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The Toyota recalls continue. It has been a difficult year for the automaker, which has recalled over 8 million vehicles over safety issues including problems with unintended acceleration and problems with anti-lock brakes.
Now Toyota is recalling 1.33 million Corolla and Corolla Matrixes after problems in the engines' electronic control units. The recall addresses a problem involving engine control modules that were potentially improperly made. The electronic control module will be replaced at no charge to the owner as part of the recall. The defect has allegedly led to three accidents, one with a minor injury, though the accidents have yet to be confirmed.
Toyota stated that the recall involves two-wheel drive vehicles with a "1ZZ-FE engine." On such vehicles, the engine control module's circuit board can crack. Once cracked, "harsh shifting" may result which could prevent the engine from starting. If the crack occurs at certain solder points or on certain "varistors," the check engine could activate, warning the driver of the problem. More troubling, however: in some cases, the engine can stop while the vehicle is being driven, CNN reports.
So far, Toyota has received around 1,100 complaints regarding engine stalling. Six cases involved crashes or fires. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently conducting a thorough investigation of the matter. They opened a preliminary investigation in November 2009.
For now, there is a bit of a waiting game as Toyota plans to notify owners when the replacement parts to the engine control modules become available. Once available, the repair will be conducted for free and owners who already had their engine control module replaced can receive a refund from Toyota.