By David Thomas on September 29, 2009
recalling nearly 4 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles for an issue with their floormats. A number of complaints have shown that the floormats can creep forward and get stuck under the accelerator, which can lead to unintended and potentially dangerous acceleration. (Yes, we know the recall is not official yet, but for clarity we will call it a recall).
The 2010 Prius, which has only been on sale for a relatively short time, is not included in the recall at this time because there have been no specific complaints filed with either Toyota or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the floormats, Hanson said. However, when the recall is finalized, which could be as early as next week, the 2010 Prius may be included, he said. Other models haven’t been included based solely on the lack of complaints. A number of factors including pedal placement and keyless ignition in addition to the floormats may have contributed to the complaints against the recalled cars.So, what is it about these floormats that’s causing the problem? Basically, any automaker’s floormats can slide forward if they’re not attached to a hook that keeps them in place. However, the Lexus and Toyota models in question include a hook that can be detached from the carpet, meaning there are two ways for the floormat to become dislodged. According to Hanson, the design stems from the fact that floormats are an option across the Toyota lineup, and someone buying a car without them wouldn’t want a fixed stem protruding from the carpet.
We would advise all car owners to be aware of their floormat placement, especially when using bulkier all-weather mats. We’d also suggest any owner of a modern Toyota not involved in the recall to be especially vigilant or remove their mats, too.
Floormat in place
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David