Toyota Camry Recall Information
NEWS: Toyota is recalling certain 2015 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Highlander, and Highlander Hybrid, and 2014-2015 Rav4 vehicles; STEERING
MARCH 2015 -- Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain model year 2015 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Highlander, and Highlander Hybrid, and 2014-2015 Rav4 vehicles. A component of the electric power steering (EPS) electronic control unit (ECU) may have been damaged during the manufacturing process. Over time, this damage may result in failure of the electric power steering system. An unexpected loss of power steering increases the risk of a crash. Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the serial number of the EPS ECU or steering column assembly. If the number is within the affected range, the EPS ECU will be replaced, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in April 2015. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov
NEWS: Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC is recalling certain model year 2010-2011 Prius and Corolla, 2009-2011 Venza, 2006-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 FJ Cruiser, 2005-2011 Sienna and Sequoia, 2006-2011 Tacoma 4x2 and 4x4, Camry, Highlander, Tundra 4x2 and 4x4, and 2007-2011 Rav4 and 4Runner; SEATS
DECEMBER 2014 -- Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC (SET) is recalling certain model year 2010-2011 Prius and Corolla, 2009-2011 Venza, 2006-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 FJ Cruiser, 2005-2011 Sienna and Sequoia, 2006-2011 Tacoma 4x2 and 4x4, Camry, Highlander, Tundra 4x2 and 4x4, and 2007-2011 Rav4 and 4Runner. The affected vehicles may experience compression of the seat cushion which may damage the seat heater wiring. Damage to the seat heater wiring could cause the wires to short, increasing the risk of the seat burning and causing personal injury to the occupant. SET will notify owners, and dealers will disconnect the heaters with copper strand heating elements and refund the purchase price of the seat heater accessory, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 24, 2014. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.vehicles
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NEWS: Toyota is recalling certain 2011 Toyota Camry vehicles; SUSPENSION
DECEMBER 2014 -- Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain model year 2011 Toyota Camry vehicles manufactured March 8, 2011, to July 20, 2011. In the affected vehicles, the rubber boot on the front suspension lower arm ball joint may have been damaged during manufacturing. The damage could cause the boot to leak lubricant grease which could then cause the ball joint to wear and loosen prematurely. A loosened ball joint may separate from the knuckle and could cause a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash. Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the ball joint, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on or around December 15, 2014. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
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NEWS: Toyota is recalling certain 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry HV, Avalon, and Avalon HV vehicles; SUSPENSION
DECEMBER 2014 -- Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain model year 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry HV, Avalon, and Avalon HV vehicles equipped with 16-inch and 17-inch rims. In the affected vehicles, the left-side front suspension lower arm may have been incorrectly manufactured. As a result, the left side lower arm may not have enough clamping surface area for one of the bolts that secures the lower arm to the lower ball joint. Because of the insufficient clamping force, the lower arm may separate from the ball joint, increasing the risk of a crash. Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the left side lower arm, free of charge. The recall will begin around mid-December 2014. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
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NEWS: Toyota recalls 20,000 new vehicles for fuel leaks
SEPT 2014 -- Toyota Motor Corp. said Thursday it will recall 20,000 new vehicles in North America for fuel leaks that could spark a fire.
The Japanese automaker said the recall includes 2014 Avalon, Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and 2015 Lexus RX vehicles equipped with the 2GR-FE engine.
Toyota said in the recalled vehicles “the end cap on the right-hand fuel delivery pipe in the engine compartment could have been insufficiently welded during manufacturing at the supplier. In this condition, fuel could leak from the fuel delivery pipe and, in the presence of an ignition source, could increase the risk of a vehicle fire.”
Toyota said is not aware of any fires, crashes, injuries or fatalities stemming from the issue. Toyota dealers will inspect the fuel delivery pipe and if it was produced at the involved supplier, replace it with a new one.
