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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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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago

      Right into a guard rail at 40mph...
      • 5 Years Ago
      With so many people theres bound to be a number of them that think creeping forward while in Drive is "sudden acceleration"
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol these people should not be driving in the first place.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. Think about it. Toyota has fixed a lot of these cars in the last month but there has only been seven complaints. For all you know these people probably had some stupid technicians working on their cars who probably damaged something in the process while fixing their cars. And there has been a lot of coverage on this whole situation so like Eh said some people might just be overreacting and freaking out for no reason. The NHTSA should still look into it but they should specifically take a look at those seven vehicles while there at it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hyundai had the "smart pedal" installed so if you press on the accelerator and the brake at the same time, it goes back to idle. I am sure they have problems of their own, but they address them before people end up dead.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And now that this story is out, the number of reports will mysteriously increase.

      But really, I kind of wish I could be in the car with one of these folks to really see what is going on. That is assuming, of course, that they know how to deal with the situation...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fact Check, James Sonne:

        23 Deaths, 300 Significant Injuries, 2000+ crashes are just CONFIRMED cases of unintended acceleration. I was watching this show where now body-paralyzed for life woman was talking about how in 1997, her Camry suddenly accelerated out of control and crashed on a highway, and although investigators have suggested that this was a mechanics problem, they mysteriously refused to help the woman in a court and Toyota blamed it all on driver misconduct and she lost the lawsuit. Yeah, she was definitely going 120+MPH on a high way... with two of her infant-age kids on the backseat from a loving family she had.

        She and her husband is repealing this year, and the court after refusing repeal for 3-4 times in last 10 years, has agreed to hear the case.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Fact Check, James Sonne:

        23 Deaths, 300 Significant Injuries, 2000+ crashes are just CONFIRMED cases of unintended acceleration. I was watching this show where now body-paralyzed for life woman was talking about how in 1997, her Camry suddenly accelerated out of control and crashed on a highway, and although investigators have suggested that this was a mechanics problem, they mysteriously refused to help the woman in a court and Toyota blamed it all on driver misconduct and she lost the lawsuit. Yeah, she was definitely going 120+MPH on a high way... with two of her infant-age kids on the backseat from a loving family she had.

        She and her husband is repealing this year, and the court after refusing repeal for 3-4 times in last 10 years, has agreed to hear the case.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dear Toyota owners please Quit your B*tching, Get rid of the damn cars. I DO care if your car accelerates out of control, after all, I also drive on the same roads as you. Dump the pieces of crap.

        369ITALIA : As a former Toyota customer (2 Corollas, Celica GTS, Supra), one that was screwed by Toyota, they get NO sympathy from me. I really couldn't care less if they vanished off the face of the planet.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The other problem is whether it's repeatable. As we all know, a problem that the technician cannot repeat cannot be solved.

        • 5 Years Ago
        @ RJ:

        I'm not quite sure how their shifting system works, but after the engine reaches 5k RPM, there is a neutral lockout... So if you're in drive and over 5k RPM, I would assume since the transmissions are electronically controlled, putting the shifter in neutral won't do much.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Lexus couple needs to learn how to lie better.

        Unless there's also a braking problem, if the car is in neutral then it will stop accelerating. The slightest braking power will bring the car to a stop.

        Yes, I feel sorry for the victims, but at the same time, they really should stop driving if they don't understand the very basics of a drivetrain (i.e. neutral de-couples the engine).
        • 5 Years Ago
        I thought that before the recall only about 12 Toyotas since 1992 had ever suddenly accelerated resulting in injury. Now that there's a recall, it seems like these things are flying off the roads! What on earth?

        Here's a solution to the sudden acceleration problem: don't buy the V6 model. Or better yet, PAY ATTENTION when you're driving. I cannot imagine a situation in my daily driving in which I'm in such a hair's width distant from something that sudden acceleration or lack of braking is going to result in a wreck. What type of person uses 100% of their braking capacity on a daily basis?! LEAVE MORE SPACE between you and the car in front of you! Anticipate the red light! Watch farther down the road than the car in front of you!

        I drive a sporty little car (RSX), and I drive it hard, but never do I drive it dangerously!

        This is getting out of hand.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why are you morons blindly defending Toyota when you haven't the slightest idea of the facts? It baffles me that otherwise intelligent enthusiasts are dismissing genuine safety problems that affect their own families, despite overwhelming evidence.

        The issue is not software. They believe it's electrical shorting in rare instances of electrical interference, something that would require complete re-engineering and replacement of the entire wiring harness. For each car affected, that's HUGE bucks, potentially putting Toyota on the brink.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Dear Toyota owners,

        I don't care it your car still accelerates, give your company a break for once, they have enough to deal with already.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @joshq That's nonsensical. So you're telling me that the hydraulic brake system simultaneously failed at the same time that the ECT failed, and that the transmission also magically failed too? That's utter nonsense-the brakes will easily override the engine!
        And it's pretty obvious that if she had trouble turning the engine off that she probably hadn't read her owner's manual and simply didn't know to hold it 3 seconds. If she had trouble shifting into neutral it's probably because she didn't know how to on her Lexus automatic-if you have it in the sport shift gate you might think you're shifting into neutral but of course it won't go into neutral if the pedal is pinned down-you have to put it into the actual neutral gate but a lot of people don't realize this because they're morons.
        BTW I've been in plenty of random cars and I've seen all kinds of stupid crap for floor mats from thin bamboo sheets to extra-slippery plastic covers on the regular floormats to several floormats stacked, so I am *damned* sure that people can get their floormats stuck on their pedal.
        • 5 Years Ago
        James Sonne:

        Are you really saying that at any point during your daily drive your brakes could go out and engine braking would be sufficient to stop you without causing an accident? Where the heck do you live? They must have incredibly long yellow lights and very conservative drivers to not jump in that hole in front of you. I don't drive anywhere near the edge of traction or control on a regular basis, but I do need my brakes. I had a brake failure recently, and I can say from experience that engine braking is NOT enough usable stopping power for many regular traffic situations. I avoided having any accidents, but I absolutely had to modify my regularly conservative driving style.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It will be interesting to find out the core issue once the 'human factor' is removed..

