Toyota says no risk of unintended acceleration if floor mats are installed correctly

Monday, November 2, 2009

Toyota discloses US findings on floor mats

NEW YORK — Toyota Motor Corp. said Monday its vehicles are not at risk of accelerating out of control unless the driver’s side floor mat is improperly installed or is not meant for that vehicle.

The Japanese automaker said the conclusion is the result of a U.S. government investigation into unintended acceleration of some Lexus vehicles. In August, Toyota announced a recall of 3.8 million vehicles in the U.S., including both Lexus and Toyota models, urging owners of the recalled vehicles to remove their driver’s side floor mats because of the risk they could jam the accelerator pedal.

That recall — the largest U.S. recall for Toyota — was prompted by a high-speed crash in August involving a 2009 Lexus ES350 in which four people were killed. Occupants in the vehicle made a frantic 911 call, saying the accelerator was stuck and they couldn’t stop the vehicle.

Toyota said it began mailing owners of the recalled vehicles letters about the possible problem with the mats. The recall includes the Toyota Camry for the model year 2007-2010, Toyota Avalon (2005-2010), Toyota Prius (2004-2009), Toyota Tacoma (2005-2010), Toyota Tundra (2007-2010), Lexus ES350 (2007-2010) and Lexus IS250/IS350 (2006-2010).

Toyota said there is no evidence that unintended acceleration could be caused by any defects other than an improperly installed or incorrect floor mat. It said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reviewed allegations of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles six times, clearing the automaker each time.

“The question of unintended acceleration involving Toyota and Lexus vehicles has been repeatedly and thoroughly investigated by NHTSA, without any finding of defect other than the risk from an unsecured or incompatible driver’s floor mat,” said Bob Daly, senior vice president for Toyota Motor Sales USA, in a statement.


November 3, 2009: 10:00 pm

How could Toyota/Lexus not include this simple safety override into their “drive-by-wire” system (when the Germans certainly did…..)?! And how could any such system be officially approved and certified without it by any manufacturer?!

October 7, 2000
Smart Gas Pedals May Solve Floor-Mat Problem
By Christopher Jensen

Some automakers – primarily European — are using an unusual method to reduce the chances of unintended acceleration from something like a floor mat getting tangled up with the accelerator: smart gas pedals.

If the vehicle is moving and both the gas and brake pedal are being pushed at the same time the computer tells the engine to ignore the gas pedal.

“It is an additional safety feature,” said Thomas Plucinsky, a BMW spokesman. “The brake takes precedence.”

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