What Prompted the Toyota Recall?
Looking Under the Hood at What Went Wrong, Technically

The Toyota recall has been driven by problems with brake and accelerator pedals in certain models. Below, we review the basics of what went wrong.

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Brake Failures

Toyota Priuses -- hybrid vehicles known for their fuel efficiency -- have been beset by brake failure problems, according to consumers around the globe. The Toyota Motor Corp. has issued a recall for 270,000+ Priuses made between 2005 and 2010 because these vehicles may have computer-related defects that cause braking problems on slippery surfaces and bumpy roads -- particularly when vehicles move at slow speeds.

Toyota executives say that software glitch can be repaired in just half an hour.

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Sticky Gas Pedals and Poorly Placed Floor Mats

Jim Lentz, the President of U.S. Operations, recently admitted that gas pedals of certain Toyota models can become "sticky" and that they can also get jammed under floor mats of certain models, causing unwanted acceleration and maneuvering problems. The Japanese automaker believes moisture-induced wear on the gear teeth is ultimately to blame for the "sticky" pedal problem. By simply adding a metal plate to increase the springiness of the pedals, the problem can be quickly and easily fixed, claims Toyota. (Similarly, the company argues, the floor mat problem can likewise be easily repaired.)

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