The issue involves a friction device in the pedal designed to provide the proper “feel” by adding resistance and making the pedal steady and stable. The device includes a shoe that rubs against an adjoining surface during normal pedal operation.
Due to the materials used, wear and environmental conditions, Toyota says these surfaces may, over time, begin to stick and release instead of operating smoothly. In some cases, friction can increase to a point that the pedal is slow to return to the idle position or, in rare cases, the pedal sticks, leaving the throttle partially open.
Toyota’s solution for current owners is to install a precision-cut steel reinforcement bar into the assembly that will reduce the surface tension between the friction shoe and the adjoining surface. With this reinforcement in place, the excess friction that can cause the pedal to stick is eliminated.
President and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, Tadashi Arashima, said the solution has been developed and rigorously tested by his engineers.
"We understand that the current situation is creating concerns, and we deeply regret it.“At Toyota, we are fully committed to safety. We know what the problem is and how to fix it, so now our focus is to make that fix as quickly as possible. We will make the necessary checks to ensure future customers do not receive an affected vehicle,” Mr Arashima said.
The first shipments of parts required for this fix will begin arriving in Europe next week, while Toyota has already implemented an effective production solution for vehicles to be sold in Europe.
The official European recall list:
- Aygo (Feb 2005 – Aug 2009)
- iQ (Nov 2008 – Nov 2009)
- Yaris (Nov 2005 – Sep 2009)
- Auris (Oct 2006 – 5 Jan 2010)
- Corolla (Oct 2006 – Dec 2009)
- Verso (Feb 2009 – 5 Jan 2010)
- Avensis (Nov 2008 – Dec 2009)
- RAV4 (Nov 2005 – Nov 2009)
In addition, plans to contact the affected customers are currently being put into place.
Numbers of recalled vehicles are believed to be as high as 1.8 million in Europe, with another 2.3 million in the US, 270,000 in Canada, and 75,552 in China.
Toyota Motor Sales in the US is hoping to get all the recall repairs done within 90 days, planning multiple mailings as it aims for a 100 percent complete rate.
It said the repair will take around 30 minutes, will be at no cost to the owner, and said the pedal should feel exactly as it did before.