Toyota has found the remedy for its sticky accelerator pedals that could cause unintended acceleration – a steel reinforcement bar! The company will begin contacting its North American customers to to bring in their vehicles for the fix, starting this week. The parts are already being shipped to dealers, which will extend hours to complete the recall campaign as quickly as possible (some even stay open 24 hours a day).
Now, the actual problem involves a friction device in the pedal designed to provide the proper “feel” by adding resistance and making the pedal steady. This device includes a “shoe” that rubs against an adjoining surface during normal pedal operation. Due to the materials used, wear and environmental conditions, these surfaces may, over time, begin to stick and release instead of operating smoothly. In some cases, friction could increase to a point that the pedal is slow to return to the idle position, leaving the throttle partially open.
Toyota claims to have a solution that is simple but effective. A precision-cut steel reinforcement bar will be installed into the pedal assembly to reduce surface tension between the friction shoe and the adjoining surface, eliminating the excess friction that has caused pedals to stick. The effectiveness of the newly reinforced pedals have been confirmed through rigorous testing on afflicted sticky pedals, Toyota says.
The actual repair involves about 30 minutes’ work and Toyota will cover all repair costs. After the fix, drivers should not notice any change in the feel of the pedal. For the list of North American models affected by this recall, see our previous post here.