Toyota "Recall" Will End Up Being a Positive For Brand

Posted by: David Kiley on September 30, 2009

Toyota yesterday instructed 3.8 million vehicle owners to take the floor mats out of their cars, trucks and SUVs.

News reports to the contrary, Toyota is officially calling this a “safety advisory” and says it has not yet issued a recall. But it’s more like a directive in real life.

“Sudden Acceleration” is the reason for the action. It turns out there have been a few cases of people suddenly accelerating out of control with some fatal consequences because the mat got caught up in the accelerator pedal.

“Sudden Acceleration” is a scary terrible phrase in the auto industry. Worse than “gas taxes” to American drivers. Audi took a beating in the late 1980s and 1990s after CBS’s Sixty Minutes gave a spotlight to some trial lawyers whose clients had claimed “sudden acceleration” was to blame for some accidents. Audi issued denials. But the story dragged on. Investigations were done. There was never any finding that a design or engineering flaw in an Audi was to blame. Yet, enormous damage was done to Audi sales and the brand. It has only been in the last five years or so that people have let the false charges of sudden acceleration drift into the archives of their memories.

Today, Audi vehicles are world-class competitors to Mercedes, BMW and Lexus, and the brand is one of the fastest growing in the category worldwide.

Toyota has had some recalls for engine sludge, bad ball joints, etc. Its own management has admitted that it grew too fast, especially in the U.S., and took its eye off the ball in terms of quality amidst all that growth.

The last thing the company needed to do in this sales-challenged economy was deny any responsibility. And easy for them, all they have to do is tell the owners to take the factory-issued mats out of the vehicles. My belief is that while it is the single biggest “directive” of its kind, the act of dealing with it straight-up will be a plus for Toyota. Even better would be if they came up with a fix to the problem: anchored mats. Then, they could give everybody nice clean, new mats that don’t bunch up.

I have to straighten out the mats in my own cars from time to time because they ride up into the pedal area. It’s common sense. But assuming common sense is wide spread is a dangerous thing to do.

Now, the search goes on to see what company has the smartest mat design that prevents the problem. Then, let every automaker copy that good design, eh?

Any suggestions?

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Reader Comments

Dave

September 30, 2009 03:22 PM

I have a 2007 Honda Accord and had a 2003 Jeep Wrangler. Both cars have an anchor (hook) on the carpet and a grommet on the mat. The anchored floor mats do not move, period.

David Wenzel

September 30, 2009 03:25 PM

Nissan has a good idea regarding floormats. They just have hooks on the floorboard to keep them from riding up.

Dave Nash

September 30, 2009 03:26 PM

The Chevy HHR's floor mat design is simple and effective, with a hook that prevents the mat from sliding forward.

My Envoy's mats are form-fitted and extend up the firewall behind the pedals, another good design.

As far as this being a positive for the Toyota Brand ... take off your rose-colored glasses ... and do your homework.

"News reports to the contrary?" Please.

NHTSA's Press Release yesterday clearly states Toyota has informed them that it will launch a recall ... no ambiguity.

http://www.nhtsa.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/template.MAXIMIZE/menuitem.f2217bee37fb302f6d7c121046108a0c/?javax.portlet.tpst=1e51531b2220b0f8ea14201046108a0c_ws_MX&javax.portlet.prp_1e51531b2220b0f8ea14201046108a0c_viewID=detail_view&javax.portlet.begCacheTok=token&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=token&itemID=279f2449f4604210VgnVCM1000002fd17898RCRD&overrideViewName=PressRelease

Comments from Toyota reps in an Automotive News article today were also very revealing. Basically, they admitted they've known about the problem, but four people getting killed "prompted us to look more closely at reports from the field of similar incidents." Read: Now that people have died, we better do something, fast. Damage-control in high gear.

This is the same company who stonewalled their steering problem for nine years ... "appropriated" important battery technology from Energy Conversion Devices to help make the Prius a commercial reality (only to settle quietly out of court without a formal admission of guilt ... other than the estimated $150 million they paid to ECD) ... and who stated repeatedly that their vehicles did not have "sludge" problems, only to finally cave and issue a recall.

As far as sharing a design, again, do your homework. In the same Automotive News article, Toyota executives in Japan stressed that only U.S. vehicles feature mats with this (flawed) design (implying that other markets already have a better design). But, buyers in their largest market don't get (or is it deserve?) the best and safest design? Incredible.

As journalists, and self-anointed "auto beat veterans," investigate and provide a fair and balanced article, with some insight and truth to it, insteady of being a spin-doctor for Toyota.

Dave Nash

September 30, 2009 03:26 PM

The Chevy HHR's floor mat design is simple and effective, with a hook that prevents the mat from sliding forward.

