Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told owners of recalled Toyotas to "stop driving" their vehicles, but later said he misspoke and advised owners to bring their vehicles to dealers if they were concerned.
LaHood made the comments in testimony before a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation.
“What I said in there was obviously a misstatement,” LaHood said.
Department of Transportation spokeswoman Olivia Alair said the DOT was advising owners to contact their local dealerships to arrange for fixes as soon as possible.
Toyota's most recent recall in the United States affects 2.3 million vehicles over the potential for sticking gas pedals.
LaHood told reporters earlier in the day that Toyota owners should contact their dealer immediately and "exercise caution until repairs can be made."
LaHood also said he plans to speak with Toyota President Akio Toyoda about the automaker's spate of recalls in the United States. LaHood confirms that the government is also investigating potential electrical problems in Toyota vehicles.