• Apr 28, 2010


Toyota made big headlines
recently because of sliding floor mats and then sticky gas pedals – both resulting in unintended acceleration. Well, let's call today's recall announcement unintended deceleration. According to The Detroit News, Toyota is preparing to recall 50,000 of its full-size model year 2003 Sequoias.

According to the daily, there have been 160 reports of "inappropriate activation of the electronic stability control or the traction control system." Which is a fancy way of saying the vehicles suddenly seem to slow down on their own. Here's what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is saying:
"During the activation of either system, the driver loses throttle control and one of more brakes may apply, causing the vehicle to slow suddenly. During these activation events, the brake lights are not illuminated to signal to following traffic that the vehicle is slowing."
For its part, Toyota admits that:
"...the VSC system could, in limited situations, activate at low speed (approximately 9 mph) for a few seconds after acceleration from a stopped position and, as a result, the vehicle may not accelerate as quickly as the driver expects. There have been no reported injuries or accidents as a result of this condition."
Obviously, if your vehicle suddenly slows unexpectedly while under acceleration without warning (and without brake lights!), that's an issue. For its part, Toyota initially admitted it was a problem with the traction control system (not the stability control), but for some reason it didn't feel a recall was necessary. However, that was sixteen months ago, before the Japanese giant's woes began in earnest. Today, they're going to fix the issue. Toyota would do well to remember their Nixon: it's not the crime, it's the cover up. Official press release available after the jump.

[Source: The Detroit News]
Show full PR text

Toyota Announces Voluntary Recall on 2003 Model-Year Sequoia to Upgrade Program Logic in Vehicle Stability Control System

TORRANCE, Calif., April 28, 2010 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced it will conduct a voluntary safety recall on approximately 50,000 early-2003 Model-Year Toyota Sequoia sport utility vehicles to upgrade program logic in its Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system.

The VSC system can help control a loss of traction in turns as a result of front or rear tire slippage during cornering. In vehicles without the upgrade, the VSC system could, in limited situations, activate at low speed (approximately 9 mph) for a few seconds after acceleration from a stopped position and, as a result, the vehicle may not accelerate as quickly as the driver expects. There have been no reported injuries or accidents as a result of this condition.

Toyota instituted a running production change during the 2003 model year and published a Technical Service Bulletin to address this issue when it was first identified in fall 2003. Since that time, Toyota has been responding to individual owner concerns by replacing the Skid Control Engine Control Unit (ECU) in Sequoias impacted by this condition. Of the approximately 50,000 vehicles included in this recall, approximately half have already been serviced under warranty.

Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America, said: "Toyota is committed to investigating customer complaints more aggressively and to responding quickly to issues we identify in our vehicles. As a result, we are voluntarily launching this recall to ensure that as many 2003 Sequoias as possible are serviced to the full satisfaction of our customers."

Starting in late May, Toyota will begin mailing letters to all 2003 Model-Year Sequoia owners included in this recall, including owners of vehicles that have been previously serviced. If a customer has previously paid to replace the Skid Control ECU for this specific condition prior to receiving a letter, the customer should mail a copy of their repair order, to the following address for reimbursement consideration: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Toyota Customer Experience, WC 10, 19001 South Western Avenue, Torrance, CA 90509.

Detailed information and answers to questions are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'm enjoying every minute of this. I'm a Toyota fan and loved all my Toyota's but the love stopped at my brand new at the time 2007 FJ-Cruiser when I bought it in May 2006. Before my FJ, my last new vehicle is my 2002 4Runner.. The last of the real Toyota 4Runners. Everytime I'd mention that the FJ has cheap materials and the ultimate fender fender bulge, people would call me delirious. Their quality fell hard and it was really noticeable and thats why I got rid of my FJ.

      Unless they up their quality to atleast surpass their 90's era vehicles, no more new Toyota's for me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm not sure what "great 90s quality" you're reffering to - my girlfriend's 2000 Camry has an interior that makes me want to vomit, and my buddy had a 96 Corolla that was about as thrilling as the 96 Corsica my mom had a decade ago.

        Please.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's not the style of the, although boring 2000 Camry interior, but its the material quality. Padded dashboards wrapped in vinyl, high quality plastics that don't creak when you touch or snap when you put excessive force on them, and trim that doesn't fall off if you hit a speed bump. Thats the praised high quality interiors of the 90's era Toyotas if you never knew.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Like the mighty tree that it is named after, when it falls, it falls hard.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A Tahoe is a better choice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Its not just the sequoia, my 06 4runner does that and its annoying. granted this happens when it off-roads or i wanna have fun it the parking lot. 08 and up toyota suvs can have the system turned off completely so you won't have that problem.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lol. Unintended deceleration. Sigh.....
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why should you have to recall the most perfect vehicles in the world? Because they aren't as perfect as we have been tricked into believing.

