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Another Recall for Toyota, This Time It's A Floor-Mat Issue

Source: WSJ - Mike Ramsey

Posted on 24 Feb 2011

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Toyota Motor Corp. in response to a request from regulators said it's recalling a total of 2.17 million U.S. vehicles dating back to the 2003 model year to address various flaws that could lead to a floor mat interfering with the accelerator pedal.

Thursday's recall expands on already-known floor mat issues by adding new models and new causes to pedal interference.

A California state trooper and three of his passengers were killed in August 2009 in an accident in which a slipping floormat is believed to have entrapped the accelerator pedal and sent Lexus speeding out of control.

That accident led to a recall of 3.5 million vehicles in the U.S. to fix the floormat problems. Later, Toyota recalled millions of vehicles for sticking accelerator pedals. Globally, more than eight million vehicles were recalled.

Toyota was recently cleared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for potential flaws in its electronic throttle-control system, which Toyota has steadfastly maintained never caused unintended acceleration.

The agency reviewed "more than 400,000 pages of Toyota documents to determine whether the scope of its recalls for pedal entrapment was sufficient," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland said in a prepared statement. "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."

The recall involves 372,000 Lexus RX 330, RX 350 and RX 400h vehicles from the 2004 through early 2007 model years, and 397,000 Toyota Highlander and Highlander hybrids from the 2004-2006 model years to replace the driver's side carpet cover and its two retention clips. It also includes 20,000 Lexus

GS 300 and GS 350 sedans from the 2006 model year to modify the shape of the plastic pad embedded in the driver's side carpet that could interfere with accelerator pedal.

Toyota also modified its earlier recall to fix floor mats to include 603,000 Toyota 4Runners from 2003-2009, 761,000 Toyota RAV4s from 2006-2010 and 17,000 Lexus LX 570s from 2008-2011.