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NEWS: Toyota is recalling certain 2013-2014 Camry, 2013 Avalon and 2014 Corolla vehicles; VISIBILITY
NOVEMBER 2013 - Toyota Motor Engineering & manufacturing North America, Inc. (Toyota) is recalling certain model year 2013-2014 Camry and Camry HV, model year 2013 Avalon and Avalon HV and model year 2014 Corolla vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the windshield wiper switch assembly may short circuit. As such, these vehicles fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, No. 104, "Windshield Wiping and Washing Systems." A short circuit could cause inoperative windshield wipers, reducing driver visibility and increasing the risk of a crash. Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the wiper switch assembly, free of charge. The recall began on November 8, 2013. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
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NEWS: Toyota is recalling certain 2012-2013 Avalon, Venza and Camry vehicles
OCTOBER 2013 - Toyota is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 Avalon, Avalon HV, Venza, Camry, and Camry HV vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the drain hose for the air conditioning condenser may become clogged causing water to accumulate at the bottom of the air conditioning condenser unit housing. The accumulated water may then leak through a seam in the housing onto the air bag control module potentially resulting in a short circuit of the module. A short circuit may cause the air bags to become disabled or inadvertently deploy. An inadvertent airbag deployment can increase the risk of injury or the possibility of a crash. An inoperative airbag can increase the risk of injury in a severe crash. The power steering assist could also become inoperable resulting in increased steering effort and can increase the risk of a crash at low speeds. Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will seal the air conditioning condenser unit housing and install a protective cover on the airbag control module, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
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NEWS: Toyota recalls 885,000 vehicles to fix water leak risk; 2012-2013 Camry, Avalon, Venza
OCTOBER 2013 - Toyota said Thursday it was recalling 885,000 vehicles worldwide to fix a problem with air conditioning equipment that could cause a leak that could affect air bags.
Toyota said the recall was for model years 2012 and 2013 of its Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid, and Venza vehicles.
The bulk of the recalled vehicles are in the United States -- 803,000 -- while 15,000 are in the Middle East and 1,600 in Europe.
The problem is with the air conditioning condenser unit housing in the vehicles, the Japanese automaker said in a statement.
Water from the housing could leak onto the airbag control module and cause a short circuit, resulting in illumination of the airbag warning light and, in some instances, the air bag "could become disabled or could inadvertently deploy."
Toyota also said there was also a chance the power steering assist function could become inoperable if a communication line in the airbag control module were damaged.
The company said its dealers will apply sealant and install a cover to the air conditioning condenser unit housing seam on the recalled vehicles.
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NEWS: Toyota to recall 2.5 million vehicles in the USA over power window glitch
OCTOBER 2012 -- Toyota is recalling certain model year 2007-2009 Camry, Camry Hybrid, RAV4, Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Tundra, Sequoia, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Yaris, Scion xB, Scion xD and Pontiac Vibe vehicles. The power window master switch assemblies in some of these vehicles were built using a less precise process for lubricating the internal components of the switch assemblies. Irregularities in this lubrication process may cause the power window master switch assemblies to malfunction and overheat.
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NEWS: Toyota to recall 2.5 million vehicles in the USA over power window glitch
OCTOBER 2012 -- Toyota Motor Corp said it would recall more than 7.4 million vehicles worldwide as a faulty power window switch was a potential fire hazard, the latest in a series of setbacks that have dented the reputation of Japan's biggest automaker.
The voluntary move is the biggest single recall since Ford pulled 8 million vehicles off the road in 1996 to replace defective ignition switches that could have caused engine fires.
The recall, intended to fix a malfunctioning power window switch on the driver's side, primarily affects cars in the United States, China and Europe.
The recall will include some Yaris and Corolla models, with repairs taking about 40 minutes, the company said.
"The process to repair (the power window switch) is not an extensive one," spokeswoman Monika Saito said, adding that it would involve putting heat-resistant grease on the switches, or exchanging them.
"Of course, 7 million vehicles is a huge number, but it's probably not going to be like last time when customers in the United States avoided buying Toyota cars. This sounds like a completely different scale from then," he said.
