LOS ANGELES — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 2.17 million vehicles in the United States to address problems that can cause sudden acceleration, the automaker said Thursday.
The action, which incorporates three recalls and comes in addition to earlier recalls for similar issues, affects six models and addresses various potential defects that could entrap the gas pedal, leading to dangerous loss of control.
Since the autumn of 2009, the Japanese automaker has issued more than 14 million recall notices to address a series of safety and quality issues. Most have been for sudden-acceleration-related flaws, and Toyota has been subject to numerous federal probes to explore the problem.
A joint report released this month by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA determined that an electronic cause for sudden acceleration could not be found, but that mechanical problems — including pedal interference — were real.
According to NHTSA, the new recalls came about as a result of an investigation it began last spring into the scope and breadth of Toyota’s original pedal-entrapment recall. In a statement, David Strickland, NHTSA’s administrator, said the safety regulator had reviewed more than 400,000 pages of Toyota documents.
“As a result of the agency’s review, NHTSA asked Toyota to recall these additional vehicles,” Mr. Strickland said. “Now that the company has done so, our case is closed.”
Toyota said that nearly 1.4 million of the newly affected models were being added to its September, 2009, recall for pedal entrapment. Those models are the 4Runner, Rav4, and Lexus LX.
But it also identified separate problems, related to the shape and functionality of interior panels and carpeting that could interfere with the accelerator pedal in the Highlander, Lexus RX, and Lexus GS. Those are new recalls.
The new recalls affect 761,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles from the 2006 to 2010 model years, 603,000 4Runner SUVs from 2003 to 2009 model years, 397,000 Highlander and Highlander hybrid SUVs from the 2004 to 2006 model years, 372,000 Lexus RX SUVs from the 2004 to 2007 model years, 20,000 Lexus GS sedans from the 2006 and 2007 model years, and 17,000 Lexus LX sedans from 2008 to 2011 model years.
Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, was the only major automaker to see its U.S. sales decline in 2010, and was overtaken by Ford Motor Co. as the second-best-selling manufacturer in the country.
In addition, Toyota is facing hundreds of personal-injury, death, and economic-damage lawsuits.
Lawyers in those cases continue to claim there are mechanical and electronic defects afflicting Toyota vehicles dating at least to the 2002 model year.