Toyota has been in the hot seat this year for its high-volume safety recalls, has issued yet another action that covers its 2005-2008 model year Corolla sedans and Matrix hatchbacks. Approximately 1.13 million vehicles are affected by a problem which could cause the 1ZZ-FE 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine to stall. Three accidents have been reported thus far, though Toyota hasn't confirmed that these incidents were indeed caused by this engine stalling issue.
To fix this problem, Toyota will replace the engine control modules on the recalled vehicles starting in mid-September. Owners will be notified by mail in the coming weeks and the service will be provided at no charge.
This is not the first time this year that the Corolla and Matrix have been the subject of safety issues. In early 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated almost 750,000 2009 and 2010 model year vehicles for a potential steering issue, and Toyota provided a free fix for customers. An official recall was not issued, though, as Toyota maintains that this problem is not a safety concern.
Follow the jump to read Toyota's official press release.
*UPDATE: We mustn't forget that the Pontiac Vibe is built on the same architecture as the Corolla/Matrix, and General Motors has just issued a press release (available after the jump) stating that certain 2005-2008 model year Vibes are being recalled for this same issue.
Toyota Announces Voluntary Safety Recall on Certain Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix Models
TORRANCE, Calif., Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., today announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall involving approximately 1.13 million 2005-2008 Model Year Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles sold in North America to address some Engine Control Modules (ECM) that may have been improperly manufactured. No other Toyota or Lexus vehicles are involved in this recall.
On vehicles equipped with the 1ZZ-FE engine and two-wheel drive, there is a possibility that a crack may develop at certain solder points or on the electronic component used to protect circuits against excessive voltage (varistor), on the ECM's circuit board. In most cases, if a crack occurs at certain solder points or on certain varistors, the check engine may illuminate, harsh shifting could result, or the engine may not start. In limited instances, if cracking occurs on particular solder points or varistors, the engine could stop while the vehicle is being driven.
There are three unconfirmed accidents alleged to be related to this condition, one of which reported a minor injury.
Steve St. Angelo, Toyota chief quality officer for North America, said, "This recall is an example of our commitment to standing by our products and being responsive to our customers. Our goal is to help ensure that Toyota drivers are completely confident in the safety and reliability of their vehicles."
As part of the recall, the ECM on involved vehicles will be replaced at no charge to the owner. Beginning in mid-September 2010, Toyota will mail an interim notification to advise owners of this recall and the fact that they will receive a future notice when parts become available to complete the repairs. Owners who have previously paid for replacement of the ECM to address this specific condition should refer to the owner letter for reimbursement consideration instructions.
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, Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Saturday 7 a.m. through 4 p.m. PDT.
From General Motors:
Toyota Recalls 2005-08 Pontiac Vibes for Stalling Condition
Toyota Motor Co. announced a safety recall Thursday for 200,163 Pontiac Vibe models from 2005-2008 because a faulty powertrain control. As part of the same action, Toyota is recalling 1.13 million Toyota Corolla and Matrix models from the same model years.
The 2-wheel-drive Pontiac Vibe and Toyota Matrix are sister vehicles built between April 2004 and January 2008 at the former New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. joint venture between GM and Toyota. The vehicles were designed and engineered by Toyota.
On some of these vehicles, the PCM may have been improperly manufactured and include components that can fail prematurely. In most cases, the engine warning lamp could be illuminated, harsh transmission shifting could result, the engine may stall or the engine may not start. In limited instances, the engine could stall while the vehicle is being driven.
Vibe customers will receive preliminary recall letters in September and a follow-up letter when replacement ECMs are available for their vehicles. Since GM has wound down the Pontiac brand, owners will be instructed to take their vehicles to other GM dealerships for service, which will be performed free of charge.