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How to stop vehicle with stuck gas pedal

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Car stuck? How to stop
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Technician: If accelerator pedal is stuck, shift to neutral and cut ignition
  • In Toyota vehicles, if you have a button for ignition, hold button for 3 seconds
  • Toyota has recalled 2.3 million vehicles in U.S. for sticking accelerator pedals
  • Toyota: Dealers should be able to start repairs as early as this weekend

(CNN) -- Toyota's recent recall of millions of vehicles for sticking accelerator pedals may get drivers wondering: What should you do if a vehicle is accelerating uncontrollably?

Accelerator pedals in the 2.3 million vehicles that Toyota recalled may, in rare circumstances, become stuck after the pedal mechanisms become worn, the automaker has said.

Toyota says it is shipping reinforcement parts to dealers, and that dealers will start repairs as soon as this weekend. The U.S. Transportation Department urges owners of the recalled vehicles to arrange fixes as soon as possible, though Toyota says the sticking problem is rare and happens gradually, and if no sticking is noticed in a vehicle, it should be safe to drive.

If the pedal starts to feel sticky but isn't yet stuck, stop driving and call a dealer to arrange for your vehicle to be picked up, Toyota says. But if the pedal is stuck in a depressed position, here is what the driver can do, according to Omar Panjshiri, a certified Toyota technician at the Chantilly Repair Center in Chantilly, Virginia:

Shift the transmission to neutral

Turn off the ignition switch

Apply the brakes and pull over

With the engine cut off, "you will lose some power steering assist, but you will still be able to steer the vehicle to a safe stopping position," Panjshiri said.

Full coverage: Toyota recall

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Some 2009 and 2010 vehicles involved in the recall have buttons for the ignition, rather than keys. In this case, to cut power to the engine, push the button and hold it for more than three seconds, Panjshiri said.

"[Otherwise,] you'll do the same exact thing: Shift ... [from] drive position to neutral, and steer the vehicle safely to a shoulder to come to a complete stop," he said.

Vehicles in the recall are: Toyota's 2009-2010 RAV4, Corolla and Matrix; 2005-2010 Avalon; certain 2007-2010 Camrys; 2010 Highlander; 2007-2010 Tundra; and the 2008-2010 Sequoia. The Camry Hybrid is not included.

CNN's Brian Todd and CNNMoney.com's Peter Valdes-Dapena contributed to this report.

 
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