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Posts Tagged ‘recall’

Toyota releases Brake Override System fact sheet

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc has released a fact sheet dated 10 Mar 2010 explaining the working mechanism of the Brake Override System in the wake of the recent unintended acceleration episodes. Applicable to certain drive-by-wire vehicles, the system automatically cuts engine power in the event that the brake and throttle pedals are applied simultaneously.

toyota brake override
Image source: Toyota Brake Override Fact Sheet

The programming logic used for the system requires for a throttle opening greater than 1/3, vehicle speed in excess of 5mph (8kph), and firm application of the brake pedal. At higher throttle openings, the system activates even with under light braking. The system immediately cancels upon release of the brake pedal.

toyota brake override 2
Image source: Toyota Brake Override Fact Sheet.

A further constraint of the system is that it only activates when the accelerator pedal is pressed before the brakes and not the other way round. This allows for drivers to hold the brakes to prevent roll back on hill starts, and heel-toeing for manual vehicles (though whether Toyota has any manual vehicles in the US is another question altogether).

Additionally, Toyota also noted that the Brake Override System does not function for 4WD vehicles when the transmission is locked into low-range gearing, and that the Toyota Hybrid System produces a similar, but not identical result in cutting engine power under simultaneous brake and throttle application.

DSC_1248a

KON

Source: Toyota Brake Override System Fact Sheet


Nissan & Ford to join recall rush soon?

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

It’s recall season in the US, with beleaguered Toyota having to make another recall last week. Already with four massive recalls in its hands – floor mat, stuck accelerator, hybrid ABS, and power steering hose – a fifth issue surfaced last week, forcing the recall of 8,000 Toyota Tacoma pick-up trucks on 12 Feb 2010.

According to PickupTrucks.com, a manufacturing defect might cause the front drive-shaft of the four-wheel drive pick-up to come apart on the move without warning. Fortunately for Toyota, majority of the affected vehicles are still sitting in their stockyards.

tacoma
Toyota Tacoma (source: toyota.com)

Another report, by The Detroit Bureau, further elaborated that the defective shafts were sourced from Dana, who sold 34,000 with this defect, with Toyota accounting for only 8,000 of them. Of the remaining 26,000 shafts, 17,000 were sold to Ford, who used them in the Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner, and Mazda Tribute. The remaining 9,000 went to Nissan.

escape north am escapea
Ford Escape: North American version (left, source: ford.com) vs Asia-Pacific version (right)

A subsequent report, also by The Detroit Bureau, reported Nissan is already looking into the matter, with 2010 models of several Nissan and Infiniti trucks potentially affected, speculating that the affected models are the Frontier and Titan.

Once again, consumers in Malaysia have little cause for concern, as the Toyota Tacoma is not sold in our markets, and neither is the Nissan Titan. Owners of the Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute in Malaysia have little to worry either, as the versions sold in North America are completely different from what we get here.

The Nissan Frontier is essentially the Nissan Navara that we get here, though it must be noted that the North American versions are petrol powered, and are thus mechanically different from ours.


Nissan Frontier is among affected model in US, but we expect the slightly different Navara to fare better.

KON

Another recall, Honda’s turn this time

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

The Associated Press today reported that Honda Motor Co. in the United States have announced a recall for more than 378,000 vehicles due to airbag inflation problems. This recall, unrelated to the power window recall currently affecting the Honda City and Honda Jazz, affects 2001/2 model cars.

According to the AP report, the component in question is driver’s side air bag inflator, which can deploy with too much pressure, rupturing the airbag with serious and potentially lethal consequences for the driver.


Watch out! Airbag might blow up in your face!

Models affected by this recall include certain models of the Accord, Civic, Odyssey, CR-V, and the Acura TL, of the 2001/2 year of manufacture. The original recall made in Nov 2008 only involved 4,000 vehicles, though Honda expanded it to 440,000 in July 2009.


2001 Honda Accord – this is the Malaysian version, but US version is similar.

Thus far, this airbag problem has surfaced in 12 separate incidents, with 1 killed and 11 injured.

As part of the recall exercise, Honda will be sending written notifications to affected owners for them to bring their cars back to the dealerships immediately.

We have brought this issue up with Honda Malaysia, and are currently awaiting the company’s official statement.

KON

Source: The Associated Press: Honda expands airbag inflation recall

Update: We have since received a press statement from Honda Malaysia confirming that ‘all Honda models sold in Malaysia since 2001 are NOT affected by the recall’. However, please be mindful that while this applies to Honda cars sold through official channels, parallel imported Hondas may or may not be affected by this problem.

It’s a cruel world – rivals capitalizing on Toyota ‘Total Recall’

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

The effects of Toyota’s infamous accelerator pedal recall continue to mount. The latest figures, extracted from Autoblog.com, gives an estimated total of 9.0 million vehicles in the US and the UK being affected by the recall. Compounding Toyota’s problems are the irked owners and all the resulting bad press.

