Toyota today announced that it would recall roughly 1.1 million Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchback models built from 2005 through 2008, to replace engine-control modules that may have been flawed.
The recall is a response to concerns over stalling issues reported in those models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been investigating the Toyota stalling problem since late last year.
The affected vehicles are fitted with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine (its code is 1ZZ-FE) and are front-wheel-drive only (some Matrix models offered all-wheel-drive).
Under certain circumstances, Toyota says, solder connections may develop a crack that creates unpredictable behavior in the circuit. A crack may also develop where a component called a varistor (which protects against excessive voltage) is attached to the circuit board.
Results may include an illuminated Check-Engine light, rough or unpredictable shifting, or an engine that won't start. It is also possible, Toyota says, that the engine could switch off while the vehicle is in motion.
Three accidents are claimed to be a result of this condition, Toyota says, although as yet they are not confirmed.
Starting in the middle of next month, Toyota will mail a recall notice to owners of the affected models. As replacement engine-control modules become available, owners will again be notified to bring their cars in for repair.
Any owners who have already paid for a replacement ECM will be reimbursed for the costs, Toyota says.
Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers through the Toyota recall website and from the company's Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Saturday 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. PDT.