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The report stated that the accelerator pedal's hinge did not allow relieving obstructions, and the dashboard lacked directions for the three-second emergency press of the push button keyless ignition.NHTSA investigators also recovered the accident vehicle's accelerator pedal, which was still "bonded" to the SUV floor mat.As of January 28, 2010, Toyota had announced recalls of approximately 5.2 million vehicles for the pedal entrapment/floor mat problem, and an additional 2.3 million vehicles for the accelerator pedal problem.Approximately 1.7 million vehicles are subject to both. As of January 2010, 21 deaths were alleged due to the pedal problem since 2000, but following the January 28 recall, additional NHTSA complaints brought the alleged total to 37.
The second recall, on January 21, 2010, was begun after some crashes were shown not to have been caused by floor mat incursion.The older mechanically designed accelerator pedals not only provided a spring return, but the mechanism inherently provided some friction.This friction introduced mechanical hysteresis into the pedal force versus pedal position transfer function.Put more simply, once the pedal was set at a specific position, the friction would help keep the pedal at this setting.
This made it easier for the driver to maintain a pedal position.This latter defect was identified as a possible mechanical sticking of the accelerator pedal causing unintended acceleration, referred to as Sticking Accelerator Pedal by Toyota.