Toyota will recall some 50,000 Sequoia sport-utility vehicles from the 2003 model year to fix traction controls that unexpectedly switch on – the automaker’s eighth
recall in the United States this year.
The problem is not linked to any reports of injuries or crashes. It does involve flaws in the sensors used by the vehicles’ electronic controls, a key point of contention in the debate over thousands of sudden acceleration cases. And as recently as February, Toyota was telling federal regulators the problem was not a safety defect.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been probing the problem since 2008, and said last year it had received 68 complaints from Sequoia owners of their cars slowing down unexpectedly, sometimes in traffic.
Toyota has told federal regulators the problem had two causes. One was a flaw in the programming for the vehicle’s skid control system that incorrectly judged the steering wheel position at low speeds, causing the skid control to come on for a few seconds as the truck accelerated. The other was due to corrosion in the rear wheels that could cause the truck’s traction control to kick in unnecessarily, also slowing the truck.