Toyota to replace or repair gas pedals on 4 million vehicles | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

The accelerator pedals on four million Toyota automobiles will be replaced or fixed, the carmaker announced Wednesday.

The pedal fix is the latest development in a story that has damaged the reputation of Toyota, a Japanese carmaker widely known for making reliable, safe cars, The New York Times reported.

Just yesterday, I wrote about Toyota’s growing acceleration problem and how the evidence pointed to a problem bigger than floor mats, which was what Toyota initially blamed the problem on.

Toyota dealers will be directed to shorten existing gas pedals by three quarters of an inch, The Times said. The fix will get underway in January. At the same time, Toyota engineers will develop new pedals.

In the popular Toyota Camry – as well as some other models – dealers will take some padding out of the floor and install an override system that will bring the car to a halt if the gas pedal and the brake pedal are used at the same time.

Toyota said on Wednesday that the pedal is the only problem – and that the electrical systems in the cars are fine.

“We are very, very confident that we have addressed this issue,” Irv Miller, a Toyota spokesman, told The Times. “We can come up with no indication whatsoever that there is a throttle or electronic control system malfunction.”

Models being recalled include: the 2005-2010 Avalon car, 2007-2010 Camry car and Tundra truck and the 2004-2009 Prius. In addition, three Lexus cars will be recalled: The 2007-2010 ES350, the 2006-10 IS350 and the 2006-2010 IS250.