• Sep 29th 2009 at 5:45PM
  • 104
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has just issued a safety alert to owners of particular Toyota and Lexus models from 2004-2010 (see list below) that will soon involve a full recall of some 3.8 million vehicles. The issue involves a nagging problem Toyota has had with floor mats in certain models that, in some cases, have caused the accelerator pedal to get stuck in a wide open throttle position (see example above). There are apparently clearance issues with these floor mats and the pedals, as well as issues with the unique steps required to shut off vehicles with keyless ignitions, and Toyota and NHTSA is warning owners to remove the mats immediately and not replace them with mats from Toyota or any other brand.

The models affected are:
  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2004-2009 Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2007-2010 ES 350
  • 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350
Toyota issued a recall in September 2007 for a similar problem with all-weather floor mats in the 2007-08 Lexus ES350 and Toyota Camry. NHTSA, however, has continued to receive complaints of unintended acceleration in these models and more.

Toyota will follow up NHTSA safety alert with its largest ever recall in the U.S. as soon as it has a solution figured out. In the mean time, if you own one of the above vehicles, your government would like you to play it safe and remove the driver-side floor mat. Now we have to wonder, who's going to pay the rather large bill for cleaning the carpet in thousands of vehicles that got their foot wells dirty from having no floor mats?

Follow the jump for press releases from both NHTSA and Toyota, the latter of which includes instructions on what to do if you experience unintended acceleration caused by the floor mats in these models. Thanks to everyone for the tips!

[Source: NHTSA]




Toyota to Launch a Safety Recall on Specific Toyota and Lexus Vehicles

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today alerted Lexus and Toyota owners about conditions that could cause the accelerator to get stuck open under certain conditions. The agency strongly recommends taking out removable floor mats on the driver's side in certain models and not to replace them with any other mat, either from Toyota or any other brand.

"This is an urgent matter," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "For everyone's sake, we strongly urge owners of these vehicles to remove mats or other obstacles that could lead to unintended acceleration."

NHTSA notes that there continue to be reports of accelerator pedal clearance issues which provide the potential for an accelerator pedal to get stuck in the full open position. A stuck accelerator may result in very high vehicle speeds and a crash, which could cause serious injury or death.

NHTSA said that Toyota has announced that it will soon launch a safety recall of various model year vehicles to redress the problem. However the safety agency warned owners to remove all driver-side floor mats from the models listed below immediately as an interim safety measure in advance of the recall.

Toyota and Lexus vehicles affected by this consumer alert are:
  • 2007-2010 Camry
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • 2004-2009 Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2007-2010 ES 350
  • 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350

In September 2007, Toyota recalled an accessory all-weather floor mat sold for use in some 2007 and 2008 model year Lexus ES 350 and Toyota Camry vehicles because of similar problems.

Today's advisory was precipitated by continued reports of vehicles accelerating rapidly after release of the accelerator pedal. The incidents appear to be related to factors including the use of a variety of unsecured mats, the particular configuration of the accelerator pedals in these vehicles, and the unique steps needed to shut off the engines in some of these vehicles with keyless ignition.

For more information, consumers can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Hotline at 888-327-4236 or the Toyota Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or the Lexus Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-255-3987. Information from Toyota is also posted at http://www.toyota.com and http://www.lexus.com.


Toyota/Lexus Consumer Safety Advisory Potential Floor Mat Interference with Accelerator Pedal

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. takes public safety very seriously. It believes its vehicles to be among the safest on the road today.

Recent events have prompted Toyota to take a closer look at the potential for an accelerator pedal to get stuck in the full open position due to an unsecured or incompatible driver's floor mat. A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death.
Toyota considers this a critical matter and will soon launch a safety campaign on specific Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Throughout the process of developing the details of the action plan, it will advise the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Until Toyota develops a remedy, it is asking owners of specific Toyota and Lexus models to take out any removable driver's floor mat and NOT replace it with any other floor mat. The following models are affected:

• 2007 – 2010 Camry
• 2005 – 2010 Avalon
• 2004 – 2009 Prius
• 2005 – 2010 Tacoma
• 2007 – 2010 Tundra
• 2007 – 2010 ES350
• 2006 – 2010 IS250 and IS350
Should the vehicle continue to accelerate rapidly after releasing the accelerator pedal, this could be an indication of floor mat interference. If this occurs, Toyota recommends the driver take the following actions:

First, if it is possible and safe to do so, pull back the floor mat and dislodge it from the accelerator pedal; then pull over and stop the vehicle.

If the floor mat cannot be dislodged, then firmly and steadily step on the brake pedal with both feet. Do NOT pump the brake pedal repeatedly as this will increase the effort required to slow the vehicle.

Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.
If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF, or to ACC. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost.

-If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.

-If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.

