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Toyota recalls top 5.3 million vehicles

by Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Toyota's recall troubles continue to grow, with the total number of vehicles affected by two recalls involving gas pedals growing to at least 5.3 million.

The latest addition to the recalls was announced Wednesday, with 1.1 million vehicles added to the 4.2 million recalled in November to fix a problem in which the gas pedal can become caught on the edge of the removable floormat. That problem can cause the vehicle to accelerate uncontrollably.

A separate recall of 2.3 million vehicles announced last week -- involving accelerator pedals that can stick on their own -- is being expanded to include an undisclosed number of vehicles in Europe.

In most cases, the same vehicles are involved in both recalls. It was not immediately clear how many different vehicles, in total, are part of the two actions.

The vehicles being added to the floormat-related recall are the 2008-2010 Highlander, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Venza, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe.

General Motors' Pontiac car is included in the recall because the Vibe and Toyota's Matrix are similar vehicles that were produced under a partnership between the two companies.

The vehicles originally included in the floormat-related recall were the 2007-2010 Toyota Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2004-2009 Prius, 2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2007-2010 Lexus ES350, 2006-2010 IS250 and the 2006-2010 IS350.

Most, but not all, of the vehicles involved in the stuck pedal recall are also involved in the other recall. They are the 2009-2010 Toyota RAV4, Corolla and Matrix and the Pontiac Vibe; the 2005-2010 Avalon; 2010 Highlander; 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2008-2010 Sequoia; and some 2007-2010 Camrys.

Toyota has been working with the pedal supplier and is close to having a new pedal design ready for approval by regulators, a Toyota spokesman said Thursday.

In the meantime, owners who experience sticking or slowness in the movement of their car's gas pedal should stop driving the car and call a Toyota dealer immediately.

Rental car companies Avis, Hertz and Enterprise are removing the recalled vehicles from their fleets until they can be fixed.

"We recognize that these actions will inconvenience a number of our current rental customers and may impact the availability of vehicles in the coming weeks," Matt Darrah, executive vice president of North American operations for Enterprise Holdings, said in a statement. "We are moving as quickly as possible to minimize any disruption to our customers."

The stuck pedal recall is being expanded to Europe, Toyota announced late Wednesday. The numbers of vehicles involved in the European recall is not yet known.

"A running change in production using different parts has already been implemented model-by-model in the European production," Toyota said in a statement. "Therefore there is no need or intention to stop production in Europe." To top of page

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