The recall will include 2.47 million vehicles in the United States, 1.4 million in China and 1.39 million in Europe, the company said.
No accidents, injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the problem, though there is a possibility the malfunctioning switches could emit smoke, Saito said. Toyota's U.S. news release said the problem could lead to fire if commercially available lubricants were used on the switch.
The first time the problem was reported was in September 2008 in the United States, Saito said.
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NEWS: Toyota is recalling 700,000 vehicles in the United States. Tacoma:faulty air bags; Camry & Venza:faulty brake light switch
MARCH 2012 -- Toyota Motor Corp. said Wednesday it is recalling almost 700,000 vehicles in the United States to fix potentially faulty air bags and replace a faulty brake light switch. ....Toyota said it's recalling 495,470 Tacoma pickup trucks made between 2005 and 2009 because friction might result in a loss of a electrical connection in the driver's air bag module. That could cause the air bag warning lamp on the instrument panel to remain illuminated after starting the vehicle, and the driver's air bag might be deactivated and fail to deploy during a crash. The automaker said it began investigating an increase in the number of out-of-warranty claims on the Tacoma from March through October last year. Toyota duplicated the problem during testing and decided to issue the recall. Since 2005, Toyota has received 162 complaints.
The Japanese automaker said it's also recalling 70,500 Camry and 116,000 2009-2011 Venza vehicles to replace a brake light switch. Toyota said the sedans might not start or might not shift out of park READ MORE >>>
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NEWS: Feds open fire probe into 830K Toyota Camry, RAV4 vehicles
FEBRUARY 2012 -- Federal safety regulators have opened an investigation into 830,000 Toyota vehicles over complaints of fires sparked by power window switches.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Friday it was opening a preliminary investigation into the 2007 Camry and RAV4 after receiving six consumer complaints alleging a fire in the driver's side door.
"Based on the available information, it appears the fires are originating from the power window master switch located on the driver's door," NHTSA said.
None of the complaints filed with NHTSA allege any injuries but some say the fires caused serious damage....One complaint said the driver was coming home from work last month and saw a flame came out of the left power switch. "I was so scared," the driver wrote. Another owner of a 2007 Camry said she saw flames coming from the door and the vehicle was declared a total loss. Another driver said the window power switch caught fire in August. "Toyota would not fix because (too) many miles," the complaint said. "I was so afraid to drive the fire trap I traded it in for a new car. .....Toyota said it is aware of the investigation and is working with NHTSA. "Toyota will fully cooperate with the agency in its efforts to investigate these allegations," Toyota spokeswoman said. READ MORE...
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YAHOO NEWS -- November 9, 2011 – (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Co is recalling 550,000 vehicles worldwide, including more than 420,000 in the United States, to replace an engine component that could hamper steering, the Japanese automaker said on Wednesday.
Models involved include the Toyota-branded Camry sedan, Solara coupe, Highlander SUV, and Sienna minivan for the 2004 and 2005 model years.
The recall also covers the 2004 Toyota Avalon sedan and 2006 Highlander HV. Toyota luxury brand Lexus models recalled were the 2006 Lexus RX 400H SUV as well as the 2004 and 2005 ES330 sedan and RX330 crossover.
The recall is the latest in a reputation-damaging series that began in the fall of 2009, mainly involving complaints of unintended acceleration linked to defective floor mats and gas pedals.
This recall affects 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles in the United States, bringing the total in the country so far this year to a little more than 3.3 million vehicles.
Toyota will replace the crankshaft pulley on the six-cylinder engines of the models.
The company said the outer ring of the pulley may not be aligned with the inner ring. If the condition were not fixed, a component of the power steering pump could be detached from the pulley and force the driver to put in more effort to steer.
