Matt Lauer interviews Toyota President and COO Jim Lentz on the Today Show
Floor Mat Recall
By this point, we are all familiar (if not overly familiar) with Toyota's troubles with floor mats, unintended acceleration, biggest-ever recall, etc. And if you're not familiar with Toyota's woes from reading this site, perhaps you've heard about Consumer Reports' investigation into ToMoCo's troubles. Well, guess what? The gang over at Car and Driver decided to launch their own inquisition into FloorMatGate.
A few weeks ago, we learned that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ruled that the crash of a loaner Lexus ES350 that killed San Diego police officer Mark Saylor, his wife, 13-year-old daughter and brother in law was not just the result of an improper RX400h floor mat sticking the accelerator wide open it was due to a range of factors. In addition to the car having the wrong mats, the brake "rotors were discolored and heated, had very rough surfaces, had substantial deposits of b
Contrary to previous reports, the death of a four people and the largest recall in Toyota's history was caused by a compound of errors. The initial buzz/word on the virtual street suggested that it was simply an improperly placed floor mat that doomed CHP officer Mark Saylor and three family members when the Lexus ES350 they were traveling in got jammed open at over 100 MPH before crashing and bursting into flames. But it turns out it was more than just a floor mat.
Now that Toyota's massive 3.8 million-vehicle recall for floor mats with a mind of their own has got unintended acceleration on our brains, perhaps it would be a good time to take a look at ways to solve the potential problem once and for all. In contrast to Toyota's initial low-tech tie-wrap approach, The New York Times reports that some automakers have created so-called "smart gas pedals."
Good news for those of you who happen to own a Toyota or Lexus vehicle sans floormats, as the Japanese automaker has reportedly come up with a solution to the 3.8 million-vehicle recall announced last week. We haven't reviewed the documentation ourselves, but it sounds as if the answer is to zip tie the driver's side floormat to the seat rails.