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NHTSA May Put the Brakes on Toyota

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On: Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 9:10AM | By: Karen Cook

NHTSA May Put the Brakes on Toyota

Attention, Toyota Camry Hybrid owners! The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a preliminary evaluation of 2007-2008 Camry Hybrids due to a possible defect of the braking system. Owners have reported that they are experiencing “delayed braking actuation or increased brake pedal effort” meaning the brakes either don’t work or the pedal must be pushed harder to get the car to stop. So far there have been 59 complaints, 40% of which said the issue occurred at speeds of 40mph or more. It seems the problem is more likely as the car ages because 55% of the complaints have occurred in the last eight months.

A “preliminary evaluation” sometimes precedes a recall but an official recall has not occurred as yet. The NHTSA is investigating the cause and scope of the problem which may lead to a probe into the engineering of the brakes and those findings could let to a full recall. This could affect around 30,000 of the 2007-08 Camry Hybrids.

So far there have been two accidents associated with this issue, but the numbers are not available on how many injuries there have been, nor do we know if there have been any fatalities at this time. Toyota issued a statement saying they were cooperating fully with the evaluation.

Owners are not so confident in Toyota’s actions, saying that the manufacturer was receiving enough complaints to warrant a voluntary recall and they should be fixing the problem at no cost. Those who have had the problem repaired on their own reported that it cost them around $3000.

In 2012 the 2007-2009 models of the same vehicle suffered a global recall due to power window switches melting, which led to fires. Also in 2012, Toyota was fined $17.35 for not voluntarily recalling two models of its Lexus SUVs due to a problem with the driver’s floor mat getting lodged against the gas pedal, causing the car to accelerate unintentionally.


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