Toyota continues to have problems with its throttle assembly, and the company doesn’t seem to be getting any closer to a solution. The throttles are manufactured by CTS Corporation, and Toyota and CTS have put out differing statements as to the cause, and even the effect of the throttle problem.
Toyota says the pedal assembly has a friction issue that may make the pedal “harder to depress, slower to return, or, in the worst case, mechanically stuck in a partially depressed position.” On the other hand, CTS says the friction problem accounts for only a handful of cases, “and in no instance did the accelerator actually become stuck in a partially depressed condition.”
This is rapidly becoming a public relations nightmare for Toyota, and a huge boost for competing car makers, who are aggressively courting potential buyers of Toyota vehicles. This situation is reminiscent of the late 1980′s when complaints were made that certain Audi sedans would suddenly accelerate. Several people were seriously injured in accidents, and the problem received widespread television coverage. An investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration essentially absolved Audi from any blame, but the damage had already been done, and sales of Audi cars plummeted. Audi did make changes to prevent their cars from being shifted out of Park unless a foot was on the brake pedal.
Toyota needs to find a solution quickly, before further damage is done to a fine auto manufacturer.