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Toyota recall: 2.3 million cars

by Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Toyota Motor Sales USA is recalling 2.3 million vehicles to correct a problem that could cause the vehicles' gas pedals to stick.

This new recall is separate from an on-going recall of 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles to correct a problem in which the pedals could become stuck under a loose floormat.

This new recall is to correct a situation in which the gas pedal could stick without the presence of a floor mat.

"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," Toyota USA group vice president Irv Miller said in a statement.

The situation is rare, according to Toyota, but can occur when accelerator pedal mechanisms become worn. The problem will usually develop gradually, Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said. The pedal may become harder to press and may become slower to return when released. In the worst cases, it may become stuck in a partially depressed position.

"The news that Toyota has expanded this recall, in conjunction with a statement that removes blame from the previously identified faulty floor mats, is proof that this situation is slowly spiraling out of control. As a company with a reputation for steadiness, these must be uncomfortable days for Toyota," said James Bell, executive market analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

"Toyota is working quickly to prepare a correction remedy," the automaker said in its announcement.

Owners will be notified when a remedy is available. In the meantime, they can continue driving their cars, Toyota spokesman John Hanson said. The carmaker wants to make drivers aware of the potential problem and of what they should do if it arises, he said.

Drivers should not pump the brakes as this can deplete the brakes' power assist. In the event the pedal becomes stuck, the vehicle can be brought under control with firm and steady application of the brakes, the automaker said.

The vehicle should then be driven to the nearest safe location, shut off, and a Toyota dealer should be called for assistance.

The vehicles covered under the recall are:

2009-2010 Toyota Rav4, Corolla, Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2010 Highlander, 2007-2010 Tundra and 2008-2010 Sequoia..

The Camry Hybrid is not included in the recall.

Toyota owners with questions should call Toyota's customer service line at 800-331-4331.

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