        Some engineering takes on the issue listed below...


        • 5 Years Ago
        if you watched the testimony of the couple with the runaway Lexus, she said she put it in neutral and had the brake on and it still wouldn't stop and tried to turn it off with the push button! It's the electronics and criminal Toyota is doing EVERYTHING it can not to admit it! It will mean MILLIONS more cars recalled.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yet Toyota takes to the airways asking us to trust them again. All the while Toyota continues to be the greedy company they always have.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Unless and until Toyota is granted permission to replace the real defective part(yes, the driver) I'm pretty sure these problems will continue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A couple of observations. 1) The more 'American' content there is in these 'foreign' cars the more problems there are with them. Was it that way when they were 'made in Japan'? Could it be that the American way of cutting every possible corner to add every scintilla of possible profit to the bottom line has precluded common sense, as is the case with the so-called American cars?

        2) Why don't the drivers of these cars, including that tragic example where a highway patrolman killed himself and his whole family, have enough sense to JUST PUT THE TRANSMISSION IN NEUTRAL for a few seconds while they stop it or steer it to a safe place? Then shut it off.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's amazing to watch the metamorphisis of the people who bought these cars go from smart,upwardly mobile to complete ignoramisses who can barely tie their shoes in the span of little more than a year. All because of a car. How dare they find fault with Toyota. Mike your right. Toyota must at all cost find a higher level of intellegent humans to buy their highly infalable vehicles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        There's been no metamorphosis. Toyota buyers are the same sheep they've always been- barely able to buy a carton of eggs without checking first in Consumer Distorts. Now however there is a whole new crop of folks not willing to admit they can't tell the difference between a gas pedal and a brake pedal. We saw the same phenomenon in the 80s with Audi 5000 buyers. Scores of clueless yutzes trying like hell to find fault in Audi rather than admit that they suck as drivers.

        If the NHTSA had the balls to outlaw automatic transmissions this problem could go away forever, but no... they'd rather protect their master's new acquisition.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah Steve that's a good reason not to get in front of me or my Toyota!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      J Poli
      • 5 Years Ago
      Owned Chevies, Buicks, Pontiacs, Fords, Alfa Romeos, and since 1982 -Toyotas. I've have never had a problem with any of my cars - no recalls on any of them, until this latest witch hunt. I've owned an '82 pickup with a major California cab extension; two Camrys; an Avalon; and a 2005 Tacoma - not a problem with any of them. Of course, I did regular checks on my maintainance schedules with my dealer, and I never tried driving with one foot on the brake and one on the gas pedal both feet in chunky heels, a drink in one hand, a cell phone stuck in my ear, and my attention concentratedon the floor of the right seat, or the back seat, as I drove well over the posted speed limit of 55mph - tailgating the car in front. FYI turning a car OFF will stop the car.

      Where are the figures on the amount problems on the GM vehicles during the same time frame? Ford products? Hmm. Why haven't we seen these posted with as much whining as Toyota?

      FYI - the only sheep baaing in the crowd are the ones who do not deserve a license of any type.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm no fan of Toyota by any means, but I can tell you the #1 reason behind every crash involving one.
      It's the loose nut between the steering wheel and the seat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I believe there's been a confusion. So here goes:

      This is both a software and an electrical issue: a) a software issue being there's no brake override for a drive-by-wire system which is software controlled; b) an electrical issue that is actually causing the car to go WOT (wide-open throttle).

      • 5 Years Ago
      maaaaaaan toyota has the money to buy america what are you talking about...they dont care about the cost of fixing them..its all about the reputation
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's called PEDAL CONFUSION....nobody in ANY OTHER COUNTRY except the USA is epxeriencing these problems!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really? Is that why Japan's ministry of transport has opened an investigation into their own list of UA problems? Or why the EU has their own list of complaints, many of which ended in fatalities?

        Know the facts before exposing your drivel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Anyone still using the term "Government Motors" does not have an original thought in their head...

        Get. Over. It.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, Paul this is an American phenomenon.


        Read some facts before opening your mouth.

        BTW, word is Minimum Bob is leaving Government Motors May 1st. Thank God that senile fool won't be bilking the taxpayers for more government cash.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well John, I see SOMEONE is mad that Government Motors can't even outsell Ford anymore! And CTS sales were DOWN despite TWO new body styles!

        Government Motors is toast, and you're just pissed because I'm speaking the truth. It's over for GM. The can't go back to the taxpayer tit twice, especially when the Democrat Party loses in November. Their Sugar Mommy Pelosi and their Pimp Obama won't be able to shovel more cash their way then.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks Brian,

        The check is in the mail.
        • 5 Years Ago
        One easy way to spot a troll.....they always ignore facts and repeat their mantra over and over.

        We all enjoyed your absence while you were in therapy. Will you be going back soon?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Brian

        The CTS coupe hasn't come out yet, so what two new body styles are you referring too? The niche wagon is exceeding their expectations and is already the number 2 best selling luxury station wagon on the market.

        Trolls like you always try to change the subject. Toyota's getting trashed, so let's talk about GM, Obama, China, etc. But you still don't have your facts straight.
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