Well, in the latest Toyota recall and quality fiasco it turns out that the plastic pad in the floor carper can interfere with the sawed off accelerator pedal, if it isn’t “properly replaced after the repair.”
In a separate action Toyota is also expanding its original floor mat recall that was announced in November 2009 to include another 1.4 million vehicles.
In all cases the accelerator pedal can become stuck and not return to idle.
So Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., will recall 200,000 2006 and early 2007 Model Year Lexus GS 300 and Lexus GS 350 All-Wheel Drive vehicles to modify the shape of the plastic pad embedded in the driver’s side floor carpet.
Why owners should trust technicians to correctly perform a second modification is a question that will surely be debated.
Toyota will also recall another 372,000 2004 through 2006 and early 2007 Lexus RX 330, Lexus RX 350, and Lexus RX 400h vehicles, and 397,000 2004 through 2006 Toyota Highlander and Toyota Highlander HV vehicles to replace the driver’s side floor carpet cover and its two retention clips.
In a statement Toyota said that if the forward retention clip used to secure the floor carpet cover, which is located in front of the center console, is not installed properly, the cover may lean toward the accelerator pedal and interfere with the accelerator pedal arm.
Once again the accelerator pedal may become temporarily stuck rather than returning to the idle position.
In an irony of history at a company whose once stellar quality reputation is now severely damaged, Lexus and Toyota owners will be asked to perform a quality control inspection to see if Toyota’s technicians have caused further safety problems while performing a recall for the same problem that Toyota initially covered up.
Owners of the Lexus RX and Toyota Highlander vehicles will receive an interim notification by first class mail that will explain how to inspect for this condition or that they may contact their local dealer to perform the inspection. (The same one that might have caused the latest defect?) Owners will receive a second notification once the replacement covers are available.
Separately, Toyota has expanded its pedal recall from November 2009 by adding three models vulnerable to unsecured or incompatible floor mat entrapment of the accelerator pedal. These include:
• Approximately 603,000 2003 through 2009 Toyota 4Runner models
• Approximately 17,000 2008 through 2011 Lexus LX 570
• Approximately 761,000 2006 through 2010 Toyota RAV4 models
Owners of the potentially unsafe 4Runner, LX 570, and RAV4 vehicles will receive notification by first class mail informing them of the safety defect. Owners will ultimately receive a second notification once the recall preparations are complete.
Detailed information is available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall or www.lexus.com/recall and the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus Customer Satisfaction at 1-800-25 LEXUS or 1-800-255-3987.