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Toyota floor mat investigation reveals most Canadian versions are safe
Following reports in the U.S. of gas pedals sticking on the floor mats of Toyota vehicles and causing dangerous situations for drivers, Toyota Canada issued an advisory to Canadian customers in late September 2009 to request the removal of any driver's side floor mats from certain Toyota and Lexus vehicles. And on Nov. 26, 2009, Toyota Canada announced completion of its investigation into potential accelerator pedal entrapment due to incompatible or unsecured all-weather floor mats.
The seven affected models are: 2007 to 2010 MY Camry, 2005 to 2010 MY Avalon, 2004 to 2009 MY Prius, 2005 to 2010 MY Tacoma, 2007 to 2010 MY Tundra, 2007 to 2010 MY ES 350, 2006 to 2010 MY IS 250, and 2006 to 2010 MY IS 350.
Toyota Canada has worked closely with Transport Canada during this investigation. There is no risk of accelerator pedal entrapment when compatible Toyota and Lexus Canadian-designed all-weather floor mats are properly used in the affected models as they are different in design and material composition from the Toyota-supplied mats in the U.S.A. Properly installed and secured compatible carpet floor mats also do not give rise to pedal entrapment.
Although no vehicle defect has been identified, given the importance Toyota attaches to customer confidence in their Toyota vehicle, as an extra measure of confidence, a safety improvement campaign will be initiated for Canadian customers to provide:
1. Reconfiguration of the accelerator pedal for the 7 affected models. The shape of the accelerator pedal will be reconfigured to address the risk of accelerator pedal entrapment, when an inappropriate floor mat is improperly attached, or is placed on top of another floor mat. Dealers will be trained and equipped to make the necessary modifications to these models starting at the beginning of 2010. Initially, dealers will be instructed on how to reshape the accelerator pedal for the repair. As replacement parts with the same shape as the modified pedal become available, they will be made available to dealers for the repair, beginning around April 2010. Customers who have had the remedy completed will have the opportunity to receive a new pedal if they desire.
2. Reconfiguration of the shape of the floor surface to increase the space between the accelerator pedal and the floor for the Lexus ES 350, Camry and Avalon models.
3. Installation of a brake override system for the Camry, Avalon and Lexus ES 350, IS 350 and IS 250 models. This system cuts engine power in case of simultaneous application of both the accelerator and brake pedals. The brake override system will be made standard equipment throughout the Toyota and Lexus product lines starting with January 2010 production of ES350 and Camry and is scheduled to be incorporated into new production of most models by the end of 2010.
Unique to Toyota Canada, a safety campaign will also be initiated for Toyota Venza vehicles equipped with a genuine Toyota Canada driver's side all-weather floor mat. Until owners of Venza vehicles receive their notice of the campaign, Toyota recommends that they take out any genuine Toyota drivers' side all-weather floor mat in the vehicle.
Toyota has determined that the genuine Toyota carpeted floor mat is compatible with the vehicle and recommends at this time that only the original equipment carpet floor mat be installed using the retaining clips provided. Customers should also ensure it is properly installed and secured, that it is not flipped over with the bottom-side up, and that one floor mat is not stacked over another.
If a customer does not know or is not sure whether the driver's side mat(s) in the vehicle is correct for or compatible with their vehicle, the customer should remove it. For additional information about floor mats, customers can visit a Toyota dealership, www.toyota.ca or the Transport Canada website at www.tc.gc.ca.
Finally, Toyota Canada will also be providing an educational advisory to other Toyota and Lexus customers providing information on proper mat installation procedures. Toyota Canada reminds all its customers to register any address or ownership changes to allow for prompt notification.
Toyota Canada says the safety of its owners and the public is of utmost importance and it will continue to thoroughly investigate and take appropriate measures to address any trends that are identified with respect to this issue.
Owners who have further questions are asked to visit www.toyota.ca or www.lexus.ca or contact Toyota Canada directly at 1-888-TOYOTA-8 or Lexus Canada at 1-800-265-3987.
CarTest.ca. Posted Nov. 28, 2009
Related story: How to stop a vehcile with a stuck gas pedal