Toyota has announced a solution to fix a sudden acceleration safety issue involving floor mats trapping accelerator pedals in various Toyota and Lexus models. Toyota announced the recall of these vehicles in early October and said it would soon develop a vehicle-based remedy to reduce the risk of a crash due to accelerator pedal entrapment.
The models involved in the recall are: 2007 to 2010 MY Camry, 2005 to 2010 MY Avalon, 2004 to 2009 MY Prius, 2005-2010 MY Tacoma, 2007-2010 MY Tundra, 2007-2010 MY ES 350, 2006-2010 MY IS 250, and 2006 to 2010 MY IS 350.
NHTSA said Toyota plans to reconfigure the accelerator pedal (gas pedal), and in some cases the shape of the floor surface under the pedal, to address the risk of pedal entrapment due to floor mat interference, particularly with regard to inappropriate or improperly attached floor mats. At the same time, Toyota will develop replacement pedals for these vehicles, which will become available for some models in April 2010. Toyota will provide owners with the new pedal, when it becomes available, even if the vehicle has already received the modified pedal under the recall.
In addition, vehicles with any genuine Toyota or Lexus accessory all-weather floor mats will be provided with newly-designed replacement driver- and front-passenger side all-weather mats.
NHTSA also said that Toyota will, in addition to these announced vehicle-based remedies, install a brake override system on the involved Camry, Avalon and Lexus ES 350, IS 350 and IS 250 models as an “extra measure of confidence.” The brake override system would ensure the vehicle would stop if both the brake and the accelerator pedals are simultaneously applied. NHTSA is particularly pleased that Toyota is taking this additional step.
NHTSA said that Toyota intends to notify vehicle owners on a rolling basis, starting with owners of the ES 350, Camry, and Avalon vehicles. While awaiting Toyota’s notification, NHTSA urges owners to remove all removable driver’s side floor mats and not replace them until their vehicles have received the remedies being provided by Toyota. Toyota will begin making the necessary fixes to the recalled vehicles beginning early in 2010, perhaps in January. Initially, Toyota dealers will be instructed on how to reshape existing accelerator pedals. Later, replacement accelerator pedals will be available for installation on vehicles not yet remedied or, if the owner so chooses, even to replace the modified pedals.
For more information, consumers are urged to contact Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 or the NHTSA hotline at 1-888-327-4236.