Toyota recalled 4.2 million cars for the gas pedal problem. 2.3 million cars are in the United States and 4.2 million cars worldwide, including some of Toyota?s best-selling models, such as the Camry and Corolla. It has recalled millions more because of floor mats that can catch the gas pedal.
Repairs will take about a half-hour and will start in a matter of days. Toyota temporarily stopped selling some of its most popular models. They are subjected to rigorous testing and would solve the problem for the life of the car.
Toyota has announced that a part, a piece of steel about the size of a postage stamp, is en route to dealerships to repair recalled gas pedals and it was welcome news for car owners. Dealerships do not have any parts yet but they are training technicians. A steel shim a couple of millimeters thick needs to be installed in the pedal assembly, behind the top of the gas pedal, to eliminate the excess friction between two pieces of the accelerator mechanism. In rare instances, that friction can cause the pedal to become stuck in the depressed position.
Relief from lemon law
The state?s lemon law applies when an owner takes a vehicle in three or four times for the same problem and the dealer is unable to fix it. In Toyota?s case, the recall shows the company is trying to remedy the situation. The lemon law usually doesn?t apply to recalls.
60 percent of Toyota?s U.S. model mix is being affected by the recall and the halt in production could cost the company about 100,000 vehicles a month if it persists. Toyota has a reputation for strong resale values, which will likely be hit in the near term as the company works to regain consumer trust.
The Texas Lemon Law
Many worried and frustrated Toyota Camry and Corolla owners in Texas are wondering if the Texas Lemon Law could help them get a refund.
Unfortunately, it may not. Car owners have to meet some strict requirements.
In order to qualify for a replacement vehicle or refund under the Texas Lemon Law, one has to have given the dealer and the manufacturer a “reasonable number of attempts” to repair the defect. And most Toyota owners didn’t even know there was a problem until the recall was announced.
The gas pedal defect does meet some of the criteria of the lemon law. For example, it is a “serious safety hazard.” And most of the Toyotas are still under the original warranty.
But in order to file a lemon law complaint, you have to have taken your car in to the dealer to get fixed at least once in the first 12 months or 12,000 miles and at least once during the second 12 months or 12,000 miles.
If those repair attempts fail, you have to notify the manufacturer in writing and give them a chance to fix the car.
And at every step of the way you must keep records of all repair orders, letters and phone calls.
Even if you meet all those requirements, the law only gives you 30 months from when you purchased your car to file a complaint with the state.
The bottom line is the dealer and manufacturer must get a number of chances to fix the problem and in most cases, this recall is really Toyota’s first attempt.
In any case, Toyota owners need to watch their mail for letters notifying them their vehicles are among those that will be repaired.