Toyota is having a bad year . Plagued by the massive recall of the Toyota Prius hybrid due to possible unintended acceleration, the automaker is under massive pressure to do the right thing as new manufacturing defects come to light. At the end of last year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) started an investigation into stalling problems of 2005-2008 Corolla and Matrix models after complaints that a small number of these cars would simply quit running-sometimes on the highway or in an intersection with oncoming traffic.

The investigation revealed that in 2007 Toyota issued a technical service bulletin to dealers that the electronic control module (ECM) might be causing this type of problem for drivers of certain Toyotas as well as the Pontiac Vibe (a sister to the Matrix). The automaker has since speculated that the problem may come from cracks on the soldered joints in the computer circuit board. While Toyota was apologetic for the inconvenience this caused to owners of its cars, the automaker did not feel that the problem presented an unreasonable risk to safety.

But one driver noted that he once stalled on a freeway going 60 mph, and once while turning left in the middle of an intersection.

Toyota seems to be reevaluating its position and recently issued a statement that it had "three unconfirmed accidents alleged to be related to this condition, one of which reported a minor injury." As a result of this new data and upgraded investigation by the NHTSA, the automaker has recalled approximately 1.1 million 2005-2008 Corolla and Matrix vehicles, and more than 160,000 Pontiac Vibes.

For those who have already paid to have the problem fixed, Toyota will offer reimbursement.

Given the problems of the past couple years, is it understatement to say that Toyota's concern for public safety and customer service should be higher than average? Probably.

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