Toyota gas pedals prompt recall

Privately imported US models in Cayman should be checked

Toyota is recalling millions of cars
with faulty gas pedals in the United States, China and Europe.

Although no US-manufactured Toyota
vehicles are imported into Cayman through the official dealership, Vampt Motors,
many owners import them directly from North America.

Greg Hall, Vampt’s service manager,
said there were many “grey import” US-manufactured Toyotas in Cayman. “I see a
lot of Toyota Tundras on the road and we don’t import those,” he said.

Grey imports are items that are not
manufactured for export. They are exported privately rather than through the
manufacturer or an official dealer.

Owner database

Mr. Hall is building a database of
owners of Toyotas that are manufactured in the US so that when the company
releases details of how to repair the fault that has led to the recall, Vampt
can contact the owners.

The models Toyota is recalling are:
2009-2010 RAV4; 2009-2010 Corolla; 2009-2010 Matrix; 2005-2010 Avalon; 2007-2010
Camry; 2010 Highlander except hybrid models; 2007-2010 Tundra; 2008-2010
Sequoia.

The manufacturer, on its website,
stated that it was recalling the vehicles because: “In rare instances, there is
a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, mechanically stick
in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position.”

Toyota has suspended sale and
production of the affected models.

In November last year, Toyota
recalled 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus models. In that recall, throttle pedals
could get stuck under floor mats, causing the cars to accelerate out of
control.

 “Anyone who has bought one of these vehicles
manufactured in the States should contact us so we can get contact details and
their vehicle VIN number and add them to our database.

“Basically, Toyota itself does not
know where all the vehicles have gone. They only know the initial buyer. I can
email my Toyota contacts about the grey imports and they can advise me on the
repairs when they become available,” said Mr. Hall.

He said owners who are unsure where
their Toyotas were manufactured can check quite easily. Most vehicles imported
to Cayman from Japan are right-hand drive, so if a vehicle is left-hand drive,
it is more likely to have originated in the United States.

Identify US models

The Vehicle Identification Number
will give information that can confirm where the car is manufactured. Those
built in Japan have VINs beginning with JT. Those manufactured in the US have
VINs beginning with a number. For example, Toyota Tundras start with a 5 and
Matrix model VIN numbers begin with a 2.

Mr. Hall explained that drivers can
find the VIN numbers of vehicles manufactured in the US on the left side of the
windshield or on a small stamp or sticker inside the driver’s door.

So far, Toyota has not come up with
a fix for the accelerator pedal problem. Mr. Hall said if the solution entails
installing a new part, drivers of affected models in Cayman may have to wait a
bit longer than their counterparts in the US because “there might be a delay
getting those parts into the export market”.

“If the repair is something we just
need to modify, we could get the technical information, call the vehicles in
and fix them and not have to wait on parts,” he said.

For more information on the recall, visit www.toyota.com.

LOCALtoyotaSTORY

A RAV 4, one of the models being recalled by Toyota for sticking accelerators.
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