By on July 23, 2010

An anonymous Toyota Tech sent us these recent images of a 2008 Prius and its highly questionable pedal-floormat interface. Did nobody tell this guy that Toyota has had some problems with floormat pedal interference, and that there had been a recall? Did he somehow miss the months-long media frenzy? This is yet more proof that there is literally no way to completely prevent unintended acceleration, even if the problem has been identified and a recall has been issued. Remember folks, when it comes to cars only you can keep you safe.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

14 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Toyota Owners And Their Floormats Edition...”


  • avatar
    Mailbox20

    Hello Jim? Jim Sikes, is that you? Gotta protect those mats so you won’t get dinged when you turn in the lease.

    I particularly like that the floormat on the bottom is upside down to facilitate the positioning solidly under the pedals. Actually, I hadn’t considered that the mat might get caught up in the pedal mechanism. I was imagining the mat catching the pad portion of the pedal – hence the trimming of the bottom of the pedal.

  • avatar
    Dukeboy01

    Like Ron White says, you can’t fix stupid.

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Wow, just wow . . .

    So we now have a new, THIRD mode of failure resulting in the throttle pedal mechanism getting stuck, let’s review the known issues shall we:

    1) Floormat(s) causing interference with the BOTTOM of the pedal. Recall fixes included A) zip-tieing floormat so it won’t slide forward, and B) using sawzall to cut off bottom of pedal (and of course removing all additional floormats for the same reason).

    2) Pedal mechanism itself sticks (rare), recall fix, change shim thickness inside mechanism to modify “stiction” level.

    Am I seeing the pictures correctly? It appears as though the factory mat has been installed upside-down and possibly backwards as well.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      That floormat would never have been installed upside down and backwards if the car was made at a UAW plant.

      I think the failure mode in this case is idiocy….that covers a lot of ground.

  • avatar
    Roxer

    Unbelievable. Seriously unbelievable. Perhaps we need to install a new shield to make sure this can’t happen. Or people can get their act together and take their safety seriously.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      Roxer, the technology exists to completely take the driver out of the equation. Why don’t we just factor out the idiot completely? Oh yeah, it costs a lot to do that. Reality is that you design products to be safe and perform their intended function when used in a reasonably “normal” manner. This person is the .0001% idiot that is not included in product validations.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    There may be some exceptions, but to use an analogy

    A Prius driver is to Prius as You are to your kitchen faucet

    ie, neither cares about the particular appliance as long as it sort of works.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I’ve always thought that floormats are much more likely to cause unintended IDLING if they keep the pedal UP.

  • avatar
    SomeDude

    EN: “Did nobody tell this guy that Toyota has had some problems with floormat pedal interference, and that there had been a recall? Did he somehow miss the months-long media frenzy?”

    The floormat pedal interference should not have been there in the first place. Also, Toyota reps should have been banging at this guy’s door, at 2am if need be, to tell him there’s a critically serious problem with his car, that there’s a recall because his life is in danger, and that they would be more than happy to schedule an early service appointment. Otherwise this is called criminal negligence and the guy is NOT the one committing it.

    • 0 avatar
      1996MEdition

      Really? It’s criminal negligence on Toyota’s part that this idoit turned his floor mat over? My cheap 50 cent factory floor mat on my S-10 moves around constantly and has gotten wrapped up in both the gas and the clutch pedals before. There are no snaps or ties to keep it in place…..there aren’t even any grippers on the back side of the mat.

      By your reasoning, GM is criminally negligent for selling me a truck with this floor mat……wanton indifference……I am outraged!……GM’s actions are lewd, lascivious, salacious, outrageous!……get Jackie Chiles on the phone!

  • avatar
    Sandy A

    No doubt that some people are idiots and other simply make mistakes. That has always been true even with mechanical throttle control. However, when it comes to electronic throttle control it isn’t necessarily just the floor mats.

    See:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727704.800-toyota-too-soon-to-blame-drivers-for-problems.html

    “But the fault detection system is not foolproof, according to Todd Hubing, a vehicle electronics researcher at Clemson University in Greenville, South Carolina. This month, Hubing told a US National Academy of Sciences committee investigating SUA that when his team fired radio waves at laboratory test vehicles travelling at a steady speed, they accelerated. These incidents were not picked up by the fault detection system, possibly because the radio waves affected both sensors equally, Hubing says.”

    And:

    http://www2.wspa.com/news/2010/jul/21/clemson-professor-studies-unintended-acceleration–ar-607687/

  • avatar
    JimC

    Toyota doesn’t need to knock on his door at 2am. Darwin will knock on it soon enough and though painful we as a society will be better for it. Remember, it’s better to rip the bandaid off quickly instead of slowly.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Authors

  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • Tycho de Feyter, China
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Faisal Ali Khan, India