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On November 5, this space discussed the issue of floor mats and gas pedals in many Toyotas shipped to the U.S. A fatal accident led to a lot of media attention on the possibility that this problem was not just one of inappropriate floor mats but one of defective gas pedals.

Toyota announced last Wednesday, November 25, that it would replace the gas pedals on 3.8 million recalled vehicles because the floor mats sometimes interfere with pedals. Replacement will begin in April, 2010 and in some vehicles, a brake override system will also be installed as a precaution.

In the meantime, dealers will be shortening the gas pedal length by about three quarters of an inch, starting in January 2010. If you have one of the recalled models and are using a floor mat that was not designed for your model, you should remove it immediately, as it may be too long for the Toyota driver’s side floor. Toyota will provide new floor mats for both the driver and passenger sides.

A Toyota spokesman stated:

  • “The safety of our owners and the public is our utmost concern and Toyota has and will continue to thoroughly investigate and take appropriate measures to address any defect trends that are identified.”

Toyota’s solid reputation has been built on their solidly-made vehicles, well-designed and reliably safe. The Toyota Camry is the top-selling passenger car in the U.S. and the Toyota Prius is the best-selling hybrid car. This gas pedal recall is Toyota’s largest recall. As the company expanded quickly, it appears that their quality control declined a little. Last week Toyota also announced a recall of 110,000 Tundra trucks because of excessive rust on the frames. They were models from 2000 to 2003.

Models Included in the Gas Pedal Recall

  • 2007-10 model year Camry
  • 2005-10 Toyota Avalon
  • 2004-09 Prius
  • 2005-10 Toyota Tacoma
  • 2007-10 Toyota Tundra
  • 2007-10 Lexus ES350
  • 2006-10 Lexus IS250/350

Recalls of defective products occur regularly and in this case, the injury and deaths caused have been minimal.

If you or a loved one has been hurt by any type of defective product, the manufacturer, distributer, or retail outlet may be held liable. The first step is to schedule a free case review with one of our product liability attorneys. Please call or email our law office today if you would like to do that.

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