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Toyota recalls model year 2017 Tundras

The rear split bench seat may move in a crash

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 8,769 model year 2017 Toyota Tundras.

One of the rear split bench seat leg brackets may not have been properly tightened to the vehicle's floor pan, possibly allowing the seat to move in a crash, increasing the risk of injury to an occupant.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will tighten the five seat leg bracket bolts, as necessary, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin March 12, 2018.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota's number for this recall is J0I.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 8,769 model year 2017 Toyota Tundras.One of the rear split bench seat leg brackets may not have b...

Model year 2018 Toyota Tundras and Sequoias recalled

The vehicle's electronic stability control system could be deactivated

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 64,901 model year 2018 Toyota Tundras and Sequoias.

Electrical interference within the power supply circuit may cause the vehicle's electronic stability control system to be deactivated, increasing the risk of a crash in certain conditions.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will update the vehicle's software, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin March 12, 2018.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota's number for this recall is J0H.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 64,901 model year 2018 Toyota Tundras and Sequoias.Electrical interference within the power suppl...

Lexus vehicles with possible fuel pump issue recalled

The fuel pump cover could suffer a fatigue crack

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 9,905 model year 2016-2018 Lexus GS F, model year 2018 LC500, and model year 2015-2018 Lexus RC F vehicles, equipped with 5.0L V8 2UR-GSE engines with two high pressure fuel pumps.

Specific operating conditions may result in damage to the pulsation damper in one of the high pressure fuel pumps, possibly causing a fatigue crack in the fuel pump cover.

A cracked cover may leak fuel, which, in the presence of an ignition source, can increase the risk of a fire.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the high pressure fuel pumps, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin April 2, 2018.

Owners may contact Lexus customer service 1-800-255-3987. Toyota's numbers for this recall are J2B and JLB.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 9,905 model year 2016-2018 Lexus GS F, model year 2018 LC500, and model year 2015-2018 Lexus RC F veh...

Model year 2018 Toyota Camrys with V6 engines recalled

Fuel delivery pipes may not be properly connected to the fuel hoses

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 11,807 model year 2018 Toyota Camrys equipped with V6 engines.

The vehicles' fuel delivery pipes may not be properly connected to the fuel hoses in the engine compartment.

The improperly connected hoses may leak fuel, which, in the presence of an ignition source, can increase the risk of a fire.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the fuel pipes for the correct installation, correcting them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin March 30, 2018.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota's number for this recall is J0G.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 11,807 model year 2018 Toyota Camrys equipped with V6 engines.The vehicles' fuel delivery pipes m...

Toyota Sequoias and Tundras recalled

The vehicles have seat and stability control issues

Toyota Motor North America is recalling approximately 8,800 model year 2017 Tundras and roughly 65,000 model year 2018 Sequoias and Tundras.

Model year 2017 Tundra

In vehicles with second row seats , there is a possibility that one or more of the bolts attaching the left rear seat to the floor may not have been properly fastened.

A seat with improperly fastened bolts may lead to an increased risk of injury in the event of a crash.

What to do

Toyota dealers will properly tighten the bolts at no cost to customers. All known owners will receive a notification by first-class mail starting in the middle of March.

Model year 2018 Sequoia and Tundra

There is a possibility that a vehicle diagnostic function may unnecessarily turn off the Vehicle Stability Control System and affect other systems. If this occurs, warning lights and messages will be displayed, and a warning chime will sound.

Turning off Vehicle Stability Control could increase the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota dealers will update the software in an electronic control unit at no cost to customers. All known owners will receive a notification by first-class mail starting in the middle of March.

Owners with questions regarding either recall may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor North America is recalling approximately 8,800 model year 2017 Tundras and roughly 65,000 model year 2018 Sequoias and Tundras.Model year...

Toyota recalls Camry and Lexus RC F, GS F and LC 500 vehicles

The vehicles have fuel pipe, hose and pump issues

Toyota Motor North America is recalling approximately 11,800 model year 2018 Toyota Camrys and roughly 9,900 model year 2015 - 2018 Lexus RC F, model year 2016 – 2018 Lexus GS F and model year 2018 Lexus LC 500 vehicles.

Camry

During the assembly of the Camrys, the fuel pipes and the fuel hoses in the engine compartment may not have been properly connected. This condition could lead to a fuel odor or fuel leak which, in the presence of an ignition source, could increase the risk of a fire.

What to do

Toyota dealers will inspect the fuel pipes and hoses, and if necessary, properly connect them at no cost to customers.

All known owners will receive a notification by first class mail by late March.

Owners may contact customer service at 1-800-331-4331

Lexus RC F, GS F and LC 500

There is a possibility that the cover of one of two high pressure fuel pumps could become damaged over time and lead to a fuel leak. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source can increase the risk of a fire.

What to do

Lexus dealers will replace both high-pressure fuel pumps with improved ones at no cost to customers.

All known owners will receive a notification by first class mail starting in early April.

Owners may contact customer service at 1-800-255-3987.

Toyota Motor North America is recalling approximately 11,800 model year 2018 Toyota Camrys and roughly 9,900 model year 2015 - 2018 Lexus RC F, model year...

Toyota recalls vehicles with airbag sensor issues

The side/curtain shield airbags and/or the front airbags may not deploy

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 48,672 model year 2016 Toyota Prius and Lexus RX 350, RX 350 F Sport, RX 450h F Sport and RX 450h vehicles, and model year 2015-2016 Lexus NX 200T, NX Turbo and NX 300h vehicles.

The airbag pressure sensors and/or the acceleration sensors may fail causing the side/curtain shield airbags and/or the front airbags to not deploy in the event of a crash.

Failure of airbag deployment in a crash can increase the risk of injury.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the sensors as necessary based on their serial numbers, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin March 12, 2018.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's numbers for this recall are JLA, J0F.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 48,672 model year 2016 Toyota Prius and Lexus RX 350, RX 350 F Sport, RX 450h F Sport and RX 450h veh...

Toyota recalls Prius and Lexus RX, NX vehicles

The side and curtain shield air bags and/or front air bags may not deploy

Toyota Motor North America is recalling approximately 49,000 model year 2016 Prius and Lexus RX vehicles, and model year 2015 – 2016 Lexus NX vehicles in the U.S.

The vehicles have airbag systems where an open circuit could be created over time.

Were that to occur, the airbag warning light will illuminate and the side and curtain shield airbags and/or front airbags may not deploy, increasing the risk of injury to occupants in the event of a crash.

What to do

Toyota and Lexus dealers will inspect the serial number of the sensors and replace them with new ones, if necessary, at no cost to customers.

Toyota will notify all known owners by first-class mail starting in late March 2018.

Consumers with questions may call Toyota customer service

at 1-800-331-4331, or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987.

Toyota Motor North America is recalling approximately 49,000 model year 2016 Prius and Lexus RX vehicles, and model year 2015 – 2016 Lexus NX vehicles in t...

Toyota recalls vehicles with incorrect load carrying capacity labels

The operator may overload the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 649 model year 2017-2018 Toyota 4Runners and Tundras, 2018 Toyota Highlanders, RAV4s and Lexus GX460s, and 2017 Toyota Siennas and Tacomas.

The vehicles may have incorrect load carrying capacity labels, thus failing to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 110, "Tire Selection and Rims."

An incorrect load information label can result in the operator overloading the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners and provide them with corrected labels, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin January 15, 2018.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's numbers for this recall are H0Z for Toyota vehicles, and HLF for Lexus vehicles.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 649 model year 2017-2018 Toyota 4Runners and Tundras, 2018 Toyota Highlanders, RAV4s and Lexus GX460s...

Model year 2012-2015 Prius Plug-in Hybrids recalled

The hybrid battery contains an Electric Vehicle fuse that may fracture

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 39,915 model year 2012-2015 Prius Plug-in Hybrids.

The hybrid battery contains an Electric Vehicle (EV) fuse that may fracture after repeated high-load driving conditions such as climbing long hills.

The failed fuse may cause the hybrid system to shut down resulting in the loss of power.

Loss of power while driving at higher speeds can increase the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the EV fuse, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin January 8, 2018.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is H0R.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 39,915 model year 2012-2015 Prius Plug-in Hybrids.The hybrid battery contains an Electric Vehicle...

Model year 2010 Lexus HS 250h Hybrids recalled

The vehicle may suffer a complete loss of power

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 18,130 model year 2010 Lexus HS 250h Hybrids.

A component within the hybrid transaxle assembly may short circuit and result in a reduction or a complete loss of available power for moving the vehicle.

A complete loss of motive power can increase the risk of a crash.

What to do

Lexus will notify owners, and dealers will replace the hybrid vehicle transaxle assembly, free of charge.

The recall is expected to begin November 20, 2017.

Owners may contact 1-800-255-3987. Toyota's number for this recall is HLE.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 18,130 model year 2010 Lexus HS 250h Hybrids.A component within the hybrid transaxle assembly may...

Toyota recalls older Siennas

The shift lever could move out of the “Park” position without depressing the brake pedal

Toyota Motor North America is recalling about 310,000 model year 2005 – 2007, 2009 and 2010 Siennas.

Grease inside the shift lever assembly could transfer to other internal components, causing them to function improperly.

This could allow the shift lever to be moved out of the “Park” position without depressing the brake pedal.

If this occurs when the parking brake is not engaged, it could lead to a vehicle rollaway and increase the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota dealers will replace the shift lock solenoid with a new one, remove the grease, and reapply an appropriate amount of grease at no cost to customers.

All known owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail by mid-December.

Owners with questions may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. 

Toyota Motor North America is recalling about 310,000 model year 2005 – 2007, 2009 and 2010 Siennas.Grease inside the shift lever assembly could transf...

Model year 2010 Lexus HS 250h vehicles recalled

Transaxle assembly components may wear, leading to a potential short circuit

Toyota Motor North America is recalling about 18,000 model year 2010 Lexus HS 250h vehicles.

A manufacturing issue in the hybrid vehicle transaxle assembly may cause components to wear, leading to a potential short circuit that will illuminate warning lights and warning messages.

In most cases, the vehicle will enter a fail‐safe mode, resulting in reduced propulsion and allowing it to be driven safely for a limited distance.

Under rare conditions, the hybrid system could shut down. While power steering and braking assist will function normally, a hybrid system shutdown while driving at higher speeds could increase the risk of a crash.

What to do

Lexus dealers will replace the hybrid vehicle transaxle assembly with a new one at no cost to customers.

All known owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail by late November.

Owners with questions may call Toyota customer service at 1‐800‐331‐4331 or Lexus customer service at 1‐800‐255‐3987.

Toyota Motor North America is recalling about 18,000 model year 2010 Lexus HS 250h vehicles.A manufacturing issue in the hybrid vehicle transaxle assem...

Model year 2011-2016 Toyota Tacomas and 4Runners recalled

The accessory hood scoop could detach from the vehicle

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 3,547 model year 2011-2016 Toyota Tacomas and 4Runners equipped with accessory hood scoops installed by SET or SET dealers.

The adhesive attaching the hood scoop may weaken, allowing the hood scoop to detach from the vehicle.

If the hood scoop detaches, it may become a road hazard, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

SET will notify owners, and dealers will mechanically fasten the scoop to the hood, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin August 28, 2017.

Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-954-429-2000. SET's number for this recall is SET17B.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 3,547 model year 2011-2016 Toyota Tacomas and 4Runners equipped with accessory hood scoops installed by SE...

Toyota recalls Avalon and Camry Hybrids

The vehicles could suffer a loss of propulsion

Toyota Motor North America is recalling 671 model year 2016 Avalon and Camry Hybrids.

The vehicles' front drive shaft assembly may have been misassembled. This could cause vehicle vibration and certain components in the drive shaft assembly to separate, resulting in a loss of propulsion while driving and the transmission not holding the vehicle when shifted into the Park position.

A loss of propulsion while driving at higher speeds could increase the risk of a crash.

In addition, if the driver exits the vehicle without applying the parking brake, the vehicle could roll away with the transmission in Park, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota dealers will check the serial numbers of both front drive shafts. If necessary, they will be replaced with new ones at no cost to customers.

Owners with questions may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. 

Toyota Motor North America is recalling 671 model year 2016 Avalon and Camry Hybrids.The vehicles' front drive shaft assembly may have been misassemble...

Model year 2017 Lexus ES350s recalled

The vehicle could experience a loss of steering

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 1,761 model year 2017 Lexus ES350s.

The right-hand side tie rod lock nut may loosen over time.

If the lock nut loosens, the tie rod may separate causing a loss of steering and increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the lock nut and, if it is found loose, replace the lock nut, steering gear assembly, and tie rod assembly, free of charge. The recall was expected to begin on July 17, 2017.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is HLC.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 1,761 model year 2017 Lexus ES350s.The right-hand side tie rod lock nut may loosen over time....

Toyota recalls model year 2016-2017 Tacomas

A crank position sensor malfunction could result in an engine stall

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 31,824 model year 2016-2017 Tacomas equipped with a six-cylinder engine.

The vehicles have a crank position sensor that may malfunction, potentially resulting in an engine stall that may increase the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the crank position sensor with an improved design, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 17, 2017.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is H0H.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 31,824 model year 2016-2017 Tacomas equipped with a six-cylinder engine.The vehicles have a crank...

Model year 2017 Toyotas with spare tire air pressure issue recalled

The spare tire air pressure was not adjusted properly

Gulf States Toyota is recalling 409 model year 2017 4Runner, 86, Avalon, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Corolla, Corolla iM, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Prius, Prius C, RAV4, RAV4 Hybrid, Sienna and Yaris vehicles.

The spare tire air pressure was not adjusted to the proper pressure as stated on the tire pressure label.

An improperly inflated spare tire may not perform as intended, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Gulf States will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the spare tires, adjusting their pressure as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 1, 2017.

Owners may contact Gulf States customer service at 1-800-444-1074. Toyota's number for this recall is 17R2.

Gulf States Toyota is recalling 409 model year 2017 4Runner, 86, Avalon, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Corolla, Corolla iM, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, Prius, Pr...

Gulf States Toyota recalls model year 2016-2017 4Runners

The roof rack may detach from the vehicle

Gulf States Toyota is recalling 1,019 model year 2016-2017 4Runners equipped with the TFORCE accessory package.

The fasteners for the aftermarket roof rack may have been improperly tightened.

If the roof rack fasteners loosen, the roof rack may detach from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Gulf States will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, as necessary, tighten the roof rack fasteners, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 1, 2017.

Owners may contact Gulf States customer service at 1-800-444-1074. Gulf States' number for this recall is 17R1.

Gulf States Toyota is recalling 1,019 model year 2016-2017 4Runners equipped with the TFORCE accessory package.The fasteners for the aftermarket roof r...

Nearly a quarter-million Toyota Tacomas recalled

The rear differential may leak oil

Toyota Motor North America is recalling roughly 228,000 model year 2016 and 2017 Toyota Tacomas in the U.S.

The recalled vehicles have rear differentials that may leak oil. Operating the vehicle continuously in this condition could damage the rear differential, resulting in noise and reduced propulsion.

In some cases the rear differential could seize, resulting in a loss of control of the vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota dealers will check the rear differential for any oil leakage. If no leaks are found, all fasteners will be re-tightened. If there is a leak, dealers will replace the rear differential carrier gasket with a new one and install new fasteners.

If rear differential components are damaged, the rear differential carrier assembly will be replaced with a new one at no cost to customers.

Toyota will notify all known owners of the recalled vehicles by first class mail starting in the middle of June.

Owners may call Toyota customer service for more information at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor North America is recalling roughly 228,000 model year 2016 and 2017 Toyota Tacomas in the U.S.The recalled vehicles have rear differential...

Toyota recalls model year 2016-2017 Tundras

A portion of the bumper may break away

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 72,847 model year 2016-2017 Tundras equipped with a resin rear step bumper and resin reinforcement brackets. Vehicles with chrome step bumpers are not affected.

In the event of an impact to the corner of the bumper, the resin bracket may be damaged but not be noticed.

If a person steps on the corner of the bumper that is damaged, a portion of the bumper may break away, increasing the risk of injury.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the resin rear bumper reinforcement brackets with steel ones, and replace the rear bumper tread, free of charge. Remedy parts are not currently available.

Toyota will begin notifying owners of the recall on February 15, 2017. A second notice will be mailed when remedy parts are available.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is H0C.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 72,847 model year 2016-2017 Tundras equipped with a resin rear step bumper and resin reinforcement br...

Toyota recalls model year 2016 and 2017 Tundras

A portion of the resin rear step bumper may break away

Toyota Motor North America is recalling approximately 73,000 model year 2016 and 2017 Toyota Tundras.

The vehicles are equipped with resin rear step bumpers and resin reinforcement brackets at each corner. In the event of an impact to the corner of the bumper, the resin bracket may become damaged but not be noticed.

If a person steps on the corner of the bumper that is damaged, a portion of it may break away, increasing the risk of injury.

What to do

Toyota dealers will replace the resin reinforcement brackets with new ones made of steel at no cost to customers. In addition, the rear bumper tread covers will be replaced as part of the remedy. Owners of the recalled vehicles will receive a notification by first class mail starting in the middle of February.

Owners may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987. 

Toyota Motor North America is recalling approximately 73,000 model year 2016 and 2017 Toyota Tundras.The vehicles are equipped with resin rear step bum...

Toyota recalls model year 2017 Toyota 86 vehicles

It may be possible to remove the ignition key without the transmission being in the "Park" position

Toyota Motor Company is recalling 94 model year 2017 Toyota 86 vehicles manufactured July 1, 2016 through August 11, 2016 equipped with an automatic transmission and ignition key.

Vehicles with a push-to-start button or manual transmission are not affected.

It may be possible to remove the ignition key without the transmission being in the "Park" position. As such, these vehicles fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 114, "Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention."

If the key can be removed from the ignition when the transmission is not in the "Park" position, the vehicle could roll away increasing the risk of a crash and occupant or pedestrian injuries.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the ignition key/transmission interlock wiring connections, correcting them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in January 2017.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is G0E.

Toyota Motor Company is recalling 94 model year 2017 Toyota 86 vehicles manufactured July 1, 2016 through August 11, 2016 equipped with an automatic transm...

Toyota recalls Avalons and 2017 Camrys

The front passenger knee air bag may malfunction

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 12 model year 2016 Avalon, and 2017 Camry vehicles manufactured August 3, 2016, to September 12, 2016.

The front passenger knee air bag module may have been attached to the lower instrument panel with incorrect fasteners.

If the air bag was installed with incorrect fasteners, the fasteners may become loose over time, affecting the air bag deployment and increasing the risk of injury.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the fasteners, and if necessary, replace the instrument panel brace and body bracket and reattach the air bag assembly, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2016.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is G05.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 12 model year 2016 Avalon, and 2017 Camry vehicles manufactured August 3, 2016, to September 12, 2016...

Toyota recalls model year 86 vehicles

It may possible to remove the key in gear positions other than “Park.”

Toyota Motor North America is recalling 94 model year 2017 Toyota 86 vehicles.

Connectors for the automatic transmission key interlock may not have been connected during pre‐delivery service prior to sale. If this was not connected, it is possible to remove the key in gear positions other than “Park,” and could increase the risk of vehicle roll-away and a crash. Models with a key fob and ignition button are not affected.

What to do

Toyota will contact all known owners of the recalled vehicles by first class mail starting in January and instruct them to return the vehicle to a Toyota dealer to have the ignition key interlock function confirmed and -- if necessary -- the delivery mode connector will be connected at no charge.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1‐800‐331‐4331.

Toyota Motor North America is recalling 94 model year 2017 Toyota 86 vehicles.Connectors for the automatic transmission key interlock may not have been...

Model year 2011-2016 Toyota Sienna minivans recalled

The door may open unexpectedly, possibly while the vehicle is moving

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 744,437 model year 2011-2016 Toyota Sienna minivans manufactured January 4, 2010, to August 12, 2016.

If the power sliding door is unable to be opened when commanded, such as if the door is frozen shut, it may subsequently open unexpectedly, possibly while the vehicle is moving.

If door opens while the vehicle is moving, there would be an increased risk of injury to the vehicle occupants.

What to do

The remedy for this recall is still under development. Interim notices are expected to be mailed to owners by January 21, 2017.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is G04.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 744,437 model year 2011-2016 Toyota Sienna minivans manufactured January 4, 2010, to August 12, 2016....

Model year 2016 Toyota Highlanders recalled

The brake fluid level sensor may not detect the brake fluid level

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 7,056 model year 2016 Highlanders manufactured May 26, 2016, to September 16, 2016.

The brake fluid level sensor may not be connected to the wire harness, preventing the sensor from detecting the brake fluid level. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 135, "Light Vehicle Brake Systems."

If the brake fluid level is low and is not detected, braking performance may be decreased, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and, as necessary, connect the wire harness to the sensor, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin November 7, 2016.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this G03.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 7,056 model year 2016 Highlanders manufactured May 26, 2016, to September 16, 2016.The brake flui...

Toyota recalls model year 2016-2017 Prius vehicles with braking issue

The foot-operated parking brake system that has a parking brake cable that may disengage

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 91,585 model year 2016-2017 Prius vehicles manufactured August 6, 2015, to October 3, 2016.

The recalled vehicles are equipped with a foot-operated parking brake system that has a parking brake cable that may disengage.

If the parking brake cable disengages from the mechanism and the transmission is left in a gear other than 'Park' while the ignition is on and the driver leaves the vehicle, the vehicle may roll unexpectedly, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will install a clip at the parking brake cable end to prevent the cable from disengaging, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin December 11, 2016.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota's number for this recall is G01.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 91,585 model year 2016-2017 Prius vehicles manufactured August 6, 2015, to October 3, 2016.The re...

Model year 2010-2015 Toyota 4Runners recalled

The vehicle's accessory exhaust tips may contact people and possibly burn them

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 425 model year 2010-2015 Toyota 4Runners manufactured September 3, 2009, to December 1, 2014.

The vehicles may be equipped with accessory exhaust tips installed by SET or SET dealers that may contact people and possibly burn them while they are standing behind the vehicle.

Contact with an exhaust tip may result in personal injury.

What to do

SET will notify owners, and dealers will install a re-designed exhaust tip that is smaller in diameter and is more recessed behind the bumper, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 15, 2016.

Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226. SET's number for this recall is SET16D.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 425 model year 2010-2015 Toyota 4Runners manufactured September 3, 2009, to December 1, 2014. The ...

Toyota recalls RAV4 and Lexus HS250h vehicles

The rear tie rod could fail and cause a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 337,449 model year 2006-2011 Toyota RAV4 vehicles manufactured October 31, 2005, to September 7, 2010, and 2010 Lexus HS250h vehicles manufactured July 6, 2009, to August 26, 2010.

The vehicles have rear suspension arms (rear tie rods) with adjusting lock nuts that may have been improperly tightened after servicing. As a result of being loose, the arm may have thread damage and may rust, possibly leading to the failure of the arm and an abrupt change in the vehicle's alignment.

Failure of the rear tie rod could cause a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners and dealers will replace both rear suspension arms and encapsulate the locknuts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 30, 2016.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's numbers for this recall are G0V for Toyota vehicles and GLK for Lexus vehicles.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 337,449 model year 2006-2011 Toyota RAV4 vehicles manufactured October 31, 2005, to September 7, 2010...

Toyota changes remedy for RAV4 and Lexus HS 250h recalls

Dealers will replace both rear suspension arm assemblies

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. is changing the remedy for approximately 337,000 model year 2006 - 2011 Toyota RAV4 and 2010 Lexus HS 250h vehicles recalled in 2013.

Dealers will replace -- at no cost to customers -- both rear suspension arm assemblies with new ones. They will also apply an epoxy to prevent future arm adjustment during vehicle service.

In the earlier action, if the nuts for adjusting rear wheel alignment were improperly tightened when an alignment was performed, rust could form on suspension arm threads. If this occurs, and if the condition is not identified and remedied during servicing or repair under the existing remedy procedure, the threads can wear over time, causing the arm to separate, which could result in a loss of vehicle control.

What to do

Toyota will notify all known owners of the involved vehicles by first class mail.

Owners with questions may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. is changing the remedy for approximately 337,000 model year 2006 - 2011 Toyota RAV4 and 2010 Lexus HS 250h vehicles recalled in ...

Southeast Toyota Distributors recalls Camry, Highlander, Tundra, Scion FR-S, and tC vehicles

The vehicles may have an incorrect Load Carrying Capacity Modification Label

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 2,520 model year 2016 Toyota Camry and Highlander, 2015-2016 Toyota Tundra, Scion FR-S, and tC vehicles.

The Load Carrying Capacity Modification Label may not reflect the correct added weight of the installed accessories. As a result, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, "Tire Selection and Rims for Passenger Cars."

An incorrect label may lead an owner to overload the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

SET will notify owners, and provide a corrected label for placement over the inaccurate label, free of charge. The recall will begin on July 14, 2016.

Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 2,520 model year 2016 Toyota Camry and Highlander, 2015-2016 Toyota Tundra, Scion FR-S, and tC vehicles....

Southeast Toyota Distributors recalls vehicles with seat heater wiring issue

The wiring in the seat heaters may be damaged when the seat cushion is compressed.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 7,749 2005-2011 4Runner, Highlander, Sequoia, and Sienna, 2005-2010 Avalon and Tundra; 2006-2008 Camry Solara, 2006-2011 Rav4 and Tacoma; 2007-2010 FJ Cruiser; 2009-2010 Venza; 2010-2012 Prius; 1988-1990 and 2005-2010 Camry; and 1989 and 2009-2010 Corolla vehicles equipped with aftermarket accessory seat heaters with a copper strand heating element.

The electrical wiring in the seat heaters may be damaged when the seat cushion is compressed. If damaged, the copper strand heating element may short circuit, increasing the risk of a fire.

What to do

SET will notify owners, and dealers will disconnect the seat heaters, free of charge, and refund the purchase price of the seat heater accessory. The recall is expected to begin on July 14, 2016.

Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226. SET number for this recall is SET16B.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 7,749 2005-2011 4Runner, Highlander, Sequoia, and Sienna, 2005-2010 Avalon and Tundra; 2006-2008 Camry Sol...

Toyota recalls model year 2015 Yaris vehicles

A front upper shock assembly bearing could be damaged

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 3,100 model year 2015 Yaris hatch back vehicles.

There is a possibility that a front upper shock assembly bearing could be damaged. If this occurs, the driver may experience an abnormal noises while driving on rough road surfaces or when turning the steering wheel.

If the vehicle continues to be operated in this condition, a front shock absorber piston rod could separate, causing a loss of vehicle stability and increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified by first class mail and Toyota dealers will replace the strut mounting bearings with improved ones. If a strut mounting bearing is found to be damaged, the dealer will replace the strut and front suspension support sub-assembly with a new one.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331 and Lexus customer experience at 1-800-255-3987.  

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 3,100 model year 2015 Yaris hatch back vehicles. There is a possibility that a front upper shock...

Gulf States recalls Toyota 4Runners

The vehicles may have an incorrect Load Carrying Capacity Modification Label

Gulf States Toyota is recalling 844 model year 2015-2016 Toyota 4Runners manufactured September 22, 2014, to March 23, 2016 and equipped with accessories installed by Gulf States.

The Load Carrying Capacity Modification Label may not reflect the correct added weight of the installed accessories. As a result, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 110, "Tire Selection and Rims for Passenger Cars."

An incorrect label may result in the vehicle being overloaded, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Gulf States will notify owners, and dealers will install an accurate label, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on June 1, 2016.

Owners may contact Gulf States customer service at 1-800-444-1074. Gulf States' number for this recall is 16R2.

Gulf States Toyota is recalling 844 model year 2015-2016 Toyota 4Runners manufactured September 22, 2014, to March 23, 2016 and equipped with accessories i...

Toyota recalls model year 2016 Siennas

Incorrect front seat belt height adjusters may have been installed

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 234 model year 2016 Toyota Siennas manufactured February 15, 2016, to February 19, 2016.

Incorrect front seat belt height adjusters may have been installed that may contact the B-pillar and tear or separate during a crash.

Failure and detachment of seat belt height adjuster would result in the occupant not being properly restrained in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front seat belt height adjusters, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin April 30, 2016.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is G0H.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 234 model year 2016 Toyota Siennas manufactured February 15, 2016, to February 19, 2016.   Inco...

Toyota recalls RAV4s, Lexus RX350s and Lexus ES350s

The vehicles' ABS actuator may have a damaged O-ring

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 16,656 model year 2016 Toyota RAV4s manufactured October 30, 2015, to February 3, 2016; 2016 Lexus RX350s manufactured October 26, 2015, to February 8, 2016, and 2016 Lexus ES350s manufactured September 1, 2015, to February 29, 2016.

The vehicles are equipped with an ABS actuator that may have a damaged O-ring which could result in improper brake fluid pressure control during ABS, Traction Control, or Stability Control activation. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 126, "Electronic Stability Control Systems."

Insufficient brake fluid pressure may cause a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the brake actuator, replacing it as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 5, 2016.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is G0I, GLC.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 16,656 model year 2016 Toyota RAV4s manufactured October 30, 2015, to February 3, 2016; 2016 Lexus RX...

Toyota Sienna Minivans recalled

The front seat belt may not restrain the occupant properly

Toyota Motor Sales USA is recalling approximately 230 model year 2016 Sienna Minivans.

The vehicles may be equipped with incorrect front seat belt height adjuster assemblies mounted to the center-pillar. In the event of a severe crash, the incorrect height adjuster could separate.

If this occurs, the seat belt may not properly restrain the occupant, which could increase the risk of injury.

What to do

Owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified by first class mail and dealers will replace the height adjusters with new ones at no cost.

Owners may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales USA is recalling approximately 230 model year 2016 Sienna Minivans. The vehicles may be equipped with incorrect front seat belt ...

Toyota recalls RAV4 and Lexus RX and ES vehicles

The vehicle could lose stability control, increasing the risk of crash

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 4,170 model year 2016 Toyota RAV4; approximately 90 model year 2016 RX350; and approximately 12,400 model year 2016 ES350 vehicles.

The recalled vehicles are equipped with a Brake Actuator assembly that enables enhanced brake control

functions including the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control (TRAC), and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), among others.

There is a possibility that a component inside the actuator was damaged during manufacturing, preventing the actuator from operating properly. This could cause a loss of vehicle stability control, increasing the risk of crash.

What to do

All known owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified by first class mail. Toyota and Lexus dealers will check the serial number of the Brake Actuator and replace actuators assembled during a specific production period.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 and Lexus at 1-800-255-3987.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 4,170 model year 2016 Toyota RAV4; approximately 90 model year 2016 RX350; and approximately 12,400 mode...

Toyota recalls Scion FR-S vehicles

It may be possible to remove the ignition key without the transmission being in the "Park" position

Toyota Motor Company is recalling 25,706 model year 2013-2016 Toyota Scion FR-S vehicles manufactured March 13, 2012, to January 14, 2016 and equipped an automatic transmission and ignition key. Vehicles with a push-to-start button are not affected.

In the recalled vehicles, it may be possible to remove the ignition key without the transmission being in the "Park" position. As such, these vehicles fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 114, "Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention."

