Toyota Recalls Nearly 4-Million Cars

November 25, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Toyota announced it's recalling almost 4-million cars here in United States because of a faulty pedal design. It's a problem that's led to uncontrolled speeding and several deaths. A passenger called 911 from the back seat of a 2009 Lexus when it went out of control.

"Our accelerator's stuck. We're in trouble!"

"We're approaching an intersection! Hold on!"

All four people in the car died after it hit another car and ultimately burst into flames.

There are 100 similar incidents with Toyota made cars 17-crashes and 5-fatalities where the vehicle suddenly accelerated.

Some owners are now suing Toyota, claiming the electronic computer system that controls the throttle is faulty. "We've all experienced computer glitches in using our own personal computers where something just happens but we don't know why," said Don Slavik, attorney for a Toyota crash victim.

Initially Toyota said the problem was loose floor mats covering the gas pedal. But an ABC News investigation revealed the problem was much more serious; a faulty gas pedal design. And now, Toyota is recalling nearly 4-million cars to replace their gas pedal.

The world's largest automaker says the problem is not electrical but mechanical. For now, Toyota will be shortening the pedals. And then in April, they're hoping to come out with new pedal replacements.

The Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger car in America, the Toyota Prius, the best-selling gas-electric hybrid, and the luxury Lexus ES350 are among those recalled.

Toyota released a statement saying, "The safety of our owners and the public is our utmost concern and Toyota has and will continue to thoroughly investigate and take appropriate measures to address any defect trends that are identified."

As an extra measure of confidence, Toyota will also install a brake override system to ensure the vehicle would stop if both the brake and the accelerator pedals are applied simultaneously.

The pedal recall is the second recall in the last couple of days involving Toyota cars and trucks.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is recalling 110,000 Toyota Tundra trucks built between 2000 and 2003. The trucks can rust prematurely and cause dangerous conditions. The corrosion can damage the rear brake lines.

Toyota is also advising Tundra owners to immediately remove the spare tire stowed under the truck bed. The automaker says the spare could fall off, putting other drivers in danger.


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