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Toyota and Lexus Recall for 3.8M Vehicles: Floor Mats May Jam Accelerator

  • Written by: AboutLawsuits
  • 7 Comments

Toyota has announced a recall of 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles due to problems with the driver’s side floor mats, which can cause the accelerator to stick and result in a loss of vehicle control.

The Lexus and Toyota floor mat recall was announced September 29, following a fatal accident that occurred last month in California, where an off-duty state trooper and three family members were killed while driving a Lexus ES 350 on loan from a San Diego dealership. Investigators suspect the gas pedal was caught by the floor mat, resulting in the car crash.

Toyota announced the recall after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a warning to drivers. Toyota is telling owners to immediately remove the driver’s side floor mats until a permanent fix can be found. It is the sixth-largest auto recall in U.S. history and the largest Toyota recall ever.

The floor mat problems may be caused by the thickness and design of the driver’s side floor mats. When the accelerator, or gas pedal, is pushed down far enough, the edge of the pedal can become caught on the edge of the mat. Drivers have reported accelerating to speeds of more than 100 m.p.h., even while stomping on the brake.

Minutes before the fatal car crash in California, passengers called police and reported that the Lexus had accelerated to 120 m.p.h. Witnesses reported that the car’s tires were on fire, which was likely due to the driver slamming on the brakes before slamming into an SUV, falling off an embankment, rolling over multiple times and bursting into flames.

The NHTSA indicates that at least 102 reports have been received involving drivers of vehicles affected by the Toyota floor mat recall who claim that the gas pedal got stuck under the mat. Toyota says that since 2004 it has received reports of 30 accidents and 20 injuries that may have been caused by the floor mat problem.

The Toyota and Lexus recall includes the following models:

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

This is the second time that Toyota has issued a recall for defective floor mats that may interfere with the accelerator. In 2007, the company recalled 55,000 Toyota Camry and Lexus ES 350 models for the same problem. However, the NHTSA says that complaints continued following the recall.

Owners of recalled vehicles should begin to receive notices within the next week. In the interim, Toyota issued the following advice to drivers who suspect their vehicle is accelerating out of control:

  • Press down on the brake with both feet until the vehicle slows
  • Turn the ignition to accessory power
  • Put the transmission into neutral
  • Vehicles with engine start/stop buttons can be turned off by holding the button down for three seconds.

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7 comments

  1. mikeslc Reply

    Yes I had this problem and got a ticket for 126 in a 75 zone on the 15th of September 2009. Went into the dealership and they stated my mats had been replaced on the 25th of Sept 2008. They had not. I got paperwork to state they replace my old style floor mat with the new one on the 18th of Sept 2009 but the service manager said I was lying to get out of a ticket. He said I could’ve purchased the old style floor mat on Ebay which is not true. Very lucky that I didn’t die like the other person in California. Lexus has declined to reimburse me for the ticket as I told the judge I am guilty of going that speed but has an explanation as to why. I told him I cannot plead not guilty as I would be lying about the speed I was radared at. I got the fine, points and a misdemeanor on my record beacuse of this unsafe condition in my car. I provided the judge with over 25 articles, invoices for the floor mats, and dpictures of the replacement mats to no avail. Lexus should be reimbursing me for this situation not to mention my time off work.

  2. Jennifer Reply

    I crashed my 2010 camry into a stone wall a few weeks ago. I was approaching a stop sign and my car took off straight into a wall. It happend so fast, I couldn’t figure why my car just took off. There was over $6500 damage to my car. Luckily, the wall was made of loose stone and it broke on impact. I probably wouldn’t be alive had it been a concrete wall. I am so grateful there were no pedestrians, cars or cyclist in my way.

  3. Hilda Reply

    I also had a very scary similar story. I was driving down on the ramp to enter the highway donig 35 mph when all of the sudden my 2005 sienna jumped to 75mph, With my kids in it . It scared me to death but kept my cool because of my kids. I thank god I just pressed hard on the brakes and it started to slow down. I knew somthing was wrong with the car.I took it to a mechanic and had it checked,but he said nothing was wrong with it . I recently saw a news report about the same things happening to other toyota owners and said to myself I knew something was wrong with the system.

  4. Newsha Reply

    I had an older model toyota Camary, it was a 92 or so, I was actually on my way to the mall with some friends, and i could not stop at the red ilight, i went through the intersection flying through at 90 miles an hour, luckly we didnt get hit, but we were real close to it, but it was very scary.
    The next day on my way to school i was going down the street, all of a sudden my car accelerated to 100 miles an hour and both times my break could not keep up with the accelorater, and there was a cop who actually pulled me over. But i almost ran him over because he ran in the middle of the street to flag me down, i passed him and finally stopped, turned around and proceeded with the officer, though i still got a ticket, but the cop did guide me to school, to make sure i had no further problems.

  5. ed Reply

    I DO NOT THINK IT IS A PEDAL OR CARPET AS CLAIMED BY TOYOTA. MY 2007 LEXUS GS 350 ACCELERATES AND WHAT I HAD TO DO WAS REMOVE THE NEGATIVE CABLE SIDE OF BATTERY FOR 5 MINUTES OR MORE THEN CONNECT BATTERY CABLE AGAIN. THIS RESETS THE COMPUTER AND THE CAR CEASES TO ACCELERATE UNTIL THE DRIVER IS OBLIGATED TO ACCELERATE SUDDENLY (in my case) THEN IT BEGINS TO DO THE SAME.

    I THINK IT IS A COMPUTER/SOFTWARE ISSUE AND THAT IS VERY EXPENSIVE!! I HAVE REPORTED THIS TO DOT.

    ANOTHER THING THEY DO NOT MENTION IS THAT TO STOP AN UNCONTROLLED ACCELERATING TOYOTA/LEXUS YOU NEED TO PRESS THE KEY BUTTON FOR 3 SECONDS. THIS SHUTS OFF THE ENGINE BUT IF YOU WERE ON A FREEWAY YOU WILL NOT HAVE STEERING OR BREAK CONTROL.

  6. Javed Reply

    I own a 2011 Toyota Prius and love it. There is more room in it then you would think. If you are 6 4 you can sit in front or back. My gas mileage has been an avrgaee of 47 mpg. When friend get in they are surprised at how nice it is. If you get one with the JBL sound system it is killer for a factory installed option.

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