The recall centers on a faulty electronic control module (ECM), which is a circuit board that helps control the engine’s operation. A faulty ECM can lead to vehicle stalling without warning and at any speed, and then not restarting.
One NHTSA complaint states: “I was driving 60 mph on the freeway and was almost hit from behind [when the engine stalled]. Another time I was turning left at an intersection and just made it through, but cars were honking and almost hit me.”
The NHTSA reports that there have been six reported crashes relating to faulty ECMs; Toyota claims to know of three unconfirmed crashes.
Toyota’s recall of the Corolla and Matrix comes on the heels of several other high-profile recalls and quality issues.
- Since November of 2009, Toyota has recalled nearly 8.5 million vehicles due to floor-mat interference and sticking pedal problems that led to unintended acceleration
- In January 2010, Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles due to faulty accelerator pedals
- Toyota agreed to pay a $16.375 NHTSA fine relating the January 2010 accelerator pedals
- In July 2010, Toyota announced the recall of approximately 373,000 Avalon model vehicles because of steering issues
In addition to the recalls and the public image issues resulting from the recalls, Toyota is facing hundreds of lawsuits and federal investigations.
If you have been involved in an accident involving a Toyota or any other brand of vehicle, contact an experienced attorney.