Common Law - The FindLaw Consumer Protection Law Blog

Unintended Acceleration: Toyota to Fix 3.8 Million Gas Pedals

To "remedy" dangerous instances of "unintended acceleration," Toyota plans to either repair or replace the gas pedals on approximately 3.8 million vehicles. We wrote about the Toyota "unintended acceleration" problem previously in Common Law. The car company is responding to complaints by many consumers over sudden acceleration (or what Toyota calls "unintended acceleration"). Toyota initially blamed the problem on floor mats.

According to USA Today, Toyota plans on working on the flaw in its vehicles starting in January of next year. Toyota has announced in a press release exactly how it plans on to tackle the issue.

There will be three remedies as outlined in the press release:

  1. The shape of the accelerator will be reconfigured to address the problem of floor mats getting stuck. For the ES350, Camry, and Avalon models involved, the shape of the floor surface underneath will also be reconfigured to increase the space between the accelerator pedal and the floor.
  2. Vehicles with any genuine Toyota or Lexus accessory all-weather floor mat will be provided with newly-designed replacement driver- and front passenger-side all-weather floor mats.
  3. In addition, as a separate measure independent of the vehicle-based remedy, Toyota will install a brake override system onto the involved Camry, Avalon, and Lexus ES 350, IS350 and IS 250 models as an extra measure of confidence. This system cuts engine power in case of simultaneous application of both the accelerator and brake pedals.

Another essential issue that Toyota brings up in its press release is that it plans on introducing a brake override system as a standard feature on all future models of its vehicles by the end of 2010.

As discussed in FindLaw's Injured, some claim that the vehicles' electronic throttle systems, not the gas pedals, are to blame for the unintended acceleration incidents and resulting deaths.

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