2.17.2010

Toyota Corolla Recall Possible; Brake Override System Will Be In All Models Soon; Company President Won't Appear Before Congress


Toyota says it's considering recalling its best selling model (and the world's), the Corolla. Consumer complaints about cars veering off track have grown since Toyota switched from mechanical to electrical steering (which changes the steering wheel from a direct connection to the wheels and makes it an input device which a computer then decodes and acts upon) in the Corolla.


How bad is that electrical steering? Coincidentally, I'm just finishing a week in a 2010 Corolla. And while it's really...really numb (think 1970s Detroit power steering...zero road feel)...I never felt it trying to go off course. Look for a full review soon.

Meantime, at a news conference overnight in Japan, company president Akio Toyoda says the automaker will comply with the NHTSA's investigation into whether the company acted quickly enough to address problems with gas pedals, and announced that all future models will include a brake-override system, which kills power to the engine when both the accelerator and brake are pressed at the same time.

Toyoda had been expected to appear before Congress on February 24. But last night, he called that a "misunderstanding in the press" and said that Toyota North America's chief, Yoshimi Inaba, will be the one in the hot seat.

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