About 27,000 vehicles were recalled in Canada and 38,000 recalled in Japan, a Toyota spokesman said
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NOVEMBER 2011 -- Toyota is recalling certain model year 2004 Avalon vehicles; 2004 and 2005 Camry, Camry Solara, Highlander, and Sienna vehicles, 2006 Highlander Hybrid; 2004 and 2005 Lexus ES330 and RX330; and 2006 Lexus RX400h vehicles manufactured from June 1, 2004 through March 31, 2005, equipped with the 1MZ-FE or 3MZ-FE engine. The amount of adhesive agent applied between the outer ring and the torsiona l rubber damper (inner ring) in the crankshaft pulley may be inadequate. If the adhesive is insufficient, there is a possibility that the outer ring may become misaligned and it may not properly rotate with the inner ring, causing noise and/or illumination of the battery discharge indicator light. In some cases, the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley which could result in a loss of power steering and a sudden increase in steering effort, increasing the risk of a crash. Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will check the crankshaft pulley to identify whether it was produced by the U.S. supplier. If so, the dealer will replace the pulley with a new one at no charge. The safety recall is expected to begin during early January 2012. . 11V-539
FEBRUARY 2010 -- Toyota is recalling certain model year 2010 Camrys. The length of the power steering pressure hose on vehicles equipped with the 4-cylinder (2AR-FE) engine may be insufficient, such that the gap between the crimp on the pressure hose and the brake tube for the left rear brake may be insufficient. Under these circumstances the brake tube may interfere with the crimp and may wear and then perforate. A brake tube perforation may result in brake fluid leakage. A leak in brake fluid may impact braking performance increasing the risk of a crash. Toyota will notify owners and, if necessary, dealers will replace or adjust the brake tube free of charge. The safety recall began on March 4, 2010. 10V-040
JANUARY 2010 - Toyota is recalling certain model year 2005-2010 Avalon, model year 2007-2010 Camry, model year 2009-2010 Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Rav4, model year 2010 Highlander, model year 2008-2010 Sequoia, and model year 2007-2010 Tundra vehicles. Due to the manner in which the friction lever interacts with the sliding surface of the accelerator pedal inside the pedal sensor assembly, the sliding surface of the lever may become smooth during vehicle operation. In this condition, if condensation occurs on the surface, as may occur from heater operation (without A/C) when the pedal assembly is cold, the friction when the accelerator pedal is operated may increase, which may result in the accelerator pedal becoming harder to depress, slower to return, or, in the worst case, mechanically stuck in a partially depressed position. The accelerator pedal may become hard to depress, slow to return to idle, or, in the worst case, mechanically stuck in a partially depressed position, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will install a reinforcement bar in the accelerator pedal which will allow the pedal to operate smoothly. GM will notify owners for the Pontiac Vibe please see 10V-018. This service will be performed free of charge. The safety recall is expected to begin early February and will be completed in late April 2010. 10V-017
OCTOBER 2009 -- Toyota is recalling certain model year 2004-2010 passenger vehicles. The accelerator pedal can get stuck in the wide open position due to its being trapped by an unsecured or incompatible driver's floor mat. A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death. Toyota will notify owners of affected vehicles to remove any driver's floor mat and not replace it with any other floor mat pending the development of model-specific remedies. Toyota will mail a second notification to owners of affected vehicles notifying them of the free remedy when it is available. The first notice was mailed on October 30, 2009 and Toyota will advise NHTSA an estimate of the date when the remedy parts will be available. 09V-388
YAHOO NEWS -- Jan 27, 2010 -- Toyota Motor Corp late on Wednesday said it is expanding a recall of its cars and trucks by another 1.1 million vehicles to address the risk of accelerator pedals becoming dangerously stuck.
The recall involves 2009-2010 model year Corolla, Venza, Matrix vehicles and the 2008-2010 Highlander, as well as the 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe. The Vibe had been assembled at a plant in California that Toyota had operated jointly with GM.
Toyota told federal officials of the expanded recall on Wednesday. It is the second high-profile safety action in less than a week for the automaker.