The cost of replacing all those pedals are just the tip of a very big iceberg of problems for the beleaguered manufacturer. Autocar.co.uk recently reported that Toyota’s stocks in Japan has plunged by 16.7% in the space of five days. However, it goes without saying that the worst of the damage is how this recall blasts a massive chink in Toyota’s once-invincible armour in build quality and reliability. Let’s not talk about all the resulting legal repercussions.

Thus far, there have been two separate, but related recalls – the floor mat recall, and the accelerator pedal recall. The first of the two, the floor mat recall, is said to be caused unsecured floor mats jamming the accelerator pedal in full-throttle position. This recall started with just 55,000 cars in 2007, then grew to 3.8 million in September 2009 before a further 1.1 million vehicles were added to the list on 28 Jan 2010.

toyota1
Toyota’s reputation of invincible quality now under serious threat.

According to the official website of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A, models affected by the floor mat recall are:

  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2008-2010 Highlander
  • 2009-2010 Matrix
  • 2004-2009 Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2009-2010 VENZA

The later, more serious defect of the sticking accelerator pedal, hit 2.3 million vehicles, and forced Toyota to suspend the sale of eight models. Things went from bad to worse when 1.8 million vehicles in Europe also had to be recalled on 29 Jan 2010. A solution has nevertheless been found, and Toyota has commenced shipping of replacement pedals to dealerships already.

Once again, according to Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A, models affected by the accelerator pedal recall are:

  • Certain 2009-2010 RAV4
  • Certain 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2009-2010 Matrix
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • Certain 2007-2010 Camry
  • Certain 2010 Highlander
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2008-2010 Sequoia

Meanwhile, Autocar.co.uk has listed the eight Toyota UK models affected by the recall as

  • Aygo (Feb 2005 – Aug 2009)
  • iQ (Nov 2008 – Nov 2009)
  • Yaris (Nov 2005 – Sep 2009)
  • Auris (Oct 2006 – 5 Jan 2010)
  • Corolla (Oct 2006 – Dec 2009)
  • Verso (Feb 2009 – 5 Jan 2010)
  • Avensis (Nov 2008 – Dec 2009)
  • RAV4 (Nov 2005 – Nov 2009)

As Toyota now faces the wrath of customers and also the possible onslaught of legal inquisitions, rival dealerships in the United States are all too happy to capitalize on their woes. GM paved the way with a month-long campaign ‘aimed at compensating Toyota and Lexus owners for the depreciation the recall has caused’. It didn’t take long for Ford, Chrysler, and Hyundai to join the queue with similarly attractive offers, giving cash incentives worth up to US$2,000.

The irony, of course, is that arch-rival Honda has ruled out following suit. Autocar.co.uk quoted John Mendel, American Honda’s executive vice president as saying, “We will not react in a predatory way toward either Toyota or Toyota customers.”

toyotahonda
Honda refrains from twisting the knife.

Perhaps because they have a recall of their own to worry about?

Meanwhile, closer to home, UMW Toyota Motor has recently released a statement that Toyota cars sold in Malaysia are NOT affected by either recalls.

KON

Sources:
- Autoblog.com (who also gave the nick ‘Total Recall’ to this fiasco)
- Autocar.co.uk

Talk about it in our Forum: Toyota Recall

Toyota ThrottleGate – Truck rams into dealership

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

We have heard many stories of cheesed-off owners before, but we doubt many would have matched that of a man from Louisiana. In a story we picked up from Autoblog.com, who had in turn referred to 2theadvocate.com, Mikel Valviva, the owner of a Toyota pick-up affected by the recent accelerator pedal recall, was attempting to return the said pick-up when it inadvertently crashed into the dealership’s building, with the owner blaming the crash on the ‘sticky accelerator pedal’.

No major injuries resulted, but the truck itself was severely damaged. Neither of our source reports identified the truck model, though our checks reveal only one pick-up model being affected by the recall – which is the Toyota Tundra.

Valviva bought his Toyota pickup in March 2009, but upon hearing about the accelerator pedal recall, or ThrottleGate as Autoblog.com puts it, Valviva went back to the dealership from which he bought the car, All-Star Toyota in Baton Rouge, LA, seeking for a refund. Naturally, the folks from the dealership offered to have the car fixed free of charge and to have a courtesy car loaned to him in the process.

all-star toyota
All-Star Toyota, Baton Rouge, LA

After three separate attempts at securing that refund, Valviva’s truck promptly crashed into the dealership because of the ‘sticky accelerator’. It is also worth noting that Valviva’s truck had not given any accelerator pedal problems since purchase. Go figure.

KON

Source:
- Unintended acceleration or angry customer? Toyota driver reportedly rams dealership with truck – Autoblog
- 2theadvocate.com | News | Man’s truck strikes BR Toyota dealership – Baton Rouge, LA

Picture:
- Autoblog.com