toyota prius 88 298.
(photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
Toyota owners in Israel are joining millions of drivers around the world whose vehicles have been recalled due to a possible gas pedal malfunction.
On Sunday, Union Motors, the exclusive distributor of Toyota in Israel, sent out a statement featuring Toyota Europe division’s recall announcement and urging drivers who have experienced problems with their gas pedals to have their vehicle inspected at one of the authorized dealerships.
The problem, which is dubbed “sticking accelerator,” means that accelerator pedal mechanisms may mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return too slowly to the idle position. This can hamper the driver’s control of the vehicle and cause the car to continue speeding involuntarily.
So far 4.3 million Toyota vehicles, of eight different models, have been recalled in the United States and 1.8 million more are subject to recall in Europe. Production of eight models in the US was suspended temporarily.
The problem surfaced after five people were killed in September, in an accident thought to be caused by the faulty gas pedal. Toyota Motor Europe is not aware of any accident resulting from this issue.
In the company’s announcement, Toyota Motor Europe CEO Tadashi Arashima, said “We understand that the current situation is creating concerns, and we deeply regret it. We would also like to reassure customers: the potential accelerator pedal issue only occurs in very rare circumstances. The announced action is a preventive measure aimed to guarantee the highest safety standards to all customers.”
Union Motors director general Mika Karmon said that his company was waiting to receive from Toyota the vehicle identification numbers of the vehicles whose gas pedal needs to be replaced and that they would contact the owners as soon as they had the information.
More than 4,000 Toyota owners in Israel are expected to be approached over the next few days.
“We are dealing with the matter with sensitivity and determination. We are sorry that it has happened, but I am convinced that a trustworthy and transparent company like Toyota, which sees security as the highest value, will do the correct thing even if it’s more than one, two or a million vehicles,” said Karmon.
“The moment we get the precise information on which vehicles need to be fixed and the replacement parts, we will be able to start calling people in for repairs. It will likely take longer than a day or two and even more than a week or two. A recall of this magnitude is very complex and time consuming.”
Karmon said that his company sent letters to all the Toyota licensed mechanics notifying them of the problem, but that they have little to do until the parts come in from abroad.
The involved models and production periods of the vehicles subject to recall abroad are as follows: Yaris (November 2005 – September 2009) Auris (October 2006 – 5 January 2010) Corolla (October 2006 – December 2009) Verso (February 2009 – 5 January 2010) Avensis (November 2008 – December 2009) RAV4 (November 2005 – November 2009).
Two other models, that are not available for sale in Israel are: AYGO (February 2005 – August 2009) iQ (November 2008 – November 2009).
The Transportation Ministry said that it has so far sent notices to the owners of 104 Toyota vehicles, who imported their cars privately from the United States, informing them of the recall and referring them to Union Motors for repairs.
“Upon receiving the announcement the Transportation Ministry immediately began conducting a search for all the people who privately imported Toyota vehicles manufactured between 2007-2010,” said the ministry spokesman.
“Vehicle owners who were notified are required to submit to the importer the full details of the car and the agent it was purchased from with 48 hours of receiving the notice.”