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Old 02-02-2010, 09:02 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Hello -

Found this interesting article :
As chronicled in Toyota's Jan. 21 Defect Information Report to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the buildup to the pedal recall was years in the making.
Kane's Safety Research & Strategies has tallied 2,057 sudden acceleration incidents involving Toyotas since 1999, with 725 resulting in crashes. A total of 18 people were killed and 304 injured, by its count.
Kane's research indicates there are multiple causes for sudden acceleration, ranging from mechanical interface to unidentified electronic defects. But many incidents can't be explained by either the floor mats or the pedal mechanism, suggesting lingering unidentified defects, he says.
Toyota believed the 2007 complaints about sticking accelerators were limited to the Tundra, according to the NHTSA report. And the European problems in the Aygo and Yaris were isolated in right-hand- drive cars with a particular configuration of the heat duct and accelerator pedal. Warm air from the heater could induce condensation on the friction lever, thereby causing it to stick, Toyota said.

The man at the eye of the storm is Toyota's top quality troubleshooter, Managing Officer Hiroyuki Yokoyama. In consultation with Executive Vice President Shinichi Sasaki, Yokoyama is the one making the final call on whether to launch a recall or not, insiders say.
Early signs of trouble
A timeline of Toyota's sudden-acceleration woes
March 2004: NHTSA opens investigation of 2002-03 Toyota Camry, Camry Solara, Lexus ES.
July 2004: NHTSA closes investigation without finding defect.
Aug. 2005: NHTSA opens investigation of 2002-05 Camry, Solara, Lexus ES.
Jan. 2006: NHTSA closes investigation without finding defect trend.
March 2007: NHTSA opens investigation into Lexus ES for floor mat interference.
March 2007: Toyota starts investigating sticking pedals in Toyota Tundra pickup.
Sept. 2007: Toyota recalls all-weather floor mats in the Lexus ES and Camry.
Jan. 2008: NHTSA opens investigation into 2006-07 Toyota Tacoma pickup.
April 2008: NHTSA opens investigation into 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan.
Aug. 2008: NHTSA closes Tacoma investigation without finding problem.
Dec. 2008: Toyota investigates sticking pedals in the Toyota Aygo and Yaris.
Jan. 2009: Toyota recalls Sienna minivans to fix floor carpet covers.
Aug. 2009: Crash of runaway Lexus ES 350 kills 4 in California.
Oct. 2009: Toyota begins recall of 4.3 million floor mats.
Jan. 2010: Toyota recalls 2.3 million cars for faulty pedal mechanism, suspends sales of 8 nameplates.
Jan. 2010: Toyota adds 1.1 million vehicles to floor mat recall.
Source: Safety Research & Strategies Inc., Center for Auto Safety
In an interview with Automotive News last month, Yokoyama said quality has suffered in recent years for several reasons, including the company's rapid increase in production, a proliferation of model types and the introduction of more electronic controls.

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