Last week, Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles that it said may have a faulty accelerator pedal that sticks. Last year, Toyota said it was recalling more than 4 million vehicles for what it then said were safety risks linked to improperly placed floormats. In November, after the issue was investigated by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Toyota said it would also modify or replace accelerator pedals as well.
The total number of recalled Toyotas in 2009 and 2010 now stands at 5.9 million. There are some models involved in last week's as well as last year's recall. In a letter to the NHTSA on Wednesday, Toyota said its plan is to modify or replace accelerator pedals. Modifying vehicle floors also will be considered on some models, Toyota said.
"Initially, dealers will be instructed on how to reshape the accelerator pedal for the repair," Toyota's letter to U.S. safety regulators said. "As replacement parts...become available, they will be made available to the dealers," Toyota said
Models covered by the latest GAS PEDAL recall include the
Models ADDED to the latest FLOOR MAT recall include the
Models covered by the original FLOOR MAT recall include
YAHOO NEWS -- Jan 26, 2010 -- Toyota is suspending U.S. sales of eight car and truck models to fix sticking gas pedals and halting production lines at plants from Texas to Canada to deal with the problem, the latest to confront the world's No. 1 automaker.
The suspended sales, announced Tuesday, involve a significant portion of Toyota Motor Co.'s fleet and some of its most popular vehicles, including the Camry and Corolla. As part of the plan, Toyota is halting some production at five assembly plants beginning the week of Feb. 1 "to assess and coordinate activities."
There are 2.3 million vehicles involved in the recall, which was announced last week. Toyota has said it was unaware of any accidents or injuries due to the pedal problems associated with the recall, but could not rule them out for sure.
"This action is necessary until a remedy is finalized," said Bob Carter, Toyota's group vice president and general manager.
The Japanese automaker said the sales suspension includes the following models: the 2009-2010 RAV4, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2007-2010 Camry, the 2009-2010 Matrix, the 2005-2010 Avalon, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2008-2010 Sequoia.
Models covered by the latest recall include the
Aaron Bragman, an auto analyst for the consulting firm IHS Global Insight in Troy, Mich., said Toyota typically sells about 65,000 Camrys and Corollas a month, and the frozen sales could strike the company's bottom line and reputation for quality.
"That's huge if they can't sell these and they don't have a fix identified. They need to go and get a solution to this fast," Bragman said.
Toyota sold more than 34,000 Camrys in December, making the midsize sedan America's best-selling car. It commands 3.4 percent of the U.S. market and sales rose 38 percent from a year earlier. Sales of the Corolla and Matrix, a small sedan and a hatchback, totaled 34,220 last month, with 3.3 percent of the market and sales up nearly 55 percent from December of 2008.
It was unclear how long Toyota would suspend production of the vehicles. In an e-mail to employees, company officials said, "we don't know yet how long this pause will last but we will make every effort to resume production soon."
Toyota officials did not immediately return phone messages.
The automaker said the move would affect plants in Princeton, Ind., Lafayette, Ind., Georgetown, Ky., San Antonio, Texas, and a facility in Ontario, Canada. About 300 workers who build V8 engines at a Toyota plant in Huntsville, Ala., will also be affected, said Stephanie Deemer, a spokeswoman for the plant.
Deemer said workers there would have the option of receiving additional training, take vacation or unpaid leave.
Toyota said no other North American Toyota facility would be affected by the decision.
Toyota dealers said they were concerned the move would hamper sales and were hopeful parts to fix the problem could be distributed quickly.
"They're going the extra mile to reassure people that they really care about the customers," said Earl Stewart, owner of a Toyota dealership in North Palm Beach, Fla. "It is something that's going to be at least a short-term hardship on the dealers, and especially on Toyota."
The auto company said the sales suspension would not affect Lexus or Scion vehicles. Toyota said the Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser and select Camry models, including all Camry hybrids, would remain for sale.
Toyota said last week it was recalling 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. to fix accelerator pedals with mechanical problems that could cause them to become stuck.
