Toyota Found Fix For Stuck Pedals

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
toyota found fix for stuck pedals

Toyota knows how to fix the sticking gas pedals, says today’s Nikkei [sub]. Nobody will go publicly on record, and nothing will be announced before the NHTSA has approved the fix.

According to the Nikkei, Toyota applied for NHTSA approval for a “selective spacer,” or shim that would be inserted into the gas-pedal assembly of the affected cars. The shim would increase the tension in an internal spring and should prevent the accelerator from remaining in a depressed position, say Nikkei’s sources.

Once approval is received, production of the shim could begin in a week, and dealers would have their parts a week later. If it really comes down to a shim, there are machines that spit out gadzillions in the blink of an eye.

Until the NHTSA has given its approval, nobody at Toyota will break cover. “We have got some options that are going to address the issue,” said Toyota spokesman Mike Goss. “I can’t confirm what the fix is.”

Both CTS, the supplier that makes the gas pedal units for Toyota, and Toyota itself said no electronics are at fault.

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4 of 36 comments
  • Skcusmg Skcusmg on Jan 29, 2010

    As a weekend mechanic myself it makes me feel not too far from the pros! ...................... Maybe better then the pros. Most of the time the simplest and most straightforward solution is the best one to use.

  • Obbop Obbop on Jan 29, 2010

    Mail the masses a bungee cord of the proper length per vehicle-type with a diagram indicating attachment points. Perhaps include article telling of multi-million paid out by Ford for failure to build car roof impervious to falling horses (obscure?).

  • Sutures Sutures on Jan 29, 2010

    Honestly, this change causes a lot of engineering alarms in my little brain. I hope this sentence is a mistranslation or just an uniformed description of the fix: "The shim would increase the tension in an internal spring and should prevent the accelerator from remaining in a depressed position, say Nikkei’s sources." (It's nitpicking, I know, but... ) - Tension/extension spring: if you are increasing the spring's TENSION you are artificially shortening the spring which could result in the spring reaching its yield point and not returning to its original size. End result: more unintended acceleration events - Compression spring: In the statement "tension" actually means "compression". More likely situation, however, if the loss of compression is from the spring causing wear on a mating part, we now have to worry about whether the mating part can support the newly increase spring force. If the fix is intended to adjust the spring for tight fitting parts, my concern is that the increased force will not be sufficient to overcome the worst offenders. End result: more unintended acceleration events - In either case the following REALLY worries me... If a stick/slip situation is the root cause of the problem, there should be an account of the issue being resolved by either prying the pedal up with your foot (I've had to do this on a vehicle that had a good old throttle cable) OR the issue resolved itself by a sudden shock to the vehicle (ie hitting a pothole) which jarred the pedal enough to unstick it. With the above bit of engineering... I hope someone leaks the TSB or recall instruction sheet. I am curious on what the "fix" actually entails.

  • Stewart Dean Stewart Dean on Jan 29, 2010

    butbutbut I thought the problem was floor mats and idiot drivers (like an off duty trooper buying the farm with his family). There should be some ritual seppukku for this FUBAR. In the old days the president of the company would have come to your house and personally apologized. ...and... repeat after me, ten times WD-40 is NOT a lubricant (except in the very short term, after which volatiles evaporate and you're back to the status quo ante)