By on February 24, 2011

Having been exonerated of any mysterious electronic causes of unintended acceleration, Toyota puts the issue behind it with a final recall of over 2m vehicles for issues related to gas pedal entrapment. At the same time, the NHTSA closes its investigation. According to an official release, Toyota

will conduct a voluntary safety recall of approximately 20,000 2006 and early 2007 Model Year 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. In the event that the floor carpet around the accelerator pedal is not properly replaced in the correct position after a service operation, there is a possibility that the plastic pad embedded into the floor carpet may interfere with the operation of 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.

And that’s not all…

The release continues
Toyota will also voluntarily recall approximately 372,000 2004 through 2006 and early 2007 RX 330, RX 350, and RX 400h vehicles, and approximately 397,000 2004 through 2006 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles to replace the driver’s side floor carpet cover and its two retention clips.  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.  If this occurs, the accelerator pedal may become temporarily stuck in a partially depressed position rather than returning to the idle position.
Separately, Toyota has amended its recall from November 2009, adding three models to address the potential for unsecured or incompatible floor mat entrapment of the accelerator pedal.  The models added include:
• Approximately 603,000 2003 through 2009 4Runner
• Approximately 17,000 2008 through 2011 Lexus LX 570; and
• Approximately 761,000 2006 through 2010 RAV4
Owners of the involved 4Runner, LX 570, and RAV4 vehicles will receive an interim notification by first class mail beginning in the near future, informing them of the condition.  Owners will receive a second notification once the recall preparations are complete.
According toe Reuters, this recall is part of a deal with the NHTSA to put the issue of unintended acceleration to rest.NHTSA’s chief, David Strickland, said in a statement that the agency reviewed more than 400,000 pages of documents to determine whether the scope of Toyota recalls 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,” Strickland said.

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9 Comments on “Toyota Wraps Up Pedal Entrapment Issue With 2.17m Unit Recall...”

  • avatar

    Look at the bright side. Even if GM topples them eventually from their #1 position at least they will be #1 in recalls.

  • avatar

    I have noticed that Toyota vehicles do not have a solid ‘stop’ that prevents them from moving any further, but rather, their pedals simply stop when they hit the carpet. Other automakers install plastic stops, above the carpet. Perhaps this contributed to the problem.

  • avatar


    “Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said the company was unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the new recalls.”


  • avatar

    Sorry Quentin. =)

  • avatar

    If drivers don’t have the good sense to occasionally check that their floor mats aren’t bunching up under their accelerator pedal, they probably aren’t conscious or spacially aware enough to be piloting a 3000-pound vehicle.  It’s the people, not the product.  We cannot protect these people from themselves in perpetuity – they must eventually be exposed to the world of large moving objects, the laws of physics, karma and Darwinism.  Or they should buy some comfortable walking shoes and a snug-fitting helmet.

    • 0 avatar

      I would agree with your statement however from the above story:
      there is a possibility that the plastic pad embedded into the floor carpet may interfere with the operation of the accelerator pedal.

      Now I agree, if you don’t have the common sense to check your floor mat every now and then – yikes.
      But I don’t expect the carpet itself, nailed down to the floorboard of any vehicle I’m driving to cause a problem because of the way it was designed.  Do you?
      To point out previous issues I do have an expectation that when I lift my foot off of a gas pedal, it returns to idle on its own, and doesn’t get stuck due to pedal design, supplier error, or weak return springs? Isn’t that a normal expectation?
      Finally, if I buy OEM floor mats from a dealer, and they are attached to anchor points on my floor, and they are the correct floor mats for my vehicle, I kind of have an expectation that they won’t shift, break anchors, or due to design cause other problems. I mean the auto maker made them for my car and I installed them (or dealer did) correctly – so call me picky – but I would think that shouldn’t be an issue.

    • 0 avatar

      I do take your point, Holden.  I think that if the carpet that’s physically attached to the floorboards – or the the plastic embedded within – is causing the accelerator pedal to stick open, that is a flaw worth fixing.  And it appears this is the case with the minority of the cars recalled – 20,000 of the 1.72 million cars recalled.

      For those cars where they describe ‘floor mat entrapment’, I have to stand by my ‘buyer beware’ position.  Clips and anchor points are imperfect devices, and mats shift, stretch and deform over time.  They are under constant assault by our full weight, footwear, moisture, dirt, and extreme temperatures.  We can’t expect them not to move, not ever.

      The image that I keep conjuring in my mind of those who find themselves hurtling out of control in their cars due to ‘floor mat entrapment’ is of their homes.  With area rugs in every room permanently bunched up against the walls.  We live in an imperfect world, and everything occasionally needs straightening, repositioning and tidying up.

  • avatar

    What interesting timing.  Weeks after they are exonerated from electrical faults, the NHTSA makes Toyota recall another 2 million vehicles to “close the case” and end this investigation with seeds of fear, uncertainty, and doubt on Toyota’s quality.  Also, what wonderful timing that this also coincides with GM’s announcement of $4.5B in profit on the same day (and $16B in taxes they are now exceptions from paying).

  • avatar

    “Good sense” tells me factory floor mats should never “bunch up under their accelerator pedal”.

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