In the event owners choose not to remove their floor mat, Toyota strongly recommends that they ensure that the correct floor mat is being used, that it is properly installed and secured, that it is not flipped over with bottom-side up, and that one floor mat is not stacked over another. Information on proper floor mat installation can be found on
http://www.toyota.com and http://www.lexus.com.

Owners with questions or concerns, are asked to please contact the Toyota Customer Experience Center (1 800 331-4331) or Lexus Customer Assistance Center (1 800 255¬3987), or consult the information posted at
http://www.toyota.com and http://www.lexus.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      To JDM, Leclerc and others who call the dead drivers and their families morons-

      I'm going to go out on a limb here and call the Toyota Engineers morons because:
      1. Your car's gas pedal comes within an inch or the carpet when floored.
      2. You can make 3.8 million cars and never catch this issue during quality testing.
      3. When my 5 year old car is floored and I hit the brake for even 1 second, the throttle is cut completely. If good engineers made decisions at Toyota instead of Accountants, someone may have taken the extra 2 minutes to write this safety feature into the myriad ESC/Traction control programs that these cars have.
      The fact that they did not is unacceptable.
      4. This car has an overpowered engine on a weak chassis with inadequate suspension and more importantly, inadequate BRAKES.

      If ANY of the above issues had been addressed, at least one family would still be here...
      These are all problems stemming from the dysfunctional corporate culture at Toyota-
      not the dealer, not the mat makers and certainly not the drivers.

      Designed by Accountants for Accountants.

      In addition, I find it fascinating that such apocalyptically dull and passionless appliances elicit such fanatical and rabidly biased devotion from fanboys like JDMlife and Leclerc...

      • 6 Years Ago
      You'd think design and engineering would have noticed this sooner, plain and simple. If you have a vehicle that the floor mats ca interfere with the accelerator, then someone F(BEEP)ked up in there dept. Obviously this doesn't only affect Toyota, But you'd think the self proclaimed "superior" Japanese automaker would have not made this design flaw. Of course we are talking about the same group of liars who produced the Prius. A vehicle that has a small gasoline engine that technically doesn't pass emissions, reason being it's a Hybrid, it don't have too!! (what a joke!!), and the batteries are more difficult to dispose of than nuclear plant fuel. And the Tundra, the BIGGEST joke in full size pick-ups today. The frame flexes WAAAAY to much, the 5.7 V-8 (nothing more than a recycled 350 base from Chevorlet) has has numerous recalls that are called "service bulletins", Toyota's was of hiding there shame. I could go on and on. Toyota is a Joke. I might be an Inferior Dodge owner, But that and Ford is all I'll ever own. Yuppies can make all the comments you want. I don't care. I have made my point. And I.m not alone, I know several New Toyota owners who say its the biggest mistake they ever made and wish they had there old Chevy/Dodge/Ford, or in a few cases, Nissans back. No dealer wants the trade in Toyota's. Can't resell them with a profit, always a loss I've been told, and if taken to auction they loose on Toyota. I rest my case.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This happen to a friend of mine in his Avalon. He said it scared the crap out of him. He called me before he took the car in to see if I would know what would cause it. At that point, I had not heard about the floormat issue. I thought it was possibly a malfunction in the engine control module, causing the engine to rev high. He said he stopped it by putting it in neutral and braking. And he's one of the most un-automotive people I know, yet he knew to do that. The CHP guy that was killed must have just REALLY panicked. You think he would have at least known to do that.
      Before my friend took his car in, he moved the floormat, but didn't put 2 and 2 together to realize that was the cause. The dealer actually Velcroed the mat to the carpeting for him.
      • 6 Years Ago
        • 6 Years Ago
        Common-sense sometimes takes flight when people aren't in common surroundings. The quoted case of the CHP officer proves that point. He was in an unfamiliar loaner traveling at a high rate of speed from an unknown cause. Besides, why would he check the mat if he just got it from the dealer? I'm sure not many people do a full 360-degree inspection and test drive of a loaner/rental before driving it off the lot. Also, I'm pretty sure the dealer didn't tell him "to shut the car off in an emergency, hold the start/stop button for 3 seconds" when he picked it up.

        Abd BTW - the caps-lock button is on the left side of the keyboard. Common (internet) sense suggests that you use it to avoid being seen as shouting.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have a 2009 Kia Rio and my floor mat did the same thing. The top curved downward wrapping the brake where I couldn't use that pedal at all. The only thing that kept me from getting into a wreck was the fact I was driving a 5 speed. I was able to downshift safely and use the emergency brake stop.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Thats alot of cars. I had a relative that had the same issue with his BMW floor mate, would get stuck under the gas pedal, scary crap.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is what you get when you allow Americans a hand in the design process. You people need to stick with what you do best, which is.....I can't think of anything you do well any more.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Toyota is on a roll with these recalls lately.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This tirade is brought to you by new Starbucks VIA instant coffee-- In stores today. Now back to our regularly scheduled smackdown.

