Toyota Answers Questions About the Sticking Accelerator Pedal Recall

Updated with the most recent information on Feb. 3, 2010.
 
Click here for sticking accelerator pedal recall  
 
Click here for floormat pedal entrapment recall  
 
Click here for general questions on both recalls      
 
STICKING ACCLERATOR PEDAL RECALL  
 
Which models are involved in the sticking accelerator pedal recall/stop sale?
Toyota’s accelerator pedal recall and suspension of sales is confined to the following Toyota Division vehicles:
 
• Certain 2009-2010 RAV4*,
• Certain 2009-2010 Corolla*,
• 2009-2010 Matrix,
• 2005-2010 Avalon,
• Certain 2007-2010 Camry*,
• Certain 2010 Highlander*,
• 2007-2010 Tundra,
• 2008-2010 Sequoia
 
*Highlander hybrids and Camry hybrids are not involved in this action and will remain for sale.  Further, Camry, RAV 4, Corolla and Highlander vehicles with VINs that begin with "J" are not involved.  
 
What is a “VIN” and how do I find it on my automobile?
A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a 17-character sequence of numbers and letters that is used by the automobile industry to uniquely identify motor vehicles. It can be viewed through the windshield on the driver’s side at the front of the dashboard.
 
In addition, the VIN number is also located on a sticker on the driver’s side pillar, with the tire inflation information and on the vehicle’s registration.  
 
Why are mechanically similar Lexus and Scion vehicles not involved in this recall?
The recall involved pedal is confined to one of Toyota’s suppliers. That supplier’s pedals are not used on Lexus and Scion vehicles.  
 
What is the problem that could cause accelerators to stick and led to the recall?
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.
 
This friction 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.  
 
What is the solution Toyota announced to fix sticking accelerator pedals?
Toyota’s engineers have developed and rigorously tested a solution that is both effective and simple.   A precision-cut steel reinforcement bar will be installed into the accelerator pedal assembly, thereby eliminating the excess friction that has caused pedals to stick in rare instances.  
 
How does a steel reinforcement bar solve this problem?
The steel reinforcement bar 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.   
 
How does Toyota know that this solution will be effective?
Toyota has confirmed the effectiveness of the newly reinforced pedals through rigorous testing on pedal assemblies that had previously shown a tendency to stick.  Nothing is more important to Toyota than the safety and satisfaction of our customers, and Toyota has high confidence in its solution for fixing our customers’ vehicles.   
 
When can I get my vehicle fixed?
Toyota will begin contacting customers to let them know when to bring in their vehicles for the fix, and some of them will be notified as early as this week (Week beginning, Monday, February 1).  Because of the number of vehicles involved, it will take time to process and mail the instructions to all involved vehicle owners, and Toyota appreciates its owners’ patience during this time.  Owners will only receive a letter if their vehicle is involved in the recall. Upon receipt of an owner notification letter that their vehicle is involved, owners will be asked to please contact a local Toyota dealership to schedule an appointment to have their vehicle fixed.
 
At Toyota, our highest priority has been to quickly and effectively address the needs of owners of involved vehicles.  Parts to reinforce the pedals are already being shipped for use by dealers, and many Toyota dealers will work extended hours to complete the recall campaign as quickly and conveniently as possible -- some even staying open 24 hours a day.  
 
Does the reinforced pedal feel any different?
Drivers should not notice any change in the feel of the pedal.  
 
How long will it take for a dealer to repair my automobile?
The actual repair involves about 30 minutes’ work. 
 
Is the repair covered by warranty?  Will drivers have to pay any money out of pocket for this work?
Toyota will cover all repair costs associated with this work. 
 
Is my car safe to drive if it has not yet received this solution?
To be clear, the condition is rare and generally does not occur suddenly.  It can occur when the pedal mechanism becomes worn and, in certain conditions, the accelerator pedal may become harder to depress, slower to return or, in the worst case, stuck in a partially depressed position.  
 
Customers who experience an accelerator pedal that is hard to depress, slow to return or is unsmooth during operation should drive the vehicle to a safe location, shut off the engine and contact a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.  
 