If the key can be removed from the ignition when the transmission is not in the "Park" position, the vehicle could roll away increasing the risk of a crash and occupant or pedestrian injuries.

What to do

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the ignition key/transmission interlock wiring connections, correcting them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on March 1, 2016.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Toyota's number for this recall is G0E.

Toyota Motor Company is recalling 25,706 model year 2013-2016 Toyota Scion FR-S vehicles manufactured March 13, 2012, to January 14, 2016 and equipped an a...

Toyota recalls RAV4 and RAV4 EV vehicles

The lap seat belt may not properly restrain the occupant

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 1.1 million model year 2006-2012 RAV4 and model year 2012-2014 RAV4 EV vehicles.

The recalled vehicles are equipped with lap-shoulder seatbelts in both second-row outboard seats. There is a possibility that, in the event of a very severe front crash, the lap belt webbing could contact a portion of the metal seat cushion frame, become cut and separate.

If this occurs, the seat belt may not properly restrain the occupant, which could increase the risk of injury.

Toyota dealers will add resin covers to the metal seat cushion frame at no cost.

What to do

Consumers with questions may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 1.1 million model year 2006-2012 RAV4 and model year 2012-2014 RAV4 EV vehicles. The recalled ve...

Toyota recalls Scion FR-S vehicles

Automatic transmission key interlock connectors may not have been connected on some vehicles

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 26,000 Model Year 2013-2016 Scion FR-S vehicles.

Connectors for the automatic transmission key interlock on some vehicles may not have been connected during pre-delivery service prior to sale. That would make it possible to remove the key in gear positions other than “Park,” increasing the risk of vehicle rollaway and a crash. Thus, theese vehicles do not comply with a portion of Federal/Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 114.

All known owners of the subject vehicles will be notified by first class mail and instructed to return the vehicle to a Toyota dealer to have the ignition key interlock function confirmed, and if necessary, delivery mode connectors connected at no charge.

Owners may contact customer at 1-800-331-4331 for Toyota or 1-800-255-3987 for Lexus.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 26,000 Model Year 2013-2016 Scion FR-S vehicles. Connectors for the automatic transmission key i...

Land Cruiser, 4runner, Tundra, Sequoia, LX, and GX vehicles recalled

The Curtain-Shield-Airbags and seat belt pretensioners may activate when not necessary

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 320,000 model year 2003-2006 Land Cruiser; 2004-2006 4Runner; 2005-2006 Tundra and Sequoia; 2003-2006 LX470; and 2004-2006 GX470 vehicles.

The recalled vehicles are equipped with side Curtain-Shield-Airbags (CSAs) which deploy from the roof in the event of certain types of crashes. Due to improper programming in the airbag control modules, there is a possibility that, under certain specific and limited conditions shortly after startup, the CSAs and seat belt pretensioners could activate when not necessary.

Unexpected activation of the CSAs could increase the risk of injury to the occupant.

All known owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified by first class mail.

Toyota and Lexus dealers will replace the airbag control module with one that has improved programming at no cost to owners.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 320,000 model year 2003-2006 Land Cruiser; 2004-2006 4Runner; 2005-2006 Tundra and Sequoia; 2003-2006 LX...

Toyota recalls vehicles with braking issue

The vehicles may brake unexpectedly

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 30,812 model year 2013-2015 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid vehicles manufactured October 19, 2012 to October 27, 2015; and 2013-2015 Lexus ES350 and ES300h vehicles manufactured June 18, 2012 to July 6, 2015.

The vehicles are equipped with a Pre-Collision System (PCS) as optional equipment that may unexpectedly activate and apply the brakes when the radar detects a steel joint or plate in the roadway as an object.

Unexpected braking increases the risk of a crash.

Remedy parts for a permanent fix for this issue are not yet available. Beginning November 16, 2015, Toyota sent owners an interim notification and dealers will temporarily disable the PCS.

When the improved PCS components are available for the permanent remedy, owners will be mailed a second notification. These repairs will be performed free of charge.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-888-270-9371. Toyota's numbers for this campaign are F1V and F2E.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 30,812 model year 2013-2015 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid vehicles manufactured October 19, 2012 to Octobe...

Toyota recalls two million vehicles with power window master switch issue

The switch may develop a short circuit that can cause the switch assembly to overheat and melt

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. is recalling of approximately two million vehicles related to the driver’s side power window master switch.

The power window master switch may have been manufactured with insufficient lubricant grease. If not enough grease is applied, under certain conditions the switch may develop a short circuit that can cause the switch assembly to overheat and melt. A melting switch can produce smoke and potentially lead to a fire.

The following vehicles are included:

  • 2007 and 2009 Camry and Camry Hybrid
  • 2009-2011 Corolla
  • 2008-2011 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid
  • 2009-2011 Matrix
  • 2006-2011 RAV4
  • 2009-2011 Sequoia
  • 2009-2011 Tundra
  • 2006-2010 Yaris
  • 2009-2011 Scion xB
  • 2009-2010 Scion xD

Toyota previously recalled certain 2007-2009 model year vehicles for a similar condition. This recall adds vehicles not previously involved in the prior action that used a different lubricant application method.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified by first class mail. Toyota dealers will inspect the switch and apply heat-resistant grease. If the switch is not operating normally, an internal circuit board will be replaced.

Owners may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331, or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987.  

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. is recalling of approximately two million vehicles related to the driver’s side power window master switch. The power window ...

Toyota recalls RAV4 and RAV4 EV vehicles

The vehicles have a windshield wiper issue

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 421,000 model year 2009-2012 RAV4 and approximately 2,500 model year 2012-2014 RAV4 EV vehicles.

Water dripping onto the windshield wiper link can, over time, cause corrosion and wear at the wiper link joint. In some cases this could result in the separation of the wiper link from the wiper motor crank arm.

If separation occurs, the windshield wipers could become inoperative, which could reduce driver visibility and increase the risk of a vehicle crash.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified by first class mail. Toyota dealers will replace the water channel, wiper link, and wiper motor crank arm with new ones.

Consumers may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.  

Toyota Motor Sales, USA is recalling approximately 421,000 model year 2009-2012 RAV4 and approximately 2,500 model year 2012-2014 RAV4 EV vehicles. Water...

Toyota Prius C vehicles recalled

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System may be improperly calibrated

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 949 model year 2015 Toyota Prius C vehicles manufactured April 20, 2015, to June 30, 2015.

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) may be improperly calibrated and, as a result, the TPMS may fail to warn the driver that the tire pressure is low. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 138, "Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems."

If the vehicle is driven on underinflated tires, the tires may fail. Sudden tire failure increases the risk of a crash.

SET will notify owners, and dealers will re-calibrate the TPMS, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 22, 2015.

Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226. SET's number for this recall is SET15E.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 949 model year 2015 Toyota Prius C vehicles manufactured April 20, 2015, to June 30, 2015. The Tire Pres...

Toyota 4Runners recalled

Accessory exhaust tips may contact people and burn them

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 2,530 model year 2010-2015 Toyota 4Runners manufactured March 29, 2010, to July 30, 2015.

The vehicles may be equipped with accessory exhaust tips installed by SET or SET dealers that may contact people and possibly burn them while they are standing behind the vehicle.

SET will notify owners, and dealers will install a re-designed exhaust tip that is smaller in diameter and is more recessed behind the bumper, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin September 21, 2015.

Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226. SET's number for the recall is SET15D.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 2,530 model year 2010-2015 Toyota 4Runners manufactured March 29, 2010, to July 30, 2015. The vehicles m...

Toyota recalls Prius v hybrids

The vehicles have a software glitch

Toyota Motor Sales USA is recalling approximately 109,000 Model Year 2012-2014 Prius v hybrid.

The software settings for the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU could result in overheating in certain transistors, potentially causing them to become damaged. If this happens, various warning lights will illuminate and the vehicle can enter a failsafe mode. In rare circumstances, the hybrid system might shut down while the vehicle is being driven, resulting in the loss of power and the vehicle coming to a stop.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified by mail.

Toyota dealers will update the software for both the motor/generator control ECU and hybrid control ECU.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.  

Toyota Motor Sales USA is recalling approximately 109,000 Model Year 2012-2014 Prius v hybrid. The software settings for the motor/generator control ECU...

Southeast Toyota Distributors recalls Tundras with tire pressure information issue

The tire placcard incorrectly states the recommended cold tire inflation pressure

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 144 model year 2015 Toyota Tundras manufactured March 11, 2015, to April 11, 2015 and equipped with Nitto Terra Grappler G2 275/60R20 116S XL tires.

The recalled vehicles have a tire placard that incorrectly states the recommended cold tire inflation pressure. If the operator inflates the tires according to the information on the tire placard, the tires may be underinflated, increasing the risk of tire failure which could result in a crash.

SET will notify owners, and dealers will install a new tire placard with the correct cold tire inflation pressure information, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin July 14, 2015.

Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226. SET's number for this recall is SET15C.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 144 model year 2015 Toyota Tundras manufactured March 11, 2015, to April 11, 2015 and equipped with Nitto ...

Lexus NX vehicles recalled

The Anti-Lock Braking system actuator may be damaged

Toyota Motor Sales is recalling approximately 3,000 model year 2015 Lexus NX 200t vehicles.

The recalled vehicles are equipped with an Anti-Lock Braking system (ABS), Traction Control System (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control System (VSC) which are controlled by the ABS actuator. There is a possibility that a component inside the actuator could be damaged during assembly and later not operate properly. Under some driving conditions, if the ABS is activated, this could cause a loss of vehicle stability, which can increase the risk of a crash.

Toyota says it is not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities caused by this condition to date, .

All known owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified by first class mail. Lexus dealers will inspect the ABS actuator and if necessary replace it with a new one.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331, or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987.

Toyota Motor Sales is recalling approximately 3,000 model year 2015 Lexus NX 200t vehicles. The recalled vehicles are equipped with an Anti-Lock Braking ...

Gulf States Toyota recalls Siennas

A trim panel may detach and strike a vehicle occupant

Gulf States Toyota (GST) is recalling 387 model year 2015 Toyota Siennas manufactured January 23, 2015, to April 13, 2015, and equipped with non-Toyota-brand overhead entertainment accessories installed by GST.

During reassembly of the interior after the overhead entertainment system installation, a trim panel securing clip may have been reused instead of being replaced. If the clip was damaged during the entertainment system installation, the trim panel may detach in the event of a side curtain air bag deployment and strike a vehicle occupants increasing the risk of injury.

GST will notify owners, and dealers will replace the trim panel securing clip, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin June 8, 2015.

Owners may contact GST customer service at 1-800-444-1074. GST's number for this recall is 15R1.

Gulf States Toyota (GST) is recalling 387 model year 2015 Toyota Siennas manufactured January 23, 2015, to April 13, 2015, and equipped with non-Toyota-bra...

Toyota expands Takata airbag safety recalls

Investigations into the problem are continuing

Toyota Motor Sales is expanding its recalls involving Takata air bag inflators.

First, the automaker is conducting a recall to replace Takata-supplied driver front airbag inflators on approximately 160,000 model year 2004 and 2005 RAV4 sport utility vehicles. The inflators could be susceptible to rupture when deployed in a crash, increasing the risk of injury to vehicle occupants.

For similar reasons, Toyota is expanding 2 existing recalls for Takata-supplied front passenger airbag inflators, namely:

  • The nationwide recall launched in April 2013 will expand to include approximately an additional 177,000 model year 2003-2004 Tundra and model year 2004 Sequoia vehicles; and
  • The recall in areas of high absolute humidity launched in 2014 will expand to include approximately an additional 300,000 vehicles built through the 2006 or 2007 model year. This recall will now cover additional vehicles within model years 2005-2007 Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, and Sequoia; model years 2005-2006 Tundra; and model years 2005-2007 Lexus SC.

Areas of high absolute humidity encompass Coastal Areas around the Gulf of Mexico for Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Louisiana; and Florida, Puerto Rico, Guam, Saipan, American Samoa, Virgin Islands and Hawaii.

Multiple investigations into the root cause of the potential for inflator rupture are taking place, including by Orbital ATK, an independent engineering firm commissioned by an industry-wide joint testing initiative composed of the 10 automakers conducting Takata-related recalls.

All known owners of the affected Toyota / Lexus vehicles will be notified by first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota / Lexus dealer. The dealer will replace the airbag inflator with a newly manufactured one.

Consumers may contact Toyota at 1 800-331-4331, and Lexus at (1 800-255-3987).

Toyota Motor Sales is expanding its recalls involving Takata air bag inflators. First, the automaker is conducting a recall to replace Takata-supplied dr...

Toyota recalls Scion tC vehicles

The vehicles have a suspension issue

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. is recalling approximately 114 model year 2015 Scion tC Release Series 9 vehicles.

The rear suspension arm bolts and nuts could have been tightened improperly at two of the Toyota facilities at which accessory coil springs are installed prior to delivery to dealers. In this condition, the bolts could become loose during vehicle operation. Under some circumstances the control arm could eventually detach, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota says it is unaware of any accidents or injuries caused by this condition.

Vehicle owners will receive a notification by first class mail, and Toyota dealers will replace the bolts, nuts, rear suspension arms and rear suspension member sub-assemblies.

Consumers may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. is recalling approximately 114 model year 2015 Scion tC Release Series 9 vehicles. The rear suspension arm bolts and nuts could...

Yaris vehicles sold in Puerto Rico recalled

The roof headliner may not provide the proper occupant protection

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 16,582 model year 2012-2015 Yaris vehicles manufactured August 31, 2011, to February 9, 2015, and sold in Puerto Rico.

The recalled vehicles may have been manufactured with a roof headliner that does not provide the proper occupant protection in the event of a crash. This could increase the risk of occupant injury in the event of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the headliner, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in mid-April 2015.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 16,582 model year 2012-2015 Yaris vehicles manufactured August 31, 2011, to February 9, 2015, and sol...

Toyota recalls vehicles with power steering issues

The electric power steering system could fail

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 110,085 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, increasing 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 contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 110,085 model year 2015 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Highlander, and Highlander Hybrid, and 2014-2015 Rav4 ve...

Toyota recalls Rav4 EV vehicles

The vehicle could lose drive power

Toyota Motor Engineering & manufacturing is recalling 2,497 model year 2012-2014 Rav4 EV vehicles manufactured July 24, 2012, to August 29, 2014.

Due to a software issue within a component of the Electric Vehicle Traction Motor Assembly, the electric propulsion motor may shift to "neutral" resulting in a possible loss of drive power. A loss of drive power may increase the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners beginning in April 2015. The remedy is still under development, but will be provided free of charge.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & manufacturing is recalling 2,497 model year 2012-2014 Rav4 EV vehicles manufactured July 24, 2012, to August 29, 2014. Due to...

Toyota recalls Camrys, Highlanders and RAV4s

The vehicles have electrical and steering issues

Toyota Motor Sales is recalling of approximately 2,500 Model Year 2012-2014 RAV4 EV vehicles; and approximately 110,000 Model Year 2015 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid, and 2014-2015 Model Year RAV4 vehicles.

In the RAV4 EV, components in the Electric Vehicle Traction Motor Assembly, which is part of the propulsion system, may cause the vehicle to shift to “neutral” due to a software issue. This condition will also trigger a “Check EV System” warning message on the instrument panel and turn on a malfunction indicator lamp. If the vehicle shifts to “neutral”, this will result in a complete loss of drive power, which can increase the risk of a crash.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will be mailed a notification. Toyota dealers will repair the electric vehicle traction motor assembly.

In the involved Camry, Camry Hybrid, Highlander, Highlander Hybrid and RAV 4 vehicles, a circuit board for the electric power steering (EPS) may have been damaged during its manufacturing process. This can result in the loss of power steering assist; an instrument panel warning lamp will also come on. Manual steering is maintained, but the loss of power steering assist results in increased steering effort at low vehicle speeds and increases the risk of a crash.

Owners of these vehicles will be notified by mail. Toyota dealers will inspect the steering column assembly and replace the power steering electronic control unit, if it falls within the affected range.

The automaker says it is not aware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities caused by either condition.

Consumers may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.  

Toyota Motor Sales is recalling of approximately 2,500 Model Year 2012-2014 RAV4 EV vehicles; and approximately 110,000 Model Year 2015 Camry, Camry Hybrid...

Toyota recalls Yaris vehicles with axle issue

The rear axle bearing bolts may not have been tightened properly

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 226 model year 2015 Yaris vehicles manufactured September 8, 2014, to January 9, 2015.

The recalled vehicles may have improperly tightened rear axle bearing bolts. The improperly tightened bolts may loosen during vehicle operation and potentially cause the wheel to lock up or damage the rear brake components, reducing their effectiveness. Either condition increases the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the rear axle bearing bolts, tightening them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin during March 2015.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 226 model year 2015 Yaris vehicles manufactured September 8, 2014, to January 9, 2015. The recalled...

Toyota recalls Yaris vehicles in Puerto Rico

An incorrect headliner was used in the vehicles

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. is recalling of approximately 16,600 Model Year 2012-2015 Yaris hatchbacks produced for sale in Puerto Rico.

An incorrect headliner was used in the involved vehicles, and, as a result, the vehicles may not meet certain requirements of a federal standard. This can increase the risk of an injury to occupants in the event of a crash.

Toyota says it is not aware of any injuries or fatalities caused by this condition.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will be notified by first class mail, and Toyota dealers will replace the headliner at no cost to the owner.

Consumers may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. is recalling of approximately 16,600 Model Year 2012-2015 Yaris hatchbacks produced for sale in Puerto Rico. An incorrect hea...

FJ Cruisers with steering issue recalled

An intermediate steering shaft weld could fail

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 116 model year 2014 FJ Cruisers manufactured August 7, 2013, to August 20, 2013.

The intermediate steering shaft connecting the steering wheel and the steering gear box may have an inadequate weld. If the weld fails, there would be a loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the intermediate steering shaft, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in March 2015.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 116 model year 2014 FJ Cruisers manufactured August 7, 2013, to August 20, 2013. The intermediate s...

Toyota recalls Yaris and Tacoma vehicles

The vehicles have axle bolt and tire size issues

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling approximately 230 Model Year 2015 Yaris hatchbacks and approximately 20 Model Year 2015 Tacoma TRD Pro model pickup trucks.

In the Yaris vehicles, the rear axle bearing bolts may not have been tightened sufficiently during vehicle assembly. If a bolt is loose and falls off during operation, the bolt could damage rear brake components, resulting in reduced brake performance or potential wheel lock up, which could increase the risk of a crash.

The Tacoma TRD Pro model pickup trucks were distributed to dealers in Puerto Rico without the correct B-pillar tire placard indicating the tire size and recommended cold tire inflation pressure for the front and rear tires. An improperly inflated tire can increase the risk of a crash.

Toyota is not aware of any crashes, injuries, or fatalities caused by either condition.

Owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail. Toyota dealers will repair the vehicles at no cost to the owner.

Consumers may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling approximately 230 Model Year 2015 Yaris hatchbacks and approximately 20 Model Year 2015 Tacoma TRD Pro model picku...

Toyota recalls FJ Cruisers

A weld connecting the steering system intermediate shaft to the steering gear box may be inadequate

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling approximately 120 model year 2014 FJ Cruiser.

The steering system contains an intermediate shaft connecting the steering wheel to the steering gear box, which could have received an inadequate weld. Under some circumstances, the weld could separate, resulting in the loss of steering control and increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota says it is not aware of any crashes, injuries, or fatalities caused by this condition.

Owners of the involved vehicles will receive a notification by first class mail. Toyota dealers will replace the intermediate shaft.

Consumers may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling approximately 120 model year 2014 FJ Cruiser. The steering system contains an intermediate shaft connecting the s...

Toyota recalls Avalons

The subwoofer could overheat, increasing the risk of a fire

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., is recalling approximately 52,000 model year 2011-2012 Avalon sedans.

Cargo could contact one of the audio system subwoofer wires located inside the trunk, and move it out of its normal position. If one of these wires contacts the metal frame of the subwoofer, it may result in an intermittent short circuit, causing the subwoofer to overheat, increasing the risk of a fire.

Toyota says it is not aware of any crashes, injuries, or fatalities caused by this condition.

Owners of the involved vehicles will receive a notification by first class mail. Toyota dealers will provide a repair for the audio system. Until the remedy is available, as a precaution, Toyota dealers will disconnect the rear subwoofer.

Consumers may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., is recalling approximately 52,000 model year 2011-2012 Avalon sedans. Cargo could contact one of the audio system subwoofer wir...

Southeast Toyota Distributors recalls Rav4s

Faulty software could turn off the electrical current and trailer lights

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 1,140 model year 2013-2015 Toyota Rav4 vehicles manufactured June 1, 2013, to December 29, 2014, and equipped with an accessory trailer light module.

The software within the module may incorrectly detect an electrical short and preventively turn off the electrical current and the trailer lights, increasing the risk of a crash.

SET will notify owners, and dealers will replace the trailer light module with a new unit with corrected software, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 23, 2015.

Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-866-405-4226. SET's number for this recall is SET-15A.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 1,140 model year 2013-2015 Toyota Rav4 vehicles manufactured June 1, 2013, to December 29, 2014, and equip...

Toyota recalls Prius V vehicles

The airbag may fail to deploy

Toyota Motor Sales is recalling approximately 5,000 model year 2014-2015 Prius V vehicles.

The front passenger seat is equipped with an Occupant Classification System (OCS), which activates / deactivates the passenger seat air bag system depending on the weight of the seat occupant. There is a possibility that some OCS's may not have been calibrated properly during the vehicle manufacturing process.

Under some conditions, this could result in the failure of the airbag to deploy, increasing the risk of an injury to a front seat passenger in the event of crash.

Toyota says it is not aware of any injuries or fatalities caused by this condition.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will receive a notification by first class mail, and dealers will recalibrate the OCS properly.

Consumers may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales is recalling approximately 5,000 model year 2014-2015 Prius V vehicles. The front passenger seat is equipped with an Occupant Classific...

Southeast Toyota Distributors recalls vehicles with incorrectly installed accessories

The accessory attaching fasteners were not tightened with the proper torque

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 3,942 model year 2014-2015 Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, RAV4, Scion FRS and XB vehicles.

The vehicles may have accessories installed by SET, such as running boards or other items, that were incorrectly installed. The accessory attaching fasteners were not tightened with the proper torque, possibly causing the accessory to detach from the vehicle. Accessories that detach from a vehicle may result in a vehicle crash and/or personal injury.

SET will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and tighten the affected bolts, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin February 9, 2015.

Owners may contact SET customer service at 1-954-429-2000. SET's number for this recall is SET-14B.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 3,942 model year 2014-2015 Toyota 4Runner, Tacoma, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, RAV4, Scion FRS and XB vehicl...

Toyota recalls model year 2015 Siennas

The second row overhead assist grips may detach deployment of the curtain shield airbag

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 25,552 model year 2015 Sienna vehicles manufactured September 2, 2014, to November 14, 2014.

In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the curtain shield airbag (CSA), the second row overhead assist grips may detach, striking a vehicle occupant, increasing the risk of injury.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will modify the headliner near the second row overhead assist grip, free of charge. The recall is expected begin on January 15, 2015.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 25,552 model year 2015 Sienna vehicles manufactured September 2, 2014, to November 14, 2014. In the...

Southeast Toyota Distributors recall vehicles with seat heater issue

Compression of the seat cushion may damage the seat heater wiring

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 3,233 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 vehicles.

The recalled 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 seat 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 contact SET customer service at 1-954-429-2000.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 3,233 model year 2010-2011 Prius and Corolla, 2009-2011 Venza, 2006-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 FJ Cruiser, 200...

Toyota is recalling 5,650 vehicles

The left-side front suspension lower arm may have been manufactured incorrectly

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 5,650 model year 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry HV, Avalon, and Avalon HV vehicles equipped with 16-inch and 17-inch rims.

The left-side front suspension lower arm may have been manufactured incorrectly. 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 was expected ti begin around mid-December 2014.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 5,650 model year 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry HV, Avalon, and Avalon HV vehicles equipped with 16-inch an...

Gulf States Toyota recalls Tacomas

The vehicles may contain an incorrect Load Carrying Capacity Modification label

Gulf States Toyota is recalling 142 model year 2015 Toyota Tacoma vehicles manufactured September 2, 2014, to October 15, 2014.

The affected vehicles may contain an incorrect Load Carrying Capacity Modification label which may result in the vehicle being overloaded, increasing the risk of a crash.

Gulf States has notified owners, and dealers will install an accurate label, free of charge. The recall began December 1, 2014.

Owners may contact Gulf States customer service at 1-800-444-1074.

Gulf States Toyota is recalling 142 model year 2015 Toyota Tacoma vehicles manufactured September 2, 2014, to October 15, 2014. The affected vehicles may...

Toyota recalls Sienna Minivans

A curtain shield air bag could malfunction during deployment

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Is recalling approximately 30,000 model year 2015 Sienna Minivans.

The recalled vehicles are equipped with left and right side second row overhead assist grips mounted to the roof rails. In the event of a collision that results in deployment of a curtain shield air bag (CSA), an assist grip could detach from the mounting bracket under some conditions.

If an assist grip completely detaches, it may contact an occupant, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

Toyota says it is not aware of any injuries or fatalities caused by this condition.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will receive a notification by first class mail. Toyota dealers will modify the headliner under the second row overhead assist grips at no charge to the customer.

Owners may call Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Is recalling approximately 30,000 model year 2015 Sienna Minivans. The recalled vehicles are equipped with left and right sid...

Toyota recalls Camrys with steering issues

Damage during the manufacturing process could result in a loss of control

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling of 56 Model Year 2011 Camrys distributed to the U.S. Territories of Guam and Saipan. Globally, the company is recalling approximately 170,000 vehicles.

The front suspension system in the involved vehicles contains a lower ball joint which connects the front suspension lower arm to the knuckle arm. In the assembly process, the rubber boot on the ball joint could have been damaged by insufficiently maintained equipment.

If the rubber boot is damaged, lubricant grease inside the ball joint could leak from the damaged boot, causing the ball joint to wear and loosen prematurely. If the vehicle is continuously operated in this condition, the lower ball joint may separate from the knuckle and could cause a loss of vehicle control.

Toyota says it is unaware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will receive a notification by first class mail. Toyota dealers will inspect the rubber boots, and if necessary, replace the ball joint with a new one.

Consumers may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling of 56 Model Year 2011 Camrys distributed to the U.S. Territories of Guam and Saipan. Globally, the company is reca...

Toyota recalls Camrys and Avalons

A manufacturing error could cause a loss of steering control

Toyota Motor Sales is recalling approximately 5,650 Model Year 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon and Avalon Hybrid vehicles.

The left front suspension lower arm in the recalled vehicles may have an improperly manufactured bolt hole where it connects to the ball joint, affecting bolt clamping force.

In the event of a severe impact to the lower ball joint, which could result from varying road surfaces during normal driving, the lower arm could separate from the ball joint. Separation of the lower arm can cause a loss of steering control.

Toyota says it is unaware of any crashes, injuries or fatalities related to this condition.

Owners of the recalled vehicles will receive a notification by first class mail. Toyota dealers will replace the left front lower suspension arm with a new one.

Consumers may call Toyota Customer Service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales is recalling approximately 5,650 Model Year 2014 Toyota Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon and Avalon Hybrid vehicles. The left front suspensi...

Fuel issue prompts recall of various Toyota vehicles

Fuel may leak from the one of the fuel delivery pipes in the engine compartment

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 20,000 model year 2014 Toyota Avalon, Camry, Sienna, and Highlander and model year 2015 Lexus RX350 vehicles.

Fuel may leak from the one of the fuel delivery pipes in the engine compartment. A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source increases the risk of a fire.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace any of the suspect fuel delivery pipes free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on November 3, 2014.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 20,000 model year 2014 Toyota Avalon, Camry, Sienna, and Highlander and model year 2015 Lexus RX350 ...

Toyota recalls vehicles with air bag inflator issues

The inflators performed improperly during component testing

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Is conducting a supplemental safety recall of approximately 247,000 Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia, Tundra and Lexus SC vehicles produced from 2001 to 2004 and equipped with front passenger air bag inflators supplied by Takata Corporation.

The new recall targets vehicles in consistently high absolute humidity areas, including southern Florida, along the Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, U.S Virgin Islands, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa.

Recalls for affected vehicles were also issued in April 2013, and June 2014. Separately, in cooperation with NHTSA and Takata to investigate incidents of ruptured inflators, Toyota recovered inflators from recalled vehicles from areas in South Florida for evaluation by Takata.

Takata provided data to Toyota indicating that a number of the returned inflators performed improperly during component testing. The cause of the potential for ruptured inflators and the influence of high absolute humidity are under investigation.

To date, Toyota has received no reports of injuries or fatalities related to this condition.

Al known owners of the affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles will be notified by first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota or Lexus dealer.

The dealer will replace the front passenger air bag inflator with a newly manufactured one. If a replacement part is not available at the time of vehicle service, the dealer will follow procedures to temporarily disable the front passenger air bag assembly.

In addition, the dealer will install a glove box hang tag informing occupants that the front passenger seat should not be occupied until the inflator assembly is replaced and the airbag is fully functional.

Consumers may call Lexus Customer Service at 1-800-255-3987 or Toyota Customer Service at 1-800-331-4331 for more information.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Is conducting a supplemental safety recall of approximately 247,000 Toyota Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia, Tundra and Lexus SC vehicle...

Lexus LS, GS, and IS vehicles recalled

Fuel could leak past a sealing gasket

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. is recalling approximately 423,000 Lexus vehicles including 2007 - 2010 model year LS; 2006 - 2011 model year GS; 2006 - 2011 model year IS; 2010 model year IS C and 2008 - 2010 model year IS-F vehicles.

The fuel delivery pipes in the engine compartment of the recalled vehicles were manufactured with a plating to protect against corrosion. Some of the pipes could have been produced with plating particles on the gasket seating surface where the fuel pressure sensor is installed.

In this condition, the sealing property of the gasket seated between the pressure sensor and the pipe could become degraded. During vehicle operation, fuel could leak past the gasket. In the presence of an ignition source, this could increase the risk of a vehicle fire.

The company says it is unaware of any fires, crashes, injuries or fatalities caused by this condition.

Owners of the vehicles involved will receive a notification by first class mail. Lexus dealers will repair the gasket seating surface of the fuel delivery pipe where the fuel pressure sensor is installed, replace the gasket with a new one, and re-install the fuel pressure sensor.

Lexus owners may obtain more information by calling customer service at 1-800-255-3987.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. is recalling approximately 423,000 Lexus vehicles including 2007 - 2010 model year LS; 2006 - 2011 model year GS; 2006 - 2011 mo...

Toyota recalls FJ Cruisers

The vehicles could suffer a loss of steering control

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 1,787 model year 2014 FJ Cruiser vehicles equipped with an optional "Trail Teams Ultimate Edition" package, in which the front shock absorbers and springs were replaced at vehicle processing centers.

In some of these vehicles, the two bolts that secure the front lower ball joint to the steering knuckle might have been tightened with insufficient torque when the front shock absorbers and springs were replaced during the installation process.

