Newer Lexus and Toyota vehicles have dangerous floor mats
For those of you who may not know, Toyota is the world’s largest automaker. That means that many millions of people depend upon their Toyota and Lexus vehicles to transport their families, commute to work or school, run errands or enjoy leisure time. When an industry leader of Toyota’s magnitude issues a recall, people take notice. So it is that the recent Toyota recall has nearly four million people on edge about whether it is safe to drive their cars.
Deadly floor mats have prompted the recall
According to a statement made by both Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Toyota recall was deemed necessary because the driver’s side front floor mat can wedge itself against the accelerator pedal and trap it against the floor, causing sudden, dangerous acceleration. The removable all-weather floor mats should be removed immediately.
The Toyota recall affects the following vehicles –
- Avalon: 2005-2010
- Camry: 2007-2010
- Prius: 2004-2009
- Tacoma: 2005-2010
- Tundra: 2007-2010
- ES 350: 2007-2010
- IS 250, IS 350: 2006-2010
There have been fatalities
According to CNN, authorities in San Diego, California believe that the recent fatal crash of a 2009 Lexus ES350 could have occurred as the result of the all-weather floor mat pinning the accelerator pedal. Tragically, an entire family was in the vehicle, and the crash led to fatalities. However, any death is reason enough to get automakers concerned about the safety of their vehicles (when external substances or external forces aren’t the cause), and Toyota’s recall is just that. It is a measure to help ensure the safety of its customers. This is both a humanitarian move and a good PR move, and there’s nothing cynical about that. Lives
Ray LaHood of the NHTSA considers this floor mat recall “an urgent matter.” He writes in a statement that “For everyone’s sake, we strongly urge owners of these vehicles to remove mats or other obstacles that could lead to unintended acceleration.”
Rapid acceleration has been reported with Lexus and Toyota before
Multiple sources indicate that problems of sudden acceleration have occurred with both Toyota and Lexus vehicles. One such source presents a sobering (and rather thoroughly researched) view of the potential problem. It should be noted as well that a previous Toyota recall of accessory all-weather floormats due to the same kind of problem was thought to be what was needed to eliminate the acceleration problem. However, the NHTSA noted that sudden, rapid acceleration still occurred “after the release of the pedal” with some Toyota and Lexus owners.
What you should do if you’re an owner of a newer Toyota or Lexus
If the Toyota recall affects you, please discard the floor mats immediately and contact your dealership as to how you should proceed – and whether replacements will be issued. Protecting upholstery is nice, but don’t stake your life on it.