Toyota Safety Recall FAQ’s

What is this recall about?
Toyota is reshaping the accelerator pedal and foot well area to make the vehicles less susceptible to pedals trapped by incorrect or mis-installed floor mats.

In addition, Toyota is introducing a brake override system as an extra measure of confidence for our customers. This system cuts engine power in case of simultaneous application of both the accelerator and brake pedals.

Is there a problem with Toyota’s Electronic Control Systems?
Toyota has thoroughly tested the Electronic Throttle Control System and its fail-safes and found no evidence that they have caused unintentional acceleration.

Toyota is confident that this recall procedure effectively reduces the risk of high speed unintended acceleration.

Is my vehicle safe to drive?
If your vehicle is equipped with the correct floor mats for your vehicle, and the floor mats are properly seated in the retaining posts, your vehicle should be safe to drive. If you have any doubt, remove the front floor mats and store in your trunk. Do not replace the floor mats.

What repairs does this recall include?
Depending on your vehicle, the recall may include:

  • Reshaping the accelerator pedal
  • Replacing the older-design all-weather front floor mats
  • Replacing a portion of the under-carpet pad under the pedals
  • Upgrading the Electronic Control System with a brake override system as an extra measure of confidence for our customers

Do I have to have this recall performed on my vehicle?
If your vehicle is included in this recall, having the recall procedure performed is strongly recommended.

Which vehicles are affected by this recall?

  • 2007 – 2010 Toyota Camry
  • 2005 – 2010 Toyota Avalon
  • 2004 – 2009 Toyota Prius
  • 2005 – 2010 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2007 – 2010 Toyota Tundra
  • 2007 – 2010 Lexus ES
  • 2006 – 2010 Lexus IS

I own a vehicle included in the recall. Do I have to wait for a letter from Toyota before I can bring my car in?
No, you do not have to wait to receive the letter however, Toyota is making the recall available on a rolling basis over a period of time to ensure parts are available for your vehicle. Toyota Camry is the first model to be corrected.

If you have any questions about receiving communications from Toyota, please contact Toyota’s Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.

I recently purchased a vehicle included in the recall. Was the recall procedure performed before I took delivery?
The recall period begins January 29, 2010. Vehicles delivered on or after January 29, 2010 will have the recall procedure performed prior to delivery. All other affected vehicles will need to have the procedure performed.

Do I need to return the all-weather floor mats I removed from my vehicle?
Ideally, yes. If you have removed and discarded the floor mats, you will need to sign a document indicating you have discarded them and will not reuse them.

How long will it take to complete the recall procedure on my vehicle?
You will need to leave your vehicle with us for between ½ day to a full day.

Can I wait while the recall procedure is performed on my vehicle?
Due to the number of vehicles included in this recall, we would discourage waiting at the dealership while the procedure is performed on your vehicle.

Will I be provided a loaner vehicle while my car is having the recall procedure performed?
While loaner vehicles are not provided, Checkered Flag Toyota will provide you with a half-day rental for only $9.95! Or, you may prefer our complimentary shuttle service to and from work.

Can I have this recall performed at any Toyota dealership?
Yes however, the parts for this recall are provided to dealerships on the basis of volume. As the area’s largest volume (Camry sales) dealership, Checkered Flag Toyota will have the largest stock of recall parts of any dealership in the area.

What should I do if I experience unintended acceleration?
If you experience unintended acceleration while driving, please remain calm. Shift your vehicle’s transmission to neutral, or turn your key off, immediately and safely pull to the side of the road. Check to be sure the driver’s floor mat is removed.

Call Toyota’s Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 as soon as it is convenient.

Will having this recall procedure performed affect my warranty?

What is a “VIN” and how do I find it on my automobile?
A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a 17-character sequence of numbers and letters that is used by the automobile industry to uniquely identify motor vehicles. It can be viewed through the windshield on the driver’s side at the front of the dashboard.

In addition, the VIN number is also located on a sticker on the driver’s side pillar, with the tire inflation information and on the vehicle’s registration.

Why are mechanically similar Lexus and Scion vehicles not involved in this recall?
The recall involved pedal is confined to one of Toyota’s suppliers. That supplier’s pedals are not used on Lexus and Scion vehicles.

What is the problem that could cause accelerators to stick and led to the recall?
The issue involves a friction device in the pedal designed to provide the proper “feel” by adding resistance and making the pedal steady and stable.

