• Feb 5th 2010 at 7:27PM
  • 45
Toyota's Jim Lentz explains the sticky pedal situation – Click above to watch the video after the break

Toyota President and COO Jim Lentz decided to go ahead and visit one of the automaker's own dealerships to see one of its recalled gas pedals go through the shim-fix for himself, and he helpfully brought a video crew along for the ride. After giving a brief rundown of what's happened thus far – a much more thorough version of which can be found here – Lentz turns the duties over to one of the dealership's service technicians, who runs through the actual process of fixing a defective pedal.

Now, for a few observations: First, we wouldn't want to take his place behind the camera, but all Lentz needs is a basketball for that left hand of his and he'd be a veritable Harlem Globetrotter. Second, the fix doesn't look all that difficult, and it takes the technician just a few minutes to add the shim after the affected pedal has been removed from the vehicle. Lastly, for another take on the pedal-shim operation, see our previous video on the subject here.

Check out Lentz's video after the break, and check out our high-res image gallery of the process below.

  • LaFontaine Toyota in Dearborn, MI
  • LaFontaine Toyota service department
  • LaFontaine Toyota fixed operations director Todd McCallum
  • A row of new Corollas in the shop ready to be updated.
  • The brake pedal in a 2010 Toyota Corolla. The connector for the pedal position sensor is visible at the top
  • Boxes of various sized shims.
  • A bag of the reinforcing bars (aka shims) that are being used to adjust the gas pedal
  • "Precision machined reinforcing bars"
  • Doug Kropp checks the date chart to determine which pedal assemblies need to be updated.
  • Reaching up under the dashboard of a Corolla to unbolt the gas pedal.
  • Removing the gas pedal.
  • Checking the manufacturing date code on the pedal assembly. This unit does require an update.
  • This is the slot in the housing where the shim will be installed. The return spring stop is visible under Doug's thumb.
  • A set of feeler gauges, strips of metal of calibrated thickness.
  • The pedal assembly on the work bench.
  • Doug Kropp checks the gap in the pedal assembly with the feeler gauge.
  • A digital caliper is used to check the thickness of the feeler gauge.
  • Toyota provides an instruction chart that specifies the shim thickness to use based on the measured gap.
  • Doug Kropp uses a screwdriver to help insert the shim into the pedal assembly.
  • Kropp pushes the shim into the pedal assembly with a screwdriver.
  • Kropp pries up the friction shoe to allow the shim to be fully seated.
  • Kropp does a visual check to verify that the shim is properly seated.
  • Kropp pumps the pedal several times to make sure it doesn't stick.
  • Kropp re-installs the accelerator pedal and connects the diagnostic computer.
  • The diagnostic computer runs a series of tests to make sure none of the on-board computers in the car have been damaged.
  • Another Toyota supplied instruction chart lists the voltages that the pedal position sensor should be outputting.
  • The diagnostic computer displays the voltage from the pedal position sensor.
  • Master Toyota technician Doug Kropp explains the recall procedure.
  • The template that will be used for reshaping the pedal on Toyota Camrys.

[Source: Toyota via YouTube]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm confused on this issue. It looks like the shim wont let the petal go to full WOT. So, were the sticking pedals people flooring the gas pedal? Am I the only one that gradually presses the gas pedal, as opposed to flooring it?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I still don't buy Sticky Peddle = Unintended Acceleration.
      Toyota is making a big mistake by putting so much of their own publicity on this fix.
      If the real problem is the ECU, and a few people with a 'fixed' pedal start having unintended acceleration problems, or someone dies, that will be the end for Toyota's credibility.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sorry, but a 'shim' fix doesn't install any deal of confidence in me if that was my pedal. Sounds like market speak for 'jimmy rig'.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow...I've never seen someone fix an ECM that way before...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Get a good car buy a Chrysler next time.

      Just saying because everyone thinks Chrysler is bad?
      • 5 Years Ago
      AB, need the bubble in the pic "Anyone want my resume?"
      • 5 Years Ago
      There, I fixed it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did he say Torda motors? You can sure trust this guy. Can't even pronounce the name of the company he works for.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It sounded like he said "Turda."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Somebody joked about that in one of the other threads. I think he is actually saying it right. Westerners (that's us) typically say Japanese names slowly and put emphasis on the second syllable of a three syllable word.

        We say: toy-YO-ta
        They say: TOE-yoTA, where the last two syllablles are rushed. Watch a Japanese movie without the subtitles and you will see what I mean.

        Another example (Toshiba):
        We say: to-SHEE-ba
        They say: TOE-sheBA very quickly, where "she" is blended in quickly to the last syllable.

        He's just trying to say it like his bosses from Japan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Give it a while. There's going to be another big accident even after Toyota's fix here and then the lights are going to go out. This is not the solution to the problem and any intelligent human being can see that. It's only a matter of time until it becomes known.

      I live in Kentucky, not too far south of the Camry plant. As chance should have it, an assembly line worker said that Toyota knows it is a issue with the software in the Engine Control Module.

      And think about it. That is the only thing that makes sense here. First the unintended acceleration problems with 8 Toyota models that account for the biggest portion of sales and 2 Lexus models and now braking issues with the Prius and hs. Both the accelerator and braking systems are controlled by the ECM, they are "by-wire" systems meaning there isn't a simple driver-to-car mechanical linkage dedicated to controlling each vehicle system. They both are processed using a sensor in the gas pedal, a sensor in the brake pedal, and the ABS sensors. It all leads into the ECM.

      Why isn't Toyota replacing the ECM? It's simple. By jamming a shim that cost Toyota all of 25 cents to make and probably about a few bucks and change to have a tech to install, they are not critically hurting their profits. If Toyota had to design and encode a new ECM it would be a disaster in regards to how much (of OUR) money it would cost them to fix the problem. Toyota would be out, on average, $2,000 per car to replace the ECM with a decent chunk of change to pay one of their techs to install it. Multiply that amount of money times the amount of cars being recalled and Toyota would be broke-as-a-joke.

      That is THE TRUTH. If you want to keep chugging the corporate Toyota PR Kool-Aid, feel free to do so. It's your own funeral ... almost quite literally.

      It's time to suck it up. I don't want to see the United States lose any more jobs than it already has, but Toyota needs to be told to pack it up and go home. They do not care about the safety of the American driver as much as they do our money. It's time to grow up and realize Toyota does not make the best car sold in America. In fact, they never have.
      • 5 Years Ago
      did he lie about when they knew there was a problem like he did on the today show for which he got called out by waxman on?

      • 5 Years Ago
      This is part of Toyota's new approach to the problem.

      Prior to today, they've been playing the incident as not exceptional and having a relatively low key response. They wanted to allow those who believe Toyota is infallible to continue to believe it was.

      However, it was that attitude that had really become the fuel of the story.

      Now that they've acknowledged that an exceptional problem exists, the story will actually tapper down to a more normal level.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wonder how long Lentz will last at Toyota.
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