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Toyota is recalling about 50,000 2003 Sequoia SUVs to upgrade the software in the vehicle's electronic stability control. Without the upgrade, according to Consumer Reports, when the Sequoia accelerates from a stopped position, the system could activate at a low speed (about 9 mph) for a few seconds, which might cause slower acceleration than the driver expects.
Toyota having done so, we can now expect a surge of complaints to NHTSA. Every Toyota recall notice leads to those. And, interestingly enough, they will actually be counted as sudden acceleration complaints! That's because NHTSA has no category for "sudden acceleration," merely a "speed control" category. Go through the February "Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration" report of trial lawyer assistant Sean Kane and you'll find in the list of NHTSA complaints that Kane explicitly identifies as regarding "sudden acceleration" a huge number that actually refer to LACK OF acceleration.
Another twist is that half of the recalled vehicles have already been fixed, according to Toyota. That's because it published a Technical Service Bulletin in 2003, after the problem was identified, and dealers have been replacing the system's electronic control unit in affected vehicles to address individual owner concerns.
Toyota says there have been no reported injuries or accidents as a result of this problem.
Meanwhile, in events you're much less likely to hear about, Porsche and Volvo issued simultaneous recalls, Porsche for its 2010 Panamera, which happens to be what I drive! (If only in my dreams.) Volvo for its 2010XC90.
The Panamera recall is because under certain conditions a seat belt mount could detach from its anchoring system, possibly leading to inadequate passenger protection in a crash. Volvo XC90 SUVs are being recalled because of a possible fuel-line leak that could lead to a fire. In other words, both of these cars' defects can be deadly. But to reiterate, it's the Toyota recall getting all the media attention.
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