Home > Uncategorized > Toyota Recalls 55,000 Camry, Lexus Floor Mats

Toyota Recalls 55,000 Camry, Lexus Floor Mats

Looks like Toyota has tainted its reputation for quality. And I think this incident has a great chance of purging shoppers’ confidence if not responded to in due time.

As reported by Detroit Free Press, the Japanese automaker will recall 55,000 floor mats due to complaints of unintended acceleration caused by the mats sticking underneath the accelerator pedal, federal safety officials and the automaker said Wednesday.

Toyota Camry and Lexus floor mats can slip and trap accelerator pedal, hence the recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took the unusual step of highlighting Toyota’s recall announcement, advising owners of other Toyota models, including the Prius hybrid and Avalon sedans, to ensure their floor mats are properly installed.

NHTSA data show 40 complaints for the ES 350 believed to be related to the problem. There were seven crashes and 12 injuries due to unintended acceleration, Reuters divulged. Unsecured floor mats were found in the majority of vehicles involved in crashes, NHTSA said. There were a handful of complaints for the Camry.

In some reports, drivers traveled for miles and reached speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour before the car stopped, safety officials said.

“We have also received complaints about the RAV 4 (crossover) and Tacoma (pickup),” said Rae Tyson, NHTSA spokesman. “We will continue to monitor all of the other Toyota vehicles not involved in the recall.”

As was previously reported by the Free Press, NHTSA had opened an investigation into the floor mats after amassing 40 reports of unintended acceleration in 2007 Lexus ES 350 sedans, including 8 crashes and 12 injuries. Since then, the federal safety agency has received complaints from owners of other Toyota models about the problem. In a number of original complaints, drivers said the vehicles only stopped after an accident.

One driver told NHTSA the vehicle had hit speeds of 100 mph. over a 6-mile stretch of freeway due to the problem, the report added. A Michigan-resident woman said the problem caused her to lose control of her Lexus, triggering a rollover crash.

Also, driver-complainants said they were unable to shut off the engine by pressing the button as the car accelerated. This is because some ES 350s are sold with stop/start buttons rather than conventional ignitions.

It was then when Toyota told safety officials that if an optional all-weather floor mat is not properly secured by clips to the floor, it could stick under the accelerator pedal. In certain cases, the Japanese automaker said owners had simply put the rubber mat over the standard floor mats. The company added it had dealt with the problem through a mailing to customers earlier this year.

In an interview, the Japanese automaker said the recall involves 30,500 mats for the ES 350 and 24,500 mats for the 2007 and 2008 Toyota Camry. Car owners will be told of the recall in October, and offered replacement mats in November. The automaker also warned drivers to check their floor mats and make sure that only one was installed.

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