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It’s Official as Toyota Recalls Deadly Floor Mats

Japanese company denies it’s a safety related defect though.

by on Oct.12, 2009

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Remove driver's floor mat and don't replace it.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced this morning that Toyota Motor Corporation will recall 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles because of incompatible floor mats.

In August a California State Highway Patrol officer and three family members were killed when their loaner Lexus ES350 crashed at 100 mph after its accelerator froze from a misplaced floor mat.

NHTSA said, “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.”

It is the largest recall in Toyota’s history. The common dealership practice of forcing Toyota and Lexus buyers to purchase floor mats as part of a new car sale is partially responsible for the size of the safety action.

Toyota will notify owners of affected vehicles to remove any driver’s floor mat and not replace it with any other floor mat pending the development of model-specific remedies. Toyota will mail a second notification to owners of affected vehicles notifying them of the free remedies when they are available. The first notice is expected to be mailed during October 2009.

Toyota denies that this is a safety related defect: “Although Toyota is willing to identify this campaign as a safety recall in the owner communication about the campaign, Toyota has not determined that the vehicles identified contain a “safety-related defect” within the meaning of the Federal vehicle safety laws. Nevertheless, Toyota will voluntarily notify its customers of this campaign and will voluntarily cooperate with NHTSA’s recall procedures by providing six quarterly reports of campaign completion.”

Toyota is accused in several pending legal actions of withholding safety data from government regulators.

Toyota will advise NHTSA of the estimated date when the remedies will be available. Owners may contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331, Lexus at 1-800-255-3987. Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236 or go to http://www.safercar.gov.

Toyota And Lexis Floor Mat Recall

Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
Lexus / ES350 2007-2010
Lexus / Is 2006-2010
Toyota / Avalon 2005-2010
Toyota / Camry 2007-2010
Toyota / Prius 2004-2009
Toyota / Tacoma 2005-2010
Toyota / Tundra 2007-2010
NHTSA Campaign ID Number: 09V388000

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