Toyota Recall: Media Briefing

2 February 2010

The following briefing details the key facts surrounding the recall of Toyota vehicles. Any further information will be provided by the Toyota GB Press Office as and when it becomes available.

1. What exactly is the problem?

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.

2. What is the cause?

Some accelerator pedal mechanisms may become worn. As a result of this wear combined with certain operating and environmental conditions, friction in the mechanism may increase and intermittently result in the accelerator pedal being hard to depress, slow to return or, in the worst case, stick in a partially open position.

3. Are there any warnings that this condition exists?

In some cases, the driver may notice that the accelerator pedal is harder to depress or is slow to return.

In some cases, the driver may notice a rough or chattering feeling when depressing/ releasing the accelerator pedal.

4. What is Toyota doing to address the issue in the UK?

On 1 February 2010 Toyota confirmed a comprehensive fix for the accelerator pedals of the eight Toyota models planned for recall in Europe. Toyota’s engineers have developed and rigorously tested a solution that involves reinforcing the pedal assembly to eliminate the potential risk of excess friction that could, in rare instances, cause the pedal to stick. The first shipments of parts required for this fix will begin arriving in Europe next week. In parallel, plans to contact the affected customers are being put into place.

Technical illustrations detailing the parts concerned can be found below.

5. When will repairs begin?

Preparations are under way to set up the repair programme as quickly as possible, which requires the gathering of the contact details of owners and registered keepers from the DVLA (see 6 below) As soon as they are complete, implementation will start.

6. How and when will Toyota be contacting affected UK customers?

Toyota will very soon confirm exactly which vehicles in the Europe are to be included in the recall. In the UK it will then begin the process involved in obtaining the registration details of these vehicles from the DVLA. Toyota will take all reasonable action to contact the owners or registered keepers of the vehicles affected as quickly as possible. This conforms to the terms of the VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) code of practice which applies to vehicle recalls in the UK.

Obtaining all the relevant contact details may take up to four weeks. Toyota will contact vehicle owners/keepers by letter to set out the details of the recall process. This process will be expedited as quickly as possible.

To support this activity, Toyota will set up additional website and telephone helpline services to provide information about the recall process and advice to those owners who are affected.

Toyota advises customers who have concerns to contact Toyota GB Customer Relations on 0800 1388 744 for assistance.

Toyota has also launched a dedicated recall information page on the Toyota website and this will be updated with the latest information

7. Who will be responsible for carrying out the repair work in the UK?

This work will be done by qualified Toyota technicians at Toyota-approved service centres. The work will be carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible, to minimise inconvenience to the customer.

8. How many vehicles are affected by the recall in the UK?

We are still investigating the models that are affected in the UK. Toyota will determine the exact type and precise number of models involved in the recall very soon.

9. How many vehicles are affected by this issue in Europe?

The precise number of units that will be recalled Europe-wide is still to be determined, but could be as many as 1.8 million vehicles. This area extends beyond the European Union.

10. Which vehicles are affected in Europe?

The models involved and production periods of the vehicles that are potentially affected are as follows: –

Model Name – Production Period

  • AYGO – Feb 2005 – Aug 2009
  • iQ – Nov 2008 – Nov 2009
  • Yaris – Nov 2005 – Sep 2009
  • Auris – Oct 2006 – 5 Jan 2010
  • Corolla – Oct 2006 – Dec 2009
  • Verso – Feb 2009 – 5 Jan 2010
  • Avensis – Nov 2008 – Dec 2009
  • RAV4 – Nov 2005 – Nov 2009

11. Are any other UK Toyota or Lexus vehicles involved?

No Lexus models and no other Toyota models – cars or light commercial vehicles – are involved.

12. Does the issue affect both petrol and diesel vehicles?

Yes, both petrol and diesel vehicles are involved.

