Tagged Articles

safety recall 74 articles

Toyota recalls 700,000 vehicles for safety repairs

Toyota announced Wednesday that it will begin recalling nearly 700,000 vehicles next month to repair potential safety problems. One recall encompasses about 495,000 Tacoma pickup trucks made in models years 2005 through 2009 and will involve replacing the steering wheel spiral cable assembly. According to Toyota, friction between the spiral cable and the retainer in the steering wheel spiral cable assembly may occur in some of the vehicles, possibly resulting in “loss of connectivity to the driver’s air bag module.” Should the electrical connection be interrupted, the driver’s airbag may be deactivated and fail to deploy during a crash. The ... Read More

Confidential Toyota memo says electronic flaw caused sudden acceleration in test car

An internal Toyota document obtained and translated by CNN demonstrates that engineers testing a pre-production car experienced and noted an instance of “sudden unintended acceleration.” The confidential document, drafted in 2006, was never shared with U.S. officials investigating whether an electronic flaw could be causing Toyota vehicles to suddenly speed out of control. Toyota engineers penned the document, relaying the results of a cruise-control test on a vehicle that would later be sold in Japan and Europe as the Lexus 460. “The cruise control activates by itself at full throttle when the accelerator pedal position sensor is abnormal,” the report says, ... Read More

State Farm sues Toyota in Texas to recover sudden-acceleration crash payments

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance is suing Toyota Motor Sales in an effort to recoup a claim it paid to a policyholder whose 2007 Camry suddenly accelerated as she was attempting to park. The insurance company alleges that Toyota installed a faulty accelerator pedal in the plaintiff’s car, causing it to surge forward and collide with a building, causing several thousands of dollars in damage.  The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Victoria, Texas, states that the plaintiff was attempting to maneuver into a parking space at an office building when the accelerator pedal became stuck, causing the vehicle ... Read More

Toyota announces recall of 550,000 vehicles to fix steering flaw

Toyota Motor Corp. announced it is recalling 420,000 Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the United States and an additional 130,000 globally over a flaw that could result in difficulty steering if not corrected. According to Toyota, the outer ring of the crankshaft pulley could become misaligned with the inner ring, creating noise and/or illuminating the vehicle’s discharge warning light. Left uncorrected, the power steering pump’s belt may become detached from the pulley, in which case the driver would notice a sudden increase in steering effort. Toyota says no reports of accidents or injuries related to this problem have been reported. ... Read More

Strong yen prompts Toyota to ask suppliers for ‘shared sacrifice’

The rising value of the Yen is putting pressure on Toyota to cut back on costs in order to remain competitive in the global market, where most currencies are far weaker than Japan’s. The appreciating Yen has been putting a chokehold on Toyota and other Japanese exporters as they struggle to recoup from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated much of Japan’s eastern coast, creating widespread power shortages and disruptions in the industrial supply chain. Toyota isn’t new to the cost-cutting game. Under the stewardship of Katsuaki Watanabe, who led Toyota until 2009, the automaker instituted a series ... Read More

Electronic causes for sudden acceleration in Toyotas likely, new study finds

An independent study conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE) demonstrates that, contrary to NASA’s conclusions, an electronic cause for the sudden unintended acceleration problem in Toyota vehicles is not just probable, but highly likely. In conducting their analysis of Toyota’s engine control systems, CALCE researchers Bhanu Sood, Michael Osterman, and Michael Pecht did agree with NASA scientists who found that “tin whiskers” were present in the accelerator pedal units of every potentiometer they examined. But whereas NASA relied on an analysis of warranty data provided by Toyota’s defense expert Exponent to ... Read More

NASA’s Toyota sudden-acceleration report flawed, researchers find

The study NASA conducted to determine if an electronic flaw could be responsible for sudden unintended acceleration incidents in Toyota vehicles was the product of a collusion between trusted government agencies and powerful special interests, Safety Research & Strategies Inc. (SRS) reports on its website, and it has the facts to back up such a bold claim. In its report “How NHTSA and NASA Gamed the Toyota Data,” SRS details how the owners of Quality Control Systems Corp. thoroughly analyzed the NASA report, which found no evidence of an electronic glitch behind Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem. Their findings: that the ... Read More

Safety recall repairs often not made in resold and leased vehicles, GAO warns

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the authority to prompt automotive recalls, but it lacks the ability to ensure that potentially dangerous safety defects are fixed before motor vehicles are sold to unsuspecting customers. Now the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is calling for the agency to take a more active role in helping prevent potentially dangerous recalled vehicles from being sold before they are repaired. A year-long study conducted by the GAO was prompted by NHTSA’s handling of Toyota’s sudden unintended acceleration issues, widely criticized by legislators and safety experts as being slow to respond and ineffective in dealing ... Read More

Toyota recalls 82,000 hybrid SUVs for potential control-system defect

Toyota announced Wednesday it will recall about 82,000 hybrid Highlander and Lexus SUVs with faulty computer-board wiring that could cause the vehicles to lose power. This latest safety recall encompasses model-year 2006-2007 Highlander and Lexus SUV hybrids that were sold in the United States. Toyota said the recall includes about 45,500 Highlander Hybrids and 36,700 Lexus Rx 400h vehicles. No other vehicles are affected. According to Toyota certain transistors on the control board inside the affected vehicles have inadequate soldering that could become heat-damaged from high currents during “high-load” driving. “If this were to occur, various warning lamps will illuminate ... Read More

Strong Yen + weak dollar = more Toyota cost cuts

The strong Yen may feel great to Japanese consumers buying imported products or traveling to foreign destinations with a weaker currency, but it’s causing Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers a lot of pain. As the Yen continues to grow in strength against the weak dollar, Japanese exports such as Toyota and Lexus vehicles grow more expensive to the American consumer. This dilemma poses yet another challenge to Toyota, which is facing hundreds of personal injury, wrongful death, and economic loss lawsuits over the sudden unintended acceleration defects in its vehicles. The company also has paid millions of dollars in civil ... Read More