Yesterday Toyota announced its largest recall ever when it announced its plan to recall 3.8 million vehicles due to a product defect. According to the auto manufacturer, the vehicles in question are equipped with a floor mat that causes the accelerator pedal to become stuck.
As a temporary solution, the federal government and Toyota are encouraging vehicle owners to simply remove the driver’s side floor mat. Toyota advised that until the manufacturer comes up with a solution regarding the defective product, owners should simply remove the mats rather than bringing the vehicle to the dealership.
An alert has been issued by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding the Toyota floor mats warning drivers that stuck accelerator pedals could lead to high speeds and deadly crashes. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, reinforced this message in a recent statement, in which he “strongly urge[d] owners of these vehicles to remove mats or other obstacles that could lead to unintended accelerations”.
Toyota has taken the further precaution of ordering dealerships to inspect floor mats in all Toyota and Lexus vehicles. This precaution came after an August 2009 auto crash that killed four people. According to investigators, that car accident might have been the result of an improperly installed floor mat in the 2009 Lexus ES350 that the driver, an off-duty California highway patrol officer, had leased from a local dealership.
There have been other reports of vehicles rapidly accelerating after the accelerator pedal is released. According to the traffic safety agency, these incidences could be the result of many factors in addition to the use of a variety of unsecured mats, which include “the particular configuration of the accelerator pedals in these vehicles [and] the unique steps to shut off the engines in some of these vehicles with keyless ignition.”
The recall will include the following Toyota and Lexus models:
ES 350 (2007-2010)
IS 250 (2006-2010)
IS 350 (2006-2010)
Kreisman Law Offices has handled Illinois product liability cases for over 30 years, serving areas in and around Chicago, including Northbrook, Schaumburg, Wheaton, and Evergreen Park.