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Toyota pedal recall batters reputation

Thu, 28 Jan 2010 00:00:00 -0800

In the past 24 hours, the storm swirling around Toyota has intensified, battering its prized reputation for quality.

The latest moves:

-- Toyota added another 1.1 million vehicles to those recalled to modify accelerator pedals that may get stuck under the edge of the floor mat. Toyota has now recalled a total of 4.3 million vehicles for this issue.

The new recall covers 2008-10 Toyota Highlanders and the 2009-10 Corolla, Venza and Matrix. It also covers the 2009-10 Pontiac Vibe, a reworked version of the Matrix.

In the short term, dealers will trim the lower corners of the accelerator pedal. The pedals will be replaced with a redesigned unit when it is available. Dealers will also replace all-weather floor mats.

-- Toyota said it will recall an unknown number of vehicles in Europe and about 75,000 vehicles in China for the sticking accelerator-pedal issue. But Toyota wasn't halting sales or vehicle production in the regions.

-- Ford Motor Co. said it was stopping production of the Transit Classic van in China because the pedals came from the same supplier, CTS Corp., which supplied the faulty pedals to Toyota.

-- In the wake of Toyota suspending sales of eight models because of the accelerator-pedal issue, General Motors launched an incentive targeted at Toyota and Lexus owners. The deal lets owners who lease a GM vehicle waive three payments for up to a total of $1,000; buyers can get zero-percent financing for up to 60 months, and cash buyers can get $1,000 off the deal. The incentive runs through the end of February.

By Dale Jewett