Another Toyota recall related to sudden acceleration was issued Thursday. The latest Toyota recall affects 2.17 million vehicles that include six Toyota and Lexus models. Toyota, which has attracted federal investigations with its problems, has issued recalls for more than 14 million vehicles since autumn 2009 for sudden acceleration defects.
Toyota floor mats jamming gas pedals
Toyota, the world’s No. 1 automaker, says the company issued this recall is voluntary, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requested that Toyota add the 2.17 million additional vehicles. Last year Toyota recalled hundreds of thousands of vehicles to replace floor mats that jammed against gas pedals. Gas pedal mechanisms on certain models also became stuck. The NHTSA conducted an investigation into Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem and determined that vehicle electronics were not the issue. More than half of the models under the latest Toyota recall involve gas pedals getting stuck in the floor mat. The move satisfied the NHTSA, which has closed its Toyota investigation.
Vehicles on the Toyota recall list
In addition to floor mat defects, Toyota also identified problems with the shape and functionality of interior panels and carpeting that may interfere with the gas pedal. The Toyota recall list issued Thursday includes the following vehicles:
Lexus GS: About 20,000 2006 and early 2007 Lexus GS 300 and GS 350 all-wheel drive vehicles require the shape of the plastic pad embedded in the driver’s side floor carpet to be modified.
Lexus RX: About 372,000 2004 through 2006 and early 2007 Lexus RX 330, RX 350 and RX 400h vehicles require replacement of the driver’s side floor carpet cover and retention clips.
Toyota Highlander: About 397,000 2004 through 2006 Toyota Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles have floor mat/gas pedal issues.
Toyota 4Runner: About 603,000 2003 to 2009 4Runners — floor mats.
Lexus LX:17,000 2009 to 2011 Lexus LXs — floor mats.
Toyota RAV4: Some 761,00 2006 through 2010 RAV4 — floor-mats.
Toyota’s sudden acceleration nightmare
Toyota, which had established a reputation as the most reliable brand in the world, has seen that image sullied by an epidemic of sudden acceleration problems over the past two years. Toyota recalls have quelled the automaker’s momentum and given its rivals an opportunity to gain market share. While major automakers increased U.S. auto sales in 2010, Toyota’s U.S. auto sales declined, and the company ceded its No. 2 spot in U.S. auto sales to Ford. Toyota is also dealing with hundreds of personal injury, wrongful death and economic damage lawsuits related to sudden acceleration issues in models dating back to 2002.