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Toyota Issues its largest recall ever in the U.S. over floor mats, 3.8M vehicles affected.

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On: Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 11:37PM | By: Drew Christy


Toyota Issues its largest recall ever in the U.S. over floor mats, 3.8M vehicles affected.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a safety alert to the owners of particular Toyota and Lexus models from 2004-2010. This recall affects 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the United States. The alert reports of accelerator pedal clearance issues which provide the potential for an accelerator pedal to get stuck in the full open position. A stuck accelerator may result in very high vehicle speeds and a crash, which could cause serious injury or death.

The following models are affected:

  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2004-2009 Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2007-2010 ES 350
  • 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350

Toyota has announced that it will soon launch a safety recall to address the problem with the vehicles listed above. The NHTSA is asking owners of specific Toyota and Lexus models to take out any removable driver’s floormat immediately and NOT replace it with any other floormat until Toyota develops a solution (see photo above?).

Owners with questions or concerns, are asked to please contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center (1-800-331-4331) or Lexus Customer Assistance Center (1-800-255-3987), or consult the information posted at http://www.toyota.com and http://www.lexus.com.

We have posted the press releases from both the NHTSA and Toyota after the jump. Toyota's press release includes instructions on what to do if your gas pedal gets stuck due to floormat interference.

PRESS RELEASES

NHTSA

TOYOTA OWNERS ARE CAUTIONED ABOUT FLOOR MATS AND ACCELERATOR PEDAL INTERFERENCE


Toyota to Launch a Safety Recall on Specific Toyota and Lexus Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today alerted Lexus
and Toyota owners about conditions that could cause the accelerator to
get stuck open under certain conditions. The agency strongly recommends
taking out removable floormats on the driver's side in certain models
and not to replace them with any other mat, either from Toyota or any
other brand.

"This is an urgent matter," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray
LaHood. "For everyone's sake, we strongly urge owners of these vehicles
to remove mats or other obstacles that could lead to unintended
acceleration."

NHTSA notes that there continue to be reports of accelerator pedal
clearance issues which provide the potential for an accelerator pedal
to get stuck in the full open position. A stuck accelerator may result
in very high vehicle speeds and a crash, which could cause serious
injury or death.

NHTSA said that Toyota has announced that it will soon launch a safety
recall of various model year vehicles to redress the problem. However
the safety agency warned owners to remove all driver-side floormats
from the models listed below immediately as an interim safety measure
in advance of the recall.

Toyota and Lexus vehicles affected by this consumer alert are:


* 2007-2010 Camry

* 2005-2010 Avalon

* 2004-2009 Prius

* 2005-2010 Tacoma

* 2007-2010 Tundra

* 2007-2010 ES 350

* 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350



In September 2007, Toyota recalled an accessory all-weather floormat
sold for use in some 2007 and 2008 model year Lexus ES 350 and Toyota
Camry vehicles because of similar problems.

Today's advisory was precipitated by continued reports of vehicles
accelerating rapidly after release of the accelerator pedal. The
incidents appear to be related to factors including the use of a
variety of unsecured mats, the particular configuration of the
accelerator pedals in these vehicles, and the unique steps needed to
shut off the engines in some of these vehicles with keyless ignition.

For more information, consumers can contact the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration's Hotline at 888-327-4236 or the Toyota
Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or the Lexus Customer Assistance
Center at 1-800-255-3987. Information from Toyota is also posted at
http://www.toyota.com and http://www.lexus.com.


TOYOTA

Toyota/Lexus Consumer Safety Advisory Potential Floor Mat Interference with Accelerator Pedal


Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. takes public safety very
seriously. It believes its vehicles to be among the safest on the road
today.


Recent events have prompted Toyota to take a closer look at the
potential for an accelerator pedal to get stuck in the full open
position due to an unsecured or incompatible driver's floormat. A
stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and
make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash,
serious injury or death.
Toyota considers this a critical matter and will soon launch a safety
campaign on specific Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Throughout the process
of developing the details of the action plan, it will advise the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).


Until Toyota develops a remedy, it is asking owners of specific Toyota
and Lexus models to take out any removable driver's floormat and NOT
replace it with any other floormat. The following models are affected:


• 2007 – 2010 Camry
• 2005 – 2010 Avalon
• 2004 – 2009 Prius
• 2005 – 2010 Tacoma
• 2007 – 2010 Tundra
• 2007 – 2010 ES350
• 2006 – 2010 IS250 and IS350




Should the vehicle continue to accelerate rapidly after
releasing the accelerator pedal, this could be an indication of floormat interference. If this occurs, Toyota recommends the driver take the following actions:


First, if it is possible and safe to do so, pull back the floormat and
dislodge it from the accelerator pedal; then pull over and stop the
vehicle.


If the floormat cannot be dislodged, then firmly and steadily step on
the brake pedal with both feet. Do NOT pump the brake pedal repeatedly
as this will increase the effort required to slow the vehicle.


Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and
use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and
turn off the engine.


If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF,
or to ACC. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but
the power assist to these systems will be lost.


-If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly
and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the
engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.


-If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the
ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove
the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.


In the event owners choose not to remove their floor mat, Toyota
strongly recommends that they ensure that the correct floormat is
being used, that it is properly installed and secured, that it is not
flipped over with bottom-side up, and that one floormat is not stacked
over another. Information on proper floormat installation can be found
on http://www.toyota.com and http://www.lexus.com.


Owners with questions or concerns, are asked to please contact the
Toyota Customer Experience Center (1-800-331-4331) or Lexus Customer
Assistance Center (1-800-255-3987), or consult the information posted
at
http://www.toyota.com and http://www.lexus.com.




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