Two recalled Toyota cars sold in UAE

UAE Toyota dealer to fix recalled vehicles despite limited chance of pedals sticking in warmer climates.

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Two of the Toyota vehicles recalled in the US for sticking pedals are sold in the UAE. However, the two models, Avalon and Sequoia (model years 2005 - 2010) are highly unlikely to experience the same potential accelerator issue because of the UAE's climatic conditions. "We have been monitoring the situation and liaising closely with Toyota Motor Company," the managing director of Al-Futtaim Motors, Simon Frith, said,

"In the interests of delivering the highest standards of customer care, we will undertake the same service campaign launched in the USA. "This campaign will be launched for all Avalon and Sequoia vehicles sold by Al-Futtaim Motors in the UAE," he said. "We will be communicating the details of this service campaign with our Avalon and Sequoia customers. If any of our customers have concerns they can contact our customer care team on 04 206 6002 (between 8am and 8pm Saturday to Thursday)."

Meanwhile, With class action lawsuits linked to the recall of millions of vehicles, Toyota officials have exonerated one supplier but left another fighting to defend its reputation. Indiana-based CTS Corp was thrust into the spotlight last month when Toyota identified it as the supplier of "sticky" pedals that might get stuck when depressed and could result in uncontrolled acceleration. The electronic components supplier issued a statement last week expressing its "deep concern" that it was also being linked in media reports to more serious problems with Toyota pedals that date back to before it began working with the Japanese automaker.

A top Toyota executive gave the previous supplier - Japanese auto parts giant Denso - a pass on Monday and provided few details on the root of the problem that made accelerators in 5.3 million US vehicles vulnerable to getting stuck in floor mats. "Denso is not involved," the Toyota motor sales USA president Jim Lentz told reporters in a conference call discussing the automaker's plans to fix the sticky pedal defect.

CTS - which says it was honored by Toyota for "exceeding quality expectations" on the accelerator pedal modules in 2005 and 2006 - insists it had met Toyota's engineering specifications and should not be blamed for the recalls. Toyota officials said they would have preferred to keep CTS out of the spotlight but was forced to identify the supplier in communications with US federal safety officials.

The automaker announced plans to use modified pedal assemblies built by CTS when it resumes production next week at five different assembly plants in the United States and Canada. Toyota engineers have developed a "spacer" to add to the pedal mechanism in order to increase the tension in a spring and reduce the risk of the pedal staying down. They also redesigned the pedals so new vehicles will not need the spacer.

"It's a long-term fix. It's not an interim solution to a problem," said Bob Waltz, Toyota vice president of product quality and service support, who said both solutions had undergone "extensive" durability *With AFP