How to tell if your Toyota is affected by the recent recalls

Consumer Reports News: January 29, 2010 01:16 PM

If you drive a Toyota and are concerned whether it may be involved in either of the recent safety recalls for unintended acceleration, here’s a rundown of how to tell if your vehicle may have a faulty accelerator pedal or floormats that may slow or prevent the throttle from being able to return to a closed position. However, not every example of every model is included. Here’s how to know if yours is.

The recall only involves models produced in North America for both recalls.

For the pedal recall, if you own an Avalon, Matrix, Sequoia, or Tundra, or a Pontiac Vibe, those vehicles are only manufactured in North America, and all have the pedal made by the parts supplier in Indiana, so all are subject to the recall.

If you have a Corolla, RAV4, or Highlander, your vehicle may have been built in North American or Japan. Vehicles built in Japan use different pedals made by Japanese supplier Denso and are not subject to the recall. Japanese-built vehicles have Vehicle Identification Numbers starting with the letter J. Models built in North America have VINs starting with a numeral, 1, 2, 4, or 5, and are part of the recall.

The hybrid versions of the Highlander and Camry are not involved. All have pedals made by Denso.

It’s more complicated if you own a non-hybrid Camry. Camrys sold in the U.S. are built on four different assembly lines: One in Japan, one in Indiana, and two at Toyota’s plant in Georgetown, Kentucky. Camrys built in Japan all have VINs that start with J, and are not affected. Camrys built in Indiana (at a factory that also makes Subarus), all have the suspect pedal and are involved in the recall. Their VINs start with “4.”

The bulk of the Camrys sold in North America are produced in Kentucky, and also have VINs that start with “4.” However, not all of these cars have the problematic pedal. Toyota Safety and Quality Communications Manager Brian Lyons tells us there are two assembly lines that built Camrys at Georgetown. Line 1 used the North American pedals involved in the recall. Line 2 used Denso pedals imported from Japan. He says Toyota has no way of telling by VIN whether a car was built on Line 1 or Line 2, so he says owners should take their vehicles to a Toyota dealer to have it inspected to see which pedal it has. That’s also our advice.

If you look up under the dashboard at the box where the pedal attaches, however, it is possible to tell which pedal your car has. Bring a flashlight, and look closely at the black box where the upper end of the pedal connects to a hinge. The black box contains the pedal module. The recalled modules, manufactured by CTS, have a large shiny metal panel on the side. The letters “CTS” can be seen below the word Toyota. If the module has a circular molded feature and says “Denso,” it is not involved in the recall. The earlier recall for pedal interference with floor mats involved a design issue that affects all of the cars listed in that recall, regardless of where they were built or their VINs.

All 2005-2010 Avalons and 2007-2010 Tundras and some 2008-2010 Camrys are involved in both recalls.

Here is a chart of all vehicles affected by both Toyota recalls.

Year/model Pedal recall Floor mat recall
2005-2010 Toyota Avalon Yes Yes
2007-2010 Toyota Camry Yes* Yes
2009-2010 Toyota Corolla Yes* Yes
2008-2009 Toyota Highlander No Yes
2010 Toyota Highlander Yes* Yes
2009-2010 Toyota Matrix Yes Yes
2004-2009 Toyota Prius No Yes
2009-2010 Toyota RAV4 Yes* No
2008-2010 Toyota Sequoia Yes No
2005-2010 Toyota Tacoma No Yes
2007-2010 Toyota Tundra Yes Yes
2009-2010 Toyota Venza No Yes
2007-2010 Lexus ES350 No Yes
2006-2010 Lexus IS250/350 No Yes
2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe Yes Yes
*VINs that begin with a J are not affected.

Regardless of whether your vehicle is affected by one or both recalls, Toyota says you can go ahead and drive it. Watch for a recall notice in the mail, and when it arrives, take your vehicle in to have the appropriate service performed. In the meantime, remove your floor mats, keep an eye out for a sticky accelerator pedal, and be sure you know how to stop a runaway vehicle by firmly applying the brakes and shifting to neutral.

For more information on the Toyota recalls, see our unintended acceleration guide.

Eric Evarts

*Updated 2/5/10

Consumers Union calls for changes to strengthen U.S. car-safety net
Toyota reportedly worked with feds to save $100 million in recalls
Eight things that can dramatically improve auto safety
Five key fixes automakers should make now to reduce unintended acceleration
Unintended acceleration stories wanted
How to tell if your Toyota is affected by the recent recalls
Consumer Reports suspends recommendations for recalled Toyotas
Toyota suspends sales, production of recalled vehicles
More than floor mats: Toyota recalls 2.3 million vehicles for sticking accelerators
Analysis shows over 40 percent of sudden-acceleration complaints involve Toyotas
Toyota recalls 3.8 million cars to modify gas pedals, carpets, and software
More than floor mats: NHTSA report gives more details on Lexus crash
Putting a car in Neutral might save your life
Putting stuck floor mat survival strategies to the test
Floor mat survey reveals problem with all-weather mats
Toyota and Lexus floor mat recall is official
Toyota advises 3.8 million Lexus and Toyota owners to remove floor mats

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Safety News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more