The maker of Lexus and Toyota vehicles has issued a recall for nearly 4 million of its vehicles following reports involving floor mats interfering with the accelerator pedal and causing the gas/accelerator pedal to become stuck in the full open position. Floor mats in the vehicles are causing the accelerator to become stuck, or forced-down, creating an extremely hazardous and potentially fatal situation.
This is an extremely "urgent matter" according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Owners are being told not to put the mats back in the vehicles. "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," said Toyota in its statement.
A California Highway Patrol officer and his family were killed in a recent crash which was potentially caused by the gas pedal sticking open.
Toyota faced this same problem a few years ago. The company recalled the floor mats in 2007, but the recall apparently was not effective at warning the public of the dangerous situation caused by the floor mats. Reports continued to be received of vehicles accelerating rapidly and uncontrollably even after the release of the accelerator pedal.
Until Toyota develops a remedy for this dangerous condition, 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. Models affected by the recall include:
Should the vehicle continue to accelerate rapidly after releasing the accelerator pedal, Toyota recommends the driver take the following actions if it is determined that the floor mat is interfering with the accelerator:
- 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.
If you one were involved in a crash or accident as a result of Toyota floor mats or Lexus floor mats, please contact our Toyota floor mat lawyers or call our office toll free at 1-888-863-6058.
Evers & Preston, PL
609 West Chase Street
Pensacola, FL 32502-4711
Telephone: 1-850-316-8101 | Toll Free: 1-888-863-6058
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