/Huge Toyota Recalls

Huge Toyota Recalls

Man Giving Car Key at Huge Toyota Recalls

For many years, Toyota was one of the largest and most trusted automobile brands in the world. However, a series of huge recalls has recently damaged this reputation. As of October 2013, the latest recall affects close to a million vehicles — not quite as many as the nightmare of 2009 and 2010, but large enough to further sully Toyota’s status as a preeminent automaker.


Founded in 1933, Toyota overcame tough financial times in the 1940s and 1950s and cultivated a global presence in the 1960s. Half a century later, Toyota offered two of the best-selling nameplates in history with the compact Corolla and the mid-sized Camry sedans. Moreover, several car surveys, most notably Consumer Reports and J.D. Power, consistently placed Toyota in the top tier in the market in terms of the general build, quality, and reliability of its vehicles.

Unintended Acceleration

In a signal of what was to come, Toyota recalled 55,000 of its automobiles on September 26, 2007 for an “all weather” floor mat defect. On November 2, 2009, Toyota responded to reports of crashes due to unintended acceleration by recalling 3.8 million vehicles bearing the Toyota logo and that of its luxury division, Lexus. Toyota theorized that the problem was originating from the driver’s side floor mats, which had the tendency to go into the foot pedal well and trap the pedals.

Further crashes suggested that the problem might not be from floor mat incursion. Rather, Toyota began to believe that the issue stemmed from a possible mechanical sticking of the accelerator pedal. A second recall, affecting 2.3 million additional vehicles, was conducted on January 21, 2010. About 91 percent of those vehicles also had the floor mat problem. By the end of the month, 1.8 million more Toyotas from Europe and China had been added to the faulty accelerator pedal recall, as well as 1.1 million more for the floor mat issue.

Air Conditioning and Condenser Leaks

On October 17, 2013, Toyota recalled about 803,000 vehicles in the United States, most of which are Camrys from the 2012 and 2013 models. Also affected are the Avalon and Venza from the same model-year period. The recall is due to a problem with the air-conditioning condensers, which can leak water onto the airbag control module. The damaged control module sometimes inadvertently deploys the airbag, causing injuries. According to what Toyota told car publication Edmunds, it already has already done damage: the defect has led to two cases of minor injuries. Fortunately, there have been no reported accidents. Globally, the recall affects 885,000 vehicles, with most of them in Canada, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.


The October 2013 recall is just the latest in a string of recalls that Toyota has continued to endure. For a company that once enjoyed a reputation for reliability and quality, the trend has been alarming. The recalls in 2009 and 2010 ignited investigations from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NASA and the U.S. Congress. Economically and psychologically, Toyota no longer has the shield of invulnerability it once possessed. Still struggling to fully recover from the global financial crisis of 2008, Toyota has witnessed its market share steadily dwindle due to the increasing competitive edge from other automakers, including Ford, Chrysler and Hyundai.

This article is written by Jared Miret, a father, auto aficionado and handyman. He is passionate about other consumers staying informed on current issues in the automotive industry.  If you have an automotive business, generate new business with automotive direct mail.

(Journalist) – Jorge is a Portuguese tech auto journalist and is responsible for our gadgets section. He joined our team in September 2009.