      How many other things are wrong that have been hidden from the public?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Better title: BRAKING
        • 4 Years Ago
        (suddenly [unintendedly])...
      • 4 Years Ago
      POW! right in the kisser toyota >>
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't believe some of you guys are so gullible. This is obviously a government conspiracy to ensure that government motors can actually sell vehicles. They have no way of competing with Honda and Toyota on level ground, so they have to use the media to attack them and try to drag them down. This type of behavior is sickening; we're obviously seeing socialism in action as a proper free market would never allow this to occur and GM would have actually gone out of business like they deserved to.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "OMMFG if that isn't the height of the pot calling the kettle black then I don't know what is."

        Wiggy!! In your incessant blind American teenage rage to respond as quickly as possible, you completely missed my point: those who begin with "I'm European and I can tell you ... " are usually Americans trying to back up an American viewpoint, as was the case here. How can I tell? Because he clearly hasn't a clue about what's even sold in Europe.


        • 4 Years Ago
        Can you spell Idi@t
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Exactly what I'm talking about. In YOUR incessant*LY* blind Euro-superior rage, with your fake English character you immediately threw down the "American teenager" card which once again raises suspicion about who YOU really are, "Bloke"."


        Do you honestly think I give a toss who you - of ALL people - think I am? All I really take interest in are the facts - and those are that I only contribute on here over topics which I know what I'm bloody well talking about. Which makes you the complete antithesis of me. Now piss off.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "We Europeans have learned for years now, that asian cars are not that good, that american cars are much better and competitve than the general american public believes and that Europe produces the best and also the worst cars in the World." - Jorge5


        Another one of the pretentious "I'm European and I can tell you ..." posts.

        Given the fact that comparatively very few American mainstream products are even available in Europe officially via authorised dealers, your statement is blown completely out of the water. Whatsmore, the only American manufacturer which does sell a raft of its models in Europe - namely Chrysler Group - regularly ranks either near to, or at, the bottom of European consumer surveys.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There´s no conspiracy of nobody here!!!!!. I´m European and Toyota has the same problems here. Beleive me, newspapers and media of the different european countries haven´t talked between themselves to build a conspiracy against Toyota. After all Toyota´s share in the european market is not even close to their share in the US market. We Europeans have learned for years now, that asian cars are not that good, that american cars are much better and competitve than the general american public believes and that Europe produces the best and also the worst cars in the World.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "I guess that companys ..."

        You would mean "companies"??
        • 4 Years Ago
        "@Bloke

        And what do you call
        Ford
        Vauxhall (US owned since 1925)
        and
        Opel (US owned since 1929)
        ?"


        I'd say that having intricate knowledge of corporate law and coporate structure would be a good idea. Adam Opel GmbH is a private German company - it's domiciled in Germany. Its issued share capital is owned by GM. Its assets and liabilities however are owned by Opel itself.

        As for Vauxhall Motors Ltd, the situation is a little more complicated. Vauxhall Motors Ltd of course is a private British company, registered in England & Wales and that's where it's domiciled. Its share capital however is owned by GM (UK) Ltd, another private British company which is also the parent company of Opel Ireland Ltd, Chevrolet (UK) Ltd and Saab GB Ltd. The issued shares of GM (UK) Ltd are owned by GM in America.

        The domiciliary of a company is based upon where it is articled, where it is registered, the country whose corporate law it is registered in and where it primarily does business. The domiciliary of a company is not based on the nationality of its shareholders - if that were the case, every public company listed on a stock exchange would have no one domicile to any one country.


        • 4 Years Ago
        Come here and bitch and moan when you home market levels the playing field for all automakers like America does.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Bloke

        And what do you call
        Ford
        Vauxhall (US owned since 1925)
        and
        Opel (US owned since 1929)
        ?

        I guess that companys like Saab (US owned 1989-2010) and Volvo (US owned 1998-2010) are still "European", but both Vauxhall and Opel? US owned for 80+ years... maybe they are designed and built in Europe, but a man in the US decides who is in charge and how the company is run (even if he smartly delegates this to someone with better knowledge)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is this caused by the vehicle breaking traction? Yes, I know it's AWD but it CAN still happen. If so, the truck is only behaving by design.
      • 4 Years Ago
      unintended deceleration.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I had the same problem on my 2005 Acura MDX. Of course, Acura says there is nothing wrong.
    • Load More Comments