The bolts could become loose during driving and fall out. If both bolts fall out, the front lower ball joint could detach from the steering knuckle, causing a loss of steering control, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners of vehicles with the optional package installed, and dealers will inspect the torque of the bolts. If the bolts are found to be loose, dealers will retighten them to the proper torque. For any missing bolts, dealers will install new ones. The recall began on September 30, 2014.

Owners may contact toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 1,787 model year 2014 FJ Cruiser vehicles equipped with an optional "Trail Teams Ultimate Edition" pa...

Toyota recalls Tacoma Pre-Runner and 4x4 vehicles

One of the leaf springs may fracture due to stress or corrosion

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 690,000 model year 2005-2011 Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner and 4x4 vehicles manufactured September 14, 2009, to October 11, 2010.

One of the leaf springs in the recalled vehicles may fracture due to stress or corrosion. While being driven, the broken leaf could move out of position and contact surrounding components including the fuel tank, possibly puncturing the tank and causing a fuel leak, increasing the risk of fire.

The remedy for this recall is still under development. The recall is expected to begin November 28, 2014.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 690,000 model year 2005-2011 Toyota Tacoma Pre-Runner and 4x4 vehicles manufactured September 14, 200...

Toyota Tundra CrewMax and Double Cab vehicles recalled

The Curtain-Shield Air Bags may not deploy properly

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 132,624 model year 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax and Double Cab vehicles manufactured July 29, 2013, to August 22, 2014.

Due to the possible misinstallation of the upper tab of the B-pillar interior trim, the Curtain-Shield Air Bags may not deploy properly in the event of a crash, increasing the risk of occupant injury

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the B-pillar interior trim installation and will replace it if it is not installed correctly, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin on September 30, 2014.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 132,624 model year 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax and Double Cab vehicles manufactured July 29, 2013, to ...

Toyota recalls FJ Cruisers and Tacomas

The tire placard may list tire size and/or inflation information

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 20,000 model year 2008-2014 FJ Cruiser and Tacoma vehicles equipped with accessory wheels and tires installed by Toyota or dealers prior to the vehicle's first sale.

The affected vehicles may list incorrect spare tire size and/or cold tire inflation information on the tire placard. If the spare tire is inflated to the incorrect pressure provided on the placard, tire failure may occur while the vehicle is being driven on, increasing the risk of a crash.

Overlay stickers to correct the tire placard will either be mailed to owners of the recalled vehicles or provided to dealers for placement over the incorrect information on the placard. The recall is expected to begin in September 2014.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 20,000 model year 2008-2014 FJ Cruiser and Tacoma vehicles equipped with accessory wheels and tires i...

Gulf States Toyota recalls Tundras

The lug nuts to loosen

Gulf States Toyota (GST) is recalling 16,249 model year 2013-2014 Toyota Tundras modified by GST as part of certain vehicle packages to be equipped with a combination of non-Toyota-brand 20-inch alloy wheels and chrome plated lug nuts.

The coating on the lug nuts may give, causing the lug nuts to loosen or the wheel studs to fracture. The wheel could separate from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

GST will notify owners, and dealers will replace 20 lug nuts and torque them to specification, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in August 2014.

Owners may contact GST customer service at 1-800-444-1074.

Gulf States Toyota (GST) is recalling 16,249 model year 2013-2014 Toyota Tundras modified by GST as part of certain vehicle packages to be equipped with a ...

Toyota recalls Siennas

The transmission shift cable could separate while the vehicle is being driven

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 263 model year 2014 Sienna vehicles manufactured June 17, 2014, through June 24, 2014.

The affected vehicles have a transmission shift control cable whose protective cable sleeve may have been damaged during assembly. This could cause the control cable to bind or separate during gear shift operation causing incorrect gear selection.

If the transmission shift cable separates while the vehicle is being driven, the transmission gear selection may not match the indicated gear and the vehicle may move in an unintended or unexpected direction, increasing the risk of a crash.

Furthermore, when the driver goes to stop and park the vehicle, despite selecting the 'PARK' position, the transmission may not be in 'PARK.' If the vehicle is not in the 'PARK' position there is a risk the vehicle will roll away as the driver and other occupants exit the vehicle or anytime thereafter, increasing the risk of injury to exiting occupants and bystanders.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect and replace the transmission shift control cable, as necessary, free of charge. The recall began in early August 2014.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 263 model year 2014 Sienna vehicles manufactured June 17, 2014, through June 24, 2014. The affected...

Lexus GS 350s recalled

The vehicle may begin braking without the driver's input

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 10,462 model year 2013 Lexus GS 350 vehicles manufactured June 8, 2012, through December 26, 2012.

In the affected vehicles, the switch that senses the amount of pressure that the driver is applying to the brake pedal may fail. If the switch fails, the vehicle may begin braking without the driver's input, and without illuminating the brake lights, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the brake pedal support assembly which includes the brake pedal load sensing switch, free of charge.

Parts for the remedy are not currently available. Toyota will send owners an interim notification letter in late June 2014 to advise owners of the recall, and will mail owners a second letter when remedy parts are available.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 10,462 model year 2013 Lexus GS 350 vehicles manufactured June 8, 2012, through December 26, 2012. ...

Toyota recalls nearly 1 million vehicles with airbag issues

The airbag inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking the passenger

Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing is recalling 844,277 model year 2002-2004 Toyota Sequoia and Lexus SC and 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matrix, Tundra, and Pontiac Vibe vehicles.

A safety defect in the passenger side frontal air bag inflator may produce excessive internal pressure causing the inflator to rupture upon deployment of the air bag.

This recall addresses both the passenger side frontal air bags that were originally installed in the vehicles, as well as replacement air bags that may have been installed as replacement service parts. A replacement air bag may have been installed, as one example, if a vehicle had been in a crash necessitating the replacement of the passenger side frontal air bag.

In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the passenger's frontal air bag, the inflator could rupture with metal fragments striking and potentially seriously injuring the passenger seat occupant or other occupants.

This recall supersedes one in which some vehicles were inspected and received a replacement inflator, while others were inspected but did not have their inflator replaced. All owners of vehicles that did not get an inflator replacement, or owners that do not know if they got an inflator replacement, should contact their Toyota or Lexus dealer.

Toyota will notify owners of affected Toyota and Lexus vehicles and General Motors will notify owners of affected Pontiac Vibe vehicles. Toyota, Lexus, and GM dealers will replace the passenger side air bag inflator, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331. Pontiac Vibe owners may contact GM at 1-800-521-7300.

Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing is recalling 844,277 model year 2002-2004 Toyota Sequoia and Lexus SC and 2003-2004 Toyota Corolla, Corolla Matr...

Toyota Highlanders with seat issues recalled

The seat may not fully lock into the inboard seat track

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 231 model year 2014 Highlander vehicles manufactured April 23, 2014, through April 29, 2014.

The seat may not fully lock into the inboard seat track in the forward first, second and third adjusting positions, which could increase the risk of the seat coming out of the track and injuring the occupant in the event of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners and dealers will inspect and if necessary replace the second row right hand seat, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in June 2014.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 231 model year 2014 Highlander vehicles manufactured April 23, 2014, through April 29, 2014. The se...

Toyota recalls Siennas with corrosion problems

High concentrations of road salt may splash onto the spare tire carrier

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 370,000 model year 2004-2011 Sienna vehicles originally sold in, or currently registered in, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

The recalled vehicles have a spare tire carrier assembly mounted under the vehicle whose attachment cable may corrode due to high concentrations of road salt splashing onto the spare tire carrier. That could cause the spare tire to separate from the vehicle, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota will send owners an interim notification to advise owners of the recall and dealers will remove the spare tire and relocate it to the luggage compartment, free of charge.

Owners will be mailed a second letter when remedy parts are available and dealers will replace the spare tire carrier assembly with an improved one, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-800-331-4331.

The 2004-2010 model year Siennas subject to this recall were recalled in 2010. Those owners are advised that they must have their vehicles remedied again under this campaign and that having the earlier recall completed did not remedy their vehicles.

Additionally, model year 1998-2003 Siennas were recalled as part of that same 20110. Owners of those vehicles that have not had not the remedy performed on their vehicles, should contact their Toyota dealer to schedule a free repair.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing is recalling 370,000 model year 2004-2011 Sienna vehicles originally sold in, or currently registered in, Connect...

Toyota recalls vehicles with seat problems

The springs used for the seat rails may break

Toyota is recalling 472,388 model year 2006-2010 Yaris vehicles manufactured August 22, 2005, through May 12, 2010, and 2008-2010 Scion xD vehicles manufactured April 4, 2007, through May 12, 2010.

In the affected vehicles, the springs used for the seat rails on the driver's seat and the seat rails of the front passenger seat of three-door models may break, preventing the seat from locking in position. In the event of a vehicle crash, the seat could move increasing the risk of injury to the occupant.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the seat rail, and replace it with a new one, if necessary, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota is recalling 472,388 model year 2006-2010 Yaris vehicles manufactured August 22, 2005, through May 12, 2010, and 2008-2010 Scion xD vehicles manufac...

More safety recalls from Toyota

Over a million of the vehicles are in the U.S.

Problems ranging from faulty airbags to defective windshield wipers have reportedly prompted Toyota to issue a recall of more than 6 million vehicles worldwide.

Toyota says approximately 1.3 million vehicles are in the U.S. including certain modelyYear 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2008-2010 Highlander, 2009-2010 Tacoma, 2006-2008 RAV4 and 2006-2010 Yaris vehicles.

Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall, the Toyota Customer Experience at 1 800-331-4331, www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987). 

Recall timing

Reuters quotes Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons as saying the recalls were announced simultaneously, even though they are unrelated, due to the timing of the investigations.

This latest recall comes less than a month after the automaker agreed to a pay a penalty of $1.2 billion in connection with unintended acceleration in its vehicles.

Recall breakdown

A Reuters report lists the latest recalls and their causes as follows:

  • Faulty spiral cables for driver’s air bags: 3.5 million
  • Possible locking problems on seat rails: 2.32 million
  • Failing steering column brackets: 760,000
  • Windshield wipers with drainage problems: 160,000
  • Possible fire hazard in starter motors: 20,000

In these vehicles, the driver’s airbag module is attached to a spiral cable assembly with electrical connections that could become damaged when the steering wheel is turned. If this occurs, the air bag warning lamp will illuminate. In addition, the driver’s air bag could become deactivated, causing it to not deploy in the event of a crash.

The automaker is currently preparing the remedy for this condition. For all involved vehicles, a Toyota dealer will replace the spiral cable with an improved one. Once preparations are complete, Toyota will send an owner notification letter by first class mail and the remedy will be provided at no charge.

Problems ranging from faulty airbags to defective windshield wipers have reportedly prompted Toyota to isse a recall of more than 6 million vehicles. Acco...

Toyota recalls Avalons with faulty restraint systems

Airbgs could deploy inadvertantly

Toyota is recalling119,140 model year 2003-2004 Avalon vehicles manufactured June 5, 2002, through December 20, 2004.

In these vehicles, the supplemental restraint system (SRS) circuits are susceptible to internal shorting. The electrical short may create an abnormal current flow and increased heat which can damage the circuits. This could result in an inadvertent deployment of the front air bags and/or seat belt pretensioners, increasing the risk of an injury or crash.

Toyota will notify owners and dealers will install a noise filter between the air bag control module and the wire harness, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota is recalling119,140 model year 2003-2004 Avalon vehicles manufactured June 5, 2002, through December 20, 2004. In these vehicles, the supplemental...

Toyota recalls Highlanders

A seat belt assembly might not be properly secured to the vehicle floor anchorage

Toyota is recalling 7,067 model year 2014 Highlander vehicles manufactured November 20, 2013, through January 18, 2014.

The third row middle seat belt assembly might not have been properly secured to the vehicle floor anchorage during vehicle assembly, which could increase the risk of injury to an occupant in the event of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the third row middle seat belt anchor, and, if necessary, properly secure it to the vehicle floor anchorage, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in March 2014.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota is recalling 7,067 model year 2014 Highlander vehicles manufactured November 20, 2013, through January 18, 2014. The third row middle seat belt as...

Toyota recalls Tacoma, Lexus RX350 and Rav4 vehicles

An electrical glitch could result in the illumination of various warning lights

Toyota is recalling 261,114 model year 2012 and 2013 Toyota Tacoma, Lexus RX350, and model year 2012 Toyota Rav4 vehicles.

In the affected vehicles, the brake system contains a brake actuator that adjusts the fluid pressure of each wheel cylinder. An electrical component within the actuator may experience an increased resistance resulting in the illumination of various warning lights, including those for the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system, Antilock Brake System (ABS), and Traction Control system.

If this occurs, these systems could become inoperative, reducing the directional control assistance, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and Toyota and Lexus dealers will update the software for the Skid Control electronic control unit, free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota is recalling 261,114 model year 2012 and 2013 Toyota Tacoma, Lexus RX350, and model year 2012 Toyota Rav4 vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the...

Toyota announces massive recall of Prius vehicles

Transistors in the inverter module may become damaged from high operating temperatures

Earlier this week, ConsumerAffairs reported that Toyota was preparing to recall 700,00 model year 2010 through 2014 Prius vehicles.

In the affected vehicles, the Intelligent Power Module (IPM) inside the inverter module (a component of the hybrid system) contains transistors that may become damaged from high operating temperatures.

That recall has now been announced.

Toyota will notify owners and dealers will update the software for both the motor/generator control electronic control unit (ECU) and the hybrid control ECU, free of charge.

If an owner experiences a failure of the inverter before the vehicle receives updated software, the dealer will replace the inverter assembly with a new one at no charge. The recall is expected to begin in late February 2014.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Earlier this week, ConsumerAffairs reported that Toyota was preparing to recall 700,00 model year 2010 through 2014 Prius vehicles. In the affected vehicl...

Toyota recalls Tacoma trucks

The engines' valve springs may break over time

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America is recalling 3,795 model year 2013-2014 Tacoma vehicles manufactured July 1, 2013, through October 11, 2013.

The engines of the affected vehicles contain valve springs that may break over time. If the valve springs break, the engine could fail and stall while the vehicle is being driven, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the valve springs, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in December 2013.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America is recalling 3,795 model year 2013-2014 Tacoma vehicles manufactured July 1, 2013, through October 1...

Toyota recalls Camrys, Avalons and Corollas

The windshield wiper switch assembly may short circuit

Toyota Motor Engineering & manufacturing North America is recalling 9,795 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. 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 contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Engineering & manufacturing North America is recalling 9,795 model year 2013-2014 Camry and Camry HV, model year 2013 Avalon and Avalon HV and...

Southeast Toyota Distributors recalls Tacoma vehicles

Lug nuts to attach the spare tire were not provided with the vehicle

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 979 model year 2012-2013 Tacoma vehicles equipped with 18" Maverick Alloy Wheels.

In the recalled vehicles, the spare tire requires the use of a different style of lug nut to attach it to the vehicle than the other wheels use. These lug nuts were not provided with the vehicle. If the spare tire/wheel is installed on the vehicle using the lug nuts from another wheel, damage to the wheel could result and may eventually lead to a loose wheel, increasing the risk of a crash.

SET will notify owners, and dealers will: (a) Install a Warning Label on the spare tire/wheel, (b) supply a bag containing proper spare wheel lug nuts, and (c) place an Owner's Manual Addendum in the vehicle's glove box. The recall is expected to begin in November 2013.

Owners may contact SET at 1-954-429-2000.

Southeast Toyota Distributors (SET) is recalling 979 model year 2012-2013 Tacoma vehicles equipped with 18" Maverick Alloy Wheels. In the recalled vehicl...

Toyota recalls Camrys, other vehicles

A problem with the air conditioning condenser unit housing could affect airbag performance

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling approximately 803,000 model year 2012-2013 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza vehicles due to a problem with the air conditioning condenser unit housing.

Water from the air conditioning condenser unit housing could leak onto the airbag control module and cause a short circuit, resulting in illumination of the airbag warning light. In some instances, the air bag(s) could become disabled or could inadvertently deploy.

In some cases, the power steering assist function could also become inoperable if a communication line in the airbag control module is damaged. Loss of power steering assist results in increased steering effort.

Owners of the involved vehicles will be notified by first class mail to return their vehicles to a Toyota dealer for the repair. Dealers will apply sealant and install a cover to the air conditioning condenser unit housing seam located above the airbag control module.

Detailed information is available to customers by calling the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling approximately 803,000 model year 2012-2013 Camry, Camry Hybrid, Avalon, Avalon Hybrid and Venza vehicles due to a ...

Toyota recalls Siennas

The shift lever could be moved out of Park position without depressing the brake pedal

Toyota is recalling 614,722 model year 2004-2005 Sienna vehicles manufactured January 10, 2003, through August 10, 2005; and model year 2007-2009 Sienna vehicles manufactured February 20, 2007, through December 12, 2008.

Due to a problem within the shift lock solenoid, there is a possibility that the shift lever could be moved out of Park position without depressing the brake pedal. Should that occur, the transmission will either engage a drive gear or Neutral, increasing the risk of a backover or roll-away crash.

Toyota will mail interim notifications to owners beginning in late October 2013. When parts are available, owners will be sent a second notice and dealers will replace the shift lock solenoid, free of charge.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota is recalling 614,722  model year 2004-2005 Sienna vehicles manufactured January 10, 2003, through August 10, 2005; and model year 2007-2009 Sienna v...

Toyota recalls various Lexus vehicles with engine bolt problems

The bolts could become loose due to abnormal impacts

Toyota is recalling 101,584 model year 2007-2011 Lexus GS350 vehicles manufactured June 19, 2006, through July 12, 2011; model year 2006-2011 Lexus IS350 vehicles manufactured May 27, 2005, through July 13, 2011; and model year 2010-2011 Lexus IS350c vehicles manufactured November 25, 2009, through July 19, 2011.

These vehicles, equipped with the 2GR-FSE engine, use bolts to secure the housing and sprocket of the Variable-Valve Timing (VVT) system gear assembly. These bolts could become loose due to abnormal impacts generated within the gear assembly immediately after a cold start-up. The loose bolts could cause the VVT gear housing and sprocket to separate and result in the engine stopping while the vehicle is being driven, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and Lexus dealers will replace the VVT unit free of charge. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota is recalling 101,584 model year 2007-2011 Lexus GS350 vehicles manufactured June 19, 2006, through July 12, 2011; model year 2006-2011 Lexus IS350 v...

Toyota recalls RAV4 and Lexus HS250h vehicles

Failure of the rear tie rod could cause a loss of vehicle control

Toyota is recalling nearly 800,000 model year 2006 through 2011 RAV4 and 2010 Lexus HS250h passenger vehicles manufactured from October 2005, through September 2010.

If the nuts for adjusting the rear wheel alignment are improperly tightened during service, the rear suspension arm (rear tire rod) may develop unwanted movement and rust leading to thread damage and eventual failure. Failure of the rear tire rod will cause an abrupt change in the vehicle's alignment, which could cause a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the tie rods and replace any that have rust or corrosion on the alignment adjustment threads. All of the rear tie rods will then be encased in an epoxy to prevent future environmental damage.

Due to limitations in parts, the recall remedy will be launched in phases from September 2013, through February 2014. All owners will receive notification of the recall, with most receiving second notifications when parts are available in their area.

This recall supersedes a Toyota and Lexus recall issued about a year ago. All vehicles that have been inspected and remedied under the previous recall need to be re-inspected and have the appropriate remedy applied.

Toyota is recalling nearly 800,000 model year 2006 through 2011 RAV4 and 2010 Lexus HS250h passenger vehicles manufactured from October 2005, through Septe...

Toyota recalls Highlander, Lexus vehicles

The recalls involve heat damage and timing devices

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling some 235,000 vehicles in two separate actions

The first involves approximately 133,000 MY 2006-2010 Highlander Hybrid and MY 2006-2008 Lexus RX 400h vehicles.

In the recalled Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX 400h vehicles, transistors within the hybrid system's inverter assembly can experience heat damage due to variations in characteristics of the transistors built in parallel circuits. Should this occur, various warning lights on the instrument panel will illuminate, and in most cases the vehicle will enter "limp home mode." In limited instances, the hybrid system will shut down and resulting in the vehicle stopping while the vehicle is being driven.

The second recall involves approximately 102,000 MY 2006-2011 Lexus IS 350, IS 350C, and GS 350 vehicles.

In these vehicles, bolts used to secure the variable valve timing control device can become loose, causing the vehicle to stop while being driven. Early warning for this condition can be an abnormal noise just after start-up.

Owners of vehicles subject to these recalls will receive a notification by first class mail.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., is recalling some 235,000 vehicles in two separate actions The first involves approximately 133,000 MY 2006-2010 Highlander Hy...

Toyota recalls Tacoma Access Cab vehicles

The screws that attach the seat belt pre-tensioner to the seat belt retractor can loosen over tim

Toyota is recalling 342,451 model year 2005-2010 Tacoma Access Cab vehicles manufactured September 14, 2004, through March 29, 2010; and model year 2011 Tacoma Access Cab vehicles manufactured July 1, 2010, through September 7, 2011.

If the access doors are repeatedly and forcefully closed, the screws that attach the seat belt pre-tensioner to the seat belt retractor can loosen over time. If the screws loosen completely, the seat belt pre-tensioner and the retractor spring cover could detach from the seat belt retractor and the seat belt pre-tensioner will not perform as designed, increasing the risk of injury in a severe crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the seat belt assemblies. Based on the inspection, the seat belt assembly will be replaced or new pre-tensioner screws will be installed with thread-locking sealant and a retractor spring cover with stopper ribs to prevent loosening of the screws. These services will be provided at no cost to the owner. The manufacturer has not yet provided a notification schedule.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota is recalling 342,451 model year 2005-2010 Tacoma Access Cab vehicles manufactured September 14, 2004, through March 29, 2010; and model year 2011 Ta...

Toyota recalls Yaris vehicles

A short circuit in the relay could disable power steering assistance

Toyota is recalling 74 model year 2012 Yaris vehicles manufactured August 21, 2011, through August 31, 2011.

A relay in the Power Steering Control Module of the electronic power steering system could experience a short circuit due to insufficient distance between terminals in the relay and moisture contamination of relay coil windings. A short circuit in the relay could disable power steering assistance, increasing the risk of a crash.

Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the power steering control module. The recall is expected to begin in late July 2013.

Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota is recalling 74 model year 2012 Yaris vehicles manufactured August 21, 2011, through August 31, 2011. A relay in the Power Steering Control Module...

Toyota recalling Prius and Lexus HS models

Braking glitch affects only 2010 Prius and HS 250h vehicles

Toyota is recalling 2010 Prius and Lexus HS 250h vehicles to fix a problem with the brake pressure accumulator. The recall affects 86,500 vehicles in the United States, 242,000 worldwide.

The company said the accumulators could develop a fatigue crack due to vibration. No accidents or injuries have been linked to the problem anywhere in the world, the company said.

The recall targets only Prius models manufactured from March-October 2009. The affected HS hybrids were made from June-October 2009.

Toyota said it received its first report of the problem in May 2010.

Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall, the Toyota Customer Experience at 1-800-331-4331,www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-255-3987.

Toyota is recalling 2010 Prius and Lexus HS 250h vehicles to fix a problem with the brake pressure accumulator....

Southeast Toyota recalls variety of vehicles

The vehicles contain an inaccurate weight label

Southeast Toyota Distributors is recalling a total of 7,389 of the following vehicles:

  • 2008 and 2010-2013 Toyota Tundra,
  • 2010-2012 Rav4,
  • 2012 Toyota Sequoia,
  • 2010-2011 Toyota Corolla,
  • 2010-2011 Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid,
  • 2010-2013 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid,
  • 2010-2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser,
  • 2011 Toyota Land Cruiser,
  • 2010-2013 Toyota Venza,
  • 2010-2011 Toyota 4Runner,
  • 2010-2013 Toyota Tacoma,
  • 2011-2012 Toyota Sienna,
  • 2012 Toyota Prius,
  • 2013 Scion FR-S,
  • 2011 Scion XD,
  • 2011 Scion XB, and
  • 2012 Scion TC .

These vehicles were sold with labels that were outside the allowable one percent of accuracy of actual weight added, failing to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) Number 110, "Tire Selection and Rims." An inaccurate label could lead to owners overloading their vehicles and tires. An overloaded vehicle can result in a tire failure which may result in a vehicle crash, personal injury, or property damage.

Southeast Toyota will notify owners and provide a corrected label with instructions concerning its installation. A small group of the affected vehicles will need additional remedies which are still being developed. The recall is planned to begin on, or about, May 7, 2013.

Owners may contact Southeast Toyota at 1-800-301-6859.

Southeast Toyota Distributors is recalling a total of 7,389 of the following vehicles: 2008 and 2010-2013 Toyota Tundra, 2010-2012 Rav4, 2012 Toyota Sequo...

Toyota pays up again to settle unintended acceleration complaints

Long-running saga blamed on carpeting may finally be nearing an end

Toyota is closing yet another chapter in its long unintended-acceleration saga, agreeing to pay $29 million to 29 states and American Samoa to settle disputes about how it handled recalls.

Besides the payment, Toyota agreed to make vehicle information more easily accessible to consumers to help them operate their vehicles safely and make more informed choices. 

“Companies have an obligation to quickly and openly inform customers of product safety concerns,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said. “That’s particularly true of an automobile maker, where consumers’ lives may be at stake.”

Toyota sought to put a positive spin on the settlement.

“Resolving this inquiry is another step we are taking to turn the page on legacy issues from Toyota’s past recalls in a way that benefits our customers," said Christopher P. Reynolds, group vice president and general counsel, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. "Immediately after this inquiry was launched in 2010, Toyota began cooperating fully with the Attorneys General and implementing ‘customer-first’ initiatives to address their concerns and those of our customers."

Toyota also agreed to continue other customer-focused initiatives, including its rapid-response service teams, its expanded network of product quality field offices across the U.S., and a range of customer care amenities for owners of vehicles subject to certain recalls. 

Other actions

In December 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fined Toyota  $17.35 million -- the maximum fine allowable under the law -- claiming the automaker failed to report a safety defect to the federal government in a timely manner. It's the single highest civil penalty amount ever paid to NHTSA for violations stemming from a recall.

Also in December, Toyota agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle lawsuits growing out of unintended acceleration incidents. About 16 million owners of Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles are eligible for payments and safety updates to their cars.

Toyota recalled millions of Toyota and Lexus vehicles to replace accelerator pedals that could get trapped in floor mats or carpeting. 

A 10-month investigation by NASA engineers determined that electronic flaws were not to blame for the unintended acceleration incidents.

Toyota is closing yet another chapter in its long unintended-acceleration saga, agreeing to pay $29 million to 29 states and American Samoa to settle dispu...

Toyota recalls some Corolla, Lexus IS models

Problems with airbags and windshield wipers

Toyota is conducting two separate safety recalls involving about 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles and 270,000 Lexus IS vehicles.

In the 2003-2004 Corolla and Corolla Matrix, the airbag control module may deploy inadvertently. The seat belt pretensioners could also malfunction.

The second safety recall involves the front wipers on certain 2006-2012  Lexus IS vehicles where the wiper arm nut might not be sufficiently tight. Under certain circumstances, one or both of the wipers could become inoperative.

Owners of vehicles covered by these safety recalls will receive an owner notification letter via first class mail in the near future.  Any authorized Toyota or Lexus dealer will perform this recall at no charge to the vehicle owner.

Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987).

Toyota is conducting two separate safety recalls involving about 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles and 270,000 Lexus IS vehicles. In the 200...

Senator Questions Whether Toyota Acceleration Problem is Really Solved

Federal probe "may have been too narrow," Sen. Grassley suggests

A federal investigation into reports of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles "may have been too narrow," an influential U.S. Senator is suggesting.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) says that information his office has received from whistle-blowers indicates that a probe by NASA and federal highway safety officials may not have uncovered the real culprit in the incidents, which led to a massive recall of Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

The joint probe by NASA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concluded that Toyota's electronic throttle control system was not to blame for the incidents, which included numerous accidents, some of them fatal.

In August 2009, a California highway patrolman and his family were killed in their runaway Lexus ES 350 on a San Diego freeway. Someone calling from the car before it crashed at over 100 miles per hour said they couldn't stop it. Seconds later, it struck an SUV.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Grassley has written to NHTSA Administrator David Strickland, asking for detailed information about the investigation -- specifically whether vehicles were tested for the presence of an electronic phenomenon known as "tin whiskers" that could have been the cause of unintended acceleration.

In February 2011, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced with great fanfare that the joint investigation by NHTSA and NASA engineers had found no evidence the automaker's electronic throttle system played a part in incidents of unintended acceleration.

"There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas," LaHood said.

Instead, the agencies said the acceleration problems were most likely mechanical in nature. They blamed floor mats that could jam the gas pedal and sticky accelerator pedals.

Tin whiskers

The NASA engineers did consider the tin whiskers phenomenon but concluded it did not play a role in the incidents.

The term is used to describe small crystalline "whiskers" that sometimes grow from electroplated tin. Under certain conditions, the whiskers could conceivably create a short circuit that "could theortetically lead" to unintended acceleration, Grassley said in his letter to LaHood.

The Times, however,  quoted a Toyota spokesman as saying, "No one has ever found a single real-world example of tin whiskers causing an unintended acceleration event."

NHTSA said the agency is reviewing Grassley's letter.

Huge recalls

Toyota has recalled more than 18 million vehicles since 2009. Five million of those recalls were to fix floor mat problems and four million were to fix gas pedals that were prone to stick.

Toyota faces hundreds of lawsuits filed on behalf of victims of accidents blamed on unintended acceleration. It has already paid $48 million in fines in three separate cases and faces potential liabilities of $10 billion or more in the cases that are still pending.

While the 2011 report exonerated Toyota's electronic throttle system, it did not directly examine the prevalence of pedals that became trapped in place by floor mats or pedals that stuck in the open position.

However, the report said that most of the incidents NASA and DOT engineers examined occurred at low speed and appeared to be caused by driver error, with the driver inadvertently stepping on the gas rather than the brake, or in some bases depressing both pedals at once.

The few high-speed incidents that have been documented were likely caused by the floor mat jamming the accelerator pedal into the wide-open position, the investigators said, basically blaming driver error for the problem.


A federal investigation into reports of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles "may have been too narrow," an influential U.S. Senator is suggesting....

Toyota Recalling Some 2011 Lexus Models

Accelerator pedal problem poses an accident hazard

Toyota Motor North America is recalling as many as 154,036 2010 Lexus RX350 and RX450h vehicles, manufactured from November 28, 2008, through September 1, 2010. 

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, resulting in very high vehicle speeds that make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death. 

 Lexus will notify owners of affected vehicles and dealers will modify or replace the accelerator pedal and replace any Lexus driver's floor mat not specified for the vehicle. Lexus will begin notifying owners in early august 2012. 

Owners may contact Lexus at 1-800-255-3987 and may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153).

Accelerator pedal problem prompts Lexus recall...

2013 Lexus GS350 Recalled

Steering control issues

Toyota is recalling about 660 Lexus GS350 vehicles from the 2013 model year. 

