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Posted on Thu, Jan 28, 2010 : 5:58 a.m.

Toyota Technical Center near Ann Arbor not connected to mass recall, executive says

By Nathan Bomey

The Ann Arbor region’s Toyota Technical Center did not engineer the parts associated with the Japanese automaker’s massive recall, an executive said.

The 1,100-person engineering operation completed general engineering work for the Toyota Tundra and Avalon, which are impacted by the recall. But the technical center was not involved in the accelerator pedals associated with the recall, said Bruce Brownlee, senior executive administrator for external affairs for the Toyota Technical Center in York Township.

Toyota announced this week that it is suspending sales on eight vehicles due to concerns that the pedal may stick while a driver is on the road. That followed Toyota’s decision Jan. 21 to recall 2.3 million vehicles possibly affected by the problem.

Recalled Toyota vehicles

  • 2009-2010 RAV4
  • 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2009-2010 Matrix
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2007-2010 Camry (some)
  • 2010 Highlander
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2008-2010 Sequoia

“We are not involved in that,” Brownlee said. “That part is actually engineered and designed with our folks in Japan.”

Toyota is investigating the source of the sticking accelerator pedals and shutting down production at five manufacturing facilities next week to explore the issue.

Brownlee said he doesn’t expect the recall to affect workflow at the technical center, which has avoided layoffs during the global auto sales crisis.

“I think we’re all interested in doing the right thing and making sure that all the Toyota vehicles that could be potentially impacted by this are corrected so that we don’t have any kind of incident,” he said. “Of course we work with our engineering team in Japan, but the fix will ultimately be authorized in our headquarters in Japan.”

The impact of the recall to Toyota’s global image and sales remains to be seen.

Officials from the Dunning Toyota dealership in Scio Township directed media requests to Toyota’s corporate center.

Contact’s Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter.

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Thu, Jan 28, 2010 : 10:57 a.m.

Does not matter who is responsbile or not. TTC and Toyotas plants are all going to suffer because of this. This is going to to to Toyota what the Explorer controversy did to Ford.