Toyota Recall of Defective Cars to Affect 3.8 Million Vehicles–Floor Mats Blamed for Crashes

In what will be the largest recall in the history of Toyota Motor Corp., the company will be recalling 3.8 million defective motor vehicles because of defective floor mats. The defective mats may cause the accelerator to jam, and may lead to serious accident.

Toyota has recommended that for several Camry, Avalon, Prius, Tacoma, Tundra and Lexus models the driver’s side removable mat be removed from the car immediately and not replaced until the company issues a fix.

According to the Washington Post, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has called this an “urgent matter,” and has strongly urged owners to “remove mats and other obstacles that could lead to unintended acceleration.”

One recent spectacular car crash has been blamed on the defective mats. In August 2009, a California family was traveling in a 2009 Lexus ES 350 when the car’s accelerator became stuck. The runaway vehicle could not be stopped, and reached a speed of 120 mph before crashing, rolling off the highway, and catching fire. All four family members were killed.

Toyota has also issued instructions on how to disable the vehicle if the accelerator becomes jammed. A driver should use both feet on the brake to slow the car and slip the gear shift into neutral. The key should be turned to accessory (not to lock, otherwise steering will be lost). In a push-button ignition, holding the button for three seconds will kill the engine. 

More Information

For more information, consumers can contact the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration’s hotline at (888) 327-4236, Toyota at (800) 331-4331 or Lexus at
(800) 255-3987. 

Toyota to recall 3.8M vehicles over floor mats, Washington Post, September 30, 2009.

If You Have Been Injured by A Defective Motor Vehicle

If you or a family member has suffered a personal injury or wrongful death as a result of a defective motor vehicle, it is important to obtain experienced legal help immediately. Seek an attorney who is experienced with product liability and motor vehicle defect cases. Evidence must be preserved, and immediate investigation should be undertaken.

Please call the experienced motor vehicle product defect lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck if you have any questions or need assistance with a case. You can reach us toll free at 800-379-1244. Our office is conveniently located in Boston, Massachusetts. We look forward to helping you.