• Oct 1, 2009

Wondering what the deal is with all those potentially dangerous Toyota floormats? After all, just about every car sold in America is equipped with or at least offers optional floormats, sometimes with multiple choices. So, why are Toyota's mats being singled out? The short answer is because the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has received a slew of complaints that indicate the floormat design used in a number of Toyota cars and trucks may cause the accelerator pedal to stick wide open. But why?

Our friends at KickingTires took a look at the 2010 Prius that happens to be in their fleet at the moment, and they found that the mechanism that locates and holds the car's floormats in place is a possible cause for concern. It seems that Toyota engineered a floormat hook that can be detached from the carpet so that cars not equipped with optional mats don't have latches protruding from the floor. Unfortunately, this design also means that there are two places where the mats could become unhooked.

According to Toyota spokesman John Hanson, some other Toyota vehicles not included in the recall are also equipped with this same floormat hook design. Only the models that have received specific complaints were included in the initial recall, though more Toyota vehicles could be added once the details are finalized, including some 2010 models.

[Source: KickingTires]


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  • 35 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why would Autoblog want to get something like this right? It brings out the domestic fanboys, along with the import fans to duke it out. They do keep the conversations spirited which gets more of us to respond. They love the drama, makes the world go round.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It gets them advertising dollars, hello!
      • 5 Years Ago
      God, how did we ever live through driving with NON attached floor mats? It wasn't till the 80's that this became a --------problem.

      We are so worried about floor mats? How about texting while driving, folks not using seat belts, shoveling a greasy Big Mac down, driving with their knees, sipping coffee, getting head while driving.

      And we are worried about the floor mats?

      Christ, it gets more stupid by the day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This could be seen as an over-reaction and I agree with everyone who said that those accidents were easily preventable, but by law a company had to foresee the misuse of its products. In this case,Toyota is at fault.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I can explain that easily: Toyota sucks. (Hi, Brian!)

      /kiddin! :)
      • 5 Years Ago
      its not that rediculouse if your pedal gets stuck and you end up in a accident cuz of it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Imagine... You build half-way decent cars... sorry just threw up a little... and then some moron designs one of the more ridicules was to keep a floor mat in place and then your whole reputation goes to pot. Ah, forward thinking... you gotta love it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      None of my floormats attach to the floor. They are free floating with lots of little rubber nubs on the bottom to keep them in place. The fact that some Toyota floormats don't have latches doesn't seem to be a design flaw to me as none of my latchless floormats have ever moved. To me it seems more like an indication that the average Toyota owner is so hopelessly ignorant of basic knowledge of their automobile that they can't figure out how to put a floormat down in such a way it doesn't jam their accelerator. Other manufacturers with non-locking floormats don't seem to have to recall their cars. Apparently Toyotas have a strong attraction for the "so dumb they need to be reminded to breathe" crowd.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have the same Floor Mat Hook on my 1995 Land Cruiser. I modified it 2 years ago and it is impossible to pull out. Used a big washer with a small diamter hole in the center to prevernt it from pulling out of the carpeting. It used to come out all the time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      this is so damn retarded! are american's too stupid to understand how to install floormats? look, i feel bad for the dead who crashed because of this "unintended acceleration", but that idiot was smart enough to dial 9-1-1 but him and the 9-1-1 operator couldn't figure out that this whole tragedy would have been averted if he shifted the car to neutral? yes, this whole tragedy could have easily been prevented if people were better drivers. instead of trying to shift the car to neutral, he went to the iphone app store to find a solution.

      i had a similar problem with my old 1995 ford explorer like this, 1 time i was cleaning it, i accidentally put the husky floormat over the gas pedal, and i noticed how hard it was to stop, and how high it was revving at idle, but i shifted to neutral when it happened, then it happened again when i installed an aftermarket throttle body that kept snagging and didn't fully close, so i shifted to neutral until i fixed it.

      i'm sorry, but we just need more more darwinism in this country. too many stupid people are breeding.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Engineering fail.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly Mike, on the pedal thing. Get the damn thing off the floor. What is this, 1966?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Totally an engineering fail. First off, the stupid snap in portion is cheap, I'd bet it's very easily broken and even if it's not broken, if it comes loose, the driver may never know the portion under the matt isn't secured.

        I love how Toyota explains it away, that small hook sticking up from the carpet is no more unattractive than the pictured grommet. More likely Toyota wanted to save the 50 cents per hook on vehicles that weren't optioned with floormats so they left them out.

        I have seen floormats slide all the way past the accellerator pedal and most would never cause it to stick unless they went to the fulcrum part, the other part of this equation does have to do with the pedal being too far down towards the floor and allowing a matt to get stuck there, I'm sure it wasn't really thought of when designed.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have two cars in which I use aftermarket floor mats which sometime slide forward. Whenever that happens the mat gets behind the gas pedal and can sometimes prevent the pedal from going all the way forward. ie. prevents higher speed. I have never had the pedal get snagged in the mat.
      After hearing this story I looked at the gap between the bottom of my gas pedals and the top of the floor mats. In both cases there is enough room for me to put my boot under the bottom of the pedal with the mats in place.
      I agree with those that say this is an engineering problem of the gas pedal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This whole thing is stupid, hooks are not the answer. Why is the damn pedal so close to the ground? There is your design defect.
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