The announcement followed a larger recall months earlier of 4.2 million vehicles because of problems with gas pedals becoming trapped under floor mats, causing sudden acceleration. That problem was the cause of several crashes, including some fatalities.
YAHOO NEWS – Jan 21, 2010 -- Toyota Motor Corp said on Thursday it would recall 2.3 million vehicles in the United States to fix potentially faulty accelerator pedals in an admission of more wide-ranging problems with dangerous acceleration in its cars and trucks.
The recall marked an acknowledgment that potential safety problems on Toyota vehicles run deeper than the automaker had first announced and broadened a recall that already ranked as its largest ever.
The moves have threatened to damage Toyota's reputation for market-leading quality and safety at a time when the automaker's U.S. sales remain under pressure.
Toyota had previously maintained that there was no evidence of a mechanical fault linked to reports of bursts of unintended acceleration that prompted the recall of about 4.2 million vehicles last year.
The recall announced on Thursday is separate from the earlier action that Toyota said was aimed at addressing the risk that the accelerator pedals could become entrapped by loose or improperly installed floor mats. About 1.7 million Toyota vehicles are subject to both recalls, Toyota said.
Models covered by the latest recall include the
The 2009-10 Pontiac Vibe -- which was assembled at the same factory as the Matrix -- is also going to be recalled.
Toyota said its own investigation in recent months had found that some accelerator pedals on those Toyota brand models might stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to idle. The problems could occur when the pedal mechanism becomes worn, it said.
"Toyota will continue to investigate incidents of unwanted acceleration and take appropriate measures to address any trends that are identified," it said in a statement. As recently as November,.... Toyota's U.S. brand chief, had said there was "no evidence" to support claims that the reported safety problems could be caused by anything other than loose floor mats interfering with the accelerator pedal.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had received reports of 100 incidents at the time of Toyota's first recall. Those reports included 17 crashes and five fatalities possibly linked to floor mats and accelerator pedals in Toyota cars and trucks.
Toyota's earlier recall covers the Camry and Avalon sedans, the Prius hybrid, the Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks, and the luxury Lexus models IS250, IS350 and ES350. NHTSA had conducted a similar investigation of floor mats in Toyota vehicles that began in 2007 and resulted in a recall of more than 50,000 cars. That probe focused on the Lexus ES350 and concluded that grooves in the floor mat could trap the accelerator if the mat was not secured with retaining hooks.
September 29, 2009 -- Yahoo News – Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will recall 3.8 million vehicles in the United States, the company's largest-ever U.S. recall, to address problems with a removable floor mat that could cause accelerators to get stuck and lead to a crash.
The recall will involve popular models such as the Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger car in America, and the Toyota Prius, the best-selling gas-electric hybrid.
Toyota said it was still working with officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to find a remedy to fix the problem and said owners could be notified about the recall as early as next week. Toyota spokesman Irv Miller said until the company finds a fix, owners should take out the removable floor mat on the driver's side and not replace it.
"A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop a vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death," Miller said.
NHTSA said it had received reports of 102 incidents in which the accelerator may have become stuck on the Toyota vehicles involved. It was unclear how many led to crashes but the inquiry was prompted by a highspeed crash in August in California of a Lexus barreling out of control. As the vehicle hit speeds exceeding 120 mph, family members made a frantic 911 call and said the accelerator was stuck and they couldn't stop the vehicle.
"This is an urgent matter," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "For everyone's sake, we strongly urge owners of these vehicles to remove mats or other obstacles that could lead to unintended acceleration."
The recall will affect
Toyota's previously largest U.S. recall was about 900,000 vehicles in 2005 to fix a steering issue. The company declined to say how many complaints it had received about the accelerator issue.
The Japanese automaker warned owners that if they think their vehicle is accelerating out of control, they should check to see whether their floor mat is under the pedal. If a driver can't remove the floor mat, Toyota advises drivers to step on the brake pedal with both feet until the vehicle slows and then try to put it into neutral and switch the ignition to accessory power.
