A service bulletin outlining yet another fix for Toyota's unintended acceleration problems (this time, the Pontiac Vibe) shows just how difficult re-engineering a car part is. Steps involving hacksaws and bubble wrap are both comical and a little unnerving.
Two of the main culprits identified in the Toyota recall debacle were the gas pedal and the floor mats. Either the gas pedal becomes stuck because of a design fault, or it becomes trapped by a thick floor mat. So far, the fixes have included metal chicklets or just removing the mats altogether.
Now, a new document sent to Canadian GM dealers outlines what Toyota suggests to repair 2009 and 2010 Pontiac Vibes jointly built and designed with Toyota (alongside its platform twin the Toyota Matrix) at the NUMMI facility in California. The full 31-page document is below; it outlines steps to correct pedal entrapment issues, steps that often look more like the instructions for building a treehouse than fixing a car. Here are some of the oddest ones.
Do NOT Reuse The Bubble Wrap
In order to avoid damaging the sensors on the accelerator pedal (and thereby making the entire repair moot), Toyota/GM requires the mechanic to wrap the sensor area with bubble wrap as shown above. Just make sure you don't reuse the bubble wrap. Big no-no.
Hack-Saw The Accelerator Pedal Off
One of the instructions involving sawing part of the pedal assembly off with a hacksaw. Precision engineering at work here, folks.
Check For Ribs, Pin Holes, Chips And Nicks
This helpful illustration is here to tell you whether or not you've successfully "modified" the gas pedal or not. Anyone who has an 09/10 Vibe pay close attention so you have... um... whatever it's asking for here.
Cut The TIbia Pad With An Air Saw
After pulling back the carpet under the floor on the driver's side the instructions tell you to take the reciprocating saw you just purchased (limit one per dealership) and cut a big chunk of it. Then, remove the "burrs" and sand it down.
The Full Document
Here's the full document. Find anything else comical/strange/interesting?