Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Toyota UK accelerator pedal fix will take a month

Steve Settle: "We still have the confidence in Toyota from our customers"

Toyota has started repairing the accelerator pedals on 180,000 vehicles across the UK.

It says it has the capacity to fix 6,000 cars a day - meaning it will be a month before this process is complete.

The company has just over 200 repair centres across the country that can carry out the work.

The Japanese car giant also had news on the Prius recall, saying that its service centres had received the software to update the Prius brakes.

No date has yet been set for those repairs to begin, but Toyota said it would be notifying affected owners by letter in the coming days.

Toyota drivers have identified two separate acceleration problems with their vehicles. The one that may affect UK owners is that the pedal can stick.

Another problem - not yet reported in the UK - involves the pedal getting stuck under the floor mat. That has prompted its own recall in the US.

Extended hours

The pedal repair should take no longer than 30 minutes to complete, and Toyota says its UK centres will extend their opening hours.

UK RECALLED MODELS
February 2005 - August 2009 AYGO
November 2008 - November 2009 iQ
November 2005 - September 2009 Yaris
October 2006 - 5 January 2010 Auris
October 2006 - December 2009 Corolla
February 2009 - 5 Jan 2010 Verso
November 2008 - December 2009 Avensis

Steve Settle, Toyota GB Customer Services Director, said: "Toyota service centres will be working extended hours and weekends... we have implemented the recall as quickly as possible."

Toyota will prioritise those customers whose cars have been identified as having the fault via the Toyota customer helpline.

Mr Settle urged drivers to contact their local dealer or ring the company's hotline in order for their vehicle to be booked-in for the procedure, which involves a piece of metal being fixed into the accelerator pedal.

The company has said that older models will also be given priority as the fault occurs when the pedal becomes worn.

Prius drivers affected by that recall should also receive letters, but if they are concerned they should contact their dealer or ring the company's hotline.

Memo

Meanwhile, in the US, a Congressional committee has cast doubts on Toyota's plans to fix its two acceleration problems.

In a memo to lawmakers it said there was growing evidence that neither Toyota nor federal safety officials had identified all the faults.

The memo cited "substantial evidence" of redesigned floor mats failing to stop the pedals sticking under the mats.

Toyota's president has apologised for the problems caused by the raft of faults. But he has come under criticism in Japan itself from the country's transport minister for not reacting quickly enough to recall faulty vehicles.

There have been complaints in Japan and the US that the brakes on the Prius momentarily fail when driven on rough or slippery road surfaces.

There have been no reports of any such accidents in the UK.

Before it announced the Prius recall in Japan, Toyota estimated its losses would reach $2bn (£1.23bn) in costs and lost sales.

The Prius recall is expected to send this figure even higher.


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