Something as simple as floor mats has caused the world’s biggest manufacturer to plan a recall of 3.8 million cars. Toyota is planning to recall Toyota and Lexus models in the United States for the largest ever recall in the company’s history.
The issue? Floor mats that may snag accelerator pedals and cause vehicles to accelerate at high speeds.
The issue was raised when four people were killed in a Lexus in San Diego last month. Before the crash, a passenger inside the brand new Lexus ES350 had called emergency and told dispatchers that the accelerator pedal was stuck and the car was speeding at up to 200km/h.
Although the investigation into the accident is still continuing, Irv Miller, a spokesman for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc said a floor mat catching on the accelerator may have caused that crash.
The cars which are affected (U.S. models only) are 2007 to 2010 Camrys; 2005 to 2010 Avalons; 2004 to 2009 Priuses; 2005 to 2010 Tacomas and 2007 to 2010 Tundras. Lexus models are 2007 to 2010 ES 350s and 2006 to 2010 IS 250s and IS 350s.
While U.S. authorities have urged owners to remove the drivers’ floor mat Toyota U.S.A has told owners that incase a mat does catch on the pedal, owners should pull back the mat and dislodge it. If the mat doesn’t dislodge, owners should step firmly on the brake pedal with both feet, shift into neutral or as a last resort turn off the engine.
This is not the first time Toyota U.S.A. has had issues with floor mats, in September 2007 the Big T recalled an all-weather floor mat from particular 2007 and 2008 Lexus ES 350 and Toyota Camry vehicles due to similar issues.
Australian Lexus or Toyota customers have nothing to worry about as the recall does not affect Australian delivered vehicles.