The company said the electronic steering control unit may malfunction, causing the steering wheel to becoe off-center when the car is started with the steering wheel turned.

This could cause the car to go in an unexpected direction.

Toyota will notify owners and Lexus dealers will update the softeare free of charge. Customers may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331.

Vehicle Make / Model:Model Year(s):
     LEXUS / GS3502013
Manufacturer: TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATIONMfr's Report Date: MAY 16, 2012
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V221000NHTSA Action Number:N/A
Toyota is recalling about 660 Lexus GS350 vehicles from the 2013 model year. The company said the electronic steering control unit may malfunction, ...

Study: Hybrid Owners Not Likely to Buy Another Hybrid

Only 35 percent of hybrid owners buy another one

With sky-high gasoline prices, carmakers are turning out more hybrid vehicles. But who's buying them? An automotive research firm suggests it's mostly first-time buyers.

While the incentives to drive a gas-stingy car have never been greater, Polk, an automotive research firm, says only 35 percent of hybrid owners chose to purchase a hybrid again when returning to market in 2011. Toyota Prius owners tend to be the exception, more often replacing their old Prius with a new one.

If repurchase behavior among the high-volume audience of Prius owners isn’t factored in, hybrid loyalty drops to under 25 percent.

Satisfied with the brand, not necessarily the car

But just because a consumer doesn't buy another hybrid, that doesn't mean they are disillusioned with the car brand itself. The Polk researchers found they appear to maintain brand loyalty when returning to the new car market.

For example, in 2011, 60 percent of Toyota hybrid owners returned to the market to purchase another Toyota, according to Polk, while 41 percent of them purchased another hybrid from any brand. In the case of Honda hybrid owners, more than 52 percent of them stayed with the Honda brand, while just under 20 percent of this same owner group bought another hybrid vehicle from any brand.

The findings suggest that not all drivers are sold on a hybrid after driving one for a few years. But that doesn't mean offering a hybrid is bad news for the car company.

Hybrids are profitable

"Having a hybrid in the product lineup can certainly give a brand a competitive edge when it comes to attracting new customers," said Brad Smith, director of Polk's Loyalty Management Practice. "The repurchase rates of hybrid vehicles are an indication that consumers are continuing to seek alternative solutions to high fuel prices."

Online cross-shopping data from Edmunds.com shows consumers are doing their due diligence to compare hybrids with similar gasoline-powered vehicles. As an example, the Honda Civic is the second most cross-shopped vehicle among both Toyota Prius and Honda Insight shoppers.

Hybrid vehicles represent just 2.4 percent of the overall new vehicle market in the U.S., according to Polk, down from a high of 2.9 percent in 2008. And Polk researchers don't see it as what consumers are really looking for when it comes to selecting their vehicle.

"The lineup of alternate drive vehicles and their premium price points just aren't appealing enough to consumers to give the segment the momentum it once anticipated, especially given the growing strength of fuel economy among compact and midsize competitors," said Lacey Plache, Edmunds.com chief economist. "For EVs and PHEVs in particular, certain obstacles -- including consumer unease with unfamiliar technology and the lack of an adequate recharging infrastructure -- will need to be overcome before sales increase."

Research Suggests Hybrids Not Really Catching On...

Gulf States Toyota Recalls 2012 4Runner, Sienna

Remote engine starter may malfunction, interfere with vital functions

Gulf States Toyota is recalling about 360 2012 4Runners and Siennas because of a problem with the remote engine starter.

The company said that a malfunction in the Audiovox brand remote starter module can prevent normal operation of the vehicle's onboard computer network, which could cause the antilock braking and stability controls to fail.

Gulf States Toyota will notify owners and dealers will replace the Audiovox starter with a new one free of charge. Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-444-1074.

Gulf States Toyota is recalling about 360 2012 4Runners and Siennas because of a problem with the remote engine starter.The company said that a malfuncti...

U.S. Becoming an Exporter of Toyotas

Kentucky-build Camry will be exported to South Korea

The line between American cars and imports has been hazy for years, and the latest announcement from Toyota makes it even more so.

Toyota today announced plans to export U.S.-assembled Camry sedans to South Korea. Initial forecasts are that about 6,000 Camrys will be exported annually.

The Camrys will be produced at Toyota’s manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Ky.  The plant is Toyota’s largest manufacturing facility outside of Japan, employing nearly 7,000 workers directly and creating nearly 20,000 additional jobs with vendors and suppliers in Kentucky and other states.

“We are pleased with the reaction that the redesigned Camry is receiving from our customers, and the sales success it is having in the U.S. and overseas,” said Yoshimi Inaba, president and COO of Toyota Motor North America, Inc.  “The export of thousands of Camry vehicles to South Korea is an important development that builds on the great work of our talented U.S. team members as well as our extensive investments across North America."

The Toyota Camry has been the top-selling car in America for 13 of the past 14 years and a best-selling vehicle around the world. This is the first time the U.S.-assembled Camry will be exported outside of North America.  The vehicles are scheduled to arrive in South Korea beginning in January.

Since 1988 

Toyota began exporting U.S.-assembled vehicles in 1988. The  exports increased 30% in calendar year 2010 to approximately 100,000 units. Toyota now exports U.S.-assembled vehicles to 19 countries around the world.  The company began exporting Indiana-made Sienna minivans to South Korea last month.

Other exports include the Kentucky-produced Avalon sedan, the Indiana-produced Sequoia SUV and the Texas-produced Tacoma and Tundra pick-up trucks.

The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in America for nine years running and 13 of the last 14 years. Since it was introduced in 1983, more than 8.5 million vehicles have been sold in the U.S. and 15 million worldwide. For the past three years, the Camry has also been named the “Most American Car” in Cars.com’s annual American Made Index. 

The line between American cars and imports has been hazy for years, and the latest announcement from Toyota makes it even more so.Toyota today announced ...

Toyota Recalls 420,000 Cars To Deal With Steering Issue

Third steering-related recall since 2006

Toyota says it is recalling 420,000 vehicles solid in the U.S. because of potential problems in the steering.

The carmaker said the recall includes certain models of the 2004 Avalon; the 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solar and the 2006 Highlander HV. Some Lexus models - the 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330 and the 2006 RX400h – are also included in the recall.

Toyota says the issue involves the misalignment of the outer and inner rings of the crankshaft pully. If not corrected, the driver could lose the use of power steering.

Toyota has ordered recalls in the past to deal with steering problems. In 2006 the company recalled 2003 to 2005 Prius models to repair a flaw that could cause drivers to lose control of steering. Then last year Toyota recalled approximately 373,000 2000-2004 Model Year Toyota Avalons sold in the United States because the vehicle's steering lock bar could break under certain conditions.

Despite the recalls, at least one Prius driver is still having problems.

“We own a 2005 Toyota Prius,” Ray, of Denver, Colo., told ConsumerAffairs.com in September. “Recently, the steering made a grinding sound and then broke completely, leaving the car utterly uncontrollable. Luckily, no one was hurt in the failure, this time. We checked and found that Toyota had issued a recall for this exact failure, but they claim they had already repaired this car in 2006. Obviously not.”

Ray reports the repair bill topped $2,300, as the air bag sensors were damaged when the steering sheared off in his wife's hands.

Toyota will not be sending out formal notifications in this latest recall until January, but the company said owners should make earlier appointments if the hear abnormal noises coming from their vehicles' steering columns.

Toyota is recalling vehicles to fix a steering flaw...

Toyota, Lexus Models Recalled to Fix Steering Problem

Power steering could fail, making it difficult to control the car

Toyota is recalling 550,000 vehicles worldwide after discovering a potential flaw that may suddenly affect steering.

The company said 283,200 Toyota and 137,000 Lexus vehicles are being recalled to replace the crankshaft pulley on the V6 engine.

There is a possibility that the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley may become misaligned with the inner ring, causing noise and/or illumination of the discharge warning light. If this condition is not corrected, the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley and the driver may notice a sudden increase in steering effort.

There have been no reports of accidents or injuries.

The vehicles involved are certain:

  • 2004 Avalon
  • 2004 and 2005 Camry, Highlander, Sienna, and Solara
  • 2006 Highlander HV
  • 2004 and 2005 ES330 and RX330
  • And 2006 RX400h

No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles or these Toyota models with 4-cylinder engines are involved. 

Toyota is currently working on obtaining the necessary replacement parts. Once the replacement parts have been produced in sufficient quantities, Toyota will send an owner notification by first class mail advising owners to make an appointment with an authorized Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the crankshaft pulley inspected and if necessary, replaced at no charge. The owner notifications will be mailed by first class mail beginning in January, 2012. 

In the meantime, if an abnormal noise is heard coming from the engine compartment, the owner is asked to make an appointment with any Toyota or Lexus dealer to have the vehicle inspected for this condition. 

Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center (1 800-331-4331) or www.lexus.com/recall and Lexus Customer Satisfaction (1 800-255-3987). 


About 80 percent of the vehicles are in the U.S., Amiko Tomita, a spokeswoman for the automaker said today.

Toyota recalled the vehicles to replace the crankshaft pulley on the V6 engine, Tomita said. No accidents have been reported, she said.

"If this condition is not corrected, the belt for the power steering pump may become detached from the pulley and the driver may notice a sudden increase in steering effort," Toyota said in a statement.

The vehicles being recalled are the 2004 Avalon, the 2004 and 2005 Camry and 2006 Highlander HV. Within the Lexus brand, the 2004 and 2005 ES330, the RX330 and the 2006 RX400h are being recalled, according to the statement.

Toyota recalled millions of U.S. vehicles last year and in 2009, mostly for defects related to unintended acceleration, and paid a record $48.8 million in fines because of the way some of the recalls were conducted.

The recalls caused the company to briefly halt sales of some models in 2010 and contributed to its 0.4 percent U.S. sales decrease last year, the only such decline among large automakers.

The carmaker recalled 1.7 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in January for defects in fuel pipes and pumps, pressure sensors and spare tire carriers. It called back 2.17 million in February for carpet and floor-mat flaws that could jam gas pedals.



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Toyota is recalling recalled 550,000 vehicles worldwide after discovering a potential flaw that may suddenly affect steering.The company said 283,200 Toy...

Toyota Supersizes the Prius

Prius V is a tall hybrid wagon with lots of cargo room

Porsche owners fumed when Porsche A.G. began churning out the big Cayenne SUV. Heresy, they harrumphed. Now, of course, the Cayenne is Porsche's biggest seller in the United States, followed by the equally gargantuan Panamera four-door sedan.

Since Prius is to greenies as Porsche is to those locked perennially in mid-life crisis mode, might we expect a similar reaction to the introduction of the Prius V, a tall hybrid hatchback with more cargo space than most crossovers and compact SUVs?

The V adds about 230 pounds of weight as well as six inches of length and three inches of height to the diminutive dimensions of the original, and that equates to a fuel economy loss of about 16 percent, for an overall 42 mpg rating.

That still puts it well ahead of nearly any of its gas-powered competitors, which would have to strain some to hit 30 mpg. Despite the bigger bulk, Toyota promises the V will display acceleration equal to a standard Prius.

The "V?" It stands for "versalitility," Toyota tells us.

The Prius brings leading-edge hybrid technology to customers who need more room and provides more cargo space than 80 percent of all small SUVs,” said Toyota Division Group Vice President and General Manager Bob Carter. “And because it’s a Prius, it produces 66 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new vehicle and will have the best mileage ratings of any SUV, crossover, or wagon sold in America. We think that’s a win-win for everybody.”

Of course, it comes with an AM/FM/CD audio system with Bluetooth, USB and iPod connectivity. It will also feature the optional EnTune "telematics" system, which means it can connect to Bing, pandora, OpenTable and so forth, just in case the driving gets too dull.

Speaking of sound, the Prius V automatically generates what Toyota calls a "low whirring noise" at around-town speeds, alerting pedestrians and wandering hounds to its approach.

If that's not enough, the car features what Toyota calls "anti-porpoise" technology. It is said to modulate the throttle to keep the car from undulating over those pesky freeway expansion joints. Reviews who've driven the car give it overall high marks but warn that the extra height and a 60-40 front-to-rear weight balance make it ill-suited to any funny stuff in the curves.

The Prius V is expected to make its debut in American showrooms this fall.

Toyota Supersizes the Prius Prius V is a tall hybrid wagon with lots of cargo room...

Panel: Toyota Hasn't Done Enough to Address Safety Issues

But panel says company has made a good start

A panel of experts appointed by Toyota says the automaker hasn't done enough to address the safety problems that have plagued the company and its customers.

The panel headed by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater said the recalls of more than 10 million vehicles since 2009 were largely attributable to Toyota's centralized decision-making process and the company "skepticism and defensiveness" towards consumers, Automotive News reported.

But the panel said it is optimistic about Toyota's future, noting that a federal investigation found no electronic causes for instances of unintended acceleration and crediting the company with being "eager to implement positive changes."

In its 60-page report, the panel said Toyota still needs to give local managers more authority. The company has said it will establish regional advisory committees for North America, Europe and Asia, but the panel said it doubts that will be adequate.

"Toyota needs to continue to adjust its balance between global and local control, giving weight to local control in order to improve its communications and speed in responding to qualify and safety issues," the panel said.

Toyota paid nearly $50 million in fines in the U.S. last year and millions more conducting recalls and fighting lawsuits, most of them related to alleged incidents of unintended acceleration.

Some critics have claimed that Toyota's electronic acceleration system is to blame for the incidents but federal investigators found no evidence to support that. Instead, misplaced floor mats and other mechanical causes were blamed for most of the incidents in which a cause could be found.

Safety Panel Finds Toyota Hasn't Done Enough to Address Safety Issues. But panel says company has made a good start ...

More Toyota, Lexus Models Recalled

Accelerator pedal may become trapped by carpet or floor mat

Toyota is recalling 2.17 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the United States to inspect and, if necessary, replace accelerator pedals that may get trapped in floor mats or carpeting. Toyota conducted a massive recall in 2009 to address the same problem.

Toyota said 20,000 2006 and early 2007 Lexus GS 300 and GS 350 all-wheel-drive sedans will be recalled to modify the shape of the plastic pad embedded in the driver's side floor carpet. Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified in early March.

If the floor carpet around the accelerator pedal is not properly replaced after service, Toyota said there is a possibility that the plastic pad embedded into the floor carpet may interfere with operation of the accelerator pedal.

If this occurs, the accelerator pedal may become temporarily stuck in a partially depressed position rather than returning to the idle position. Toyota said it recently received two complaints about the problem.

In addition, Toyota is recalling 372,000 2004 through 2006 and early 2007 Lexus RX 330, RX 350, and RX 400h units, and about 397,000 Toyota Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles sold from the 2004 through 2006 model years to replace the driver's side floor carpet cover and its two retention clips.

The Japanese automaker has now recalled a total of 19.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles worldwide and more than 13.7 million in the United States to address safety problems since the fall of 2009.

More Toyota, Lexus Models Recalled. Accelerator pedal may become trapped by carpet or floor mat....

Toyota Recalls 2.17 Million More Cars to Fix Acceleration Problems

Accelerator pedal can be trapped by carpeting or floor mat

It was just a few weeks ago that federal safety regulators found that Toyota's unintended acceleration incidents were not caused by the automaker's electronic system. But that doesn't mean there haven't been any incidents.

Now Toyota is recalling 2.17 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the United States to inspect and, if necessary, replace accelerator pedals that may get trapped in floor mats or carpeting. Toyota conducted a massive recall in 2009 to address the same problem.

A 10-month investigation by NASA engineers determined that electronic flaws were not to blame for widespread consumer complaints of unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus models, the U.S. Department of Transportation said this month.

The Japanese automaker has now recalled a total of 19.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles worldwide and more than 13.7 million in the United States to address safety problems since the fall of 2009.

Toyota said 20,000 2006 and early 2007 Lexus GS 300 and GS 350 all-wheel-drive sedans will be recalled to modify the shape of the plastic pad embedded in the driver's side floor carpet. Owners of the affected vehicles will be notified in early March.

If the floor carpet around the accelerator pedal is not properly replaced after service, Toyota said there is a possibility that the plastic pad embedded into the floor carpet may interfere with operation of the accelerator pedal.

If this occurs, the accelerator pedal may become temporarily stuck in a partially depressed position rather than returning to the idle position. Toyota said it recently received two complaints about the problem.

In addition, Toyota is recalling 372,000 2004 through 2006 and early 2007 Lexus RX 330, RX 350, and RX 400h units, and about 397,000 Toyota Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles sold from the 2004 through 2006 model years to replace the driver's side floor carpet cover and its two retention clips.

Not electronic

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said on Feb. 8 that federal investigators had found no evidence the automaker's electronic throttle system played a part in incidents of unintended acceleration.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched the study ten months ago and called on NASA engineers to help determine whether cases of unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus models were caused by any cause other than sticky gas pedals and floor mats that trapped the gas pedals.

“We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota’s electronics system, and the verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended, high-speed acceleration in Toyotas.” LaHood said.

Toyota Recalls 2.17 Million More Cars to Fix Acceleration Problems. Accelerator pedal can be trapped by carpeting or floor mat....

Feds Find No Defect in Toyota Electronics

"No electronic-based cause” for unintended acceleration in Toyotas

Toyota won a major victory today as U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said federal investigators had found no evidence the automaker's electronic throttle system played a part in incidents of unintended acceleration.

"There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas," LaHood said in a statement issued to news organizations.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched the study ten months ago and called on NASA engineers to help determine whether cases of unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus models were caused by any cause other than sticky gas pedals and floor mats that trapped the gas pedals.

We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota’s electronics system, and the verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended, high-speed acceleration in Toyotas.” LaHood said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The finding is a major victory for Toyota, which has recalled more than 18 million vehicles since 2009. Five million of those recalls were to fix floor mat problems and four million were to fix gas pedals that were prone to stick.

Toyota faces hundreds of lawsuits filed on behalf of victims of accidents blamed on unintended acceleration. It has already paid $48 million in fines in three separate cases and faces potential liabilities of $10 billion or more in the cases that are still pending.

Human error

While the report exonerated Toyota's electronic throttle system, it did not directly examine the prevalence of pedals that became trapped in place by floor mats or pedals that stuck in the open position.

However, the report said that most of the incidents NASA and DOT engineers examined occurred at low speed and appeared to be caused by driver error, with the driver inadvertently stepping on the gas rather than the brake, or in some bases depressing both pedals at once.

The few high-speed incidents that have been documented were likely caused by the floor mat jamming the accelerator pedal into the wide-open position, investigators said.

Feds Find No Defect in Toyota Electronics. "No electronic-based cause” for unintended acceleration in Toyotas...

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Suits Against Toyota, Charging Brake Defects

Toyota Prius, Lexus HS 250h models says Toyota knew of defect as early as 2004

A federal judge in Santa Ana, Calif., has refused to dismiss about a dozen cases charging that Toyota failed to inform consumers about a defect in the antilock braking systems of certain Prius and Lexus models.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney ruled that the plaintiffs had established enough evidence to proceed under California's Unfair Competition Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act as well as the implied warranty laws of various states.

The case was filed last February after Toyota recalled 150,000 Priuses and Lexus HS-250h models from the 2010 model year because of a defect in their antilock braking systems.

The suits claim that Toyota refused to repair the alleged defect. Furthermore, they say, Toyota knew about the alleged defect as early as 2004.

The claims were brought on behalf of consumers who bought or leased a 2004 to 2009 Prius, 2006 to 2010 Highland Hybrid, 2006 through 2008 Lexus RX 400h, or 2010 Lexus RX 450h. The suits allege that the antilock braking systems do not engage properly, causing drivers to take longer to stop.

The results included accidents that cost plaintiffs "several thousand dollars worth of damage to their cars and other's cars," according to Carney's order.

At the time of the Feb. 9, 2010, recall, ConsumerAffairs.com reported that, although the recall was limited to 2010 models, owners of Priuses from other model years had reported similar problems.

“From day one I have noticed the brakes do not work properly,” Lisa of South Salt lake, Utah, said. “At first I thought it was just a terrible car for rain or snow but it was having problems in the slightest rain shower.

“Now that I'm aware of the brakes slipping I've noticed it's every day, the roads will be perfectly dry, I have brand new tires, the brake pads just barely checked at the dealer, but if I hit a bump I have no brakes,” she said.

Toyota said it would update software in the vehicles' anti-lock brake system. The ABS, in normal operation, engages and disengages rapidly as the control system senses and reacts to tire slippage.

The brake problem recall came on top of the highly-publicized “sudden acceleration” recall that prompted Toyota to not only recall eight popular models of its cars, but to temporarily suspend their sale in the U.S.

Responding to Judge Carney's ruling, Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said: "We are confident Plaintiffs will be unable to introduce evidence that actually proves the allegations in their complaint that the Court relied on in denying Toyota's motion."
Sudden acceleration

Another case in the Santa Ana court involves more than 200 claims associated with unintended acceleration. On Nov. 19, U.S. District Judge James Selna refused to dismiss economic damages claims brought by consumers against Toyota and, on Dec. 8, refused to dismiss claims that the alleged defect caused injuries or death.

Judge Refuses to Dismiss Suits Against Toyota, Charging Brake Defects. Toyota Prius, Lexus HS 250h models says Toyota knew of defect as early as 2004....

Toyota To Pony Up Millions Recall Probes

Automaker will pay $32.425 million in civil penalties

Toyota Motor Corporation has agreed to pay an additional $32.425 million in civil penalties as the result of two separate government investigations into its handling of auto recalls.

The automaker will pay the maximum fines allowable under the law -- $16.375 million in one case and $16.050 million in the other -- in response to the Transportation Department's (DOT) assertion that it failed to comply with the requirements of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act for reporting safety defects to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

"Safety is our top priority and we take our responsibility to protect consumers seriously," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "I am pleased that Toyota agreed to pay the maximum possible penalty and I expect Toyota to work cooperatively in the future to ensure consumers' safety."

Accelerator probe

The first investigation resulted in a $16.375 million fine and involved Toyota's recall of nearly five million vehicles with accelerator pedals that can become entrapped by floor mats. As its initial remedy, Toyota recalled 55,000 all-weather floor mats on September 26, 2007.

In August 2009, a fatal crash in Santee, California, occurred as the result of pedal entrapment in a loaner Lexus equipped with an all-weather floor mat intended for another Lexus model. After the fatal crash, NHTSA reviewed crash evidence and other data, and found that removing floor mats was insufficient and that there was a need to redesign the accelerator pedal.

At NHTSA's urging, Toyota then conducted a recall for 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles for floor mat entrapment on October 5, 2009. The October recall was expanded on January 27, 2010, to include another 1.1 million vehicles.

In February 2010, NHTSA launched an investigation to determine when Toyota first learned of the pedal entrapment defect and whether the company notified NHTSA in a timely manner. Federal law requires all auto manufacturers to notify NHTSA within five business days of determining that a safety defect exists and to promptly conduct a recall.

NHTSA's investigation led the agency to believe that Toyota had not fulfilled its obligation to report a known safety defect within five days, as is required under the law.

The defects involving pedal entrapment by floor mats and "sticking" accelerator pedals are currently the only two known causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles, although NHTSA continues to explore other possible causes.

The agency has enlisted the expertise of researchers and engineers from the prestigious National Academy of Sciences and NASA for a pair of studies that seek to get to the bottom of unintended acceleration.

Steering control probe

The second investigation resulted in a $16.050 million fine. In that case, NHTSA investigated whether Toyota properly notified the agency of a safety defect in several Toyota models that could result in the loss of steering control. In 2004, Toyota conducted a recall in Japan for Hilux trucks with steering relay rods prone to fatigue cracking and breaking, causing the vehicle to lose steering control.

At that time, Toyota informed NHTSA that the safety defect was isolated to vehicles in Japan and that the company had not received similar field information within the United States. In 2005, however, Toyota informed NHTSA that the steering relay rod defect was present in several models sold in the U.S. and conducted a recall for nearly one million vehicles.

Then, in May 2010, NHTSA was alerted to additional information, including complaints from U.S. consumers, that Toyota had not disclosed when it initially notified NHTSA that a U.S. recall was unnecessary.

"Automakers are required to report any safety defects to NHTSA swiftly, and we expect them to do so," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "NHTSA acknowledges Toyota's efforts to make improvements to its safety culture, and our agency will continue to hold all automakers accountable for defects to protect consumers' safety."

Payments

Toyota will pay the maximum in civil penalties for each of the two violations stemming from the pedal entrapment and steering relay rod recalls. The maximum civil penalty established under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act is adjusted for inflation, and was set at $16.050 million at the time of the steering relay rod recall in 2005.

In April, Toyota agreed to pay the maximum penalty of $16.375 million in response to the Department's assertion that it failed to notify NHTSA within five days of learning of the "sticky pedal" defect. That brings the total civil penalties assessed for Toyota in 2010 to $48.8 million. The fines will be paid into the Treasury Department's General Fund.

Toyota To Pony Up Millions Recall Probes Automaker will pay $32.425 million in civil penalties ...

Toyota Repairing 650,000 Prius Models For Overheating

Safety not an issue, company says

A faulty coolant pump that causes an overheating problem has triggered a recall of about 650,000 Toyota Prius models, most of them sold in the U.S.

The repairs cover the 2004 to 2007 model years. The flaw can cause the car to overheat and, ultimately lose power. Toyota said there are no safety issues involved in the action. It says it has received o reports of any accidents for injuries from the problem.

As part of the repair, Toyota will replace the coolant pumps in affected vehicles. The pump design allows air bubbles to enter the system, with the result that the flow of coolant is slowed. With less coolant getting to vital engine parts, the systems begin to overheat.

The first indication that something is amiss is a dashboard warning light. Left unattended, Toyota said the engine will begin to reduce power to protect itself.

Owners of affected models should expect to begin hearing from Toyota throughout December. They will be instructed where to take their cars for the needed repairs.

Toyota said it would cover the cost of the repairs, with includes the new pump and more than $100 in labor.

Toyota said it is recalling 650,000 Toyota Prius models to replace a coolant pump that can cause the cars to overheat....

Toyota Bought Back Defective Vehicles, Lawsuit Says

Consolidated complaint alleges consumers were forced to sign nondisclosure agreements

Explosive new claims in an ongoing class action lawsuit concerning the Toyota unintended acceleration saga threaten to land a new blow on the beleaguered automaker and raise new questions about its safety record -- and its integrity.

In court papers filed this week, the plaintiffs claim that Toyota secretly bought back cars from consumers who complained about unintended acceleration, then made them sign non-disclosure agreements to prevent the practice from becoming public. The consumers were also allegedly barred from filing suit against Toyota.

Once the cars were back in Toyota's hands, its technicians successfully replicated the acceleration defect, but failed to inform federal investigators, the plaintiffs say.

The claims come in an amended consolidated complaint filed in the mega-suit being heard in federal court in California. The action consists of over 100 federal suits that were consolidated in April and are now being treated as a single proceeding.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the number of suits and issues involved, the amended complaint -- filed Wednesday -- is over 700 pages long, not including hundreds of additional pages of attached exhibits.

Toyota "tried to cover it up": plaintiffs

By way of example, the lawsuit cites a July 2009 incident at an unnamed Toyota dealership. A service manager at the dealership says that a Toyota Tacoma pickup accelerated from 71 to 95 miles per hour even though his foot was off the pedal, according to an account in The Los Angeles Times.

Toyota "knew it had a problem, but they didn't know the cause of the problem," Steve Berman, the plaintiffs' lead attorney, told the Times. "They maintained their silence and tried to cover it up."

Olivia Alair, a spokeswoman for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) told The Detroit Free Press that the agency received the reports from Toyota's dealerships this year "as part of our ongoing investigation of unintended acceleration, but we didn't receive complaints directly from the consumers."

Toyota takes issue with some claims

In a statement, Toyota admitted buying back two cars, but, contrary to the plaintiffs' allegations, claimed that it was not able to replicate the defect in those vehicles.

"As part of our commitment to investigate acceleration concerns, we have voluntarily repurchased other vehicles," company spokesman Brian Lyons said. "The repurchase was not mandatory or directed through an arbitration or court process."

Lyons also said that affected consumers were required to sign a "settlement agreement," relieving Toyota of liability, but that no requirements were made with regard to confidentiality.

The allegations are the latest in a long line of seemingly damning claims about the epic disaster. Lawyers for the plaintiffs have also claimed that Toyota knew of the defect as far back as 2003, and called it "extremely dangerous." And in January, a Toyota executive reportedly urged the company to "come clean" about the defect, warning that Toyota "was not protecting our customers by keeping this quiet."

Toyota Bought Back Defective Vehicles, Lawsuit Says Consolidated complaint alleges consumers were forced to sign nondisclosure agreements...

Allstate Insurance Sues Toyota Over Unintended Acceleration Claims

Insurer seeks $3 million in damages for claims paid to accident victims

Like a stalled car on a freeway, Toyota is being slammed from all sides in the controversy over unintended acceleration claims. The latest to pile on is Allstate Insurance Co., which has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking to recover more than $3 million that the insurer says it paid in claims for accidents linked to sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

News of the latest legal action comes just a day after Toyota issued a statement saying it has examined more than 4,000 vehicles and found no evidence that its electronic throttle control is to blame for the cases of unintended acceleration repoprted by consumers. The company's findings are supported by government tests that have also uncovered no evidence of problems in Toyota's electronics.

But the Allstate suit claims that Toyota waited too long to respond to complaints about unintended acceleration and failed to install a brake override system that automatically releases the accelerator when the brake pedal is pressed.

Allstate charges Toyota "essentially hid the problem" instead of recalling the cars. "This has resulted in numerous claims of instances of property damage and injuries, including in some instances fatalities," the suit says. A Toyota spokesman said the suit's allegations "have no basis."

Toyota already faces several class-action complaints and numerous individual personal injury claims, and it's likely that other insurance companies will follow Allstate in seeking compensation from the Japanese automaker.

In a conference call with reporters yesterday, a Toyota executive said the company "has not found a single case in which electronics would lead to sudden unintended acceleration." Steve St. Angelo said Toyota has reviewed 4,200 complaints so far.

Drivers, for years, have reported instances in which their car accelerated on its own and failed to stop, even when they applied brakes. In some cases, these reports of sudden acceleration resulted in crashes.

But for the better part of a year government safety investigators have probed the thousands of reports of sudden acceleration in some Toyota vehicles. In a preliminary report to Congress in August, they said they have uncovered no evidence of problems in the vehicles' electronics.

Toyota has insisted from the start that, whatever the reason for these anomalies, they weren't caused by hiccups in the vehicles' sophisticated electronics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in its preliminary report, said it had reviewed 58 of the more than 3,000 submitted cases, and found no evidence of an electronics flaw.

Toyota yesterday said that complaints of sudden-acceleration incidents have dropped 80 percent since April.

The company also said it has added a "brake-override control" to 84 percent of the Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles now on sale in the U.S. and said it intends to be the first manufacturer to affer the safety technology in all of its models. The software is intended to ensure that, even if the accelerator sticks, pressing the brake will cause the accelerator to release.

