As if Toyota didn’t have enough problems with the sudden, unexplained acceleration of its vehicles – the company is involved in another federal safety probe.
This time regulators are looking at numerous complaints of engine stalling problems in Corolla and Matrix cars from model year 2006 equipped with 1ZZ-FE engines, reports USA Today.
Sometimes the vehicles even stall at highway speeds, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched the investigation November 30th, citing 26 complaints from drivers.
The stalls happened randomly on highways and intersections.
In one case a year ago, a Corolla stalled in heavy traffic and blocked a right-turn lane for two hours.
A consumer writes to NHTSA, "you NHTSA folks might want to give a call over to Toyota NA corporate headquarters before some young people have there [sic] lives destroyed by an engine stall in high speed commuter traffic."
The Corolla and Matrix investigation covers 397,000 vehicles.
Toyota spokesman John Hanson acknowledged the investigation to the Times but declined to speculate further.
"It's the first step," he said. "They're asking us for a preliminary evaluation. We'll submit that to them and they'll decide whether to take this to the next level."
NHTSA is looking at a problem with the electronic control module or onboard computer which was the subject of a service bulletin two years ago.
Neither the Corolla nor Matrix is involved in the massive recall of 4.2 million Toyotas because of a sudden acceleration problem. Consumer Reports finds Toyota leads NHTSA adverse event reports for all 2008 models.
And the company has also announced it’s recalling its Tundra pickup truck because a rust problem, caused by salt used on roads in the winter in certain states, can cause the spare tire to fall out.
Sales for the automaker are down 24 percent through November while Honda and Ford have gained share reports the Times.
The Corolla is a top seller for Toyota, ranking fifth among all vehicle sales this year. #