US: Government eyes stalling Toyotas
The US government is eyeing yet more Toyotas for possible faults, this time following complaints from drivers of engines stalling in 2006 Corolla and Matrix models.
This is the latest in a string of quality issues to affect the Japanese automaker - the most recent was a 4.2m-unit North American recall of various Toyota and Lexus models to modify accelerator pedals and floor profile after numerous reports of unintended acceleration and a high-profile fatal accident in California. Repair work on those cars is due to start early in 2010.
Meanwhile, the US Transportation Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received 26 complaints related to Corolla and Matrix vehicles equipped with Toyota's IZZ-FE engines. The review covers 397,000 vehicles sold in the United States, Reuters reported.
Motorists alleged random stalls, with some cases occurring in intersections and others on highways, according to NHTSA documents. The review was launched on 30 November. In many cases, motorists had trouble restarting the engine.
There were no crashes reported in the complaints, NHTSA said. Several reports cited a Toyota service bulletin in 2007 calling for replacing the engine computer following complaints of stalling. Dow Jones said the Corolla/Matrix probe was focused on the electronic control module.
Reuters noted that NHTSA's preliminary review does not mean a recall is likely, but one could follow if regulators affirm the allegations and identify a design or parts defect.