Toyota to fix gas pedals in U.S. recall

NAGOYA (Kyodo) Toyota Motor Corp. will soon offer to fix the gas pedals of vehicles in the United States that are subject to a safety recall over a problem with sudden acceleration, sources said Saturday.

Toyota is believed to have already agreed to the planned voluntary repair of gas pedals possibly involving 4 million cars, the sources said.

The carmaker is now in the final stage of arranging the move with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they said.

Repair costs are estimated at tens of billions of yen, but Toyota expects it will not affect its overall business performance because the company has set aside nearly ¥500 billion in case of such an event, a senior Toyota official said.

Toyota opted to offer to fix the gas pedals rather than issue a recall because it says the pedal’s shape is not faulty.

Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times said more than 1,000 owners of Toyota vehicles have reported sudden vehicle acceleration since 2001 and that at least 19 people may have been killed in subsequent crashes.

In October, the automaker issued a voluntary safety recall, citing possible problems with floor mats, for 3.8 million vehicles in seven models in the U.S.