Toyota has announced that it will recall 3.8 million vehicles in the U.S. due to a product defect in which the floor mat can interfere with the accelerator and cause an auto accident. This is the company’s largest recall in its history, according to the Miami Herald. Previously, its largest recall was about 90,000 vehicles in 2005 due to a problem with the steering wheel.
This recall will have an impact on South Florida drivers. With so many Toyota dealerships in the Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, 2,217,662 in Toyota vehicle sales, and with the Prius and Camry being very popular vehicles, Florida drivers are likely to feel the affects of the recall.
The vehicles being recalled are: the 2007-2010 Toyota Camry, 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon, 2004-2009 Toyota Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra, 2007-2010 Lexus ES350 and the 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350.
Toyota is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to find a solution to this product defect. Toyota expects owners to be notified as early as next week, but advises that, as a safety measure, owners should remove the floor mat from the driver’s side and not replace it. The NHTSA has already reported 102 incidents of owners claiming that the accelerator may have become stuck, although the NHSTA is unsure as to how many incidents involved a crash.
A report of a crash involving a Lexus in San Diego prompted the investigation into the vehicles. In August, California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor and three others were killed in an auto accident. The NHSTA noted that the all-weather mat found in vehicle was longer than the mat the one belonged in it, which could have caused the mat to get caught under the pedal.
Toyota warns that if your vehicle is accelerating out of control, you should check to see whether your floor mat is under the pedal. If you can’t remove the mat, you should step on the brake pedal with both feet until the vehicle slows, and then try to put the car in neutral and turn the ignition to accessory power. As for owners with vehicles with engine start/stop buttons, you can shut off the engine by holding the button down for three seconds. If you need more information, contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s hotline at (888) 327-4236. You can also call Toyota at (800) 331-4331 or Lexus at (800) 255-3987.
Finally, our firm is here to help the victims of the accidents resulting from this defect. If you or someone you know are injured in an accident that was caused by this defect please contact our office as soon as possible so we can start working to protect your rights.