My Envoy's mats are form-fitted and extend up the firewall behind the pedals, another good design.

As far as this being a positive for the Toyota Brand ... take off your rose-colored glasses ... and do your homework.

"News reports to the contrary?" Please.

NHTSA's Press Release yesterday clearly states Toyota has informed them that it will launch a recall ... no ambiguity.

http://www.nhtsa.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/template.MAXIMIZE/menuitem.f2217bee37fb302f6d7c121046108a0c/?javax.portlet.tpst=1e51531b2220b0f8ea14201046108a0c_ws_MX&javax.portlet.prp_1e51531b2220b0f8ea14201046108a0c_viewID=detail_view&javax.portlet.begCacheTok=token&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=token&itemID=279f2449f4604210VgnVCM1000002fd17898RCRD&overrideViewName=PressRelease

Comments from Toyota reps in an Automotive News article today were also very revealing. Basically, they admitted they've known about the problem, but four people getting killed "prompted us to look more closely at reports from the field of similar incidents." Read: Now that people have died, we better do something, fast. Damage-control in high gear.

This is the same company who stonewalled their steering problem for nine years ... "appropriated" important battery technology from Energy Conversion Devices to help make the Prius a commercial reality (only to settle quietly out of court without a formal admission of guilt ... other than the estimated $150 million they paid to ECD) ... and who stated repeatedly that their vehicles did not have "sludge" problems, only to finally cave and issue a recall.

As far as sharing a design, again, do your homework. In the same Automotive News article, Toyota executives in Japan stressed that only U.S. vehicles feature mats with this (flawed) design (implying that other markets already have a better design). But, buyers in their largest market don't get (or is it deserve?) the best and safest design? Incredible.

As journalists, and self-anointed "auto beat veterans," investigate and provide a fair and balanced article, with some insight and truth to it, instead of being a spin-doctor for Toyota.

Todd T

September 30, 2009 03:30 PM

I saw the report of the California Highway Patrol guy and his family being killed when this happened and couldn't help thinking, "Why the hell didn't he just turn off the ignition, or at least put it in Neutral?"

J

September 30, 2009 03:30 PM

Ironically enough, Audi has a great floormat design which prevents this problem. The floormats in my Audi A6 (for all four seats) have a pretty secure button-like (for lack of the correct term) fastener which locks the floormats in place. I think this is the design that should be copied by other automakers. As a matter of fact, following the link above it looks like Toyota had a similar, yet poorly executed, idea in which the floor mats have "rings" in them which are placed around "hooks" in the floor, which apparently easily become loose. My Audi floormats actually snap into the fastener on the floor of the car, and take a pretty considerable amount of force to unfasten accidentally, so much so that you would certainly notice it.

MJB

September 30, 2009 03:30 PM

For years (as far back as I can remember), my Hondas have had two pins in the floor back by the base of the seat that holes in the mats fit over. This prevents the mats from moving. Simple fix.

Stephanie Gagneaux

September 30, 2009 03:30 PM

My son has a 2008 Toyota Tundra. His mats lock in. Why aren't all vehicles made with this type of system

Todd T

September 30, 2009 03:31 PM

I saw the report of the California Highway Patrol guy and his family being killed when this happened and couldn't help thinking, "Why the h*ll didn't he just turn off the ignition, or at least put it in Neutral?"

dan

September 30, 2009 03:36 PM

I've had a 2005 prius for four years now, not sure if it's affected by this "recall", nor do i care. It's been, by far, the best and most problem free vehicle I've ever owned.

the original mats are ugly and cheaply made, they do not hold up well or stay clean anyway. I'm not surprised to hear that they are "allegedly" dangerous too. I replaced mine with rubber ones after about a month.

if your gas pedal gets stuck, any car toyota or not, your ideal course of action is to hit the brakes, shift into neutral, and turn off the engine.

on a prius, this involves holding the power button down for a full three seconds. my sympathy goes out to the people who died because of this (and the countless others who knew them), i'm proud of toyota for 'manning up' and taking responsibility and erring on the side of caution.

Emily

September 30, 2009 03:36 PM

my floor mats in my jeep liberty have a hook on the back side preventing them from riding up to the pedal area.

Emily

September 30, 2009 03:36 PM

my floor mats in my jeep libert have a hook on the back side preventing them from riding up to the pedal area.

jason

September 30, 2009 03:38 PM

my 2003 ford escape has a little hook thingy to keep the mat from sliding.

jason

September 30, 2009 03:38 PM

my 2003 ford escape has a little hook thingy to keep the mat from sliding.

anon

September 30, 2009 03:41 PM

My Ford SportTrac has small, unobtrusive hooks the hold onto the mats that prevent them from slipping forward. Of course, I've never had to straighten them or move them around since buying the truck.