This friction device includes a “shoe” that rubs against an adjoining surface during normal pedal operation. Due to the materials used, wear and environmental conditions, these surfaces may, over time, begin to stick and release instead of operating smoothly. In some cases, friction could increase to a point that the pedal is slow to return to the idle position or, in rare cases, the pedal sticks, leaving the throttle partially open.

What is the solution Toyota announced to fix sticking accelerator pedals?
Toyota’s engineers have developed and rigorously tested a solution that is both effective and simple. A precision-cut steel reinforcement bar will be installed into the accelerator pedal assembly, thereby eliminating the excess friction that has caused pedals to stick in rare instances.

How does a steel reinforcement bar solve this problem?
The steel reinforcement bar will reduce the surface tension between the friction shoe and the adjoining surface. With this reinforcement in place, the excess friction that can cause the pedal to stick is eliminated.

How does Toyota know that this solution will be effective?
Toyota has confirmed the effectiveness of the newly reinforced pedals through rigorous testing on pedal assemblies that had previously shown a tendency to stick. Nothing is more important to Toyota than the safety and satisfaction of our customers, and Toyota has high confidence in its solution for fixing our customers’ vehicles.

When can I get my vehicle fixed?
Toyota will begin contacting customers to let them know when to bring in their vehicles for the fix, and some of them will be notified as early as this week (Week beginning, Monday, February 1). Because of the number of vehicles involved, it will take time to process and mail the instructions to all involved vehicle owners, and Toyota appreciates its owners’ patience during this time. Owners will only receive a letter if their vehicle is involved in the recall. Upon receipt of an owner notification letter that their vehicle is involved, owners will be asked to please contact a local Toyota dealership to schedule an appointment to have their vehicle fixed.

At Toyota, our highest priority has been to quickly and effectively address the needs of owners of involved vehicles. Parts to reinforce the pedals are already being shipped for use by dealers, and many Toyota dealers will work extended hours to complete the recall campaign as quickly and conveniently as possible — some even staying open 24 hours a day.

Does the reinforced pedal feel any different?
Drivers should not notice any change in the feel of the pedal.

How long will it take for a dealer to repair my automobile?
The actual repair involves about 30 minutes’ work.

Is the repair covered by warranty? Will drivers have to pay any money out of pocket for this work?
Toyota will cover all repair costs associated with this work.

Is my car safe to drive if it has not yet received this solution?
To be clear, the condition is rare and generally does not occur suddenly. It can occur when the pedal mechanism becomes worn and, in certain conditions, the accelerator pedal may become harder to depress, slower to return or, in the worst case, stuck in a partially depressed position.

Customers who experience an accelerator pedal that is hard to depress, slow to return or is unsmooth during operation should drive the vehicle to a safe location, shut off the engine and contact a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.

What if you experience a sticking accelerator pedal while driving?
Each circumstance may vary, and drivers must use their best judgment, but Toyota recommends taking the following actions:

  • If you need to stop immediately, the vehicle can be controlled by stepping on the brake pedal with both feet using firm and steady pressure. Do not pump the brake pedal as it will deplete the vacuum utilized for the power brake assist.
  • Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.
  • If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost.
  • o If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.
    o If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.

What do I do if I believe I am experiencing a sticking accelerator pedal before my car receives the remedy? Should I bring my car to a dealer?
Customers who experience an accelerator pedal that is hard to depress, slow to return or is unsmooth during operation should drive the vehicle to a safe location, shut off the engine and contact a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.

Otherwise, if you are not experiencing any of these issues with your accelerator pedal, Toyota is confident that your vehicle is safe to drive, and no action is required at this time. Toyota will begin contacting customers to let them know when to bring in their vehicles for the fix, and some of them will be notified as early as this week.

What if my vehicle is also involved in the floor mat recall? Which will be addressed first?
Toyota is working to coordinate the pedal entrapment and the sticking pedal recalls to minimize the number of customers who will have to have two service visits.

Are you continuing to investigate other models for this sticking pedal issue?
Toyota is confident that all models that contain the potentially sticking pedals have been identified.

Why has Toyota stopped selling the involved vehicles? When will those vehicles go on sale again?
The law requires that dealers stop delivering all new vehicles identified in our recall notice. As the dealer modifies vehicles, the dealers may sell and deliver the vehicles on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis. In other words, once a dealer modifies a vehicle, the dealer may sell and deliver it even though similar, unmodified vehicles at the dealership may not be delivered to customers.

However, Toyota’s priority is providing the remedy to current vehicle owners first.