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Acceleration issue sparks Toyota recall
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Affected Toyota models
Accelerator pedal recall
2009-10 RAV4
2009-10 Corolla
2009-10 Matrix
2005-10 Avalon
2010 Highlander
2007-10 Tundra
2008-10 Sequoia
2007-10 Camry (only certain models; call dealership for specifics)

Floor mat entrapment recall
2007-10 Camry
2005-10 Avalon
2004-09 Prius
2005-10 Tacoma
2007-10 Tundra
2008-10 Highlander*
2009-10 Corolla*
2009-10 Venza*
2009-10 Matrix*
2009-10 Pontiac Vibe*
* Automakers recalled these vehicles Wednesday.

If you own a Toyota that was made after 2003, there is a good chance that it is on one of two recall lists.

Both recalls are related to unintended acceleration — the most recent recall is due to a problem with the accelerator pedal, while the other recall from late last year is due to a problem with the floor mat interfering with the accelerator pedal.

Toyota announced the latest recall this week, following an investigation into isolated reports of sticking accelerator pedal mechanisms. About 5 million vehicles are expected to be affected.

“Toyota hasn’t come up with a resolution yet, but customers will be notified in weeks to come,” said Jimmy Hernandez, fixed operations director with Milton Martin Toyota in Gainesville. “What is important here is that Toyota is taking very proactive measures because according to information that has been provided, there have only been two cases of the pedal sticking in the United States.”

The accelerator pedal recall affects eight different Toyota vehicles — the RAV4, Corolla, Matrix, Avalon, Highlander, Tundra, Sequoia and Camry — and only affects vehicles with certain parts made by a U.S. supplier.

“Toyota still manufactures some vehicles in Japan also, so they sell both Japanese- and North American-made vehicles,” Hernandez said. “If a vehicle was built in Japan, it’s not included in the recall because they use a different accelerator pedal.”

In addition to issuing the recall, Toyota has instructed individual dealers to suspend sales of the affected models. According to Milton Martin staff, vehicles that fall under the recall will not be test driven or sold until the faulty mechanism is corrected.
Should your accelerator pedal stick, there are several procedures drivers should follow.

“Toyota’s instructions to drivers is for them to use their best judgement,” Hernandez said. “If the pedal does stick, they say that drivers should ... step on the brake with both feet, using firm and steady pressure. It’s very important to not pump the brake; use steady pressure.

“Next they should try shifting their vehicle to neutral. If they can’t shift to neutral they should turn the vehicle off, but don’t remove the key.”

Shifting to neutral or turning the vehicle off reduces power to the system, which allows the driver to retain braking and steering control. Removing the key can lock the steering wheel, officials say.

“Some vehicles have a smart key. It’s important during this that the drivers of those vehicles don’t tap the start/stop button,” Hernandez said.

Instead of tapping the button, drivers should press and hold it for at least three seconds, Toyota officials said.

Although officials are still researching a resolution to the issue, drivers are warned to park their vehicle and contact a Toyota dealer if they notice acceleration issues.

The other recall related to “floor mat entrapment” involves a driver’s-side floor mat interfering with the accelerator pedal and causing the pedal to stick.

Hernandez said owners will receive a recall letter from Toyota some time in the summer letting them know when to bring their vehicle to the dealership.

“At that time, we will basically be doing some reconfiguring to the padding of the carpet and reprogramming the vehicle’s computer to recognize a safety component in case a future situation occurs,” Hernandez said.

In the meantime, owners of the affected vehicles are asked to remove the driver’s-side floor mat.

Vehicles that fall under this recall include certain models of the Toyota Camry, Avalon, Prius, Tacoma and Tundra.

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