"Toyota has made significant progress in recent months to help ensure that our customers can have complete confidence in the quality, safety and reliability of their vehicles, and our latest initiatives build on those accomplishments," said St. Angelo, Toyota's chief quality control officer for North America. "Toyota's continuous efforts to strengthen vehicle quality and safety, and to respond swiftly and thoroughly to our customers' concerns, are driven by our core values and will always be a fundamental part of our company. Our goal is to set new, even higher standards for quality assurance and customer responsiveness in both the factory and the market by continuing to put our customers first in everything that we do."

Since September 2009, Toyota has recalled about nine million vehicles to either replace floor mats or alter the design of accelerator pedals. The NHTSA report said investigators found only one case in which a floor mat trapped a gas pedal, pressing it to the floor, and no case in which the gas pedal became stuck.

Allstate Insurance Co. has filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking to recover more than $3 million that the insurer says it paid in claims....

Toyota Says Tests Find No Evidence Its Electronics Cause Unintended Acceleration

Automaker says it reviewed more than 4,000 cases, found no flaw in its electronics

Toyota says it has examined more than 4,000 vehicles and has found no evidence that its electronic throttle control is to blame for the cases of unintended acceleration repoprted by consumers. The company's findings are supported by government tests that have also uncovered no evidence of problems in Toyota's electronics.

In a conference call with reporters, a Toyota executive said the company "has not found a single case in which electronics would lead to sudden unintended acceleration." Steve St. Angelo said Toyota has reviewed 4,200 complaints so far.

Drivers, for years, have reported instances in which their car accelerated on its own and failed to stop, even when they applied brakes. In some cases, these reports of sudden acceleration resulted in crashes.

But for the better part of a year government safety investigators have probed the thousands of reports of sudden acceleration in some Toyota vehicles. In a preliminary report to Congress in August, they said they have uncovered no evidence of problems in the vehicles' electronics.

Toyota has insisted from the start that, whatever the reason for these anomalies, they weren't caused by hiccups in the vehicles' sophisticated electronics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in its preliminary report, said it had reviewed 58 of the more than 3,000 submitted cases, and found no evidence of an electronics flaw.

Toyota today said that complaints of sudden-acceleration incidents have dropped 80 percent since April.

The company also said it has added a "brake-override control" to 84 percent of the Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicles now on sale in the U.S. and said it intends to be the first manufacturer to affer the safety technology in all of its models. The software is intended to ensure that, even if the accelerator sticks, pressing the brake will cause the accelerator to release.

"Toyota has made significant progress in recent months to help ensure that our customers can have complete confidence in the quality, safety and reliability of their vehicles, and our latest initiatives build on those accomplishments," said St. Angelo, Toyota's chief quality control officer for North America. "Toyota's continuous efforts to strengthen vehicle quality and safety, and to respond swiftly and thoroughly to our customers' concerns, are driven by our core values and will always be a fundamental part of our company. Our goal is to set new, even higher standards for quality assurance and customer responsiveness in both the factory and the market by continuing to put our customers first in everything that we do."

Since September 2009, Toyota has recalled about nine million vehicles to either replace floor mats or alter the design of accelerator pedals. The NHTSA report said investigators found only one case in which a floor mat trapped a gas pedal, pressing it to the floor, and no case in which the gas pedal became stuck.


Toyota says it has examined more than 4,000 vehicles and has found no evidence that its throttle control is to blame for unintended acceleration....

Preliminary Report Backs Toyota On Sudden Acceleration

Report based on review of 58 of 3,000 cases

For the better part of a year government safety investigators have probed the thousands of reports of sudden acceleration in some Toyota vehicles. In a preliminary report to Congress, they say they have uncovered no evidence of problems in the vehicles' electronics.

Drivers, for years, have reported instances in which their car accelerated on its own and failed to stop, even when they applied brakes. In some cases, these reports of sudden acceleration resulted in crashes.

Toyota has insisted from the start that, whatever the reason for these anomalies, they weren't caused by hiccups in the vehicles' sophisticated electronics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in its preliminary report, said it had reviewed 58 of the more than 3,000 submitted cases, and found no evidence of an electronics flaw.

Since last September Toyota has recalled about nine million vehicles to either replace floor mats or alter the design of accelerator pedals. The NHTSA report said investigators found only one case in which a floor mat trapped a gas pedal, pressing it to the floor, and no case in which the gas pedal became stuck.

Toyota was quick to embrace the preliminary report, saying it confirms the company's own findings. The carmaker said it had conducted more than 4,000 vehicle inspections in the aftermath of sudden acceleration reports and found no case in which the problem could be attributed to the electronics.

No conclusions

Federal investigators say it is too early to draw any conclusions, but note some of the cases reviewed so far may have been caused by driver error, in which the drivers unknowingly applied pressure to the accelerator, thinking they were pressing on the brakes.

This isn't the first time NHTSA has investigated this problem in Toyotas. After launching an investigation of reports of sudden acceleration in Toyotas during the early 2000s, NHTSA reported in 2004 that it was unable to find a cause for the problem.

At the time, the agency said it analyzed many of the cars involved in the mishaps and found nothing abnormal with the throttle controls. Once again NHTSA pointed to the driver. The agency said sudden surges are sometimes caused by drivers who are unfamiliar with their new vehicles.

Not just Toyota

While Toyotas have figured prominently in reports of sudden acceleration over the years, other models have also been affected.

"My wife pulled our 2004 V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee, into the day care to pick up our toddler and put the gear in park after coming to a stop," Vasanthi, of San Jose, Calif., wrote in March 2009. "The Jeep suddenly accelerated and shot forward, with her foot tightly on the brake, and went over a concrete block, through a fence and into the yard on the other side."

ConsumerAffairs.com has received sudden acceleration complaints over the years from a wide range of makes, including Kia, Jaguar, BMW and Ford. In fact, a December 2009 analysis of NHTSA complaints by Consumer Reports found Ford produced the second largest number of sudden acceleration reports after Toyota.

Preliminary Report Backs Toyota On Sudden Acceleration...

Suit Claims Toyota Knew Of Problems In 2003

Cites technician field report on sudden acceleration case

Reports of Toyota's problems with sudden acceleration in some of its cars burst into the headlines late last year, but a class action suit claims the carmaker was aware of the problem at least six years earlier.

Lawyers handling a class action lawsuit against the Japanese carmaker say they have found documents showing Toyota was investigating at least one report of unintended acceleration as early as 2003. In a filing in federal court in California, the attorneys cite a 2003 field report a Toyota technician wrote in response to a driver's complaint of unintended acceleration.

In the filing, the lawyers say the technician urged immediate action on the part of the carmaker, calling the problem "extremely dangerous" and expressing the fear that it could start happening more frequently in the future.

By 2004, more than 20,000 drivers had complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of sudden acceleration incidents. These cases involved a number of different brands, not just Toyota, and began in the late 1980s.

Terrifying experience

In 2007 ConsumerAffairs.com reported a Washington state consumers' detailed description of an uncontrolled acceleration incident involving her new Toyota Prius.

"As I attempted to merge into heavy traffic," Tina told us, "I accelerated up the on ramp and was attempting to place the car between two vehicles going at a rate of approximately 50 miles per hour. The car lunged forward and would not slow down without repeated pumping of the brakes."

Tina said she left the freeway as soon as she could weave her way through heavy traffic, still unable to disengage the Prius throttle. After turning off the power, she made her way to a Toyota dealer, noting on the way a "foul odor" and a malfunctioning computer display. But the Toyota service department diagnosed the problem with the runaway Prius as nothing more than a carpet jamming the accelerator pedal or driver error.

Floor mats

A month later Toyota and NHTSA agreed that faulty floor mats are the cause of runaway acceleration in the Toyota Prius hybrid as well as several other Toyota vehicles. Toyota then recalled 55,000 floor mats which are used in the 2007/2008 Lexus ES 350 as well as the 2007/2008 Camry.

However, the reports continued for another two years. Last November Toyota said it would replace or reshape accelerator pedals on 3.8 million vehicles in an attempt to deal with an unintended acceleration problem that has resulted in at least one fatal accident. The recall was expanded in January.

Suit Claims Toyota Knew Of Problems In 2003...

Toyota Recalls Avalons To Correct Steering Defect

370,000 older Toyotas affected in latest problem for automaker

Toyota says it is recalling approximately 373,000 2000-2004 Model Year Toyota Avalons sold in the United States because the vehicle's steering lock bar could break under certain conditions.

No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in this recall, the carmaker said.

Toyota says there was improper casting of the steering lock bar, which is a component of the steering interlock system. That defect, it says, creates the possibility that a minute crack may develop on the surface.

Such a crack may expand over a long period of repeated lock and unlock operations, and eventually the lock bar could break. If this occurs, the interlock system may become difficult to unlock when stationary.

Possible lock-up

If the vehicle -- while being driven -- is steered to the right with sufficient lateral acceleration, a broken and loose lock bar may move toward the steering shaft. If the engagement hole in the shaft happens to line up at the specific time the broken lock bar has moved, this could cause the steering wheel lock bar to engage, locking the steering wheel, and increasing the risk of a crash.

The carmaker said it is aware of three accidents because of the steering problem. None of the accidents, it said, caused any injuries.

"Toyota is continuing to work diligently to address safety issues wherever they arise and to strengthen our global quality assurance operations so that Toyota owners can be confident in the safety of their vehicles," said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America.

As part of the recall, Toyota will replace the steering column bracket on involved vehicles, a procedure that takes about two hours to complete depending on the dealer's schedule. Toyota will notify owners by first class mail beginning in late August 2010 to bring their vehicles to their local Toyota dealer for replacement of the steering column bracket at no charge to the customer.

It's the latest in what has been a year of recalls for Toyota. Most recently the carmaker recalled nearly 40,000 Lexus LX 470s for an unrelated steering problem. Since October, Toyota has recalled more than 8 million cars worldwide to address a variety of issues, most notably sudden acceleration.

Toyota Recalls Avalons To Correct Steering Defect...

U.S. Grand Jury Investigating Toyota

Probe focuses on faulty power steering problem from 2005



Japanese carmaker Toyota may have bigger problems than just a string of expensive recalls and a wave of bad PR.

The company disclosed that a U.S. grand jury in New York has subpoenaed company documents related to flaws in vehicle steering systems. It's possible that criminal charges could result.

A Toyota spokesman said the company is cooperating with the grand jury but would not discuss any specifics concerning the investigation.

In September 2005, Toyota announced what, at the time, was its largest ever recall. The carmaker pulled in 978,000 pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles sold in the U.S. because a steering relay rod on the vehicles may fracture, causing a loss of control.

The recall included the 1989-1996 model years and included power-steering equipped 4Runner sport utility vehicles and compact pickups and T-100 pickups. In May, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced it was investigating that recall, suggesting Toyota might have violated rules for informing safety regulators about vehicle problems.

Specifically, NHTSA wanted to know if Toyota reported the steering defect within five days of discovering it, as it is required to do by law. The agency might be a little suspicious, since Toyota has agreed to pay a record $16.4 million fine for not reporting what it knew about its sudden acceleration problems for four months.

In 2004, Toyota conducted a recall in Japan for Hilux trucks with steering relay rods prone to fatiguing, cracking and possibly breaking, causing the vehicle to lose steering control. At that time, Toyota informed NHTSA that the safety defect was isolated to vehicles in Japan and that the company had not received similar field information within the U.S.

In 2005, however, Toyota informed NHTSA that the steering relay rod defect was present in several models sold in the U.S. and conducted a recall.

Pre-2004 complaints

At the end of April NHTSA said it was alerted to a number of complaints filed with Toyota by U.S. consumers prior to the 2004 Hilux recall in Japan. As a result, NHTSA decided to open an investigation into whether Toyota met its legal obligation to conduct a timely recall of vehicles with the defect in the United States.

"Safety is our number one priority and we take our responsibility to protect U.S. consumers seriously," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "With new assurances from Toyota about their efforts to improve safety, I hope for their cooperation in getting to the bottom of what happened."

It's unclear whether the NHTSA investigation, and that of the New York grand jury, are connected. Though the company has never been hauled before a grand jury in the U.S., Toyota has faced a criminal investigation in Japan.

In 2006 three Toyota Motor Corp. executives who were quality-control managers were the focus of a criminal investigation in Japan into whether they downplayed reports of steering problems at the automaker in the mid-1990s. The steering flaw was cited as the possible cause of a serious accident in Japan that eventually led to a recall by Toyota of more than one million vehicles last year.

Five people were injured, one of them seriously, in Kumamoto in August 2004 when the steering of a Toyota Hilux Surf SUV failed and it hit another vehicle. The SUV was built in 1993.

Most recent recall

At the end of May, Toyota was still dealing with the problem, recalling Prius models from the same era to fix a similar power steering defect. The recall applied to the second-generation model of the hybrid car and covered vehicles made between July 2003 and December 2005.

Toyota said the fault was in a steering shaft, which Toyota said could crack if the steering wheel is turned forcefully or if the car is driven onto the curbing while parking.

U.S. Grand Jury Investigating Toyota...

Toyota Blames Drivers In Some Acceleration Cases

Safety investigators still continue their probe, however

By Mark Huffman
ConsumerAffairs.com

July 14, 2010
After reviewing nearly 2,000 cases of sudden, uncontrolled acceleration events reported by drivers of its cars, Toyota says it has found no problem in the vehicle electronics that control the throttle.

In some of the cases, the carmaker said, it has evidence that the driver mistook the accelerator for the brake.

Toyota elaborated on a subject raised Wednesday when The Wall Street Journal reported U.S. safety investigators had reached a similar conclusion.

The newspaper quoted sources within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as saying that, in a few of the reported cases of sudden acceleration, a review of the electronic event recorder showed the car's throttle was wide open while there was no pressure applied to the brakes.

Since the incidents of uncontrolled acceleration began to occur, Toyota attributed many to driver error. When Audi vehicles were investigated two decades ago for similar reasons, safety investigators concluded that drivers, in most case, slammed on the accelerator when they believed they were applying the brakes.

NHTSA

After launching an investigation of reports of sudden acceleration in Toyotas during the early 2000s, NHTSA reported in 2004 that it was unable to find a cause for the problem. The agency said it analyzed many of the cars involved in the mishaps and found nothing abnormal with the throttle controls.

Once again NHTSA pointed to the driver. The agency said sudden surges are sometimes caused by drivers who are unfamiliar with their new vehicles.

The Transportation Department declined to comment on the subject, noting that a NHTSA probe of Toyota's electronics system is still underway and will not be completed for several months. The agency is conducting an investigation to determine if electronics played any role in hundreds of reported incidents.

The reports of uncontrolled acceleration resulted in a massive recall of Toyota and Lexus vehicles in late 2009 and early 2010. Toyota has steadfastly maintained the problem does not lie in the electronics, but rather in the design of the accelerator pedal. The recall removed floor mats and modified the pedals in affected cars and trucks.

Toyota Blames Drivers In Some Acceleration Cases...

Toyota Announces Lexus Recall

Engine valve defect could lead to stalling

After giving a warning last week that it was considering a recall, Toyota today announced it would indeed recall 270,000 luxury Lexus models, including 139,000 sold in the U.S.

The Japanese carmaker said the vehicles' engines are prone to stall while running.

Toyota said it has informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of its intention to file a Defect Information Report (DIR) regarding the Lexus vehicles, powered by 4.6 and 5.0 liter V8 and 3.5 liter V6 engines in certain 2006, 2007 and 2008 GS, IS and LS models in the U.S. The formal report will be filed later this week.

"In the covered vehicles, due to slight variations during the manufacturing process, some foreign material may have contaminated a small number of the valve springs," Toyota said in a statement.

If a vehicle is affected, the company says there is a "remote" possibility that abnormal engine noise or idling may occur. In extremely rare instances, the engine may stop while the vehicle is in operation.

According to Reuters, Toyota received reports of the defect more than three years ago.

Lexus estimates that the likelihood of a customer vehicle experiencing this condition is two-tenths of one percent. Lexus said it has received no reports of accidents or injuries related to this condition. No vehicles from the current 2010 model year nor 2009 are affected.

Lexus said it will send owners of the involved vehicles a recall notification via first class mail. Owners are requested to contact their local Lexus dealer for diagnosis and repair after receiving their notification. The repair will involve replacement of the engine's valve springs at no charge.

The company say owners can continue to drive their vehicles. If symptoms are noticed, such as vibration, rough idling, unusual engine sounds or poor performance, the vehicle should be brought to a Lexus dealer for service.

Certain Lexus vehicles produced among the following models and years are covered:

Model
Model Year
GS 350
2007
2008
GS 450h
2007
2008
GS 460
2008
IS 350
2006
2007
2008
LS 460
2007
2008
LS 460 L
2007
2008
LS 600h L
2008

Not a new problem

While Toyota conceded that it had received complaints of the problem dating back to 2007, it said that it was not until October 2009 that the complaints of "total engine failures" began to spike.

The company said that on July 1, it decided to issue the recall after tracing the problem to the strength of valve springs with a wire diameter of 3.3 mm.

After giving a warning last week that it was considering a recall, Toyota today announced it would indeed recall 270,000 luxury Lexus models, including 139...

Toyota Recalls, Halts Sales of Lexus Hybrid

Latest quality issue for beleaguered carmaker

Toyota is dealing with another recall issue, this time with its luxury nameplate Lexus. The Japanese carmaker said its is recalling 17,000 Lexus HS 250 hybrid models because U.S. government tests show they could leak fuel in a rear-end crash.

Toyota also said it will halt sales of all HS 250 hybrids while it searches for a remedy to the problem.

In April, Toyota temporarily halted sales of its GX 640 hybrid after Consumer Reports labeled the SUV unsafe after it performed poorly during standard emergency handling tests. Sales resumed after Toyota modified the settings in the car's onboard computer.

"We want to assure our customers that their safety and satisfaction are our top priorities," Toyota said in a statement. "We take the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) test results very seriously and appreciate the NHTSA bringing its concerns to our attention."

In a recall notice Friday NHTSA said the defect in the Lexus hybrid could result in a fire during a rear-end collision. In the late 1970s the Ford Pinto had a similar problem, which was blamed on 27 deaths. While the Pinto never recovered from the recall, Toyota says its confident it can fix the problem.

"Our engineers conducted similar testing during the development of the new HS 250h and the vehicle performed safely," the company said. "While we are investigating and vigorously working to understand the different test results, we have stopped delivery of the involved vehicles. As soon as the issue is better understood and/or a remedy is developed, we will contact every owner."

Customers who have any questions or concerns should contact their local Lexus dealer or Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-25LEXUS or 1-800-255-3987, Toyota said.

This is the latest quality setback for the carmaker, which has recalled millions of cars this year to address unintended acceleration and braking issues in some models. Since September, Toyota has recalled more than 10 million vehicles.

Toyota Recalls, Halts Sales of Lexus Hybrid...

2005 Toyota Recall Under Federal Review

Did the carmaker report problem within five days, as required by law?

In September 2005, Toyota announced what, at the time, was its largest ever recall. The carmaker pulled in 978,000 pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles sold in the U.S. because a steering relay rod on the vehicles may fracture, causing a loss of control.

The recall included the 1989-1996 model years and included power-steering equipped 4Runner sport utility vehicles and compact pickups and T-100 pickups.

Now, nearly five years later, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is investigating that recall, suggesting Toyota might have violated rules for informing safety regulators about vehicle problems.

Specifically, NHTSA wants to know if Toyota reported the steering defect within five days of discovering it, as it is required to do by law. The agency might be a little suspicious, since Toyota has agreed to pay a record $16.4 million fine for not reporting what it knew about its sudden acceleration problems for four months.

In 2004, Toyota conducted a recall in Japan for Hilux trucks with steering relay rods prone to fatiguing, cracking and possibly breaking, causing the vehicle to lose steering control. At that time, Toyota informed NHTSA that the safety defect was isolated to vehicles in Japan and that the company had not received similar field information within the U.S.

In 2005, however, Toyota informed NHTSA that the steering relay rod defect was present in several models sold in the U.S. and conducted a recall.

Pre-2004 complaints

Late last week, NHTSA said it was alerted to a number of complaints filed with Toyota by U.S. consumers prior to the 2004 Hilux recall in Japan. As a result, NHTSA has decided to open an investigation into whether Toyota met its legal obligation to conduct a timely recall of vehicles with the defect in the United States.

"Safety is our number one priority and we take our responsibility to protect U.S. consumers seriously," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "With new assurances from Toyota about their efforts to improve safety, I hope for their cooperation in getting to the bottom of what happened."

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said, "NHTSA has taken swift action since first receiving copies of these complaints on Friday. Our team is now working to obtain documents and information from Toyota to find out whether the manufacturer notified NHTSA within five business days of discovering a safety defect in U.S. vehicles."

2005 Toyota Recall Under Federal Review...

Toyota Recalling Older Sequoia SUVs

Recall affects early production units of 2003 model

Toyota, which has already recalled the Lexus GX 460 SUVs sold in the U.S. to fix a stability-control issue, is now recalling 50,000 2003 Toyota Sequoias to address a stability issue.

The recall comes a couple of weeks after the Lexus recall, but nearly a year and a half after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened a probe, in response to 50 complaints about unexpected braking.

Toyota says the VSC system can help control a loss of traction in turns as a result of front or rear tire slippage during cornering. In vehicles without the upgrade, the VSC system could, in limited situations, activate at low speed for a few seconds after acceleration from a stopped position and, as a result, the vehicle may not accelerate as quickly as the driver expects.

There have been no reported injuries or accidents as a result of this condition, according to Toyota.

Toyota said it instituted a running production change during the 2003 model year and published a Technical Service Bulletin to address this issue when it was first identified in fall 2003. Since that time, Toyota said it has been responding to individual owner concerns by replacing the Skid Control Engine Control Unit (ECU) in Sequoias impacted by this condition. Of the approximately 50,000 vehicles included in this recall, approximately half have already been serviced under warranty.

Investigating complaints

"Toyota is committed to investigating customer complaints more aggressively and to responding quickly to issues we identify in our vehicles," said Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America. "As a result, we are voluntarily launching this recall to ensure that as many 2003 Sequoias as possible are serviced to the full satisfaction of our customers."

Starting in late May, Toyota will begin mailing letters to all 2003 Model-Year Sequoia owners included in this recall, including owners of vehicles that have been previously serviced.

If a customer has previously paid to replace the Skid Control ECU for this specific condition prior to receiving a letter, Toyota says the customer should mail a copy of their repair order, to the following address for reimbursement consideration: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Toyota Customer Experience, WC 10, 19001 South Western Avenue, Torrance, CA 90509.

Toyota Recalling Older Sequoia SUVs...

Toyota Recalls 9,400 2010 Lexus SUVs

Company says it has fix for flaw highlighted byConsumer Reports

Toyota has announced the recall of 9,400 luxury SUVs less than a week after Consumer Reports highlighted what it called a "dangerous flaw" in the vehicle.

Toyota Monday said it would recall the 2010 Lexus GX 460 models sold in the United States to address an electronic throttle issue.

"With the news from Consumer Reports that our 2010 GX 460 did not pass its "Throttle Lift-Off" test, we immediately stopped selling the vehicle and commenced vigorous testing to identify and correct the issue," Toyota said in a statement.

"Today, I'm happy to announce that we have developed a remedy that will be quickly implemented to help address customer concerns," said Mark Templin Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager.

"We will be voluntarily recalling all 2010 GX 460s that have been sold in order to update the Vehicle Stability Control system. We will begin implementing this program in the next two weeks and our dealers will be reaching out to customers shortly to set up appointments to make this modification."

Lexus said it is confident that the update will make the performance of the GX even better for our customers. The company also said it will provide a courtesy vehicle to anyone who has purchased a 2010 GX 460 and has concerns about driving it until the recall work has been completed.

On April 13 Consumer Reports issued a rare "Don't Buy" rating for the 2010 Lexus GX 460, calling the high-end SUV unsafe. Just hours later, Toyota responded by asking dealers to withhold sales of the GX 640. The magazine says the vehicle performed poorly during standard emergency handling tests.

"When pushed to its limits on our track's handling course, the rear of the GX we bought slid out until the vehicle was almost sideways before the electronic stability control system was able to regain control," the publication said on its Web site. "We believe that in real-world driving, that situation could lead to a rollover accident, which could cause serious injury or death. We are not aware, however, of any such reports."

Toyota said customers who have any questions or concerns should contact their local Lexus dealer or Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-25LEXUS or 1-800-255-3987."

Toyota Recalls 9,400 2010 Lexus SUVs...

Toyota Faces Subrogation Action From Insurance Firms

Insurance companies have questions about accidents involving Toyotas

If Toyota didn't have enough problems with frightened consumers, angry lawmakers, class action lawsuits, massive recalls and a potential $16 million fine, they could be answering some tough questions from insurance companies.

Both Allstate and State Farm have confirmed that their companies have begun a "subrogation" process with Toyota, though neither firm would provide much in the way of detail.

A subrogation is the shifting of a financial burden from one party to another. In this case, the auto insurance companies that have paid out millions of dollars over the years for accidents involving Toyotas would try to recover some of that money.

Industry sources say Allstate has notified Toyota that it has claims that it believes may be the result of a product defect. While some sources say the initial review of cases may only extend back a few months, the potential is there for a wider review.

In January Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles to repair a "sticky" accelerator pedal, which it described as the possible source of some sudden acceleration incidents. It has steadfastly insisted the electronics system is not at fault.

Both ConsumerAffairs.com and official sources like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have complaints about sudden acceleration in Toyotas that extend back to at least 2005.

USA Today quotes Mark Bunim, an attorney with Case Closure, a mediation firm, as saying subrogation actions could end up costing Toyota as much as $30 million, and the insurance companies wouldn't be the only ones getting paid. Consumers who paid deductibles involved in those claims could also get refunds.

Claim denied

According to USA Today, State Farm attempted to recover claims in 2007 for an accident involving a 2005 Toyota Camry. NHTSA said it had looked into the sudden acceleration complaint and closed its investigation. State Farm was not reimbursed, the newspaper said.

This is but the latest setback for the Japanese automaker, which holds around 17 percent of the US automotive market. Many of these problems have emerged since February, when Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety told ConsumerAffairs.com that the carmaker could bounce back, but only on one condition.

"For the next year they have to bat 1,000," he said. "If they make a mistake they have to correct it almost overnight."

Toyota has attempted to get the healing process started with a number of financial incentives to bring customers back into the showrooms. While it's worked so far, a protracted battle with insurance companies - who could increase consumers' rates on policies insuring Toyotas - could put the strategy to the test.

Toyota Faces Subrogation Action From Insurance Firms...

More Than 100 Toyota Cases Consolidated

Ruling hints that personal injury cases will be included

More than 100 federal lawsuits against Toyota have been consolidated and will be heard in the Central District of California, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has decided. The panel, which decides whether to combine suits sharing at least one common factual issue, handed down the decision on Friday.

The factual thread running through all of the subject cases is the sudden acceleration fiasco that has plagued Toyota vehicles of varying years and models and ruined the company's once-sterling reputation for quality and safety.

The order, authored by panel chairman Judge John G. Heyburn II of Kentucky, consolidated over 100 cases alleging economic injury. The panel noted that the move would eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.

The JPML also said it was persuaded that the centralized proceedings should eventually include the related personal injury and wrongful death actions. Personal injury cases are generally less likely to be consolidated, since each involves a unique set of circumstances, but the JPML noted that discovery in all the cases will certainly overlap.

The consolidation does not include cases filed in state court, which will have to be heard individually.

The suits will be heard by Judge James V. Selna, whose courtroom is located in Orange County. The JPML praised Selna, appointed in 2003 by President George W. Bush, as a well regarded and skilled jurist. The panel noted that Selna -- who spent 28 years handling complex litigation at the high-powered firm of O'Melveny & Myers before ascending to the bench -- is well prepared for a case of this magnitude.

The decision is arguably good news for all involved. Because all of the subject cases are being heard in a single proceeding, Toyota will only have to produce discovery and witnesses once, saving the company considerable time and money.

The location is also ideal for Toyota, which is headquartered in Torrance, in nearby Los Angeles County. And Orange County, one of the few politically conservative areas of Southern California, is likely to provide Toyota with a relatively friendly jury pool. Martha Voss, a Toyota spokesperson, said in a statement that the company is pleased with the decision and the location.

While the decision is more of a mixed bag for the plaintiffs, it means that a team of high-caliber lawyers will eventually be appointed as lead counsel for the class. Long before Friday's ruling, attorneys began jockeying for an advantage in the battle for that coveted spot, which promises a hefty payout and a high profile in an already closely-followed case.

The normally obscure panel took an aw-shucks attitude toward the spotlight that the cases have shone on its work. Though these cases have attracted an unusual amount of publicity to the panel's work, in all relevant aspects, the issues here are neither dramatically different nor more complex than those we regularly resolve, the ruling said.

NHTSA fine

Besides the civil lawsuits, Toyota faces a potential fine of $16 million. That's the amount being sought by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Specifically, the Japanese carmaker was cited for failing to notify the auto safety agency of the dangerous "sticky pedal" defect for at least four months, despite knowing of the potential risk to consumers.

Approximately 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. were recalled in late January for the sticky pedal defect. The penalty being sought against Toyota would be the largest civil penalty ever assessed against an auto manufacturer by NHTSA.

Auto manufacturers are legally obligated to notify NHTSA within five business days if they determine that a safety defect exists. NHTSA learned through documents obtained from Toyota that the company knew of the sticky pedal defect since at least September 29, 2009.

That day, Toyota issued repair procedures to their distributors in 31 European countries and Canada to address complaints of sticky accelerator pedals, sudden increases in engine RPM, and sudden vehicle acceleration. The documents also show that Toyota was aware that consumers in the United States were experiencing the same problems.

"We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations," said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families. For those reasons, we are seeking the maximum penalty possible under current laws."

Under NHTSA's current authority, the maximum possible civil penalty for related violations is $16.375 million. The penalty announced today relates specifically to the "sticky pedal" defect and NHTSA is still investigating Toyota to determine if there are additional violations that warrant further penalties.

For example, some Toyota drivers who have experienced sudden acceleration have expressed doubt the problem was caused by a sticky accelerator. NHTSA is still investigating whether the problem is linked to Toyota's electronics. Toyota has steadfastly denied the problem is electrical in nature.

"Safety is our top priority and we will vigorously pursue companies that put consumers at risk," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "We will continue to hold Toyota accountable for any additional violations we find in our ongoing investigation."

On February 16, NHTSA launched an investigation into the timeliness and scope of the three recent Toyota recalls and required the automaker to turn over documents and explanations related to its adherence to U.S. auto safety laws. NHTSA made a preliminary determination on the fine announced today based on a review of documents Toyota has provided. To date, Toyota has submitted more than 70,000 pages of documents, which NHTSA officials are continuing to review.



More Than 100 Toyota Cases Consolidated...

Toyota Faces Class Action Demanding Full Refunds

Suit ups ante from smaller-scale actions filed earlier

In the less than three months since Toyotas reputation for safety imploded, the company has been hit with dozens of class action lawsuits and personal injury suits from angry owners.

But on Monday, a group of consumers took litigation against the carmaker to a new level, demanding a full refund in separate cases filed in Washington state and Arizona.

