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Toyota Recalls 4 Million Gas Pedals Over Concerns of Uncontrolled Acceleration

Toyota recalled four million cars to fix or replace acceleration pedals that could get jammed. Jeffrey Brown reports.

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  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    It all started in August with a high-speed crash in California that took four lives, apparently caused when the accelerator pedal of a new Lexus automobile stuck in the car's floor mats.

    In September, after more reports of accidents involving unintended acceleration, Toyota, the world's largest automaker, announced a recall that has now grown to cover about four million vehicles, including popular brands like the Camry, the top-selling passenger car in America, the Prius, the bestselling gas-electric hybrid, as well as the luxury Lexus model.

    The company originally told vehicle owners to remove driver's-side floor mats. Today, Toyota announced it would have dealers shorten the length of gas pedals immediately and offer replacement pedals beginning next April.

    David Shepardson has been covering this story for The Detroit News and joins me now.

    Welcome back.

  • DAVID SHEPARDSON:

    Thanks, Jeff.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    One horrific accident started this.

  • DAVID SHEPARDSON:

    Right.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    Remind us of that story.

  • DAVID SHEPARDSON:

    This was a terrible accident.

    On August 28, near San Diego, an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer couldn't stop the car. His wife called 911. There was a call that lasted less than a minute. They said they were going 120 miles an hour. They started to pray. The car went off an embankment, burst into flames, and four people were killed, including a young child.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    Now, at the same time, this problem of sudden acceleration, there's a history to that, right? People have been looking at this problem.

  • DAVID SHEPARDSON:

    It's been a problem for years for lots of automakers.

    Is it what — you know, is it just when floor mats get stuck to accelerator pedals or there are other electronic issues that result in it? But there have been hundreds and hundreds of complaints from customers all over the world, really, about this issue.

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    All right, so, in this case, as I said, Toyota first focused on the floor mats. Tell us what they said. And that led to a kind of dispute with the government, I guess.

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