Earlier this month, we amplified a report from ABC News regarding their investigation into what is being dubbed as a “Runaway Toyota” problem involving select Toyota and Lexus vehicles. These vehicles have reportedly surged to speeds exceeding 100 mph, despite driver efforts to get their cars to stop.
According to ABC News and other sources, Toyota has been insisting that the problem involves all-weather floor mats while various outside investigators suggest that the problem could be computer in nature.
Regardless of the causes of these accidents which have killed as many as 19 people, Toyota now appears ready to redesign the accelerator pedal for its impacted models, a fix that just may get the blessing of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal organization tasked with overseeing automotive safety.
Nearly four million Toyota and Lexus vehicles are under the recall, by far the largest recall ever for Toyota in the United States. The vehicles included are: 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2004-2009 Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2007-2010 Lexus ES350, and 2006-2010 Lexus IS250. The vehicles will be serviced at U.S. Dealerships at no charge to owners.
Toyota apparently made the problem worse by initially falsely claiming government inspectors had found “no defects exist” in the suspect cars other than loose floor mats. The Japanese auto giant went so far as to post a video on their website saying as much which resulted in an immediate rebuke from federal officials. Moreover, effected owners soon rallied together pushing the Runaway Toyota issue to the top of the news via blogs, web sites, and through newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times as well as with ABC News which continues to track the story.
Owners of vehicles featured will receive official notification within the coming weeks on how and where to take their cars in for service. Toyota hasn’t indicated if they have new pedals in stock or whether they’ll have to await the manufacture of same. In any case look for the recall to take months to complete with many owners wondering if the runaway problem is being solved or if a larger issue lurks underneath the hood of their cars.
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