When we talked with Toyota owners, they all voiced the same desire -- to drive the car back to the lot, hand them the keys and pick up a check, said Steve Berman, the lawyer handling the cases. Fortunately, we think the law allows for exactly that solution, and we are asking the courts to make it happen.

Many of the class actions filed so far have focused on the recalls devastating effect on resale values -- affected Toyotas have lost between six and 15 percent of their total value since the recall was announced in January. That plunge stands in contrast to values for other brands of used cars, which have actually increased in value. A number of suits against Toyota are demanding a cash payment equal to the amount of the decline.

Berman, of Seattle-based Hagens Berman Sobol Shaprio, takes issue with that relatively small-bore approach.

I don't know of any parent who would be willing to put their kids in a potentially unsafe car in exchange for a few hundred bucks, he said.

A statement by Hagens Berman reiterates that stance, asserting that Toyota produced vehicles so profoundly flawed with safety defects, and completely botched the recall process, that the only remedy is for owners to return the cars to Toyota.

The suits are being brought on behalf of all residents of Washington state and Arizona who own a recalled Toyota. The firm said it expects to eventually file additional cases in other states across the country.

Plaintiffs seek revocation

The plaintiffs seek to revoke their acceptance of the sales contract, and contend that Toyota breached its express warranty because the vehicles sold to Class Members were not fully operational, safe, or reliable. The class also asserts that Toyota exacerbated the breach by failing to provide safe automobiles after the problems were acknowledged.

Both suits allege breach of express warranty, breach of the implied warranty of merchantability, unjust enrichment, and violations of the warranty-governing Magnuson Moss Act. In addition to a full refund, the plaintiffs are seeking consequential damages, including the costs associated with purchasing safer vehicles, and an injunction prohibiting the sale of cars with a propensity for sudden acceleration. In the event that the full refund is not granted, the class is seeking damages equal to the diminution in value as a result of the defects.

The suits, if approved, would have a devastating economic effect on an already-battered Toyota. The decreased-value suits alone could put the carmaker on the hook for at least $3 billion. A San Diego court will decide next week whether to consolidate over 100 separate Toyota class-actions into a single case.



Toyota Faces Class Action Demanding Full Refunds...

Toyota Denies Prius Recall is in The Works

Denial comes day after out-of-control Prius incident on San Diego Freeway

Toyota has issued a statement denying media reports that it plans a new recall of the 2004-2009 Prius to address the potential risk for floor mat entrapment of accelerator pedals.

"There is no new recall being planned for the Prius to address this issue," the company said in a statement Tuesday.

The report first appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

The company said the 2004-2009 Prius was part of Toyota's November 2, 2009 announcement of a voluntary safety recall campaign to address floor mat entrapment in certain Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Other models involved in this previously-announced recall include 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2007-2010 ES 350, 2006-2010 IS 250, and 2006-2010 IS 350. On January 27, 2010, Toyota expanded the campaign to include the 2008-2010 Highlander, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Venza, 2009-2010 Matrix and 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe.

The remedy process for these vehicles began at the end of 2009 and is occurring on a rolling schedule during 2010, Toyota said. Owners of the involved vehicles that have not yet been remedied are asked to take out any removable driver's side floor mat and not replace it with any other floor mat.

Not the mat

But the driver of that 2008 Prius involved Monday in the highly publicized runaway car incident on the San Diego Freeway says the floor mat had nothing to do with the uncontrolled acceleration in his car.

James Sikes' Prius took him on a terrifying 30 minute ride when he accelerated to pass a car and the car kept gaining speed, even though he pressed on the brakes. Sikes said he immediately looked down to see if the pedal was caught on the floor mat and said it was not.

Sikes eventually stopped his car with the assistance of a California Highway Patrol Officer, who pulled alongside and used his PA system to instruct Sikes to hit the brakes and pull on the emergency brake at the same time. With the car slowed to about 50 miles per hour, the frightened driver was able to turn off the ignition, allowing the car to roll to a stop.

While Sikes' wild ride was international news this week, another out of control Prius, with circumstances almost identical to Sikes' incident, received almost no coverage other than by ConsumerAffairs.com, when it occurred in 2005.

Similar incident

In October of that year, Herbert, of Battle Creek, Mich., was traveling down the highway in his Prius with the cruise control active at 55 miles per hour.

He said he found it necessary to speed up while passing a slower vehicle on the highway. That is when the problem with the Prius began.

"I let off the accelerator and pressed the brakes several times, but the vehicle continued to accelerate under full power," Herbert said. "I tried to slow the vehicle by pushing the power button, manipulating the cruise control lever, and putting the vehicle in neutral. All attempts were unsuccessful."

Herbert found himself barreling down the road with the cruise control stuck wide open, running approximately 20 miles over the posted speed limit, all the while continuing to accelerate.

Still searching for someway to slow his runaway hybrid, Herbert "elected to apply full braking force to the Prius while 'laboring' the vehicle to a standstill on the gravel shoulder of the road."

Once he had regained his composure, Herbert pushed the main power button, and the vehicle shut down. "The cabin of the Prius exhibited a strong odor reminiscent of an electrical motor smell," Herbert said.

Little interest in 2007

It is worth noting that ConsumerAffairs.com reported in 2007 that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was "aware of" complaints of runaway acceleration in the popular Toyota Prius hybrid and at the time, said they were in a "monitoring mode."

"It is currently like dozens, or maybe hundreds, of other issues of this kind," an agency official said at the time.

The Toyota Product Communications office did not responded to several 2007 requests from ConsumerAffairs.com to discuss the issue of unintended acceleration in the Prius.

To date, Toyota has recalled some 6 million cars in the United State because of acceleration and braking problems. Safety Regulators have linked 52 deaths to crashes possibly caused by uncontrolled acceleration.



Toyota Denies Prius Recall is in The Works...

Consumers Describe Sudden Acceleration Experiences

Could eyewitness accounts help lead to a cause?

Toyota, the U.S. Government, and a host of private engineering firms are hard at work trying to pinpoint the cause of the reported cases of sudden acceleration that have resulted in the recall of millions of cars.

One step might be to listen to the Toyota owners who have actually experienced the problem. In recent days ConsumerAffairs.com has received an increasing number of these stories, some from consumers who experienced the incidents years ago but are only now coming forward.

Do they shed light on the problem? That's for an automotive engineer to decide. But some of the descriptions of the incidents are highly detailed and could be relevant.

"We have a 1995 Previa. In 2007, at about 93000 miles, it would accelerate on its own inside the city and on the freeway," S.J., of Michigan, told ConsumerAffairs.com this week. "It was very scary. We used to call it the rogue vehicle with a mind of its own."

S.J took the car to a dealer who replaced one of the car's two oxygen sensors. The sudden acceleration problem stopped.

"We have not had unintended acceleration for three years, S.J. said."

Oxygen sensor?

This week, thinking her Previa's problem might shed light on Toyota's current problem, she called her dealer and reminded him on the oxygen sensor fix.

"He said the problem they are discussing is different- we were not even on same page," she said.

And it should be noted that the Previa is not among the recalled Toyota models, though S.J. insists uncontrolled acceleration was a problem in her vehicle until the oxygen sensor was replaced.

Minneh of Arlington, Va., experienced a sudden acceleration incident Sunday in her 2006 Prius, so the facts are still fresh in her mind.

"I was doing a three point turn," she told ConsumerAffairs.com. "I went halfway into the parking spot, reversed to get a better angle and then engaged drive to go forward. The accelerator pedal just went loose, as if a spring had disengaged. There was no tension at all and the accelerator pedal just fell all the way down to the floor. The car lurched forward and accelerated."

Pressing the brake as hard as she could, Minneh said the car came to a stop and missed hitting the car in the next parking spot by inches. Nancy of Norlina, N.C.

Jean of Charlottesville, Va., reports similar behavior from the accelerator in her 2002 Toyota Camry.

On September 9, 2004, as I was approaching a busy intersection, as I started across 11 lanes of traffic at a green light, the accelerator left my foot and stuck to the floor," Jean said. "The brakes did not respond, and I could not downshift or use the emergency brake. It was necessary to go around traffic in the same direction by going up onto the curb. Because nursing homes were situated on both sides of the street with a senior center on the next corner, I could not risk losing power steering by turning off the ignition. I was unable to avoid shearing off a fire hydrant, a street sign, and two small trees by the time I decided to aim for a landscaped embankment at the end of one nursing home, hoping the elevation would stop the car when I turned off the ignition at impact."

Jean said she received only minor injuries and no one else was hurt, though the car caused considerable damage before crashing. Though the incident occurred five and a half years ago, she retains the memory of it in vivid detail.

15 seconds of terror

"The entire incident from the pedal's leaving my foot to impact probably took no more than 15 seconds, if that, Jean told ConsumerAffairs.com. "Toyota of North America did not respond to my letter and no local attorney would pursue the case; all I asked was replacement of my 2-year-old car with one OTHER than a Toyota, which I will never again trust."

Three other consumers mentioned their cars' cruise control when describing incidents of sudden acceleration.

"When placing my car into "cruise control" my car would accelerate until I would press on the brake out of fear to stop it," said Julie, of Worcester, Mass. "The acceleration reached speeds of 90 mph before I stopped it for the first time."

She said the same problem occurred three or four times after that. Carol of Colorado Springs, Colo., reports a similar problem.

"I purchased a 2001 Toyota Solara. The cruise control accelerates the vehicle when used. I've been unable to use that feature," she said.

Hamid of Nagasaki City, Japan, said cruise control played a role in stopping his car's sudden acceleration.

"I experienced unintended acceleration while driving on the Highway in my 2005 Toyota Prius whilst under cruise control on May 3, 2009," Hamid told ConsumerAffairs.com. "Breaking failed to slow down the vehicle as did initial cancellation of cruise control. I tried to decrease speed with cruise control stick by holding down. Switching off cruise control button and on again followed by repeated cancellation eventually worked."

In nearly every case, the consumers reporting the above incidents were driving older Toyotas not included in the current recall. But all insist they had the problem and no one at the time would listen.

But people are listening now, and it could be that the eyewitness testimony of people behind the wheel will prove useful in tracking down the source of the runaway cars.



Consumers Describe Sudden Acceleration Experiences...

Consumers Say Sudden Acceleration Problems Nothing New

Toyota, Ford, Chrysler all figure in consumer complaints of unintended acceleration

To read the headlines, one would think the problem with cars suddenly accelerating on their own is a problem recently discovered in late model Toyotas. But reports of these occurrences have been around for years, and involved many cars other than Toyotas.

"I got into my car and turned on the ignition. I put the car in reverse. The car rocketed backward into a telephone pole," Terri Moore, of Seattle, reported to ConsumerAffairs.com back in 2005.

And it should be noted that Terri was not driving a Toyota, but a Saturn Vue. At the time, we reported that more than 20,000 consumers had complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of sudden acceleration since the late 1980s, when more and more vehicles were being outfitted with electronic-based controls.

In the incident described above, Moore said she put the car in drive and tried to inch away from the telephone pole she had hit, only to have the car rocket forward. NHTSA investigated many of the incidents like Moore's and concluded it was the drivers' fault. Drivers mistakenly stomp on gas pedals instead of the brakes, the agency ruled at the time.

Sorry, can't recreate the problem

"The research I have done indicates the NHTSA cannot recreate the problem," Moore said. "So NHTSA has concluded there is no problem. In the meanwhile, people are getting injured and killed."

After launching an investigation of reports of sudden acceleration in Toyotas during the early 2000s, NHTSA reported in 2004 that it was unable to find a cause for the problem. The agency said it analyzed many of the cars involved in the mishaps and found nothing abnormal with the throttle controls.

Interestingly, the 30 Toyota incidents NHTSA investigated for its 2004 involved Toyota Camry and Lexus ES models, which are among those now being recalled. Once again NHTSA pointed to the driver. The agency said sudden surges are sometimes caused by drivers who are unfamiliar with their new vehicles.

Also in 2005 Ross, of West Hollywood, reported a similar problem with his 2001 Ford Expedition, and said he got a similar shrug from the dealer.

'Jumps like a bull'

"The car, when stopped at an intersection or stoplight, will without warning, feed an unprecedented amount of gas to the engine ... The car jumps forward like a bull waiting to get out of the gates. I have my foot on the brake when this happens so I know I am not stepping on the gas. Even with my foot on the brake, the power of the engine dominates the brakes and the car jumps forward anywhere from 1 to 10 feet," Ross said.

"The fourth time it happened was severe and the car almost hit a much smaller car in front of me. If I hit them, they could have hit the pedestrians in front of them. I had a passenger and after this occurred he insisted on getting out of the car and would not ride with me again in that car," he said.

Ross said the dealer could find nothing wrong.

"They do not seem concerned that they are forcing a dangerous car back on the road. They only seemed concerned with their payment and giving me back the car," he said.

In 2008 more than 400 consumers complained to NHTSA about unintended and sudden acceleration in the Tacoma pickup. Reports to the agency documented 51 crashes and 12 injuries.

Picking on Toyota?

Nevertheless, Toyota complained in a letter to the agency that the Tacoma is the focus of hostile media coverage as well as consumers exaggerating their problems.

"Toyota believes that it is likely that many of the consumer complaints about the general issue of unwanted acceleration as well as many of the complaints about this subject that have been received by Toyota were inspired by publicity," the automaker wrote NHTSA in the 2008 letter.

Toyota suggested in the letter to safety regulators that consumers are overstating the unintended acceleration problem with the Tacoma, which the automaker described as minor engine speed changes. But a ConsumerAffairs.com reader and Toyota Tacoma owner in Weaver, Alabama reported a different story. "It was jumping forward toward my house at every engine turn. I pushed in the clutch and took out the key," he said.

Acceleration is controlled in the Tacoma by a drive-by-wire system with a computer replacing the traditional linkage between the accelerator pedal and the engine throttle-body which injects the fuel required for acceleration.

Toyota claimed the Tacoma computer can capture an error report if accelerator pedal and throttle are not working properly and the automaker said no error codes have turned up in vehicles inspected by Toyota technicians.

Prius problems

Toyota's popular hybrid, the Prius, has also been the source of numerous sudden acceleration complaints since the mid 2000s. In 2006 ConsumerAffairs.com reported the case of a Prius lunging out of control on a Michigan highway. At the time, the incident was the second known incident involving uncontrolled acceleration in the Prius. The driver of the 2005 Prius, Herbert of Battle Creek, Michigan, reported speeding up while passing a slower vehicle on the highway. The problem began after he passed the slower car and tried to slow down.

"I let off the accelerator and pressed the brakes several times, but the vehicle continued to accelerate under full power," Herbert said at the time.

Toyota recalled the Prius hybrids to examine the software and reported no anomalies. Yet, the reports from drivers continued to arrive at ConsumerAffairs.com. And two years later, the Office of Defect Investigation, a division of NHTSA, investigated a similar uncontrolled acceleration report in the 2008 Toyota Sienna.

"The Complainant reported that he applied the accelerator pedal to accelerate the vehicle and experienced unwanted acceleration upon release," ODI reported on its Web site.

Not just Toyota

While Toyotas have figured prominently in reports of sudden acceleration over the years, other models have also been affected.

"My wife pulled our 2004 V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee, into the day care to pick up our toddler and put the gear in park after coming to a stop," Vasanthi, of San Jose, Calif., wrote in March 2009. "The Jeep suddenly accelerated and shot forward, with her foot tightly on the brake, and went over a concrete block, through a fence and into the yard on the other side."

ConsumerAffairs.com has received sudden acceleration complaints over the years from a wide range of makes, including Kia, Jaguar, BMW and Ford. In fact, a December 2009 analysis of NHTSA complaints by Consumer Reports found Ford produced the second largest number of sudden acceleration reports after Toyota.



Consumers Say Sudden Acceleration Problems Nothing New...

Some Repaired Toyotas Still Suddenly Accelerating

NHTSA following up with owners of recalled Toyotas

Have Toyota's record recalls solved its sudden acceleration problem? Maybe not.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is contacting Toyota owners who have taken their cars to dealers to undergo the prescribed repair and so far, 10 consumers have reported the fix hasn't ended the problem.

NHTSA made it clear the reports have not been verified but said the agency would follow up. It also said it would continue to communicate with owners of affected Toyotas.

"If Toyota owners are still experiencing sudden acceleration incidents after taking their cars to the dealership, we want to know about it," said NHTSA administrator David Strickland.

Toyota's answer to the sudden acceleration problem in a number of its most popular models has been to modify the accelerator pedal, whose design, it determined, could cause it to stick. In the U.S., Toyota has recalled more than six million vehicles and, to date, says it has made the repair to more than one million.

Denies electronic cause

Originally the company blamed the problem on floor mats, which it said could slide up and depress the accelerator pedal. The company has adamantly insisted the problem is not caused by the electrical system, but suspicion from drivers and government officials alike has leaned in that direction.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced last month that NHTSA engineers were investigating the cars' electronics as a possible source of the problem.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that several of the new complaints involved Camry Sedans. The paper said the owner of a 2009 Camry reported a sudden acceleration problem two days after the repair. A 2010 Camry owner reported the problem five days after the repair.

If more repaired Toyotas experience verified cases of sudden acceleration, the pressure will build on both the carmaker and government safety regulators to find the cause. NHTSA is already at work.

Test car

The agency announced that it has purchased the Toyota-made Lexus ES350 formerly owned by Rhonda and Eddie Smith, who testified before Congress last month about an unintended acceleration event that Rhonda Smith reported she experienced while driving the car in 2006.

The car was sold with 3,000 miles on it several years ago, and NHTSA has now acquired it with approximately 30,000 miles on the odometer. The Smiths' former car has been taken to NHTSA's Vehicle Research & Test Center in East Liberty, Ohio, where it is now being studied.

"Safety is our top priority," said LaHood. "NHTSA will thoroughly examine the Smiths' car as we work to get to the bottom of possible causes for sudden acceleration."

Toyota owners have complained to ConsumerAffairs.com about sudden acceleration for years, including in older models not covered in the current recall. The complaints continued this week.

"I have a 2004 Toyota 4-Runner. I have been watching and so far it is not on any recall list," Doreen, of Ellensburg, Wash., told ConsumerAffairs.com Wednesday. "My husband usually drives the car, but I myself know of three times that the accelerator has stuck even while hitting the brakes. I feel the car needs to be recalled."

Tip of the iceberg?

Is it possible that, not only have investigators not found the source of the problem, but the Toyota recall is just the tip of a safety iceberg. Consider this.

In December an analysis of NHTSA's complaint database showed that, of all the reports of sudden acceleration, 40 percent involved Toyota of Lexus models. While that's a lot, it means that 60 percent of the sudden acceleration complaints were about cars made by manufacturers other than Toyota.



Some Repaired Toyotas Still Suddenly Accelerating...

Experts: Toyota Faces Challenge Winning Back Consumer Confidence

Company's handling of problems faulted; did it grow too fast?

So, where does Toyota go from here? How does the automaker gain back the confidence of its customers? In fact, can the company put things right?

It can, according to Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety, but it won't be easy.

"For the next year they have to bat 1,000," he told ConsumerAffairs.com. "If they make a mistake they have to correct it almost overnight."

Analyst Jessica Caldwell at the automotive Web site Edmunds.com agrees that Toyota can bounce back, but says, "It's going to take some time."

Toyota attempted to get the healing process started during the past week.

Appearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motor Sales, USA, confessed that the automaker has not "lived up to the high standards our customers and the public have come to expect." Lentz said he is "confident that no problems exist with the electronic throttle control" relating to the unintended acceleration problem, but noted that the investigation continues.

Lentz apologized for what he called the company's "mistakes," adding that the company "must think differently when investigating complaints and communicate faster, better and more effectively with our customers and our regulators."

At the same hearing, Rhonda Smith of Sevierville, TN, told of a harrowing experience she had while driving her new Lexus 350 ES on October 12, 2006.

Smith told the panel she "lost all control of the acceleration of the vehicle" and that the car eventually reached a speed of 100 mph. She says she had the emergency brake on "while frantically shifting between all the gears (besides park) but mainly had it in reverse." After about three miles had passed, Smith adds, "I thought it was my time to die."

After traveling six miles, Smith says, the car began to slow -- by itself -- and by the time it reached 33 mph, she was able to turn the engine off.

The vehicle was towed to the dealership in Kingsport, TN, which said it would thoroughly check the problem. After several weeks, Smith says, "we were advised they could find nothing wrong with the car."

The mea culpas from the automaker continued a day later when Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that he takes "full responsibility" for the uncertainty about the safety of Toyota's vehicles that consumers are feeling.

In his prepared testimony, Toyoda said part of the problem is due to the fact that the company "pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization," -- in other words, the company grew too fast. He expressed regret "that this has resulted in the safety issues described in the recalls we face today," adding "I am deeply sorry for any accidents that Toyota drivers have experienced."

Ditlow says one way Toyota can help restore confidence is to meet its problems head on. "Every time they get a complaint of unintended acceleration, they need to have a team of engineers available to examine it, produce a written report, give it to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), give it to the consumer."

According to Ditlow, the way Toyota handled - or failed to handle - the problem "did more damage" to the company's image than the problem itself. "No one expects a perfect vehicle," Ditlow concluded. "What you do expect is that when there is a problem, it will be fixed."

Edmunds.com's Caldwell tells ConsumerAffairs.com that Toyota can learn from its mistakes. "When you don't answer questions or have a press conference, people are left to their own devices and will make the story for Toyota."

She says if the company had taken a "firmer, more aggressive stance in the beginning, there wouldn't be just a complete witch hunt out there."

Experts: Toyota Faces Challenge Winning Back Consumer Confidence ...

Toyota Bragged About Limiting 2007 Recall

Document cites savings to company in recalling only floor mats

Toyota may have some explaining to do. In an internal document obtained by Congressional investigators, company executives noted they had saved $100 million by persuading U.S. regulators that a sudden acceleration problem with 2007 Camry and Lexus models was caused by floor mats.

Citing it as a "win" for the company, the document said Toyota had been successful in negotiating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall the floor mats rather than finding a defect in the cars that required a repair.

Toyota ultimately suspended US sales of eight of its models and recalled millions of vehicles to address the sudden acceleration problem.

In September 2007 Toyota announced a recall of 55,000 floor mats which were used in the 2007/2008 Lexus ES 350 as well as the 2007/2008 Camry. At the same time, NHTSA strongly urged owners to "make sure the driver-side, all weather floor mat is properly secured before driving the vehicles."

At the time, NHTSA and Toyota noted that, if unsecured, the mats could slip forward and trap the accelerator pedal, causing the vehicle to accelerate uncontrollably. Though the recall was limited to the Camry and Lexus, ConsumerAffairs.com had logged many complaints from Toyota Prius drivers about the sudden acceleration problem. And at the time, not all were buying Toyota and NHTSA's solution.

The Rub

"Here is the rub," one California reader told us in 2007. "If it truly were the mat catching the accelerator, why did turning the car off solve the problem? There is nothing with the power button that would do this. And yet each time when I restarted the Prius it was fine. If the accelerator were caught under the mat once the car was turned off the problem did not persist," she wrote.

Fast-forward two years and Toyota recalls more floor mats to deal with the same problem. In September 2009 Toyota announced a recall of 3.8 million Lexus and Toyota cars, again blaming the sliding floor mats. At the time, owners of the affected models were asked to remove the floor mats until they could be replaced with a safer version.

Then, just over a month later, NHTSA took the unusual step of correcting what it called "misleading" information from Toyota. In an early November 2009 statement, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was correcting what it called "inaccurate and misleading" information in a Toyota press release, concerning its recent recall of 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus models.

The release in question stated that NHTSA had reached a conclusion "that no defect exists in vehicles in which the driver's floor mat is compatible with the vehicle and properly secured." Not so, the agency said.

Must Address Design Flaw

"NHTSA has told Toyota and consumers that removing the recalled floor mats is the most immediate way to address the safety risk and avoid the possibility of the accelerator becoming stuck. But it is simply an interim measure," NHTSA said in a November 4 statement. "This remedy does not correct the underlying defect in the vehicles involving the potential for entrapment of the accelerator by floor mats, which is related to accelerator and floor pan design."

In other words, NHTSA said Toyota couldn't resolve the problem simply by removing the floor mats. They must address what safety researchers by then saw as a design flaw. Not long afterward, the carmaker capitulated, beginning what has turned into a financial and public relations nightmare.

Congress, meanwhile, wants to know what Toyota knew and when it knew it. The document citing the savings in limiting the 2007 recall to floor mats may take center stage as the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform holds hearings on the subject. The Obama Administration is also looking closely.

"Unfortunately, this document is very telling," Olivia Alair, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Department, said. "We're going to hold Toyota's feet to the fire and make sure they do what's necessary."



Toyota Bragged About Limiting 2007 Recall...

Toyota Recalls Impact Online Car Shopping

Toyota's loss is Ford &, Chevrolet's gain

From the start, auto industry experts predicted Toyota's high-profile problems would benefit the carmaker's competitors. Early evidence tends to confirm that.

CarGurus.com is among the first to issue a study of Toyota's recalls on car shopping. It concludes there has been a noticeable shift away from Toyota and toward Ford and Chevrolet models.

That confirms findings by Kelley Blue Book, which said that purchase consideration of Toyota fell 20 percent after the recent recalls, droping it from first place to third behind Chevrolet and Ford.

For its study, CarGurus measured the change in online search volume within its car shopping product for specific recalled Toyota models. Search volumes were measured 10 days prior to and 10 days after Toyota's January 26th product recall announcement.

After the recall announcement, Toyota's share of shopping search volume at CarGurus dropped between six and 16 percent depending on the car model. For the top four best-selling Toyota models recalled, comparable models from Ford and Chevrolet garnered the greatest increase in search volume share.

Corolla's loss, Cobalt's gain

During the ten days after the recall, search market share for the Toyota Corolla, the fifth best-selling car in the United States, dropped 13 percent compared to the ten days prior to the recall announcement. During this same period, the leading search share gainers for competitive products to the Corolla were the Chevrolet Cobalt, up 11 percent, and the Ford Focus, with a nine percent gain.

Toyota's other top seller, the Camry, the third best-selling car in the United States, saw a similar shift in consumer consideration during this period. During the 10 days after the recall announcement, the Camry's share of search volume dropped 8 percent.

During this same period, however, search market share increased 15 percent for the Ford Fusion and eight percent for the Chevrolet Impala.

"Industry experts have already noted that Toyota's problems could impact other carmakers," said Langley Steinert, Founder/CEO of CarGurus. "What is surprising, however, is how much Ford and Chevrolet in particular appear to have benefited from Toyota's troubles. These two domestic manufacturers could leverage this opportunity to take significant market share from Toyota."

But Toyota is mounting a counterattack but how effective it will be remains to be seen.



Toyota Recalls Impact Online Car Shopping...

Feds Investigate Toyota Prius Brakes

Focus shifts to electrical systems

Toyota, already reeling from several massive recalls, has a new problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says it has opened a formal investigation of the 2010 Toyota Prius. The goal is to learn whether the 37,000 vehicles suffer momentary loss of braking when traveling on bumpy surfaces.

NHTSA said it has received 124 consumer complaints about the problem, four of them involving crashes and two of those involving minor injuries.

A Toyota spokesman said the company would "cooperate fully" with the investigation.

Toyota's problems began to accelerate Wednesday as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood advised owners of recalled Toyotas to "stop driving them" until a dealer could inspect them and said U.S. safety investigators are continuing their probe.

Although LaHood quickly retracted his comments, the Japanese government also told the automaker to investigate reports of brake failure on some Prius models. The Japanese Transportation Ministry cited 14 reports of brake failure in the latest generation of the hybrid since it went on sale in May 2009.

An examination of complaints to ConsumerAffairs.com also reveals instances of reported brake failure. Gary, of Trumansburg, N.Y., said he had an accident in his 2009 Prius on November 13, 2009 in which his car was totaled. From the start, he said, he suspected brake failure.

"I was in a situation where I had to stop very quickly and braked as hard as I could," he told ConsumerAffairs.com. The car slowed to a point then seemed to 'plateau' until my car struck a truck.

Gary said he never heard or felt the "ABS sound" or vibration, and had always suspected something was not right with the brakes. Because of the accident, he says he incurred a $2,200 debt to Toyota, from whom he leased the car.

In early January Virginia of Ottawa, Ontario told ConsumerAffairs.com that her 2005 Prius has always had a brake problem.

Bump in the road

"The brakes momentarily fail if the car hits a fair size pothole or bump while braking, and like other posters it took many occurrences of this to convince me it was the car's problem, not my braking," she wrote.

Linda of Johnson City, Tenn., wrote last November that her 2007 Prius had exhibited strange behavior, with the brakes sometimes not engaging immediately after applying pressure to the pedal.

Paul of Sedona Ariz., reported last April that he had been in three accidents, or near accidents in his 2009 Prius due to a combination of mysterious acceleration and loss of brakes.

"The first incident, a near accident, occurred when the car in front of me stopped," Paul told ConsumerAffairs.com. "I was driving slowly but my car suddenly seemed to accelerate on its own and my brakes failed. How I stopped my car I will never know."

The second incident was occurred in his garage, he says, when the car sped up and did not repond to the brakes.

The third incident occurred in a parking lot, he said. While driving slow and looking for a place to park, the brakes did not hold and the result was the car hit a parked car.

Toyota has not issued a recall of the Prius to check the brakes, but the New York Times quotes a Toyota spokeswoman as saying a brake defect could not be ruled out.

NHTSA's brake check

U.S. safety investigators are also probing reports of Prius brake problems. Wednesday the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a statement saying it had begun an investigation.

"NHTSA has received a number of complaints about a potential defect affecting the brake system in Toyota's Prius hybrid and is conducting field work to examine the issue," the agency said.

Part of that field work may focus on the cars' electrical system. LaHood, who backed off of his comments about not driving Toyotas during Congressional testimony Wednesday, told reporters at an impromptu news conference that the cars' electronics were being scrutinized.

Could braking and acceleration problems in the Prius have an electric connection? Brakes in hybrids do, in fact, have a large electrical component. In addition to standard brakes, which rely on brake pads pressed against drums, hybrids use their electric motors to help slow the car.

"We are looking at the electronics. I can't be specific because we are looking at these complaints to see what they are," LaHood said.

And while LaHood says he never meant to suggest that owners of recalled Toyotas should park them until a dealer can inspect them, lawyers in both the U.S. and UK say that might, in fact, be sound advice.

A leading British traffic and criminal lawyer urged the owners of almost 181,000 vehicles recalled by Toyota in the UK to park them or face being charged with dangerous driving if they were in an accident.

The Prius is Toyota's third best-selling model in the U.S., with only the mid-sized Camry and compact Carolla outselling it.

Feds Investigate Toyota Prius Brakes...

Toyota Announces Accelerator Pedal Fix

Automaker pledges to repair recalled vehicles quickly and conveniently

Toyota says it will begin fixing accelerator pedals in recalled vehicles this week.

The car company says its engineers have developed and "rigorously tested a solution that involves reinforcing the pedal assembly in a manner that eliminates the excess friction that has caused the pedals to stick in rare instances." Toyota says it also has developed an "effective solution" for vehicles in production.

