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Tara Lachapelle/MEDILL

Four Toyota Matrix cars in I-GO's fleet were recalled Thursday due to faulty accelerator pedals, like this one located at 900 S. Clark St. in downtown Chicago.

I-GO survives Toyota recalls with just six cars affected

by Tara Lachapelle
Feb 05, 2010

Chicago’s I-GO Car Sharing service dodged a bullet this week.

When Toyota Motor Co. recalled several models for faulty accelerator pedals, I-GO didn’t face much of a service disruption since only four of its cars were affected.

Then, unconfirmed news leaked from Japan that Toyota would be recalling the Prius hybrid car next, which makes up dozens of vehicles in I-GO’s fleet.

But now that the U.S. Department of Transportation is investigating brake problems in only the 2010 Prius version, I-GO users can breathe a sigh of relief: Out of the dozens in its fleet, I-GO has only two 2010 Prius cars.

“We have already booked the two out and are going to get them looked at,” CEO Sharon Feigon said in an email Friday.

I-GO's Priuses being inspected come from two Chicago suburbs, but Feigon said those locations would get replacement vehicles for the weekend.

The company sent its four Matrix models for repairs to the accelerator pedals Thursday and planned on having the cars back in service by Friday afternoon. At that time, I-GO spokesman Craig Keller said, “The way it affected us physically is a very minimal impact. We anticipate that that recall will be finished within the week.”

Emphasizing that the Prius was not affected by the recall, I-GO hadn’t been concerned at the time about any major service interruptions. “The pedal problem did not affect the Prius,” Keller reassured. But Thursday evening, a Japanese news outlet reported that the Prius was next to be recalled due to problems braking.

Nikkei English News reported that Toyota will recall up to 270,000 of the 2010 Prius cars in the U.S. and Japan, but didn’t say where it got its information. Whether more Toyota models will be recalled later was unknown.

Feigon said I-GO’s four Matrix models should be back in service for the weekend.