Over a week after its gas pedal recall was announced, Toyota has unveiled the solution to the problem. And it is actually two solutions.
The first involves a complete redesign of the gas pedal assembly to reduce friction that can cause the accelerator to stick under what Toyota says are rare circumstances. These reengineered parts will be used on all new vehicles when production of the affected cars and trucks is resumed.
For existing vehicles a completely different ‘field remedy ‘ has been developed that involves the installation of a steel reinforcement bar into the assemblies that Toyota says achieves the same result. This fix will also apply to new vehicles currently in dealer stock.
Toyota spokesman John Hanson tells Foxnews.com that the company began developing the remedy weeks before the recall was formally announced, and that it has been thoroughly tested in lab simulations. He adds that the company has a ‘high level of confidence’ that the solution will last the lifetime of the vehicles.
There are no plans to make the fully redesigned assemblies being shipped to factories available for retrofitting into existing vehicles.
Repair kits are currently being shipped to dealers, but technical staff will need to be trained on how to perform the 30 minute installation procedure before repairs can begin. Toyota hopes to start sending out recall notices to owners as early as this week.
Although the sticking accelerator problem has been deemed a wear issue, and not something expected to happen in newer vehicles, it has not yet been determined if owners of older Toyotas will be given priority for receiving recall notices, or repairs. Hanson says that it is ultimately up to the dealers themselves to determine how to prioritize repairs, but Toyota has urged them to fix customers’ cars before their unsold inventory.
Typically this kind of work is handled on a first come, first served basis, and owners can bring their vehicles to dealerships before they receive a recall notice in the mail. Al Preziosi of
Toyota World of Newton, in Newton N.J. says this is a unique situation as there is not normally a mad rush to get in when a recall is announced and that his dealership will try its best to help owners with older vehicles, but customers will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, adding that Toyota "really wants to make sure that people are safe."
As for the 2 million vehicles affected by both the gas pedal assembly issue and a previous recall regarding pedals that could get stuck on floor mats, Hanson says Toyota will be coordinating the recall notices to affected owners so that they can have both procedures completed in a single visit.