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Corolla, Matrix Computer Flaw Could Cause Vehicles to Stall

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More bad news for Toyota. – apparently, some Toyota Corolla and Matrix vehicles may have a computer flaw that could cause them to stall. According to the Detroit Free Press, Toyota is currently working on a fix for the problem.

According to Toyota, the stalling problem affects 2005 through 2007 model year Corolla and Matrix vehicles. The automaker blamed the problem on physical faults in the production of the vehicles’ engine control units, caused by mistakes at two suppliers.

In a letter to the the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Toyota said it “does not believe that the alleged defect creates an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety.” The letter points out that problems would always trigger a dashboard warning light, and estimated the stalls would only affect 0.8% of the models in question over 10 years.

The NHTSA has been investigating stalling problems with 2006 Corolla and Matrix models since last November. According to the Free Press, at that time the agency had received 26 reports of engine stalls. In some, owners reported that stalls happened without warning and in some cases the engine was hard to restart or kept stalling. None of those reports were linked to any injuries or crashes.

By the beginning of March, the NHTSA had received a total of 76 such reports. According to the Free Press, one of these incidents involved a fire, and some of the stalls occurred while vehicles were going through intersections or merging onto highways.

The Corolla and Matrix stalling problem is only the latest issue to cast a shadow over Toyota. The automaker has recalled millions of vehicles worldwide over the past several months for issues involving unintended acceleration and faulty brakes. The recalls have seriously injured Toyota’s long-standing reputation for quality and reliability.

According to the Detroit Free Press, if the NHTSA agrees with Toyota that the stalling problem doesn’t pose a safety risk, Toyota would be free to take any number of steps to correct it, short of an official recall.

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