In this report
Overview
Toyota recalls
Other recalls

A new round of recalls

Last reviewed: May 2011
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Mat trouble
Highlander SUVs are among models that need fixes to floor mats and retention clips.

Toyota has announced several vehicle recalls and has expanded an earlier one to fix problems with vehicle floor mats that interfere with the accelerator pedal. About 2.17 million vehicles are covered by the latest round of notices.

The first set of recalls, which affects approximately 20,000 Lexus GS 300 and GS 350 all-wheel-drive sedans from the 2006-2007 model years, involves modifying the plastic pad that's embedded in the driver's-side floor carpet. If the floor carpet around the accelerator pedal is not properly placed, the plastic pad may interfere with the pedal, which could become stuck in an open-throttle position. Owners should have received notification for a fix in March.

In addition, Toyota is recalling 372,000 RX 330, RX 350, and RX 400h SUVs from 2004-2006 and early 2007, plus approximately 397,000 2004-2006 Highlander and Highlander Hybrid SUVs, to replace the driver's-side floor carpet cover and the two retention clips used to secure it. The clips may not be installed properly, and the carpet cover could interfere with the accelerator pedal and cause it to stick.

RX and Highlander owners will be notified to inspect their vehicle for that problem, or they can go to a local dealer, who can perform the inspection. A second notification will be sent out when the replacement covers become available.

Toyota is amending its November 2009 floor-mat recall to add three models to address the potential problem of floor-mat entrapment in the accelerator pedal. The vehicles include 603,000 2003-2009 Toyota 4Runners, 17,000 2008-2011 Lexus LX 570s, and 761,000 2006-2010 Toyota RAV4 SUVs. Owners will receive two notices, one informing them of the issue and another when the recall fix is complete.

For more information, go to www.toyota.com/recall or www.lexus.com/recall. Owners can call 800-331-4331 for Toyota or 800-255-3987 for Lexus.

In 2009 and 2010, Toyota recalled almost 8 million vehicles to address problems of sticking pedals and pedal entrapment.

Toyota complaints decline

NASA reported recently that it did not find electronic gremlins in Toyota's electronics that could cause the cars to suddenly accelerate out of control. Instead, it cited mechanical issues related to floor-mat entrapment and sticky pedals. Looking at the complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it looks like drivers mainly agree.

In the year since complaints about speed-control problems in Toyota vehicles spiked, in February 2010, we found that complaints to NHTSA about Toyotas have dropped about 96 percent relative to the number of cars Toyota sold in the U.S. That significant decrease to near-industry-average levels suggests that the recalls Toyota issued over floor mats and sticking pedals may have addressed the problem, as the recent NASA report claimed.