Toyota recalls 2.1M more vehicles to fix gas-pedals jam issues
By Chris Woodyard
A year after its "unintended acceleration" trouble began, Toyota today is announcing that it's going to expand its recall of floor mats to include 2.1 million more Lexus and Toyota vehicles. The mats can jam against accelerator pedals -- causing so-called pedal entrapment. The company calls the recalls "voluntary," but federal regulators say they requested them.
Toyota said the new models affected include:
* Lexus GS. About 20,000 2006 and early 2007 Lexus GS 300 and GS 350 all-wheel drive vehicles to modify the shape of the plastic pad embedded in the driver's side floor carpet.
* Lexus RX. About 372,000 2004 through 2006 and early 2007 Lexus RX 330, RX 350 and RX 400h vehicles to replace the driver's side floor carpet cover and retention clips.
* Toyota Highlander. About 397,000 2004 through 2006 Toyota Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles to fix floor mat issues.
* Toyota 4Runner. About 603,000 2003 to 2009 4Runners to address floor mats.
* Lexus LX. About 17,000 2009 to 2011 Lexus LXs for floor mats.
* Toyota RAV4. About 761,00 2006 through 2010 RAV4 to address floor-mat entrapment issues.
The recalls show that Toyota is still bedeviled by issues surrounding unintended acceleration, which last year resulted in the recall of hundreds of thousands of cars to replace floor mats that can jam against accelerator pedals or to replace pedal mechanisms that can stick. The government, however, this month reported that it can find no evidence that Toyota's electronic throttle systems are at fault for unintended acceleration.
This should be the end of it, according to NHTSA administrator David Strickland. "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reviewed more than 400,000 pages of Toyota documents to determine whether the scope of its recalls for pedal entrapment was sufficient. As a result of the agency's review, NHTSA asked Toyota to recall these additional vehicles, and now that the company has done so, our investigation is closed."
On the GS, Toyota says that if the floor carpet around the accelerator pedal is not properly replaced after a service operation, there is a possibility that the plastic pad embedded into the floor carpet may jam against the accelerator pedal.
If this occurs, the accelerator pedal may become temporarily stuck in a partially
depressed position rather than returning to the idle position.
Owners of the involved GS 300 and GS 350 all-wheel drive vehicles will receive
a notification by mail beginning in early March.
As for the RX and Highlander, Toyota is announcing the separate massive recall to fix a forward retention clip used to secure the floor carpet cover, which is located in front of the center console. If it is not installed properly, the cover may lean toward the accelerator pedal and interfere with the accelerator pedal arm. If this occurs, the accelerator pedal may become temporarily stuck in a partially depressed position rather than returning to the idle position.