Toyota has it’s foot in it, literally
TOKYO (MarketWatch) — Toyota Motor Corp. will make changes to gas pedals in certain U.S. models under an agreement with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to a published report, in response to accidents blamed on the accelerators getting stuck to the floor mats.
Toyota /quotes/comstock/!7203 (JP:7203 3,510, -10.00, -0.28%) /quotes/comstock/13*!tm/quotes/nls/tm (TM 78.25, +0.53, +0.68%) still maintains that the vehicles are not actually defective. But to settle the potentially image-damaging issue, it will change the gas pedals so they are less likely to get stuck. The work will be handled through dealerships, Japanese business daily Nikkei reported Saturday.
Toyota issued a safety advisory warning in September that eight Toyota and Lexus-brand models, covering about 3.8 million vehicles, could potentially experience the “stuck open accelerator pedal” problem. Models included the Camry, Avalon, Prius, Tacoma and Tundra.
The number of affected vehicles has risen to more than 4 million because of vehicles manufactured and sold since then, Nikkei said, adding that the move follows a fatal accident in August involving a Lexus.
The total cost of the repairs is estimated at tens of billions of yen (hundred of millions of U.S. dollars), Nikkei said. Because the company has already set aside reserves, the recall will not have a large impact on its earnings in the current year through March 31, 2010, the newspaper said, citing a Toyota executive.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to announce the accord as soon as early next week, Nikkei said.