Toyota Issues Safety Advisory on Floor Mat Interference Problem
By KBB.com Editors on September 30, 2009 12:32 PMToyota Motor Sales, USA, is in the process of launching its largest-ever safety recall in this country, involving some 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles that could encounter problems with the accelerator pedal becoming stuck in the full-open position due to interference with an unsecured or incompatible driver-side floor mat. The potential problem could occur in 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2004-2009 Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma and 2007-2010 Tundra models. Lexus models impacted include the 2007-2010 ES 350 and the 2006-2010 IS 250/IS 350. The company's engineers are currently working on a formal fix for the matter, but in the meantime, the automaker is recommending the immediate removal of all driver-side floor mats and advising against replacing them with any other type of mat. Toyota has also has issued specific guidelines to help minimize the danger for anyone who does experience a rapid acceleration episode as the result of a mat-related throttle-sticking situation. If pulling back on the mat fails to clear the interference, the driver should press hard and steadily on the brake pedal and shift the transmission into Neutral. Should that fail to stop the car, the ignition switch should be turned to the "OFF" or "ACC" position, but the key should remain in place to avoid locking the steering column. On vehicles equipped with a Start/Stop button, the engine-off procedure involves pressing and holding the button down for at least three seconds. Owners with questions or concerns about their specific vehicles can contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331.