Toyota’s mass recall of models affected by a sticking accelerator pedal will now extend to Europe.
The problem has previously believed to be isolated to models built and sold in the US, where more than eight million cars have so far been recalled. Details of the European recall will be confirmed later today or tomorrow.
A Toyota spokesman told Autocar that Toyota was working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and safety was the firm's primary concern at this moment.
"Recalls are nothing new, but the size and volume of this one ensures it's going to be big news," said the spokesman. "It's important to get this sorted as soon as possible."
Accelerator pedal mechanisms in certain Toyota models have stuck in a depressed position or returned slowly to idle. This has caused several accidents in the US, but an exact number hasn’t been released.
The Wall Street Journal claims Toyota first noticed problems with accelerator pedals in March 2007 in the Tundra pick-up. The problem surfaced again in the December 2008, where faults were discovered in right-hand drive Yaris and Aygo models, both of which are a common sight on UK roads.
The Journal also said a Toyota investigation found condensation from the affected models' heaters had caused friction in the accelerator pedals causing them to stick. From August 2009, Toyota fixed this problem in Europe by lengthening the arm of the friction lever and changing materials on all affected models.
Toyota has so far declined to comment on claims that more than two million European models would need to be recalled to fix the problem.