        (decaf people... decaf)
        • 6 Years Ago
        SneakyE, dude fiery deaths? Save the drama Sally. Go to your corner, grab your pacifier and woobie, turn on the tube and put on your favorite soap opera.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This same thing happened to me on my Cavalier ages ago if the mat slit forward. Which it often did because there was no hook to keep it in place, like on most cars now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's a crap design. That's why it happens. I have never had such an issue on any car I have owned. I think most other car manufacturers learned years ago that you don't put the pedal down on the floor like that. "Just remove the floor mat". And get my carpet all crapped up? Please... Way to go, GM... er, TOYOTA!
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's a floor mat. Just remove it. Geez, I've had a mat interfere with the gas pedal in a 45 year old Alfa during a time trials. Now that's annoying.
        • 6 Years Ago
        i would fix the stupid design of the gas pedal also, It looks to me any floormat could be a hazard with such a stupid pedal design.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Camry-driving grandpas don't know how NOT to ride everybody else's asses.

        That's why they rely on the "so much better reliability and safety" of the Toyota. That and they read Consumer Reports.

        Karma is sweet, isn't it? Lawel!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dude, I read the article. I have seen people die fiery deaths (unfortunately) spilling hot coffee on themselves while driving. Let's put this into perspective and not be so quick to pin blame on Toyota because they are Toyota. Again, save the drama girls.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, after years of complaints and fiery deaths they are finally doing something.


        Way to go Toyota.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Leclerc

        And I quote from some previous comments you made
        "Hey great...get off the pipe man. You sir are annoying."

        Seriously your fanboy comment history is damn annoying.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ah LeClerk is talking out of his butt again. but honestly, the writer is partially to blame, trying to get some attention by making it sound like its an inane issue like a floormat rather than what it really is, which is a pedal placement issue. You can tell this because it says not to put anyone's floormats in the car, not just Toyota's. If it just said Toyota's, it would be a florrmat issue.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They aren't doing enough recalls. The 2004 Sienna Vans have been having issues with the electric sliding doors breaking soon after the warranty expires costing anywhere from $2000-$3500 to fix. The door track becomes bent barely holding in the door, and the chord twists until it finally frays and snaps and then there is a huge possibility that the door will fall off ..which was in my case while my 17 year old twin sons were on their way to a Hiking trip with the Ymca.
        • 6 Years Ago
        leclerc - Read the link!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hook? Fastener?

        What the hell is wrong with you people? Just pay attention. If your car is stuck on accelerate then you should notice immediately and the remedy is a quick tap on the gas to jar it lose.

        If you have to stop then you shouldn't be so far up the other guy's ass that this should be an issue.

        It a manual car you can just put the clutch in the keep from accelerating.

        Granted it's a problem that shouldn't happen and I've had my rug creep up on my pedal before and it isn't nice, but mat isn't gunna turn your car into a death trap.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Floormats and accelerator pedals are common problems. I had a loaner BMW a few weeks ago and the dealer failed to install the floormats properly (did not attach the plastic anchor). If floormats are not anchored properly or if people don't install them right they can interfere with the pedal.

        • 6 Years Ago
        This happened to me in my old Mitsubishi L200 every time it rained and I got back in the truck with wet shoes. Was never a big deal though, & I never once felt like blaming the manufacturer. I'd just flick it back up... took about a second or so.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, they really are. And before anyone blames the driver, this happened to me in a friend's Lexus. I was the DD, and since I'm shorter than he is, all it took was adjusting the seat forward to shift the mat out of place and onto the accelerator. Took a second to figure out what was going on, but it was confusing as hell.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Really? I've never had it happen to me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I have owned several vehicles and never experienced any problems like this.. kind of interesting because I have never really thought about this being an issue- I can see why they missed it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Say what? This can't be! I thought Toyotas were incapable of ever having anything wrong and were made by the hand of God himself?
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Say what? This can't be! I thought Toyotas were incapable of ever having anything wrong and were made by the hand of God himself?"

        That depends on your level of insecurity. In the real world of course, Toyota is no more fallible than anyone else and they make no secret of it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Because Commander cool is also a jackass. Ignore him, he may just go away.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's just absurd. No one's saying Toyotas are flawless, just that they're built better than most cars out there. It's less true nowadays, both because of Toyota's declining QA and other companies actually coming up to par with theirs, but that's besides the issue.

        I'm not sure what the point of making fun of a made-up caricature is.
      • 6 Years Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Some people have enough brains to call 911 when this happens. It takes less time to TAKE IT UOT OF GEAR AND TURN THE CAR OFF you SFBs!!!
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