What if you experience a sticking accelerator pedal while driving?
Each circumstance may vary, and drivers must use their best judgment, but Toyota recommends taking the following actions:
• If you need to stop immediately, the vehicle can be controlled by stepping on the brake pedal with both feet using firm and steady pressure.  Do not pump the brake pedal as it will deplete the vacuum utilized for the power brake assist.
• Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.
• If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost. 
      o If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine.  Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.  
      o If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine.  Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.  
 
What do I do if I believe I am experiencing a sticking accelerator pedal before my car receives the remedy? Should I bring my car to a dealer?
Customers who experience an accelerator pedal that is hard to depress, slow to return or is unsmooth during operation should drive the vehicle to a safe location, shut off the engine and contact a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.
 
Otherwise, if you are not experiencing any of these issues with your accelerator pedal, Toyota is confident that your vehicle is safe to drive, and no action is required at this time.  Toyota will begin contacting customers to let them know when to bring in their vehicles for the fix, and some of them will be notified as early as this week.
 
What if my vehicle is also involved in the floor mat recall?  Which will be addressed first?
Toyota is working to coordinate the pedal entrapment and the sticking pedal recalls to minimize the number of customers who will have to have two service visits.  
 
Are you continuing to investigate other models for this sticking pedal issue?
Toyota is confident that all models that contain the potentially sticking pedals have been identified.
 
Why has Toyota stopped selling the involved vehicles?  When will those vehicles go on sale again? 
The law requires that dealers stop delivering all new vehicles identified in our recall notice.  As the dealer modifies vehicles, the dealers may sell and deliver the vehicles on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis. In other words, once a dealer modifies a vehicle, the dealer may sell and deliver it even though similar, unmodified vehicles at the dealership may not be delivered to customers.  
 
However, Toyota’s priority is providing the remedy to current vehicle owners first.
 
FLOOR MAT PEDAL ENTRAPMENT RECALL  
 
Which models are involved in the floor mat pedal entrapment recall?
Toyota
2007 - 2010 Camry
2005 - 2010 Avalon
2004 - 2009 Prius
2005 - 2010 Tacoma
2007 - 2010 Tundra
2008 - 2010 Highlander
2009 - 2010 Corolla
2009 - 2010 Venza
2009 - 2010 Matrix  
 
Lexus
2006 - 2010 IS 250
2006 - 2010 IS 350
2007 - 2010 ES 350
 
What is the condition that has prompted this floor mat pedal entrapment recall?
There is the potential for an unsecured or incompatible driver’s floor mat to interfere with, or entrap, the accelerator pedal in the worst case, in the wide-open position.  A vehicle with an entrapped accelerator pedal may be difficult to control and/or stop.  
 
What are the specific measures of the vehicle-based remedy you are using to address the potential for floor mats to entrap the pedal?
The remedy is as follows:
 
1. The shape of the accelerator pedal will be reconfigured to address the risk of floor mat entrapment, even when an older-design all-weather floor mat or other inappropriate floor mat is improperly attached, or is placed on top of another floor mat.  For the ES350, Camry, and Avalon models involved, the shape of the floor surface underneath will also be reconfigured to increase the space between the accelerator pedal and the floor.
 
2. Vehicles with any genuine Toyota or Lexus accessory all-weather floor mat will be provided with newly-designed replacement driver- and front passenger-side all-weather floor mats.
 
In addition, as a separate measure independent of the vehicle-based remedy, Toyota will install a brake override system onto the involved Camry, Avalon, and Lexus ES 350, IS 350 and IS 250 models as an extra measure of confidence. This system cuts engine power in case of simultaneous application of both the accelerator and brake pedals.
 
The recall remedies for accelerator pedal entrapment for the Corolla, Matrix, Venza, Highlander, Tacoma, Tundra, and Prius will occur on a rolling schedule during 2010.  No details have been provided to this point.  Please note that the Prius, and all hybrids for that matter, already have a version of the override system.  The override system will be standard by the end of 2010.   
 
What is the function of “brake override system”?
When the vehicle is moving and both the gas and brake pedal are pushed at the same time, this software forces the vehicle to respond to the brake only. The brake takes precedence over the gas pedal.
 
Is Toyota implementing the brake override system because there is an electronic control unit (ECU) defect?
Toyota is confident that no defect exists in the ECU. 
 
What vehicles has Toyota begun notification on for the floor mat recall?
Toyota has begun issuing notification for the Lexus division involved models – ES350 and IS250 and IS350, and the Toyota Camry and Avalon.  The recall remedies for other involved vehicles will be rolled out through 2010.  
 