Parts to reinforce the pedals are already being shipped for use by dealers, and dealer training is under way, Toyota said. Many dealers have been scheduled to work extended hours to complete the recall campaign as quickly and conveniently as possible, with some even staying open 24 hours a day. The company has also stopped production of affected vehicles for the week of February 1.

"Nothing is more important to us than the safety and reliability of the vehicles our customers drive," said Jim Lentz, president and Chief Operating Officer, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc. "We deeply regret the concern that our recalls have caused for our customers and we are doing everything we can -- as fast as we can -- to make things right. We know what's causing the sticking accelerator pedals, and we know what we have to do to fix it. We also know it is most important to fix this problem in the cars on the road."

On January 21, Toyota announced its intention to recall approximately 2.3 million select Toyota Division vehicles equipped with a specific pedal assembly and suspended sales of the eight models involved in the recall on January 26.

Toyota vehicles affected by the recall include:

• Certain 2009-2010 RAV4s

• Certain 2009-2010 Corollas

• 2009-2010 Matrixes

• 2005-2010 Avalon

• Certain 2007-2010 Camrys

• Certain 2010 Highlanders

• 2007-2010 Tundra

• 2008-2010 Sequoia

No Lexus Division or Scion vehicles are affected by these actions. Others that are

NOT

affected include Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Highlander hybrids and certain Camry models, including Camry hybrids, all of which remain for sale.

Further, Camry, RAV4, Corolla and Highlander vehicles with Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) that begin with "J" are not affected by the accelerator pedal recall.

In the event that a driver experiences an accelerator pedal that sticks in a partial open throttle position or returns slowly to idle position, Toyota says the vehicle can be controlled with firm and steady application of the brakes. The brakes should not be pumped repeatedly because it could deplete vacuum assist, requiring stronger brake pedal pressure. The vehicle should be driven to the nearest safe location, the engine shut off and a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.

Detailed information and answers to questions about issues related to this recall are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

Proposed fix

Toyota says it has pinpointed the issue that could cause accelerator pedals in recalled vehicles to stick in a partially open position. 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, these surfaces may, over time, begin to stick and release instead of operating smoothly. In some cases, friction could 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.

The automaker calls the solution for current owners "both effective and simple." It says a precision-cut steel reinforcement bar will be installed 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.

The company says it has confirmed the effectiveness of the newly reinforced pedals through rigorous testing on pedal assemblies that had previously shown a tendency to stick.

Separately from the recall for sticking accelerator pedals, Toyota is in the process of recalling vehicles to address rare instances in which floor mats have trapped the accelerator pedal in certain Toyota and Lexus models (announced November 25, 2009), and is already notifying customers about how it will fix this problem. In the case of vehicles covered by both recalls, Toyota says it plans to remedy both at the same time.

Toyota Announces Accelerator Pedal Fix...

Toyota Adds 1.1 Million Vehicles to Accelerator Pedal Recalls

Feds say they pressure Toyota to suspend sales of affected models


It just keeps getting worse for Toyota. The Japanese automaker said it will recall another 1.1 million U.S. models to fix floor mats that may jam accelerator pedals and cause unintended acceleration.

It's an extension of last fall's recall, when Toyota recalled 4.3 million vehicles. Earlier this week, Toyota took the unprecedented step of suspending sales of eight models -- some 2.3 million vehicles -- involved in a separate recall for sticking accelerator pedals announced earlier this month.

The latest announcement involves:

• 2008-10 Highlanders

• 2009-2010 Corollas, Venzas, and Matrixes.

It also covers 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibes made in a joint venture with General Motors Co.

There are two separate problems involving the accelerator pedals -- both potentially causing unintended acceleration and possible loss of control. In the 2.3 million vehicles recalled last week, accelerator pedals may become sluggish and stick in the open position. The other recall involves the possibility that floor mats may jam the accelerator pedals.

Toyota's remedy for the floor mat problem involves modifying or replacing the accelerator pedals and, in some cases, modifying the floor surface to reduce the likelihood of the floor mat jamming the pedal.

The other problem -- sluggish or sticking pedals -- may be a little harder to fix. Toyota has not yet made a definitive statement about how it will address that situation.

Competitors swarm

Toyota's dramatic fall from grace creates an opportunity that its competitors are not shy about exploiting. General Motors announced that it offer a rebate of up to $1,000 or free financing to Toyota owners who buy a GM car or truck.

Industry analysts expect Honda and Hyundai to make big sales gains, both in the U.S. and in global markets, while Toyota lies wounded.

Car rental companies are also affected. Avis Budget Group and Enterprise said they are pulling all of the recalled models from their fleets.

Pressure from feds

Toyota's stunning decision to suspend sales of some of its most popular models was initially seen as an act of corporate responsibility but U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the automaker's decision came amid pressure from federal regulators.

"We have a responsibility for the safety of these automobiles," he told WGN radio in Chicago. "And when we discovered the accidents that have taken place with the sticking accelerators in the floor mats, we immediately told Toyota they should recall those cars."

Helping ensure the safety of our customers and restoring confidence in Toyota are very important to our company, said Group Vice President and Toyota Division General Manager Bob Carter. This action is necessary until a remedy is finalized. Were making every effort to address this situation for our customers as quickly as possible.

Earlier recalls

This week's earlier recall and sales suspension involve these models:

• 2007-10 Camrys,
• 2009-10 Corollas,
• 2009-10 RAV4s,
• 2009-10 Matrixes,
• 2005-10 Avalons,
• 2010 Highlanders,
• 2007-10 Tundras and
• 2008-10 Sequoias.

No Lexus Division or Scion vehicles are affected by these actions. Also not affected are Toyota Prius, Tacoma, Sienna, Venza, Solara, Yaris, 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser and select Camry models, including all Camry hybrids, which will remain for sale.

The action is separate from the ongoing recall of 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus models for a similar but unrelated problem involving unintended acceleration, although the company said about 1.7 million vehicles are included in both recall actions.

No one knows how many accidents may have been caused by unintended acceleration in the affected models but an August 2009 tragedy on a San Diego freeway put the problem at the top of the auto safety agenda. In that accident, a California highway patrolman and his family were killed in their runaway Lexus ES 350. Someone calling from the car before it crashed at over 100 miles per hour said they couldn't stop it. Seconds later, it struck an SUV.

The Wall Street Journal uoted a Massachusetts firm, Safety Research and Strategies, as saying it had identified 2,274 incidents of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles, causing 275 crashes and at least 18 fatalities since 1999.

The company said it could not confirm the figures.

Toyota's 2009 recall, which is still underway, was the largest in the company's history. Toyota and Lexus vehicles affected by the earlier recall are:

• 2007-2010 Camry
• 2005-2010 Avalon
• 2004-2009 Prius
• 2005-2010 Tacoma
• 2007-2010 Tundra
• 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350
• 2006-2010 Lexus IS 250 and IS350

Toyota also said it will install a brake override system on the Camry, Avalon and Lexus models. The override will shut off all engine power if drivers press both the brake and accelerator pedals simultaneouls. Toyota said the override is intended to be "an extra measure of confidence."

The sales hiatus will idle five U.S. plans that build Toyota products for at least the week of February 1.

What to do

In the event that a driver experiences an accelerator pedal that sticks in a partial open throttle position or returns slowly to idle position, the vehicle can be controlled with firm and steady application of the brakes, the company said. The brakes should not be pumped repeatedly because it could deplete vacuum assist, requiring stronger brake pedal pressure.

Owners who have further questions can visit www.toyota.com or www.lexus.com or contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Assistance at 1-800-295-3987.

Critics complain

Critics complained that Toyota did not exactly leap at the opportunity to recognize and fix the problem and consumers have been complaining about the sudden acceleration for years. Initially, the company blamed the problem on floor mats sliding forward but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called that statement "inaccurate and misleading."

Toyota eventually conceded that it was the design of the accelerator pedal that was causing the problem.

No one knows how many accidents may have been caused but an August 2009 tragedy on a San Diego freeway put the problem at the top of the auto safety agenda. In that accident, a California highway patrolman and his family were killed in their runaway Lexus ES 350. Someone calling from the car before it crashed at over 100 miles per hour said they couldn't stop it. Seconds later, it struck an SUV.

Others have escaped injury, but only narrowly. Radha of Philadelphia was in a parking lot earlier this year when his 2009 Prius began accelerating unexpectedly.

"I went all in for the brakes -- no reaction from the car," he said. "Car crashed into a light pole, tilted to its right crashed down in parking spot right next to where I wanted to park. With me hanging by the seat belt, car still accelerating, I went for the power button. No response to that either.

Radha managed to crawl through the window to escape from the car, the engine running wide open as the car lay on its side. When police arrived, they managed to switch the car off, Radha said.

Mary of Medford, Oregon, also reported that four incidents of unintended acceleration in her 2007 Prius were accompanied by an apparent lack of response from the brakes. She said her dealer was able to duplicate the problem twice but couldn't resolve it.

"It has nothing to do with the floor mat," Mary said.

Not only were consumers skeptical, so was the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA issued a highly unusual statement scolding Toyota for what it called "inaccurate and misleading" information in Toyota press release about the recall.

Toyota recalled 55,000 Camry and Lexus models in September 2007 following complaints of runaway acceleration. Owners of the popular Prius Hybrid had also complained of the problem but were not included in that recall, though Prius models are included in the current recall.

Toyota Adds 1.1 Million Vehicles to Accelerator Pedal Recalls...

Toyota Recalls 2.3 Million More Vehicles to Fix Runaway Acceleration

4.2 million Toyotas and Lexuses were recalled late last year for a similar problem


Toyota is adding 2.3 million vehicles to the 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus models already recalled to fix a problem that can cause the accelerator pedal to stick.

The latest recall involves

• 2007-10 Camrys,
• 2009-10 Corollas,
• 2009-10 RAV4s,
• 2009-10 Matrixes,
• 2005-10 Avalons,
• 2010 Highlanders,
• 2007-10 Tundras and
• 2008-10 Sequoias.

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. said in a statement that accelerator pedals could stick "in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position" in the affected models. A spokesman said the problem was most likely to occur when the pedal mechanism becomes worn.

Today's action is separate from the ongoing recall of 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus models. The company said about 1.7 million vehicles are included in both recall actions.

"In recent months, Toyota has investigated isolated reports of sticking accelerator pedal mechanisms in certain vehicles without the presence of floor mats, said Group Vice President Irv Miller. Our investigation indicates that there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position."

He said Toyota is "working quickly" to resolve the problem.

In the event that a driver experiences an accelerator pedal that sticks in a partial open throttle position or returns slowly to idle position, the vehicle can be controlled with firm and steady application of the brakes, the company said. The brakes should not be pumped repeatedly because it could deplete vacuum assist, requiring stronger brake pedal pressure.

Earlier recall

Toyota's 2009 recall, which is still underway, was the largest in the company's history. Toyota and Lexus vehicles affected by the earlier recall are:

• 2007-2010 Camry
• 2005-2010 Avalon
• 2004-2009 Prius
• 2005-2010 Tacoma
• 2007-2010 Tundra
• 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350
• 2006-2010 Lexus IS 250 and IS350

Toyota also said it will install a brake override system on the Camry, Avalon and Lexus models. The override will shut off all engine power if drivers press both the brake and accelerator pedals simultaneouls. Toyota said the override is intended to be "an extra measure of confidence."

Critics complained that Toyota did not exactly leap at the opportunity to recognize and fix the problem and consumers have been complaining about the sudden acceleration for years. Initially, the company blamed the problem on floor mats sliding forward but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called that statement "inaccurate and misleading."

Toyota eventually conceded that it was the design of the accelerator pedal that was causing the problem.

No one knows how many accidents may have been caused but an August 2009 tragedy on a San Diego freeway put the problem at the top of the auto safety agenda. In that accident, a California highway patrolman and his family were killed in their runaway Lexus ES 350. Someone calling from the car before it crashed at over 100 miles per hour said they couldn't stop it. Seconds later, it struck an SUV.

Others have escaped injury, but only narrowly. Radha of Philadelphia was in a parking lot earlier this year when his 2009 Prius began accelerating unexpectedly.

"I went all in for the brakes -- no reaction from the car," he said. "Car crashed into a light pole, tilted to its right crashed down in parking spot right next to where I wanted to park. With me hanging by the seat belt, car still accelerating, I went for the power button. No response to that either.

Radha managed to crawl through the window to escape from the car, the engine running wide open as the car lay on its side. When police arrived, they managed to switch the car off, Radha said.

Mary of Medford, Oregon, also reported that four incidents of unintended acceleration in her 2007 Prius were accompanied by an apparent lack of response from the brakes. She said her dealer was able to duplicate the problem twice but couldn't resolve it.

"It has nothing to do with the floor mat," Mary said.

Not only were consumers skeptical, so was the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). NHTSA issued a highly unusual statement scolding Toyota for what it called "inaccurate and misleading" information in Toyota press release about the recall.

"NHTSA has told Toyota and consumers that removing the recalled floor mats is the most immediate way to address the safety risk and avoid the possibility of the accelerator becoming stuck. But it is simply an interim measure," NHTSA said. "This remedy does not correct the underlying defect in the vehicles involving the potential for entrapment of the accelerator by floor mats, which is related to accelerator and floor pan design."

Will the pedal reshaping work? A former Toyota engineer now with Edmunds.com says it should.

"Our tests have confirmed that an out of position floor mat can cause the throttle to stick because of the shape and geometry of the current gas pedal," Automotive News quoted Dan Edmunds as saying. He was senior chassis development engineer for Toyota's Technical Center before joining Edmunds.com.

"Temporarily shortening and replacing the accelerator pedals are viable solutions to alleviate the problem," Edmunds said.

Owners who have further questions can visitwww.toyota.comorwww.lexus.com or contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Assistance at 1-800-295-3987.

Toyota recalled 55,000 Camry and Lexus models in September 2007 following complaints of runaway acceleration. Owners of the popular Prius Hybrid had also complained of the problem but were not included in that recall, though Prius models are included in the current recall.



Toyota Recalls 2.3 Million More Vehicles to Fix Runaway Acceleration...

Toyota to Roll Out Plug-In Electric Car in 2011

Plans all-electric version of the Prius

Toyota is serving notice that it doesn't intend to allow other car makers to pass it by in the race to be the "greenest" auto company. The maker of the gasoline hybrid Prius said it will introduce a plug-in electric car in 2011.

Toyota will have plenty of competition. General Motors recently announced plans to produce up to 60,000 Chevy Volt plug-in hybrids a year beginning next year. Nissan also plans to introduce a plug-in next year while Ford and Volkswagen are also working on plug-in models.

Toyota said it plans to take its popular Prius and create a plug-in version of the gasoline hybrid. Instead of an engine that is powered by both gasoline and batteries, the plug-in model is powered almost exclusively by electricity.

Batteries can be plugged into electrical outlets overnight to recharge. On longer trips, a small gasoline engine recharges the batteries, providing extended range.

Toyota hasn't said how much its plug-in hybrid will cost, but the New York Times quotes a Toyota executive as saying the new model will be "affordable." The Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid is expected to start at around $40,000.

Toyota says its all-electric Prius would be twice as efficient as the current gasoline hybrid model and would recharge in only one and a half hours.

Toyota has proven in the past that consumers will purchase fuel efficient cars that have a "green" image, even paying a premium for the privilege. Perhaps the Prius is the best example of that. Since rolling out in 1997, demand has been strong for these cars. In fact, when gasoline prices soared over $4 a gallon in 2008, there were often waiting lists for Prius' at Toyota dealers and consumers who were able to get one had to pay a "surcharge."

However, in terms of gasoline mileage versus the extra cost of the vehicle, Prius owners didn't always save money. There have also been nagging problems with the car's traction control, as well as other problems, according to ConsumerAffairs.com readers.

"The engine of my 2007 Toyota Prius frequently fails to shut down when I firmly push the power button, exactly as directed in the owner's manual, often requiring that I push the button a second time," William, of Memphis, Tenn., told ConsumerAffairs.com. "Even if I hold the button in several seconds with the brake depressed. The car has never 'run away' with me, thus I have only experienced this problem when I have come to a stop and wish to get out of the car. The problem started after I had the car about 18 month and had driven approximately 15,000 miles."

Toyota to Roll Out Plug-In Electric Car in 2011...

Toyota, Lexus Lead The Pack For Sudden Acceleration Problems

Analysis of complaints database finds Ford close behind

A Consumer Reports analysis of a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety complaints database shows over 40 percent of sudden-acceleration complaints involve Toyota and Lexus models.

The review of 2008 model-year data also finds Ford standing out with a significant number of related complaints. Both car companies had a lopsided number of occurrences for their market share, though the statistical likelihood of experiencing such events is low.

CR's Auto Test Center and Statistics Department analyzed all 5,916 reports on 2008 models and identified 166 cases in which the complaint described verified the unintended acceleration that the driver found hard to control.

The incidents resulted in a safety advisory on floor-mat entrapment issued by both NHTSA and Toyota in September 2009.

The magazine says its analysis found the sudden-acceleration incidents were distributed over 22 brands with 47 complaints about Toyota models and five for Lexus vehicles. All told, the two accounted for more than a third of all the unintended-acceleration incidents among 2008-model vehicles. As Consumer Reports put it, "Toyota racked up more unintended-acceleration complaints than Chrysler, GM, Honda, and Nissan combined."

A check of the ConsumerAffairs.com database found numerous complaints about Toyota. Among them:

• Andrew of Leverett, MA, wrote of an incident involving his wife's Prius: "In traffic on a multi-lane highway in Canada, the car did not slow when I let up on the accelerator, and then I realized that it was actually accelerating. I used the service brake repeatedly to keep the speed down to the speed of the traffic (probably about 60mph) until I found a place to pull off."

• Miriam of Oakland, CA, says she was driving at slow speed due to traffic conditions, when suddenly her Prius "felt as if it uncontrollably sped up and lunged forward. I hit the brakes but it did not stop it from running into the back end of the car in front of me. It was very unnerving."

Ford complaints

Complaints about Ford also were high. CR says there were 36 complaints some indicating that the pedal arrangement in the popular F-150 pickup makes it too easy to hit the brake and accelerator at the same time. There also were other sudden-acceleration events that could not be explained.

Consumer Reports says it found the following complaints about the F-150 in the NHTSA database:

• "This Ford F-150 pickup truck has the widest gas (accelerator) pedal I have ever seen and as a result my right foot continues to press down on it, even after I have started applying the brake pedal with the same foot."

• "I entered the vehicle, started the engine, and put the vehicle in drive. The engine immediately increased in rpm to the point where the rear tires began spinning on the gravel. I put the transmission in Neutral and the engine rpm increased. I removed my foot from the brake and the engine continued at a very high rpm. I then depressed and released the accelerator and the engine returned to a normal idle."

• "...the truck spontaneously accelerated at full throttle with my foot firmly on the brake I was advancing without applying the accelerator. With the brakes fully applied, I continued to advance into the parking lot and I immediately shifted into Park in attempt to stop the vehicle. The vehicle came to a stop and the engine was racing at full throttle in Park."

CR points out that while the NHTSA complaint database does not reflect all sudden, unintended acceleration cases, the data show statistically more complaints for certain Toyota, Lexus, and Ford brand models.

CR says its analysis found the ratio of reports for experiencing such a problem on 2008 model-year vehicle from Toyota Motor Corporation is about one in nearly 50,000. Ford's reported risk is about one in nearly 65,000, while the reported risk for a General Motors vehicle is just one in 500,000.

Toyota, Lexus Lead The Pack For Sudden Acceleration Problems...

Toyota Ready to Expand Safety Recall Beyond Floor Mats

Reports say carmaker has set aside $5 billion to replace accelerator pedals


It's not just American car manufacturers who are sometimes slow to recognize and admit safety problems in their vehicles. In September, Toyota grudgingly agreed to recall about 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus models because of reports of unintended acceleration.

The company set no land speed records with the recall. Consumers had been complaining about the sudden acceleration for years. And many were not happy with Toyota's explanation of the problem. The company blamed the frightening out-of-control spurts of speed on floor mats which supposedly could slide onto the accelerator, pressing it to the floor but many Toyota owners find the explanation unconvincing.

"I have had three accidents or near accidents with my new 2009 Toyota Prius due to a combination of mysterious acceleration and loss of brakes," Paul of Sedona, Arizona, told ConsumerAffairs.com. My car suddenly seemed to accelerate on its own and my brakes failed. How I stopped my car I will never know."

Not only were consumers skeptical, so was the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Earlier this month, NHTSA issued a highly unusual statement scolding Toyota for what it called "inaccurate and misleading" information in Toyota press release about the recall.

"NHTSA has told Toyota and consumers that removing the recalled floor mats is the most immediate way to address the safety risk and avoid the possibility of the accelerator becoming stuck. But it is simply an interim measure," NHTSA said. "This remedy does not correct the underlying defect in the vehicles involving the potential for entrapment of the accelerator by floor mats, which is related to accelerator and floor pan design."

Now what?

So much for buying a few million floor mats. The auto industry is now abuzz with speculation about what Toyota will have to do to remedy the problem to NHTSA's satisfaction. Reports from Tokyo say Toyota has set aside more than $5 billion to replace the accelerator pedals on all of the 3.8 million vehicles, although the company has so far denied those reports.

It's not clear exactly what changes will be made but it apparently involves a complete redesign of the accelerator pedal.

The problem with the floor mats is not that they can slip over the accelerator and push it down -- but rather that the mats can slide under the pedal and push it forward, which in the worst case can result in full-throttle acceleration that defies an instant solution. Many Toyotas have "On" and "Off" buttons that take three seconds to operate.

No one knows how many accidents may have been caused but an August tragedy on a San Diego freeway put the problem at the top of the auto safety agenda. In that accident, a California highway patrolman and his family were killed in their runaway Lexus ES 350. Someone calling from the car before it crashed at over 100 miles per hour said they couldn't stop it. Seconds later, it struck an SUV.

Narrow escapes

Others have escaped injury, but only narrowly. Radha of Philadelphia was in a parking lot earlier this year when his 2009 Prius began accelerating unexpectedly.

"I went all in for the brakes -- no reaction from the car," he said. "Car crashed into a light pole, tilted to its right crashed down in parking spot right next to where I wanted to park. With me hanging by the seat belt, car still accelerating, I went for the power button. No response to that either.

Radha managed to crawl through the window to escape from the car, the engine running wide open as the car lay on its side. When police arrived, they managed to switch the car off, Radha said.

Mary of Medford, Oregon, also reported that four incidents of unintended acceleration in her 2007 Prius were accompanied by an apparent lack of response from the brakes. She said her dealer was able to duplicate the problem twice but couldn't resolve it.

"It has nothing to do with the floor mat," Mary said.

Affected models

Toyota and Lexus vehicles affected by the recall are:

• 2007-2010 Camry

• 2005-2010 Avalon

• 2004-2009 Prius

• 2005-2010 Tacoma

• 2007-2010 Tundra

• 2007-2010 ES 350

• 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350

Toyota recalled 55,000 Camry and Lexus models in September 2007 following complaints of runaway acceleration. Owners of the popular Prius Hybrid had also complained of the problem but were not included in that recall, though Prius models are included in the current recall.



Toyota Ready to Expand Safety Recall Beyond Floor Mats...

U.S. Prius Sales Drop 45 Percent

Recession, lower gas prices put a chill on sales

Government involvement in Chrysler and General Motors operations may coincide with a new emphasis on small, fuel-efficient cars. The American taxpayers, who start off owning a big chunk of the bankrupt automakers, better hope consumers warm up to the idea of green cars. But so far, they havent.

Toyota reports U.S. sales of its Prius hybrid are down a whopping 45 percent so far in 2009. Its a far cry from this time last year, when Toyota dealers were tacking on a premium to the sticker price and had waiting lists for the cars.

Toyota says it has sold just 42,743 Prius models through the first five months of 2009, compared to 79,675 during the same period last year.

Why have American consumers fallen out of love with the Prius? Gasoline prices may have something to do with it.

At this time last year gasoline prices were about a $1.50 a gallon more than they are now, costing consumers an extra $30 per fill-up if they were driving a vehicle holding 20 or more gallons. It suggests consumers flocked to the Prius, not because its cute or they want to save the planet, but because they wanted to save money on fuel.

Gas prices may not be the only factor.

In a recession, consumers are buying fewer new cars altogether, and when they do make a purchase, are looking for the best deal possible. The Prius -- especially with the surcharge tacked on by dealers last year -- is more expensive than other small cars.

The Prius remains a top-selling model in Japan. In fact, it was the best-selling car in Japan during May, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association. Of course, gasoline prices are much higher in Japan than they are in the U.S.

U.S. Prius Sales Drop 45 Percent...

Prius Vandalism On the Rise in California

Hybrids damaged in night attacks

Prius envy has taken an ugly twist in California with violent anger and vandalism aimed at the hybrids and their owners.

Following a recent Prius fire on the streets of Los Angeles, investigators concluded that the inferno that consumed the new hybrid parked on a residential street was the result of arson.

The owner of the Los Angeles Prius told investigators that she heard an explosion early in the morning in July, followed by the sirens of fire engines. "I went outside to see what was going on and saw it was my car," she said.

An earlier investigation of violence aimed at Prius owners by police in Petaluma near San Francisco reported that at last seven Priuses were damaged by vandals during a two-week period in April.

One Petaluma Prius owner told police that she heard banging sounds in the middle of the night. She found that someone had taken a hammer to the body and windshield of her Prius.

A second Prius owner suffered car damaged from vandals twice during a two-week time frame. While the first hybrid was in a shop for repairs, a vandal threw a large rock at a Prius the owner was renting, causing substantial damage to the hybrid.

The attacks all occurred at night while the cars were parked and unoccupied. Vandals used large rocks and bricks to damage the hybrids. In one instance a Prius was rammed by another vehicle.

The Prius is not the first vehicle to serve as a target in the sea of disdain and resentment that is flooding U.S. roads as commuters jam highways and gas prices linger at historically high prices. The Web site IhateHummer.Com encourages motorists to give Hummer owners a one-finger hello. Vandals in Washington D.C. smashed a new Hummer last year and left environmental messages painted on the side of the large SUV.

A Toyota spokesman said the violence may be motivated by people angry with the environmental movement in the U.S. since the Prius is now a symbol for greens and environmentally conscience consumers. In California, many hybrid drivers can legally drive in carpool lanes without any passengers as a reward for burning less gasoline and producing fewer environmentally harmful emissions.

"For people who are sitting in traffic in an SUV, to see a Prius go by with just a driver in it , maybe there's some resentment there as well," the spokesman suggested.

One new Web site, PriusDrivers.Com, proclaims "I hate Prius drivers. 'I'm better than you are! I drive a Prius,'" underscoring the harsh highway relations polluting roads across the country.

The violence against Prius owners is now a topic of worried discussion on Internet sites like PriusChat.Com. "Unfortunately, some of the hatred directed against Prius drivers doesn't end with words. In the most brutal of a spate of violent attacks against the hybrids and their owners this year, someone torched a six-month-old Prius parked on a residential street in Los Angeles seven weeks ago," one contributor wrote.

The atmosphere of anti-Prius violence is a cause for concern among many owners of the fuel efficient hybrids. "My Prius was hit in a Costco parking lot with large parking spaces. My right rear bumper was smashed in. I was at an end spot against the curb. Of course no one saw anything and no name was left. The next time I went to Costco I was shaking as I headed out the door," wrote one Prius owner.

"Sure, there are small minded people out there that probably target Prii. They will probably be the last holdouts to drive their perfectly good trucks to the junk yard and sell them for $200 worth of scrap metal when gas goes up to 8 bucks a gallon or more," replied another Prius owner.

Prius Vandalism On the Rise in California...

Solar Panels to Power Prius Air Conditioning

Toyota hopes new option helps it maintain its green image

Toyota is considering solar panels to power air conditioning for the Prius hybrid when the third generation of the car goes on sale next year.

The solar panels will be available on the most expensive models of the Prius and will supply a portion of the electrical power required to run the air conditioning system in the hybrid.

The symbolic gesture is part of Toyota's effort to maintain a green image as the leading producer of hybrids.

The price of the solar panel option is not yet available. Solar panels are made of silicon and are expensive.

Mazda offered a solar panel option in the early 1990s to ventilate cars while parked on hot summer days. The option was discontinued after a few years because of lack of interest.

Sales of the Toyota Prius declined in June, in part because the automaker was unable to keep up with soaring demand for the hybrid. The waiting list for a new Prius now extends several months in many areas of the country.

With the average gasoline price in the U.S. at $4.107 after 8 consecutive days of record highs, demand for the Prius is certain to continue to increase.

The Prius first went on sale in Japan in late 1997 and arrived in the U.S. in 2000. Sales of the Prius have topped 1 million units worldwide.

Toyota is considering solar panels to power air conditioning for the Prius hybrid when the third generation of the car goes on sale next year....

NHTSA to Hear 'Silent Killer' Complaints

Hybrids pose risk to visually impaired

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plans a day of public hearings to look at the dangers quiet-running hybrid vehicles pose for visually impaired pedestrians and bicyclists.

Four states and the U.S. Congress are considering legislation to set minimum sound levels as a warning for pedestrians of an approaching hybrid running on electric power only.

The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2008 proposes a two-year study to determine the most practical way for hybrid and electrical vehicles to provide non-visual cues for pedestrians.

The National Federation of the Blind, with 50,000 members, will speak at the NHTSA hearing. The Federation advocates a minimum sound standard for all new vehicles sold and licensed in the U.S.

A child in Minneapolis was hit in May by a Toyota Prius that the 8-year-old bicyclist did not hear. The child was not seriously injured.

The Federation of the Blind has reported several close calls invovling blind pedestrians and hybrids.

Six blind pedestrians were killed by moving vehicles in 2007, according to NHTSA. None of the vehicles involved was a hybrid, according to the agency.

At low speeds, particularly near intersections, the gasoline-powered engine in a hybrid may shut down, eliminating most of the noise coming from the car.

Hybrid sales rising

Hybrid sales are increasing. They were up 38 percent in 2007 to 350,000 vehicles and are running ahead of that pace this year. The risk of stepping in front of a silent-running hybrid is likely to be on the rise.

A University of California study by Lawrence Rosenblum, an adviser to SAE International which is an association of automotive engineers, concludes that hybrids operating at 5 mph need to be 74 percent closer than a conventional vehicle before they make enough noise for their location to be heard.

Above 20 or 25 miles an hour, hybrid or electric car tires make enough noise for people to hear them.

A California start-up company, Enhanced Vehicle Acoustics, is developing a system called the Pedestrian Awareness Noise-Emitting Device and Application.

The system puts a small speaker near each front wheel of a hybrid and emits the sound of an internal combustion engine to warn pedestrians. The system requires no more power than a car radio and shuts off at speeds above 25 mph.

Called PANDA by its developers, the system "allows drivers, companies or municipalities to potentially establish their own external automobile sound identities, all within a recognizable and respectful soundscape," according to the company.

Now what sound should a Prius make while slowly passing a Hummer?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plans a day of public hearings to look at the dangers quiet-running hybrid vehicles pose for vis...

