Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declared itself pleased with Toyota's voluntary recall of 2.3 million vehicles (this in addition to the now 4.2 million recall announced in 2009), NHTSA deems the problem as being a “a serious safety issue,” New York Times reported.
The recall, the largest in Toyota's history involves 1.7 million vehicles which will be recalled for both problems – last year's alleged floormat and today's sticking accelerator pedal. For both problems, Toyota is recalling about 6 million vehicles...
According to what Toyota says, the two problems are unrelated. The sticking accelerator pedal was under investigation ever since 2007, but, coincidentally (?) only surfaced three years later, after a strangely similar incident affected the 4.2 million units.
Back to the current problem, this is how Toyota explains it.
“Our investigation indicates that there is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position. Consistent with our commitment to the safety of our cars and our customers, we have initiated this voluntary recall action.”
In 2009, the Japanese carmaker was the one with the biggest number of recalls in the US, with 4.9 million vehicles, of which 4.2 million were in connection with the floormats. Ford followed close behind, with 4.5 million vehicle, while GM ranked third, with half of Ford's figure.