Following Toyota’s largest-ever recall of some 3.8 million vehicles, over the potential for a loose floor mat to force down the accelerator causing unintended acceleration, Toyota may soon fix or replace the accelerator pedals on up to 4 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the US.
US safety body the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had been discussing the need for a solution beyond the replacement of floormats and are in the final stages of agreeing upon a solution.
It is likely that Toyota will voluntarily repair or replace the accelerators as “a preferred solution”, and as Toyota does not believe that the vehicles’ pedals are defective, the situation will not warrant an official recall.
The NHTSA indicated that at this time the decision on what parts will need to be replaced or repaired is still under investigation – suggesting that the accelerator pedal is only one of the possible fixes under consideration at this time.
Hideaki Honma, a Toyota spokesman, said that Toyota and the NHTSA have not reached an agreement on this matter and that talks are on-going.
Vehicles most likely to be targeted by the eventual solution will include the Toyota Prius, Camry, Avalon, Tacoma and Tundra as well as the Lexus IS250, IS350 and ES350 models.
Since 2000 there have been over 2,000 documented cases of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles, and as many as 19 deaths from resulting crashes – Federal regulators say that is far more than any other automaker has experienced.
A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of victims of unintended acceleration accidents against Toyota is still in early stages at this time.
The floor mat recall does not affect vehicles sold in Australia.