Tag Archive | "safety recall"

Embattled Toyota Supplier CTS Also Works with Honda, Others

WASHINGTON – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating whether a Toyota Motor Corp. supplier has distributed faulty pedals to other manufacturers, reported The Detroit News.

Toyota said late Wednesday that is working closely with Elkhart, Ind.-based CTS Inc. on a fix to the problem that’s forced the recall of 2.3 million vehicles and halted the sale of eight models on Tuesday.

CTS Inc. also produces pedals for Honda Motor Co, among other companies.

Honda spokeswoman Christina Ra said Wednesday that CTS is a supplier of pedals, but they are not the same as Toyota’s and they have had no reports of similar pedal issues.

CTS said Toyota’s business comprises only about 3 percent of its overall sales.

Spokesmen for Nissan Motor Co. and Honda said their CTS-produced pedals are based on different designs.

Toyota has been working with CTS on a new pedal that “effectively remedies the problem associated with accelerator pedals. Pedals featuring the revised design are now in full production at CTS to support Toyota’s needs.”

Toyota said it is already testing the new pedals and working with NHTSA on its fix.

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Toyota Expands Recall to 1.1M

WASHINGTON – As Toyota Motor Corp. expanded by 1.1 million vehicles a recall related to accelerator pedals, details emerged about the unusual steps U.S. officials took to urge Toyota to quickly address escalating safety and quality concerns, reported The Detroit News.

The expansion broadens Toyota’s largest-ever recall and comes one day after the Japanese automaker said it would stop selling eight models involved in a separate accelerator pedal recall until it comes up with a fix for that problem. That affects production at six North American assembly plants. The eight models account for 60 percent of Toyota’s U.S. sales volume.

The 1.1 million vehicle expansion involves Toyota’s recall last fall of 4.26 million vehicles and comes as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was preparing to open a broader investigation into the central issue of that recall: whether unintended acceleration in several crashes was caused by the gas pedal being trapped by a floor mat.

The new vehicles being recalled under the action announced in September are 2008-2010 Highlander sport utility vehicles, 2009-2010 Corolla sedans, 2009-2010 Venza crossovers, 2009-2010 Matrix hatchbacks and 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe hatchbacks; the Vibe was jointly engineered by Toyota and General Motors Co. Toyota disclosed the move in a two-page letter to NHTSA that was reviewed by The Detroit News.

The increase means Toyota has recalled 5.35 million vehicles in the probe linked to pedal entrapment by floor mats. Toyota in November agreed to repair or replace the pedals, replace the floor mats, and in some cases modify software that controls the throttle and reshape the floor surface.

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GM Reaches Out to Toyota Customers with Incentives

General Motors is offering interest-free loans and other incentives to Toyota owners who may want to get rid of their cars due to fears about faulty gas pedals.

GM General Manager of Retail Sales Steve Hill said Wednesday the company is responding to thousands of inquiries from Toyota owners.

The Detroit automaker is offering offer zero percent financing for 60 months on most models. It also will offer $1,000 to Toyota owners toward a down payment on a GM vehicle and up to $1,000 to help to pay off current leases early. The offers run through the end of February.

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Safety Woes Hurt Toyota Image

The problem with faulty gas pedals in its cars and trucks is rare, Toyota says, and car owners are unlikely to experience any trouble. But Toyota’s reputation is another matter, The Associated Press reported.

Crisis management experts say just how far Toyota’s image tumbles depends on how quickly it can fix the problems and how well it communicates with hundreds of thousands of loyal customers.

They also say that Toyota’s growth has outpaced its management structure. The company didn’t have in place the mechanisms to identify and deal with the problems before they exploded into two giant recalls, factory shutdowns and instructions to dealers to stop selling eight models.

Toyota Motor Corp. rode a reputation for reliability to become the world’s top car maker. For more than 30 years, it won customers and market share from General Motors Co., Chrysler Group LLC and Ford Motor Co. by building high-quality cars such as the midsize Camry and compact Corolla.

Toyota said late Tuesday it would halt sales of some of its top-selling models, including Camry and Corolla, to fix gas pedals that could stick and cause unintended acceleration. Last week, Toyota issued a recall affecting 2.3 million vehicles.

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