Timeline of Toyota acceleration investigations

Consumer Reports News: February 23, 2010 07:39 AM

Toyota has been in the national spotlight for issues related to unintended acceleration since last summer, though there is a deeper history of related investigations. To put the current recalls in context, we have compiled a brief timeline of investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) into cases of unintended acceleration in Toyotas and Toyota's recalls.

July 17, 2003
— DP03003. After consumer petition, NHTSA opens an investigation of 1997-2000 Lexus LS 400s and GS 400s.

September 23, 2003
— DP03003 denied. NHTSA said, "The information gathered does not indicate that Lexus vehicles are over-represented in the NHTSA database for consumer complaints concerning sudden acceleration and/or problems with vehicle speed control."
August 5, 2005
— DP05002. NHTSA opens an investigation of 2002-2005 Toyota Camry, Toyota Solara, and Lexus ES.

December 16, 2005 — 05V565 - NHTSA recalled 3,567 2006 Lexus IS 250 models for accelerator pedals that could become stuck in the partially depressed position due to inadequate clearance between the accelerator pedal linkage and a plastic pad embedded in the vehicle's carpet.

January 5, 2006 — DP05002 denied. NHTSA said, "ODI [Office of Defects Investigation] has not identified any vehicle-based cause to explain the reports, or uncovered any evidence to indicate that a throttle control system failure occurred."

September 14, 2006
— DP06003. Subsequent to petition, NHTSA opens an investigation of 2002-2006 Toyota Camry and Solara models

March 29, 2007 — PE07016. NHTSA launches preliminary investigation into 2007 Lexus ES 350 models. This action is later upgraded to an engineering analysis and further results in recall number 07E082.

April 3, 2007 — DP06003 denied. NHTSA says, "The fault detection and reaction strategy described in Toyota's technical documents indicates that a loss of throttle control due to a component or system failure would be detected within a one-second period after which engine power would be limited. The petitioner's MY 2006 vehicle brake system overcomes full engine power at easily achievable brake pedal forces."

September 26, 2007 — Recall 07E082 announced to replace accessory floor mats in 55,000 2007 and 2008 Lexus ES 350 and Toyota Camry sedans with reconfigured mats.

January 31, 2008
— DP08001. NHTSA, based on consumer petition, opens an investigation of 2006-2007 Toyota Tacoma pickups

April 10, 2008 — PE08025 is launched, investigating an instance of unintended acceleration of a 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan during a Toyota test in which a missing clip allowed a piece of the center console to fall onto the accelerator pedal and cause unintended acceleration. This investigation is later upgraded to engineering analysis EA08014 and results in recall 09V023.

August 27, 2008 — DP08001 denied. NHTSA said, "Although there may have been an issue with the throttle control system as one possible explanation, we have been unable to determine a cause related to throttle control or any underlying cause that gave rise to the complaint. For those vehicles where the throttle control system did not perform as the owner believes it should have, the information suggesting a possible defect related to motor vehicle safety is quite limited."

January 26, 2009 — Recall 09V023 results in the recall of 26,501 2004 Siennas in which Toyota also instructs dealers to replace the floor mats in the recalled vans.

April 8, 2009 — DP09001. NHTSA requested to investigate 2002-2003 Lexus ES 300s and 2007 Lexus ES 350s. Investigation eventually results in a recall of 3.8 million Toyotas. Recall 10V023 is later added to this recall, including more models.

October 5, 2009 — Recall 09V388 announced, involving 4.2 million Toyota models: the 2007-2010 Camry, Tundra and Lexus ES 350; 2005-2010 Avalon; 2004-2009 Prius; 2005-2010 Tacoma; and 2006-2010 Lexus IS 250. Additionally, Lexus models and Toyota Camrys and Avalons to get an electronic upgrade with a brake override that will bring the engine back to idle if the brake and throttle are depressed simultaneously.

January 21, 2010 — Toyota announces recall 10V017 to repair sticking accelerator pedals in 2.3 million vehicles including: the 2005-2010 Avalon; 2007-2010 Camry; 2009-2010 Corolla; 2010 Highlander; 2009-2010 Matrix; 2009-2010 RAV4; 2007-2010 Tundra; and 2008-2010 Sequoia. Several of these models were also involved in recall 09V388.

January 27, 2010 — Recall 10V023 expands recall 09V388 to include over 1 million more vehicles the 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla; 2008-2010 Highlander; 2009-2010 Matrix; 2009-2010 Venza; and 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe.

February 9, 2010 — Recall 10V039 announced, recalling certain 2010 Toyota Prius and Lexus HS 250h hybrids for an anti-lock brake system that can inappropriately limit braking force over bumpy or slippery roads.

Eric Evarts

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