Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it will begin telling millions of customers how it will repair their sticky gas pedal systems next week, and repairs will be finished in less than a month.
Company spokesman Brian Lyons said he can't state specifically when repairs will begin. But he said the automaker is moving quickly to correct the problem that affects about 4.2 million vehicles in the U.S., Europe and China.
A company e-mail to employees sent Thursday night said Toyota presented a remedy to federal regulators on Thursday and that employees would get details on Friday.
Toyota said its engineers are working around the clock to fix the problem in eight of its U.S. models, including the top-selling Camry midsize sedan. Toyota says cases of sticking gas pedals are rare.
Earlier this week Toyota halted sales and production of the models. It has recalled cars and trucks in the U.S., Europe and China because of the problem.
Toyota said Friday the recall over the gas pedals in Europe may affect up to 1.8 million cars, including the small Yaris — its biggest seller in the region. The recall will also include the Corolla, Aygo, iQ, Auris, Verso, Avensis and the RAV4 sports utility vehicle.
Meanwhile, the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is launching an investigation into the problems with Toyota's accelerator pedal systems. It has scheduled a Feb. 4 hearing entitled, "Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public at Risk?"
"There appears to be growing public confusion regarding which vehicles may be affected and how people should respond. In short, the public is unsure as to what exactly the problem is, whether it is safe to drive their cars, or what they should do about it," wrote Chairman Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., in a letter Thursday to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Separately, a House investigative panel is planning a Feb. 25 hearing on the Toyota recalls. In a letter to NHTSA administrator David Strickland, lawmakers requested a timeline from January 2000 until the present for NHTSA's investigations into Toyota defects and other data related to reports of sudden acceleration.
Thomas reported from Washington; AP Business Writer Aoife White in Brussels contributed to this report.
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