Toyota made big news today, with a press release titled "Toyota Announces Details of Remedy to Address Potential Accelerator Pedal Entrapment," by announcing the details of a recall that will apparently stop all those problems of Toyota's accelerating wildly out of control, as detailed in a Houston Press cover story from April, "Wild Rides," and more recently by the Los Angeles Times.
We're being told by Toyota that the floormats aren't the culprit -- as was reported earlier -- but it's actually those damned gas pedals that are causing all the fuss.
All the fuss actually started this summer after a Lexus -- made by Toyota -- sped up and wouldn't stop, eventually crashing and killing all four passengers, including a California Highway Patrol officer and a 13-year-old girl.
According to the press release, Toyota owners can start in January taking in their vehicles to dealerships to have the gas pedal "reshaped" as a temporary fix. Then, "as replacement parts with the same shape as the modified pedal become available, they will be made available to dealers for the repair, beginning around April 2010.
From the press release:
The safety of our owners and the public is our utmost concern and Toyota has and will continue to thoroughly investigate and take appropriate measures to address any defect trends that are identified.
A couple things about that statement caught our eye, most importantly the whole spiel about safety being the utmost concern. Any time we hear something like that out of Toyota, we can't help but remember the explanation that Toyota spokesman Bill Kwong gave the Press regarding unintended acceleration back in April, months before the California crash.
You get these customers that say, 'I stood on the brake with all my might and the car just kept on accelerating.' They're not stepping on the brake. People are so under stress right now, people have so much on their minds. With pagers and cell phones and IM, people are just so busy with kids and family and boyfriends and girlfriends. So, you're driving along and the next thing you know you're two miles down the road and you don't remember driving, because you're thinking about something else.
Hopefully, Kwong and the rest of Toyota are now a little more concerned and do continue to thoroughly investigate, because something tells us that a reshaped gas pedal isn't the end to the story of Toyota and unintended acceleration.
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