Product Liability

Toyota recalls include the Pontiac Vibe

All the news about Toyota’s record-breaking recalls and its week-old production and sales suspension have made it easy to forget about the Pontiac Vibe, the hybrid car that General Motors manufactured for the 2009 and 2010 model years.

But what does a General Motors car have to do with the Toyota recalls?

A true hybrid in more ways than one, the Vibe is actually a spin-off of the Toyota Matrix and Corolla. Toyota actually manufactured all three vehicles at the now-defunct New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, California. NUMMI was a joint venture between General Motors and Toyota that had the Japanese car maker turning out cars at what was once a General Motors plant.

General Motors pulled the plug on the Vibe and NUMMI amidst its financial crises and the wider economic challenges, but not before 99,293 of the vehicles rolled off the assembly.

Because Toyota made the Vibe for GM, the vehicle has been affected by both the floor mat entrapment recall and the sticking accelerator pedal recall.

On January 27, 2010, Toyota notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it was widening its floor mat entrapment recall to include the Vibe. The 2009-2010 model year Matrix and Corolla also were included in this expansion, along with the 2008-2010 Highlander and 2009-2010 Venza.

Although GM reports no customer complaints or incidents related to the sticking pedal recall (which is separate from the floor mat entrapment recall, although many vehicles overlap between the 2 recalls), the accelerator assemblies are the same as those used in Toyota’s recalled vehicles.

General Motors will notify Vibe owners in the U.S. and Canada of the recall and available repairs. Although Pontiac no longer exists, the Vibe repairs will likely be performed by mechanics at General Motors dealerships.