CBS’ Marketwatch reports from Tokyo (or more accurately, blogs the Japanese Business Daily Nikkei’s reporting) that Toyota is going to change out accelerator pedals in US market vehicles in hopes of putting the issue behind them. “Toyota Motor Corp. will make changes to gas pedals in certain U.S. models under an agreement with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to a published report, in response to accidents blamed on the accelerators getting stuck to the floor mats. Toyota still maintains that the vehicles are not actually defective. But to settle the potentially image-damaging issue, it will change the gas pedals so they are less likely to get stuck. The work will be handled through dealerships, Japanese business daily Nikkei reported Saturday.” Interestingly enough, nothing is said about non-US market vehicles.
Think this is the end of the story? Neither do I. But I’m sure David Kiley over at Business Week thinks this it’s all good. A few weeks ago he wrote that the Toyota Mat Mess would “end up being a positive for [the] brand”. His argument was that hey, Audi survived and is doing well, so this must mean good things for Toyota as well. Although the NHTSA seems to be onboard with the floor mat theory, many owners are still not buying it. This one isn’t over by a long shot.