Product Liability

Pedal manufacturer says it’s not to blame for Toyota problems, recalls

In its latest recall involving 2.3 million vehicles, Toyota said that the throttle assemblies in eight models could wear over time, causing the gas pedal to stick in open position, return to idle too slowly, or generally become less responsive. Today, the manufacturer of those throttle mechanisms, CTS Corporation, issued a statement firmly insisting that its parts are not responsible for any of the unintended acceleration incidents involving Toyota vehicles.

Toyota’s recall this month of vehicles with sticking accelerator pedals is separate from the record recall it announced last September of more than 4 million vehicles in response to reports of some cars and trucks accelerating suddenly and unintentionally. Toyota’s recalls of vehicles with both faulty accelerator pedals and the potential to accelerate unintentionally have grown since the original announcements to include some 9 million vehicles worldwide – a historically unprecedented recall in size and scale.

According to CTS in a statement issued today, “since the problem of sudden unintended acceleration has been reported to have existed in some Lexus vehicles and Toyota vehicles going back to 1999 when CTS did not even make this product for any customer, CTS believes that the rare slow return pedal phenomenon, which may occur in extreme environmental conditions, should absolutely not be linked with any sudden unintended acceleration incidents.”

CTS said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries that have been attributed to the slow pedal return condition, which, according to the company, is very rare.

“We are disappointed that, despite these facts, CTS accelerator pedals have been frequently associated with the sudden unintended acceleration problems and incidents in various media reports,” said Dennis Thornton, CTS Vice President and General Manager of Automotive Products Group.

Many Toyota owners and safety experts believe that the sudden acceleration problem in Toyota and Lexus vehicles is more fundamental than faulty floor mats or gas pedal design.

“It’s not a sticking accelerator pedal. Just like it wasn’t the floor mats. Toyota is doing everything it can to direct attention away from the electronics,” said Beasley Allen attorney Graham Esdale, who has become one of the leading attorneys in the investigation of Toyota’s runaway vehicles.

On Tuesday, Toyota announced that it had suspended production and sales of some of its bestselling models, including the 2009-2010 RAV4, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2010 Highlander, 2007-2010 Tundra, and 2008-2010 Sequoia.