In the meantime, if you are an owner of a vehicle involved in this recall, as a precaution, to help reduce the risk of incorrect floor mat installation and/or application, Toyota requests that customers take out any removable driver’s floor mat and NOT replace it with any other floor mat until the safety recall remedy has been completed on the vehicle. After the recall remedy has been completed, only floor mats designed specifically for the vehicle and which are properly secured should be installed on the driver’s floor.  
 
What is the likelihood that my vehicle will experience this condition?
Pedal entrapment can occur in vehicles in which the driver’s side floor mat is not compatible with the vehicle and/or is not properly installed and secured. It can also occur when there is a loose item or debris on the driver’s side floor.
 
As a precaution, to help reduce the risk of incorrect floor mat installation and/or application, Toyota requests that customers take out any removable driver’s floor mat and NOT replace it with any other floor mat until the safety recall remedy has been completed on the vehicle. After the recall remedy has been completed, only floor mats designed specifically for the vehicle and which are properly secured should be installed on the driver’s floor.
 
What should I do if I experience floor mat pedal entrapment while driving?
Should the vehicle continue to accelerate rapidly after releasing the accelerator pedal, this could be an indication of floor mat interference.  If this occurs, Toyota recommends the driver take the following actions:
• First, if it is possible and safe to do so, pull back the floor mat and dislodge it from the accelerator pedal; then pull over and stop the vehicle.
• If the floor mat cannot be dislodged, then firmly and steadily step on the brake pedal with both feet. Do NOT pump the brake pedal repeatedly as this will increase the effort required to slow the vehicle.
• Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine. • If you are unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF, or to ACC. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost.
       o If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.
       o If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.
 
What if I don’t want to remove my floor mat?
Toyota strongly recommends that you remove the driver’s side floor mat and that you not disregard this advice. If you choose to disregard our recommendation, please be sure that your vehicle has the correct floor mat and that it is properly installed and secured. Do not stack floor mats and do not turn them over. While there are instructions on www.toyota.com for proper floor mat installation in unaffected vehicles, again, Toyota strongly recommends that you remove the floor mat out of recalled vehicles.  
 
Are the all-weather floor mats being replaced in involved vehicles?
Yes.  Toyota will be replacing the front driver and passenger-side floor mats.   
 
Is Toyota recalling the old style floor mats and what are you doing with them?
Yes, Toyota is recalling the old style floor mat as part of this recall to completely remove them from the market. At some point in time, in the future, these mats will be recycled into other products such as road surfaces. Toyota has not completed the details of the recycling actions.  
 
GENERAL QUESTIONS ON BOTH RECALLS  
 
What are the differences between the recalls? 
There are two different recalls.  Some vehicles are involved in both.    
 
Sticking Pedal Accelerator Recall: In rare instances, over time, and under certain environmental conditions, there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to idle position.
 
Potential Floor Mat Interference with Accelerator Pedal Recall: This condition is the potential for an unsecured or incompatible driver’s floor mat to interfere with or entrap the accelerator pedal and cause it to get stuck in the wide open position.  Toyota has determined that this condition can occur in vehicles in which the driver’s side floor mat is not compatible with the vehicle and/or is not properly secured.  
 
What models are involved in both the sticking pedal and floor mat entrapment recalls?
Certain 2007-2010 Camry*
Certain 2009-2010 Corolla*
2009-2010 Matrix
2005-2010 Avalon
Certain 2010 Highlander*
2007-2010 Tundra  
 
* Sticking Accelerator Pedal Recall - Highlander hybrids and Camry hybrids are not involved in this action. Further, Camry, Corolla and Highlander vehicles with VINs that begin with "J" are not involved in this action.  
 
What if my vehicle is involved in both recalls?  Which will be addressed first?
Toyota is working to coordinate the pedal entrapment and the sticking pedal recalls to minimize the number of customers who will have to have two service visits.
 
Is there actually a problem with the vehicle’s computer/Electronic Control Unit? Toyota has never found an incident of unintended acceleration caused by the vehicle’s computer/electronic control unit.
  
What should I do if I still have questions or concerns?
If you still have questions or concerns that have not been addressed here, please contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331. 
The Toyota Customer Experience Center hours are:
Monday - Friday, 5:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. PST
Saturday, 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. PST