13. When did Toyota become aware of issues with the accelerator pedal in its vehicles the UK?

Toyota first became aware of incidents of the accelerator pedal sticking, creating customer safety concerns, in November 2009. Toyota Europe (TME) moved quickly to mount a thorough investigation and initiate a recall.

14. How many reports of a sticking accelerator problem has Toyota received in Europe?

Toyota has received 26 reports potentially linked to this issue in Europe, which represents a tiny proportion of the several million vehicles sold and on the road.

15. Why was a vehicle safety recall issued in the USA before the UK?

Toyota became aware of the first, isolated reports of sticking accelerator pedals in North America in late October 2009. Following a thorough investigation, Toyota announced on 21 January 2010 that it would recall specific vehicles in North America to correct sticking accelerator pedals.

Research data from the North America investigation have assisted Toyota with its investigation into whether and how this issue might affect its models in Europe.

Subsequent to this investigation, Toyota announced on 28 January 2010 that it would implement a recall of eight Toyota models in Europe.

On 1 February 2010 Toyota USA (TMS) announced a comprehensive plan to fix accelerator pedals to prevent the risk of sticking on recalled vehicles, to ensure customer safety.

On the same date, Toyota confirmed a comprehensive fix for the accelerator pedals of the eight Toyota models planned for recall in Europe.

Toyota has had no reports of any accidents in Europe caused by this issue.

16. Have there been any accidents reported as a result of this problem in Europe?

Toyota has had no reports of any accidents caused by this issue in Europe.

17. What is the likelihood of a Toyota vehicle being affected by this condition?

The problem that has been identified is rare and does not occur suddenly.

18. Has Toyota already made changes that prevent the problem occurring in the vehicles it is building now?

Yes, a running change in production has been implemented model by model since August 2009.

19. Does this mean that Toyota knew there was a problem? If so, why has it waited so long to instigate a recall?

The change introduced in August 2009 was a quality improvement. It was not introduced as a solution to a technical defect/problem which would require a Service Campaign or Recall.

The change was made after Toyota became aware of rare cases where the accelerator pedal did not return to its idle position as swiftly as it ideally should. While these few cases did not represent any risk or safety concern, Toyota still changed the accelerator pedal within the context of a running production change, with the intention of improving the quality of the product delivered to the customer.

However, since the implementation of this change, Toyota became aware of new, different, but related cases of the pedal sticking. This led to further investigations and as a consequence, a safety recall has been implemented.

20. In North America Toyota has stopped production of the vehicles affected. Is it taking the same action taken in Europe?

No, starting from August 2009, a running change in production (see 18 above) has been implemented model-by-model. Vehicles now in production are thus not affected by the issue.

21. Has Toyota stopped selling certain models in the UK?

The full Toyota model range remains on sale across the UK. With safety as its prime concern, Toyota will make all the necessary checks to ensure customers do not receive a vehicle at risk of developing this problem.

22. What should UK drivers do if their vehicle is among those named in this campaign, but they have not experienced the condition?

Toyota advises customers who have any concerns to contact Toyota GB Customer Relations on 0800 1388 744 for assistance.

23. If UK Toyota drivers notice that the accelerator pedal is hard to depress, slow to return or is unsmooth during operation, what should they do?

In the rare event of such conditions being noticed, drivers should contact their nearest Toyota Centre (dealership). Further assistance can be obtained from Toyota GB Customer Relations (see 22 above).

24. Is this problem the fault of the company which supplied the accelerator pedal components?

Toyota takes responsibility for the quality of its vehicles.

25. Does this recall in Europe have anything to do with the floor mat recall in the USA?

No, the floor mat recall concerns the USA only.

However, Toyota does not advise customers to use third-party aftermarket floor mats in their vehicles. Unsecured mats can cause problems by interfering with pedals in the driver’s footwell of any car from any manufacturer. Our advice is to only ever use genuine, manufacturer-supplied mats, correctly secured.


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Toyota Recall: Media Briefing


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