After a major recall in September, Toyota is installing new brake systems and shorter gas pedals on about 3.8 million cars. After those modifications, the cars will no longer be in danger of accelerating unintentionally. The Detroit Free Press reports:
For 2005 through 2010 model year Toyota Avalons, 2007 through 2010 Camry and Lexus ES350, the automaker will reconfigure the floor surface beneath the pedal to create more space between the pedal and the floor.
The action is designed to address the root cause of the unintended acceleration, which Toyota previously blamed on floor mats becoming trapped between drivers’ feet and the gas pedal.
The brake over-ride system that will be offered on the Camry, Avalon and Lexus ES and IS models should ensure the car stops if both the accelerator and brake pedals are applied at the same time. Many of the reported incidents involved sudden increases in speed when the cruise control system is engaged. Drivers have reported that their brakes could not stop their vehicles when they experienced the phenomenon.
The problem, which allegedly has caused more than a dozen fatalities and resulted in more than 100 formal complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has presented the most serious challenge yet to Toyota’s reputation as the auto industry’s quality leader.
The gas pedal announcement comes after a major Tundra recall, announced yesterday (CNN):
Federal regulators announced Tuesday the recall of 110,000 Toyota pickup trucks in 20 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that road salts can cause “excessive corrosion” of the Toyota Tundra’s frame, which holds a spare tire mounted underneath the vehicle. NHTSA said dislodged spare tires can cause hazards for other vehicles on the road.
The corrosion can also damage the rear brake lines and lead to brake system failures, the NHTSA said.
Doesn’t exactly make you want to buy a Toyota.