Toyota announced a major recall on Thursday of 1.33 Corolla and Corolla Matrix vehicles. This recall covers North American sales, with 200,000 of the vehicles in Canada and the rest in the U.S. The models affected are from the years 2005 to 2008.
According to CNN, these vehicles are 2 wheel drive models with the 1ZZ-FE engine. The engine control module’s (ECM) circuit board in these vehicles has issues that can cause it to crack. A cracked circuit board can cause issues in shifting, it may prevent the vehicle from starting, and could cause the vehicle to stall. 3 accidents allegedly related to the circuit board issues, and up to 1,100 complaints of vehicles stalling are what prompted this recall.
According to Toyota, in most cases the check engine light will come on to offer a warning sign in a vehicle with this issue. Shifting may possibly become harsh, as well. Again, though, this is not in every case. Other recalled vehicles may not start at all, and a limited few might stall. The issue that occurs is directly related to the particular area of the circuit board that happens to crack, if it cracks.
Toyota will be contacting owners of the recalled vehicles starting in mid-September to be sure that all are aware of a recall. Replacement parts are not yet available, so a second letter will also be sent when parts become available so owners can take their cars in for repair. Repairs will be done at a local Toyota dealership and will consist of replacing the ECM, at no cost to the vehicle owner.
Any owner who has previously repaired the ECM will be reimbursed. Instructions for reimbursement will be contained in the owner letter.
The New York Times has reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has still been investigating this issue, and that the number of accidents is still unconfirmed, but may possibly be as many as 6. The NHTSA is looking to clarify this number.
The Times also noted earlier this year that the 2009 – 2010 models of the Corolla and Matrix vehicles were being investigated by the NHTSA for possible steering problems. 168 consumer complaints of unresponsive steering issues prompted that investigation, though no apparent action has yet been taken on it.
The current Corolla/Matrix recall was done voluntarily by Toyota. Consumers can find out more about any Toyota recall at the Toyota Recall Information Website.
Hibah Yousuf, Toyota recalls 1.33 million Corollas, CNN Money
Toyota Vehicles: Customer FAQ for Corolla/Corolla Matrix Recall
Christopher Jensen, Toyota Recalling 1.1 Million Corollas and Matrixes for Stalling Problem, The New York Times
Christopher Jensen, Investigation of nearly 500,000 Toyota Corollas and Matrixes, The New York Times