NHTSA issues advisory for Toyota vehicle owners

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this week issued an advisory for Toyota vehicle owners on two separate recalls and opened an investigation into an alleged defect.

According to a press release, Toyota recalled vehicle models that could have two types of defects, which the media have coined "pedal entrapment" and "sticky pedal." In October, Toyota recalled 3.8 million vehicles for accelerator pedal entrapment by the floor mat. In January, Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles for a problem with the accelerator pedal that causes it to be harder to depress, slower to return to the closed position or get stuck while partially depressed. NHTSA confirmed five individuals in two incidents died as a result of pedal entrapment. No deaths have been confirmed due to the sticky pedal defect.

On Thursday, the agency opened a formal investigation of the Toyota Prius Hybrid MY 2010 to look into allegations of momentary loss of braking capability while traveling on an uneven road surface, pothole or bump.

NHTSA advises owners of models with potential pedal entrapment to notify their dealer and remove all floor mats on the driver’s side or ensure they are properly secured. Owners of models that might have pedals that get stuck should immediately notify their dealer. Should the pedal become stuck in a partially depressed condition while driving, owners should put their car in neutral, bring it to a stop and call their dealer.

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