Toyota Resists Possible Tacoma Recall

Feds probing unintended acceleration problems in popular pickup

Toyota has launched a lobbying offensive in Washington to limit the scope of a federal safety investigation into unintended acceleration in the Tacoma pickup truck.

More than 400 consumers have complained to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about unintended and sudden acceleration in the Tacoma pickup. Reports to the agency document 51 crashes and 12 injuries.

Nevertheless, Toyota complained in a letter to the agency that the Tacoma is the focus of hostile media coverage as well as consumers exaggerating their problems.

"Toyota believes that it is likely that many of the consumer complaints about the general issue of unwanted acceleration as well as many of the complaints about this subject that have been received by Toyota were inspired by publicity," the automaker wrote NHTSA.

Toyota suggested in the letter to safety regulators that consumers are overstating the unintended acceleration problem with the Tacoma which the automaker described as minor engine speed changes.

A ConsumerAffairs.com reader and Toyota Tacoma owner in Weaver, Alabama reported a different story. "It was jumping forward toward my house at every engine turn. I pushed in the clutch and took out the key," he said.

Acceleration is controlled in the Tacoma by a drive-by-wire system with a computer replacing the traditional linkage between the accelerator pedal and the engine throttle-body which injects the fuel required for acceleration.

Toyota claimed the Tacoma computer can capture an error report if accelerator pedal and throttle are not working properly and the automaker said no error codes have turned up in vehicles inspected Toyota technicians.

Safety regulators at NHTSA are now investigating 775,000 of the pickups sold between 2004 and 2008. An upgrade of the investigation could lead to a recall of the trucks costing Toyota millions of dollars and adding another layer of tarnish to the automaker's deteriorating reputation for quality.

A Toyota spokesman insisted that the automaker remains confident in the safety of the Tacoma drive-by-wire system.

Toyota has launched a lobbying offensive in Washington to limit the scope of a federal safety investigation into unintended acceleration in the Tacoma pick...

Feds Probe Unintended Acceleration in Toyota Sienna Minivan

Missing retainer pin can cause problems

Federal safety regulators are investigating one complaint of unintended acceleration in the Toyota Sienna.

The Office of Defect Investigation (ODI) at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported receiving the complaint.

The Complainant reported that he applied the accelerator pedal to accelerate the vehicle and experienced unwanted acceleration upon release, ODI reported on its Web site.

Safety regulators said that field data indicates that when a retainer pin is missing from the driver's side center stack/console trim panel, the panel can detach from the console and the accelerator pedal can become entrapped under the trim panel causing unwanted acceleration.

The trim panel was used on Toyota Sienna minvans produced from January through June of 2003, according to ODI. The new component used after June 2003 apparently does not "entrap the throttle, according to the safety agency.

ODI has launched a preliminary investigation to assess the scope, frequency and potential safety related consequences of unintended acceleration in the Sienna.

Feds Probe Unintended Acceleration in Toyota Sienna Minivan...

Should You Buy a Second-Hand Prius?

Maintenance costs may outstrip fuel savings

With sales of new hybrids increasing by almost 30 percent a year and gasoline prices following at a faster pace, a second-hand hybrid can appear to be a sm...

Winter Weather Warning for Prius Drivers

Traction control shuts down engine on slippery surface

One Vermont Prius driver, suffering through a recent January snowfall, described Toyota Prius traction control as "dangerous in mountainous snow country....

Toyota Tundra Pickups Recalled

Toyota Motor U.S.A. is recalling 15,600 2007 Toyota Tundra pickups because a transmission part could fail.

Toyota said the rear propeller shaft on four-wheel-drive Tundras could separate at a joint.

Toyota discovered the flaw after a consumer complained of abnormal noises coming from the shaft.

No accidents or injuries have been reported because of the faulty shaft.

Owners of the recalled Tundras will receive notification in the mail later this month, Toyota said in a statement.

The recall is not related to the previously reported rumbling sound coming from the Tundra torque converter after failing to change gears. That problem has not resulted in a recall but has prompted Toyota to replace entire transmissions.

Toyota also replaced some Tundra engines this year because of faulty camshafts.

Toyota projects 200,000 sales of the redesigned full-sized trucks this year.

Toyota Tundra Pickups Recalled...

Toyota Recalls Floor Mats, NHTSA Warns Prius Owners

Not all Priuis owners buy the floor mat theory

The Toyota Motor Corp. and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have agreed that faulty floor mats are the cause of runaway acceleration in the Toyota Prius hybrid as well as several other Toyota vehicles.

Toyota announced it will conduct a recall of 55,000 floor mats which are used in the 2007/2008 Lexus ES 350 as well as the 2007/2008 Camry.

At the same time, NHTSA is strongly urging owners make sure the driver-side, all weather floor mat is properly secured before driving the vehicles.

NHTSA and Toyota noted that, if unsecured, the mats being recalled can slip forward and trap the accelerator pedal, causing the vehicle to accelerate uncontrollably.

The floor mats in the Prius are not part of the recall but NHTSA urged drivers of Toyota Avalons and Prius hybrids to check the driver-side floor mats to make sure they are properly installed.

Of course, depending on vehicle design, it is possible for unsecured floor mats to interfere with accelerator or brake pedals in a wide range of vehicles, NHTSA said in a press release.

Therefore, NHTSA reminds all drivers of all makes and models to check the driver-side floor mats for secure installation and to follow manufacturer instructions for installing the mats.

For more information on the floor mat recall, consumers can contact the NHTSA Hotline at 888-327-4236 or their Toyota or Lexus dealer.

NHTSA has also reported complaints of unintended acceleration in the RAV 4 and Tacoma pickup.

Earlier this month, NHTSA spokesman Rae Tyson told ConsumerAffairs.com that regulators at NHTSA were "aware of" complaints of runaway acceleration in the popular Toyota Prius hybrid and were in a "monitoring mode."

Prius owners skeptical

Prius owners who have reported the unintended acceleration problem with their Prius hybrid to ConsumerAffairs.com remain wary that the problem can simply be traced to floor mats.

Here is the rub, one California reader told us. If it truly were the mat catching the accelerator, why did turning the car off solve the problem? There is nothing with the power button that would do this. And yet each time when I restarted the Prius it was fine. If the accelerator were caught under the mat once the car was turned off the problem did not persist, she wrote.

The California consumer said her test of the Prius will continue.

"I've decided to remove the mat and drive the car for a month to see if the problem occurs without the mat. If this does turn out to be the problem then one has to ask why Toyota would sell a Toyota Prius specific mat that would have any potential of causing this problem. If this does not turn out to the problem then that is bad and others should know.

On August 22, Dan in San Dimas, California reported an unintended acceleration problem with his Prius.

I was almost stopped for a red light, my foot was on the brake (NOT on gas), the car was surging forward being held back by brakes. I quickly checked for anything under the accelerator including the floor mat, foot on the gas, or any other cause. All were negative.

Dan pulled into a gas station on the corner with the engine still revving at maximum rpms. He turned the Prius off, double checked for external causes and found none. He then turned the hybrid back on and it behaved normally, Dan told us.

When Dan reported the unintended acceleration problem to his Toyota dealer, he said there was a service bulletin on the 2004-2005 models but not on the 2006. He offered to re-flash the computer. Dan told us.

Other incidents

Karen in Los Gatos, California has a 2007 Prius she has driven since December of 2006.

After driving the car approximately 1,000 miles, Toyota Prius hybrid had an uninitiated full-throttle acceleration while driving on an expressway, she told ConsumerAffairs.com.

Startled, I slammed on the brakes. The accelerator fought my braking as I pulled over and turned off the car, shocked and taking a deep breath, Karen wrote us.

Karen did not think about the problem with unintended acceleration again until it happened with about 13,000 miles on the odometer.

I had been stopped at a traffic light. It changed to green and I started to move forward. The Prius took off charging toward the car in front of me. Standing on the brakes, I pulled over and turned off the car. Very frightened, I sat wondering what I should do next. What happens if I turn the car on and it takes off again? she asked herself.

Karen said that all was normal when she re-fired the hybrid engine.

I called Toyota and talked to a sales person and explained this dangerous experience. He confirmed that he was familiar with the problem and also experienced this himself when driving one of the earlier models of the Prius, Karen wrote.

Karen took the runaway Prius to her Toyota dealer and listened as the service manager blamed everything that occurred on "nothing more than a carpet jamming the accelerator pedal."

As I explained to him, I didn't have floor mats when this happened the first time, Karen wrote.

A concerned friend sent Karen a link to earlier stories published by ConsumerAffairs.com.

"I forwarded the link to the owner of the Toyota dealership. He too expressed concern and asked me to keep the loaner for a few more days while they get someone for Toyota to look further into this, Karen said.

About the same time that Janet was crashing into a garage wall with her Prius, Lois in Las Vegas was wrestling with her 2005 Toyota hybrid's tendency to accelerate suddenly.

It has hesitated several times on me. This last time I almost got in an accident. It chugged along several times in a row. No lights went on. It has 99,000 miles and has a warranty to 100,000 miles. It has bee at the Toyota dealership 5 days. they cannot find any problems, Lois said.

In Tustin, California, Lupe reported this problem with her 2006 Prius. Three weeks ago I went to pick up my daughter from school, I decided to back up my car and wait for her to come out. Suddenly my car accelerated while I had my foot pressing the brakes, it was going too fast I had no time to do anything, I crashed onto a wall about 10 fees in front of me.

Lupe said the wall was not damaged and she was not hurt but the Prius suffered $14,000 in damages.

An engineer's theory

In Los Lunas, New Mexico, Marvin had a similar experience.

"In each case, the vehicle was accelerating at a rate below maximum and went to and stayed at maximum without driver command. Marvin told ConsumerAffairs.com.

A simple touching of the lever that disengages the cruise control caused the system to immediately go back to a normal condition with the cruise control off, Marvin told us.

Marvin said he is a qualified professional engineer and systems analyst. His work has involved automobiles as well as aircraft and industrial systems.

I can assure you, Marvin told ConsumerAffairs.com, that the incidences that I had did not involve mechanical sticking or jamming of the accelerator pedal because of a piece of carpet. It was not driver error.

In Marvins opinion, the problem may be in the cruise control system itself, either a mechanical, electronic or electrical problem in the cruise control system.

The problem could easily cause a serious accident if the driver, caught unaware, did not take immediate remedial action, according to our reader in New Mexico.

Toyota's advice

Toyota spokesman Sam Butto said owners who encounter a an unintended acceleration problem can contact our Customer Experience Center Monday thru Friday from 6:00 AM -6:00 PM Pacific time at 1-800-331-4331 to have their concern documented so the Center can look into it.

Butto also advised that customers can consult any Toyota dealer for an inspection or diagnostic test. If an abnormal condition is found repairs will be covered by the Prius warranty of 8 years/100,000 miles or in California and states adopting California standards 10 years/150,000 miles, he said.

If no problem is found Toyota may charge a fee for the inspection or diagnostic test.

Toyota Recalls Floor Mats, NHTSA Warns Prius Owners...

Feds Aware of Prius Runaway Acceleration

Car seems OK after a "reboot" but the problem often recurs later

Federal safety regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say they are "aware of" complaints of runaway acceleration in the popular Toyota Prius hybrid and are in a "monitoring mode."

"It is currently like dozens, or maybe hundreds, of other issues of this kind," an agency official said.

The Toyota Product Communications office has not responded to several requests from ConsumerAffairs.com to discuss the issue of unintended acceleration in the Prius.

Prius owners in the meantime continue to encounter incidents of unintended acceleration with the hybrid and the Japanese automaker seems unable to remedy the problem.

In a new wrinkle, one Prius owner whose hybrid was damaged in an unintended acceleration accident reports that her Toyota dealer is unwilling to accept the Prius in trade for another vehicle, even though the hybrid is almost new.

In Burnet, Texas, Janet slammed into a garage wall with her 2007 Prius.

I was pulling into my garage. Suddenly my Toyota Prius accelerated out of control and drove into the wall of the garage damaging my nerves, the car and the wall, she told ConsumerAffairs.com.

Janet's husband thought his wife was the cause of the accident.

My husband, thinking it was user error put the car in reverse and it accelerated again out of control, she said. We bought the Prius as our retirement car. My husband and I are 70 plus and have found ourselves without a car until someone can find what is happening.

They say it can't even be traded in, Janet told us.

Janet has reported the unintended acceleration problem to Toyota with no response.

I am very frightened of the car what if I had been approaching a group of pedestrians, Janet asked?

Similar reports

About the same time that Janet was crashing into a garage wall with her Prius, Lois in Las Vegas was wrestling with her 2005 Toyota hybrid's tendency to accelerate suddenly.

It has hesitated several times on me. This last time I almost got in an accident. It chugged along several times in a row. No lights went on. It has 99,000 miles and has a warranty to 100,000 miles. It has bee at the Toyota dealership 5 days. they cannot find any problems Lois said.

On August 22, Dan in San Dimas, California reported a similar Prius problem.

I was almost stopped for a red light, my foot was on the brake (NOT on gas), the car was surging forward being held back by brakes. I quickly checked for anything under the accelerator including the floor mat, foot on the gas, or any other cause. All were negative.

Dan pulled into a gas station on the corner with the engine still revving at maximum rpms. He turned the Prius off, double checked for external causes and found none. He then turned the hybrid back on and it behaved normally, Dan told us.

When Dan reported the unintended acceleration problem to his Toyota dealer, he said there was a service bulletin on the 2004-2005 models but not on the 2006. He offered to re-flash the computer. Dan told us.

Karen in Los Gatos, California has a 2007 Prius she has driven since December of 2006.

After driving the car approximately 1,000 miles, Toyota Prius hybrid had an uninitiated full-throttle acceleration while driving on an expressway, she told ConsumerAffairs.com.

Startled, I slammed on the brakes. The accelerator fought my braking as I pulled over and turned off the car, shocked and taking a deep breath, Karen wrote us.

Karen did not think about the problem with unintended acceleration again until it happened with about 13,000 miles on the odometer.

I had been stopped at a traffic light. It changed to green and I started to move forward. The Prius took off charging toward the car in front of me. Standing on the brakes, I pulled over and turned off the car. Very frightened, I sat wondering what I should do next. What happens if I turn the car on and it takes off again? she asked herself.

Karen said that all was normal when she re-fired the hybrid engine.

I called Toyota and talked to a sales person and explained this dangerous experience. He confirmed that he was familiar with the problem and also experienced this himself when driving one of the earlier models of the Prius, Karen wrote.

No floor mats

She took the runaway Prius to her Toyota dealer and listened as the service manager blamed everything that has occurred on nothing more than a floor carpet jamming accelerator pedal.

As I explained to him, I didn't have floor mats when this happened the first time, Karen wrote.

A concerned friend sent Karen a link to earlier stories published by ConsumerAffairs.com.

"I forwarded the link to the owner of the Toyota dealership. He too expressed concern and asked me to keep the loaner for a few more days while they get someone for Toyota to look further into this, Karen said.

At the moment, I'm still in the dealership loaner car. They still have my Prius, Karen told us.

---

Correction: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly said a NHTSA investigation had been opened.

Feds Probe Prius Runaway Acceleration...

Prius Owners Report More Unintended Acceleration Incidents

Toyota denies the problem exists, but consumers say otherwise

The Toyota Prius Hybrid continues to generate complaints of unintended acceleration episodes suggesting the possibility of a serious flaw in the vehicle's computer system, electronic controls or software program.

Toyota service technicians have dismissed the dangerous events as driver error or nothing more than a floor carpet jamming accelerator pedal.

ConsumerAffiars.Com readers who have experienced these harrowing events disagree.

Last week, we reported the story of a brand-new Prius with only 600 miles on the odometer that suffered from uncontrollable acceleration on a freeway near Everett, Washington.

Now, Ben in Walnut Creek, California writes: I had a very similar case with the Prius owner you mentioned in your lemon of the week. Ben said he was coming up on a red light and there was a large crease or bump in the road."

"When my Prius hit the bump in the road the traction control systems kicked in, and at the same time the brakes felt unresponsive and the car felt as if it was accelerating or lunging forward, he said.

Ben said the he almost rear-ended the car in front of him.

ConsumerAffairs.com first reported the unintended acceleration problem with the Prius early last year, when one of the popular hybrids rampaged out of control on a Michigan highway, endangering the driver as well as those nearby.

At the time, the incident was the second known incident involving uncontrolled acceleration in the computer-controlled Prius. The driver of the 2005 Prius, Herbert of Battle Creek, Michigan, experienced a probable software problem.

He found it necessary to speed up while passing a slower vehicle on the highway. The problem began after he passed the slower car and tried to slow down.

"I let off the accelerator and pressed the brakes several times, but the vehicle continued to accelerate under full power," Herbert said at the time.

Toyota recalled the Prius hybrids to examine the software but the unintended acceleration reports are continuing.

Twice, on July 29, 2007, our 2006 Toyota Prius took off like a rocket in circumstances just like Herbert's wild ride in Michigan last October, Irwin in Studio City, California writes.

His Toyota service manager told Irwin that no one has ever had this problem before and Toyota is unable to recreate the unintended acceleration.

The service technician was either uninformed of intentionally misleading his customer, since ConsumerAffairs.com has received -- and published -- numerous such complaints.

And while the Toyota service manager may not be familiar with the problem, Marvin in Los Lunas, New Mexico certainly is.

I have had an incident of acceleration, beyond what was commanded, in my Toyota Prius two times. The cause is unknown, he wrote.

"In each case, the vehicle was accelerating at a rate below maximum and went to and stayed at maximum without driver command. Marvin told ConsumerAffairs.com.

A simple touching of the lever that disengages the cruise control caused the system to immediately go back to a normal condition with the cruise control off, Marvin told us.

Marvin said he is a qualified professional engineer and systems analyst. His work has involved automobiles as well as aircraft and industrial systems.

I can assure you, Marvin told ConsumerAffairs.com, that the incidences that I had did not involve mechanical sticking or jamming of the accelerator pedal because of a piece of carpet. It was not driver error.

In Marvins opinion, the problem may be in the cruise control system itself, either a mechanical, electronic or electrical problem in the cruise control system.

The problem could easily cause a serious accident if the driver, caught unaware, did not take immediate remedial action, according to our reader in New Mexico.

Toyota did not respond to requests for comment.

Prius Owners Report More Unintended Acceleration Incidents...

Runaway Acceleration Problem Plagues Prius Owners

Lemon of the Week

ConsumerAffairs.com has received repeated reports of the Prius hybrid running amok and this week a brand-new Prius with only 600 miles on the odometer wins our Lemon of the Week award.

Much to the dismay of smug Prius owners, who refer to themselves as Prians, the little car can sometimes take off almost on its own, a lot like a horse in a high country meadow after chewing bad grass.

That is just what happened to a reader in Washington state. Tina reported that her Prius suffered from uncontrollable acceleration on a freeway near Everett, Washington.

As I attempted to merge into heavy traffic, Tina told us, I accelerated up the on ramp and was attempting to place the car between two vehicles going at a rate of approximately 50 miles per hour. The car lunged forward and would not slow down without repeated pumping of the brakes.

Our reader left the freeway as soon as she could weave her way through heavy traffic still unable to disengage the Prius throttle.

She turned the Prius off with the power button while sitting on the high speed freeway off ramp. Knowing that this was an unsafe place to leave the car, she headed for a nearby parking lot after regaining her confidence.

Tina noticed a foul odor that she assumed was rising from the overheated Prius brakes and called her Toyota dealer.

Despite the problems with uncontrolled acceleration, the Toyota service department asked Tina to drive the Prius to them.

On the way to the dealership, the computer display malfunctioned.

But the Toyota service department diagnosed the problem with the runaway Prius as nothing more than a carpet jamming the accelerator pedal or driver error.

The dealer insisted that he did not know of any other similar incident despite repeated reports and complaints of unintended acceleration with the Prius..

Now Tina is stuck with a Toyota Prius she cannot trust and that makes her Prius the ConsumerAffairs.com Lemon of the Week.

Runaway Acceleration Problem Plagues Prius Owners...

Are Used Hybrids a Pig in a Poke?

Battery Replacement Can Be Very Expensive


The cost of gasoline along with a sincere desire to drive an environmentally friendly car is leading many young consumers to the used car lot in search of a hybrid. At the same time, the people who bought the first hybrids like the Prius are trading in the green machines for new hybrids.

So is buying a used hybrid like buying a pig in a poke?

The weak link in an aging hybrid seems to be the battery system that drives the electric motor.

Prius batteries will last well beyond 200,000 miles or they will need to be replaced almost as soon as the hybrid passes through 110,000 miles, depending who you talk to and who you choose to believe.

All of the evidence on the life span of a Prius appears to be anecdotal without any substantial statistical significance.

So does buying a used Prius make sense? Selling a used Prius certainly makes sense. The hybrids enjoy a good resale value. Even with 100,000 miles on the odometer, a Prius in excellent condition might sell for $11,885 according to the Kelley Blue Book.

That is exactly what Zachery in Homeland, Calif., decided to do three years ago -- buy a used Prius.

Giving into all the hype, when I went looking for a new car. I decided to go with the money-saving, eco-friendly Prius, he told ConsumerAffairs.com.

It had 72,000 miles on it and ran great, for the first year that is. When it came time for the 100,000 mile tune-up it cost me nearly $700. Six months later the computer system failed along with a transmission leak and fuel pump replacement costing me another $2,600, he wrote.

Ten months after the 100,000-mile problems Zachery received the bad news about his hybrid battery system. I take it down and get it diagnosed, which turned out to be the main hybrid battery. Another $4,800 to get the system replaced, he wrote.

Unable to afford the cost of that last repair, I now own a 2001 Prius that runs for about 2 miles before the warning light and computer system stop the car.

Needless to say, Zachery no longer considers his decision to buy a used Prius to be a wise expenditure.

I'm unable to afford the $4,800 repair bill, thus leaving me without a reliable form of transportation. On top of that, I still owe roughly $5,000 on the car itself. Of course all this happens the day I quit my job and start back to school, he wrote.

Similar Problem

A Texas Prius owner reported a similar problem. "My 2001 Toyota Prius lasted five years and 113,000 miles. Then the batteries seemed to die. My dealer estimated the replacement cost at $7,000. They recommended scrapping the car for parts."

Consumers in the market for a used Prius also need to watch out for problem other than the main hybrid battery system.

Debora owns a 2001 Prius in North Hills, Calif.

My 2001 Toyota Prius has been stalling intermittently for 3 years. The dealer has replaced the hybrid battery which was on warranty (thank goodness!) and now says they need to replace the accelerator pedal position sensor which is not on warranty and the part will cost $435 plus tax and 3 hours of labor, she told us.

Mark in Fairmont, West Virginia, owns a 2003 Prius. My Prius has a steering problem. The dealer informed me that my rack and pinion gear will need replaced at a cost of $1,800.00, he wrote.

Mark added that he read on the Internet that other Prius cars have steering problems covered by a recall but his was not included.

I have 85,000 miles on the car, he said. I have already replaced the gas tank, and electronic control module. This steering repair is just too much money, he said.

A reader in Collinsville, Ill., told us he when he starts his 2002, the engine warning lights come on with their exclamation points and check engine signs, but there is nothing wrong.

The repair will be expensive. I was told that I need a new fuel pump, gas tank, and engine control module, at a cost of $2,300, he wrote ConsumerAffairs.com.

In Colorado Springs, Patrick found his 2005 Prius dead and unable to start. He bought the Prius in 2005 when the car had 19,000 miles on the odometer.

I looked for any accessories that might have been left on, but found none, Patrick told us.

I pulled out the manual and diagnosed a dead 12-volt battery. I proceeded to follow the jump start procedures in the manual. The jump was unsuccessful, so I called a tow truck recommended by the dealer and had it towed there.

The dealer told Patrick that his Prius was jumped with the cables crossed and the repair will be about $5,000 in parts and labor.

The repair bill will not be covered under the vehicle's 3-year and 36,000-mile warranty.

In Stoughton, Wis., Jim has the other side of the story. Just to relate my experience with my 2002 Prius. Yes there have been a few items repaired under warranty but what car doesn't get some of those?

Jim describes his Prius as the best car I have ever owned.. It's a delight to drive, and my average mpg around 48 in warm weather and 40-42 during wintertime.

Jim said he loves his Prius but then he is the original owner and his hybrid has only 48,000 miles on the odometer.

Are Used Hybrids a Pig in a Poke?...

Sales Top 1 Million but Some Owners Find Prius Doesn't Age Well

Electrical, Drivetrain Problems Plague Consumers as Cars Age

Toyota is bragging that sales of its hybrid vehicles have exceeded one million vehicles, but at least some of the early models are beginning to bedevil their early-adopter owners.

The Japanese automaker began selling gas-and-electric cars ten years ago and is now the acknowledged hybrid leader in the automotive industry. Toyota sold nearly 345,000 hybrids in Japan and 702,000 in other worldwide markets over the ten years.

The automaker has sold 757,600 of the Prius hybrid since the 1997 introduction of the vehicle in Japan. Toyota began selling the Prius in North America and Europe in 2000. Last year, the Prius accounted for more than 40 percent of hybrid sales in the U.S.

Toyota claims that its hybrid technology is the single biggest ecological advance in automotive engineering and asserts that hybrids hold far more potential than the diesel or other innovations.

Unique Car, Unique Problems

But a growing number of ConsumerAffairs.com readers are reporting that the Prius hybrid technology is not aging well. With some Prius models in the U.S. on the road now for eight years and approaching 100,000 miles, owners are beginning to encounter problems that are unique to the hybrids.

Bernadette in Fresno, California, bought her Prius in 2004. She said that the hybrid display began to malfunction within a few months and did not work with the result of being unable to get gas into car."

Now Bernadette told ConsumerAffairs.com that, the display began to do strange things two weeks ago but this time I recognized it when the radio kept turning off and the display kept saying odd things.

The display unit in the Prius has to be replaced again and fortunately for Bernadette the car is under extended warranty.

I am told that I will pay $85.00 for diagnostic fee so they could tell me the display does not work. I am still waiting for the car to be fixed due to inability to get the parts which is exactly what happened before with a different dealer, she told us.

Zhirair in Glendale, California also owns a 2004 Prius. I have been having a monitor problem. It won't work properly, he said.

Zhirair has reported the problem to Toyota and he said the automaker is unwilling to provide any assistance because the monitor in his Prius is no longer covered by the Toyota warranty.

There is a technical service bulletin out on it from Toyota which tells the dealer how to repair the problem but only if the car is under factory warranty, he said. My car has 49,000 miles on it and is out of warranty.

Zhirair thinks Toyota ought to extend the warranty on his hybrid or recall the Prius monitor.

Danny in San Antonio, Texas, owns a 2003 Toyota Prius with 91,000 miles on the odometer.

When we went to start it the dashboard lit up with multiple warning lights. The dealer picked it up and said that the transmission went out and it would cost $6,000 to fix and the Prius was out of warranty, he told ConsumerAffairs.com.

When we explained to the dealer and to Toyota customer relations that the transmission was part of the Hybrid Power train covered for 5 years and 100,000 mile they refused to cover it. Not even a partial coverage. This considering the car was working fine when it was last shut off, Danny said.

Richard in Palm Desert, California, drives a 2001 Prius with 103,000 miles on it.

The car has died on the freeway four times. The second time the dealer had the car for 53 days waiting for parts, he told ConsumerAffairs.com

The car is extremely hard on tires, just can't keep them balanced. The heat inverter has gone out twice, the service rep said these cars just don't do well in the desert. The gas tank has been replaced and the steering column replaced, he said.

And to make owning the Prius all the worse, Richard said that the mileage has not been what they advertised.

Getting stranded on the freeway at 11:00 at night when the car dies and can't be moved is quite scary especially when there is no place to pull off out of traffic. I only use this car to drive short trips around town because I just can't trust it on the freeway, he said.

Finally, in Bedford, Texas, Chuck told us that the 12-volt battery in my 2002 Toyota Prius discharges and it won't start if the car isn't run every day. Repeated trips to the dealership have not cured the problem, despite an upgrade of battery.

The growing number of complaints and problems owners of aging Prius hybrids are encountering suggest that a wary consumer ought to look long and hard before buying one of these hybrids on the used car market.

Toyota warrants the hybrid drive system for 100,000 miles, but as Danny in San Antonio discovered, there can be some uncertainty as to which of the Prius components are part of the hybrid drive and covered by the warranty and which are not.

Sales Top 1 Million but Some Owners Find Prius Doesn't Age Well...

Honda Drops Accord Hybrid


Honda Motor Co. is dropping the hybrid version of the Accord sedan from the company line-up, in part because the Accord hybrid was never able to successfully compete with the popular Toyota Prius hybrid.

The Japanese automaker will continue to make a hybrid version of the Civic sedan.

The Accord hybrid is sold only in North America and was a flop in the automobile market.

Honda sold just 25,000 Accord hybrids since the vehicle went on sale in 2004. Honda sold only 6,100 Accord hybrids last year and 439 last month.

Toyota's Prius hybrid is the market leader with 729,800 units sold since December 1997. Toyota sold 24,000 Prius cars in May.

Honda has also canceled the slow-selling Honda Insight hybrid but promises new hybrids are on the company drawing boards.

Hybrid sales in the U.S. are up with rising gas prices and Prius sales accounted for more than 40 percent of all hybrid sold in the U.S. last year.

Hybrids like the Prius and Civic deliver as much as 50 miles per gallon or more, depending on driving conditions, but the hybrid Accord delivered fewer miles to the gallon.

Honda Drops Accord Hybrid...

Camshaft Flaw in New Tundra Pickup

The camshaft can crack and fail

Some of the giant Toyota Tundra pickup trucks have a flawed camshaft which can crack and fail.

Toyota Motor Corp. reports 20 engine failures in the truck and the automaker said it is trying to track down other trucks at risk for the problem.

Toyota has found the flawed camshaft in a limited number of 5.7-liter, V-8 engines installed in early versions of the Tundra.

Toyota calls the Tundra its most important product launch ever and the engine problems come as the Japanese automaker faces pressure to maintain its reputation for quality in the face of a stretch of fast growth that has made it the world's largest automaker.

Toyota engineers have determined that a flaw in the casting of a still-undetermined number of Tundra camshafts which were manufactured for Toyota's Alabama engine plant by an outside supplier caused the engine failures.

"The supplier has made changes and we think the problem is solved," a Toyota spokesman said. Toyota would not identify the component supplier.

In cases in which a Tundra camshaft fails, Toyota is replacing the truck engine at no charge, according to the spokesman.

The automaker does not plan to inspect every Tundra pickup for the flaw. The spokesman said Toyota is confident that the company can identify what it expects will be a small number of trucks at risk for developing the camshaft problem.

"We're still trying to get our arms around how many could have been affected," he said.

The 5.7-liter V-8 -- the largest engine made by Toyota -- has accounted for more than 70 percent of the new Tundra sales since the truck launched in February.

Toyota, which overtook General Motors Corp. as the world's largest automaker in the first quarter, sold more than 37,000 of the new Tundra trucks in the first three months of the year in the United States.

The truck, which is being built at a new Toyota assembly plant in San Antonio, Texas, takes aim at a profitable niche still dominated by the Detroit-based automakers.

Toyota has marketed the new T