While the latest Prius incident near San Diego raises questions thus far unanswered, Toyota is not changing its previous recall on the hybrid.

The Wall Street Journal started a media feeding frenzy yesterday when it reported, inaccurately, that Toyota plans to announce a new recall for the 2004-2009 Prius to attend to the potential risk for floor mat entrapment of accelerator pedals.

Toyota told me “no new recall being planned for the Prius to address this issue.”

Whether this ultimately holds remains to be seen.

For the record, the 2004-2009 Prius was part of Toyota’s November 2, 2009 announcement of a safety recall campaign to address floor mat entrapment in millions of Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

How a major news organization, apparently, ran with such a story without checking with Toyota, and before confusing or frightening hundreds of thousands of Toyota owners is a sign of just how out of hand the Toyota matter is.  The story was then picked up by many outlets.

This mistake is nothing, of  course, when compared with the now infamous ABC News false report on Toyota unintended acceleration,  which aired just prior to a congressional hearing. In the demonstration aired by ABC on February 22, Professor Gilbert, assisted by ABC reporter Brian Ross, asserted that he had detected a “dangerous” flaw in the Toyota electronic control system that he alleged could lead to unintended acceleration. (Click Here. )

Other models involved in this previously-announced floor mat recall include 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2007-2010 ES 350, 2006-2010 IS 250, and 2006-2010 IS 350.

On January 27, 2010, Toyota expanded the campaign to include the 2008-2010 Highlander, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Venza, 2009-2010 Matrix and 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe.  

The recall for these vehicles began at the end of 2009 and is occurring on a rolling schedule during 2010. Owners of the involved vehicles that have not yet been repaired are asked to take out any removable driver’s side floor mat and not replace it with any other floor mat.

Owners who have further questions should go to www.toyota.com or www.lexus.com or contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Assistance at 1-800-255-3987.

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