For vehicles with engine start/stop buttons, Toyota said the engine can be shut off by holding the button down for three seconds.
In the August incident near San Diego, the fiery crash of a 2009 Lexus ES 350 killed California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor, 45, and three members of his family on State Route 125 in Santee. The runaway car was traveling at more than 120 mph when it hit a sport utility vehicle, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and burst into flames. One of the family members called police about a minute before the crash to report the vehicle had no brakes and the accelerator was stuck. The call ended with someone telling people in the car to hold on and pray, followed by a woman's scream.
NHTSA investigators determined that a rubber all-weather floor mat found in the wreckage was slightly longer than the mat that belonged in the vehicle, something that could have snared or covered the accelerator pedal.
Toyota spokesman John Hanson said the final report had not yet been submitted in the California case.
"We don't know what the actual cause was of that accident other than preliminary reports that have been published so it's impossible for us to comment on that particular incident," Hanson said.
In mid-September, Toyota ordered 1,400 Toyota and Lexus dealers nationwide to ensure that each new, used and loaner vehicles had the proper floor mats and that the mats were properly secured.
In September 2007, Toyota recalled an accessory all-weather floor mat sold for use in some 2007 and 2008 model year Lexus ES 350 and Toyota Camry vehicles because of similar problems.
Detroit Free Press -- September 27, 2007 -- Toyota Motor Co. will recall floor mats from 55,000 Camry and Lexus ES 350 models due to complaints of unintended acceleration caused by the mats sticking underneath the accelerator pedal, federal safety officials and the automaker said Wednesday.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took the unusual step of highlighting Toyota's recall announcement, advising owners of other Toyota models -- including the Prius hybrid and Avalon sedans -- to ensure their floor mats are properly installed.
"We have also received complaints about the RAV 4" crossover "and Tacoma" pickup, said Rae Tyson, a spokesman for NHTSA. "We will continue to monitor all of the other Toyota vehicles not involved in the recall."
As the Free Press first reported last month, NHTSA had opened an investigation into the floor mats after amassing 40 reports of unintended acceleration in 2007 Lexus ES 350 sedans, including eight crashes and 12 injuries.
Since then, NHTSA has received complaints from owners of other Toyota models about the problem. In several of the original complaints, drivers said the vehicles only stopped after an accident. One driver told the agency the vehicle had hit speeds of 100 m.p.h. over a 6-mile stretch of freeway due to the problem.
A Michigan woman said the problem caused her to lose control of her Lexus, triggering a rollover crash on I-75 that totaled her car. Because some ES 350s are sold with stop/start buttons rather than traditional ignitions, some drivers said they were unable to shut off the engine by pressing the button as the car accelerated.
At the time, Toyota told safety officials it had identified an optional all-weather floor mat that if not properly secured by clips to the floor could stick under the accelerator pedal; in some cases, Toyota said owners had simply put the rubber mat over the standard floor mats.
The company contended it had dealt with the problem through a mailing to customers earlier this year.
Toyota said Wednesday the recall involves 30,500 mats for the ES 350 and 24,500 mats for the 2007 and 2008 Toyota Camry.
Owners will be told of the recall in October and offered replacement mats in November. The company also warned drivers to check their floor mats and make sure that only one was installed.
Sudden and unintended acceleration cases carry a stigma in the U.S. auto industry, due to the collapse of the Audi brand in the late 1980s following a "60 Minutes" report alleging runaway cars. Federal safety officials later cleared Audi, but it took years for the company to rebuild its reputation.
In a separate move, Nissan Motor Co. said it was recalling nearly 420,000 sport utility vehicles because of possible corrosion in the tube where motorists pump gas.
The recall involves Nissan Pathfinder and Infiniti QX4 SUVs from the 1997-2001 model years. More than 370,000 of the vehicles under recall were originally sold or are currently registered in 22 cold weather states and the District of Columbia. Another 45,000 vehicles are in Canada.