Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trapped Accelerator Pedals Come to Haunt Toyota and Lexus Again, 2.12 Million Vehicles Recalled in the USA

The Toyota Group may be off the hook over suspicions of unwanted sudden acceleration caused by software-driven throttles after the findings of the NHTSA-NASA study, but the Japanese automaker is once again making headlines over trapped accelerator pedals. Today, Toyota announced that it will conduct a voluntary safety recall of approximately 2.12 million vehicles in the United States to address accelerator pedals that could become entrapped in floor mats or jammed in carpeting.

More specifically, Toyota is recalling approximately 20,000 Lexus GS 300 and GS 350 All-Wheel Drive vehicles from the 2006-2007 model years to modify the shape of the plastic pad embedded in the driver’s side floor carpet. According to the company, if the floor carpet is not properly replaced in the correct position after a service operation, it is possible that the plastic pad embedded into the floor carpet may jam against the accelerator pedal and keep it from returning to the idle position.

Lexus said owners of the involved GS 300 and GS 350 AWD vehicles will receive a notification by mail in early March 2011.

The Japanese automaker is also recalling approximately 372,000 Lexus RX 330, RX 350, and RX 400h vehicles from the 2004 through 2006 and early 2007, plus another 397,000 Toyota Highlander and Highlander HV SUVs from the 2004-2006MY to replace the driver’s side floor carpet cover and its two retention clips. Toyota said if the cover is not installed correctly, it may lean toward the accelerator pedal and jam it in a partially depressed position.

The company stated that owners of the involved RX and Highlander vehicles will receive an interim notification by first class mail beginning in the near future, explaining how to inspect for this condition or that they may contact their local dealer to perform the inspection. "Owners will receive a second notification once the replacement covers are available," the company said.

In a separate action, Toyota added another 1.38 million vehicles to the company's November 2009 recall to fix floor mats that could shift out of position. The models added include:

• Approximately 603,000 2003 through 2009 4Runner
• Approximately 17,000 2008 through 2011 Lexus LX 570; and
• Approximately 761,000 2006 through 2010 RAV4

"Owners of the involved 4Runner, LX 570, and RAV4 vehicles will receive an interim notification by first class mail beginning in the near future, informing them of the condition. Owners will receive a second notification once the recall preparations are complete," said Toyota in a statement.



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