How Toyota dealers repair sticky accelerator pedals – Click above for high-res image gallery

Toyota has sent out nearly 10 million recall notices for its unintended acceleration problem, and while dealers are working hard to install new equipment into customer cars, some consumers report that the current fix may not be enough to completely solve the unintended acceleration problem. In fact, NHTSA has received seven complaints in the past two weeks from Toyota owners saying that even after the repairs, the cars still experienced sudden acceleration issues.

The Los Angeles Times reports that many experts feel the gas pedal, floor mat and brake override fixes aren't enough, as they don't deal with the actual root of the problem. Still, we'll have to take these new complaints with a grain of salt until NHTSA actually verifies that the allegations are, in fact, true. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland tells us, "NHTSA has already started contacting consumers about these complaints to get to the bottom of the problem and to make sure Toyota is doing everything possible to make its vehicles safe. If Toyota owners are still experiencing sudden acceleration incidents after taking their cars to the dealership, we want to know about it."

  • 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: Los Angeles Times]

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