Toyota’s Recall of 3.8 Million Vehicles Proves Point: Toyota Still Builds Quality

September 30th, 2009

toyota logoNext week, Toyota will issue the biggest U.S. recall in its history.

For floormats.

Not engine problems, not transmission failures… but floormats that don’t quite fit just right.

Granted, those floormats can interfere with the accelerator pedal and cause uncontrolled pedal-to-the-metal acceleration, but still the flaw is in the floormat.

As far as serious issues go, this one’s about as minor as it gets. The fix? Take out the driver’s side floormat. I’m guessing there won’t be a flood of appointments at Toyota service departments on this one.

Let’s compare Toyota’s latest recall with some other recalls this year:

In April, GM recalled 1.5 million vehicles because of the possibility of engine fires.

In February, Chrysler recalled 13,350 minivans for risk of fire in an electrical circuit.

Also in February, Ford recalled over 11,000 2009 Rangers because the wheels could fall off.

Toyota had some bad floormats.

toyota_recall_floormatIf anyone questions Toyota’s quality these days, I’m thinking a quick look at this should be convincing enough to prove that the company is still building the most reliable cars on the road.

The models affected are:

2007-2010 Camry
2005-2010 Avalon
2004-2009 Prius
2005-2010 Tacoma
2007-2010 Tundra
2007-2010 ES 350
2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350

Now, in all seriousness, should you ever encounter a stuck accelerator pedal, Toyota provided some suggestions on what to do:

First, if it is possible and safe to do so, pull back the floor mat and dislodge it from the accelerator pedal; then pull over and stop the vehicle.

If the floor mat cannot be dislodged, then firmly and steadily step on the brake pedal with both feet. Do NOT pump the brake pedal repeatedly as this will increase the effort required to slow the vehicle.

Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.

What company do you think builds the most reliable cars? If you own a Toyota vehicle that’s part of the recall, have you ever experienced a stuck accelerator?

-tgriffith

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  1. randy
    | #1

    Your bias is showing again. (and again and again) Look back into the recall lists and you’ll find plenty of serious Toyota recalls. And you think having a floor mat jam your accelerator pedal isn’t a potential crash hazard? Toyota does. So does NHTSA. In defense of everyone in the auto industry, it’s impossible to engineer and build a highly complex machine like an automobile and not have something go wrong. Although the manufacturers spend a tremendous amount of money on the validation process, many problems simply don’t show up until tens of thousands of vehicles are in the hands of the public. I’m amazed they do as well as they do and I’m glad they are willing to recall and fix vehicles when problems show up.

  2. Bragg
    | #2

    I have a Prius (07) and my mom has a Prius (04) and we have both had this issue, nothing big just stepped on the top part of the pedal and its free. Mainly happens on the “All Weather Mats” and not the cloth mats from what I am reading. Seeing as how floor mats are an “add on” that you have to pay extra for I am surprised Toyota is doing a recall.

  3. | #3

    What about the Seventh generation (XV40; 2006–present) Camry and Lexus transmission recall. Toyota lost their behind on lemon law buybacks with that one.

  4. randy
    | #4

    I guess tgriffith missed the part about a whole family being killed by this defect and Toyoda’s personal apology, along with other crashes and fatalities caused by this problem.

  5. | #5

    The only time you are required to return to the dealer is for warranty repairs and recalls. Even then, you may have those repairs done at any repair facility, but the vehicle manufacturer will not cover the cost.

  6. | #6

    Clearly, the issue appears to be much greater than floor mats. Granted, NHTSA has conducted tests and stated that they could not find the cause, but too many issues have occurred to make most reasonable people comfortable with the findings.

    Hopefully the true cause will be found soon before anyone else has to endure what that family from San Diego had to go through.

  7. plane
    | #7

    No matter how hard you try to spin this, Toyota’s record is abysmal.

    A detailed Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration timeline …..
    http://www.safetyresearch.net/toyota…tion-timeline/

    The LA Times Toyota Expose
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-fi-toyota-recall8-2009nov08,0,6120294.story

    Good Morning “Death by Floormat” Investigation
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ippnztg3A_o

  8. Willy Rosenburg
    | #8

    I think this whole thing has been part of a cover up on the part of Toyota. I also think they need to re-visit their quality program to see how such a thing could have happened. Perhaps they just got to big ? You can be sure their working very hard on who to blame for this mess ( probably a supplier). In anycase the blame should rest on their shoulders !

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