota than some problematic floor mats. Unfortunately, also like the floor mat issue, Toyota appears to be taking voluntary action only after widespread complaints about the issue. The recall affects 2.3 million vehicles spread across eight model lines.
According to Toyota, the problem has emerged in the past several months as a completely separate condition from the existing floor mat recall, which affected 4.2 million vehicles. About 1.7 million vehicles are subject to both problems.
“Our investigation indicates that there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position. Consistent with our commitment to the safety of our cars and our customers, we have initiated this voluntary recall action," said Toyota Motor Sales group vice president Irv Miller in a release today.
The eight models affected include:
• 2009-2010 RAV4,
• 2009-2010 Corolla
• 2009-2010 Matrix
• 2005-2010 Avalon
• 2007-2010 Camry
• 2010 Highlander
• 2007-2010 Tundra
• 2008-2010 Sequoia
While Toyota says the condition is rare, when it occurs it presents in worn pedal mechanisms that become harder to depress and slower to return, potentially becoming stuck in the depressed position. With the throttle then stuck wide open, the car can continue to accelerate even while braking. Toyota advises drivers experiencing a stuck accelerator pedal to apply the brakes steadily and firmly, and to shut off the engine at the nearest safe location.
Toyota says no Lexus or Scion-brand vehicles were affected by the recall, though the Toyota Matrix shares its design and construction at California's NUMMI plant with the Pontiac Vibe, so it's possible that more cars yet may fall under the recall.