Jim

September 30, 2009 03:42 PM

Yes. As a matter of fact, my two Toyota's have some fixed floor hooks that are inserted into holes in the mat at the back, near the seat so that the mat cannot ride up and forward, if it is installed properly and hooked.

Ken Schneider

September 30, 2009 03:42 PM

Husky Liners. Satisfied Customer.

Lee

September 30, 2009 03:48 PM

your article sounds like a Audi Commercial. Do you drive a Audi? There are many con's for Audi/VW owners. All car makes have there pro's & Cons.

My couple cents worth.
The Acura Driver.

jerry

September 30, 2009 03:54 PM

I own a Toyota Prius, and you would really have to work hard to get the floor mats to ball up under the pedals as Toyota has placed two hooks in the floor that the mats fit over and if in place they will not ball up or even slide forward. Toyota is the best I've seen with such innovative technology! I'm a Toyota fan as you may guess. My next purchase, a Toyota Tacoma.

David Beardsley

September 30, 2009 03:54 PM

Volvo already has a design that prevents this. The front part of the mat latches to the floor preventing this sort of sliding.

Bill Tolin

September 30, 2009 03:56 PM

My 2002 Toyota Tundra has a "hook" on the floor board that connects into the floor mat and keeps it from moving up to the accelerator area. I suggest all vehicles use the same design and the problem will go away.

J. Smith

September 30, 2009 03:59 PM

I have never had to straighten the floor mats in my Chevrolet Silverado.

kevin wu

September 30, 2009 04:02 PM

Interesting article. I have a 2003 Toyota Matrix XRS, and I have notice in order for me to move my floor mats for both passenger and drive side, I have to unhook the floor mats from an attachment thing that's attach to the floor. I think this little ring (ring is on the floor mat) and hook (hook is on the floor) has prevented the floor mats from ever need straighten out.

Maybe it is what Toyota needs to do... Cut holes in the floor mats and screw in the hooks to the floor for all those recalled cars.

Eric Evarts

September 30, 2009 04:05 PM

Um, nicer carpets, with a sturdy built-in foot pad, and no mats allowed for the driver?

King

September 30, 2009 04:06 PM

Ford's vehicles have your solution: The driver side floor mat has an eye that mates to a hook sewn into the floor carpet that prevents the mat from sliding up to or over the accelerator pedal. Problem solved.

Sonny

September 30, 2009 04:08 PM

Just to inform others who reads this article this "recall" is by no means a "factory defect" like ball joints, relay rods, etc. but more of an awareness program that informs drivers that toyota has designed the vehicles to have ONE floor mat. the issues that are causing this "recall" is that owners are using MULTIPLE floor mats. mainly heavy all weather mats. the vehicles involved are those with "fly-by-wire" systems. meaning there's no physical cable attaching the gas pedal to the throttlebody. meaning that sensors replacing old cables are more sensitive. in regards to the floor mats the case is that when a heavy all weather floor mat is installed TOP of an existing secured carpeted floormat. secured because toyota has built in a hook to the carpet to keep the mat from sliding under the pedals. since this hook is designed to hook ONLY ONE floor mat, it allows the heavy all weather floor mat to slide over the accelorator pedal and jamming it. is my testimony in this issue qualifies the a heavy all weather mat jamming the pedal as a "factory defect" or simply user error?

Steve

September 30, 2009 04:14 PM

Honda Odyssey has a grommet in the mat that goes over a small post (with a head on it)just under the drivers seat. Works great.

Stefan Hagedorn

September 30, 2009 04:15 PM

Cadillac - my 2008 Cadillac CTS has a mechanism in place to ensure the floor mat remains in place.

Matt

September 30, 2009 04:17 PM

Yea I do have a suggestion. Stop writing stupid columns. Mercedes has clip in floor-mats and has had them for quite some time now. EOS

pat

September 30, 2009 04:22 PM

My Audi has a great design. Each mat has 2 holes on the bottom side into which a peg mounted on the floor fits to keep the mat from moving. Mine have never moved at all.

manuel

September 30, 2009 04:24 PM

I used to have a Nissan Sentra 92 for 10 years -a half year ago I sold it- and one of the options that this car had was a kind of locking device for the mats so they cannot interfere with the sliding of the mat thru the accelerator. It was like a hook attached to the floor of the drivers side and a small hole in the mat.

k.

September 30, 2009 04:46 PM

I like toyota because of its quality.
floor mat recall still does not change my opinion about toyota at all. I still don't think that it is a problem at all.... may be someone made errors.

DanA

September 30, 2009 04:47 PM

Ford Taurus/Sable gen II is 100% the way to go. Eyelet in corner of mat, hook mounted to floor. Put eyelet in the hook. Presto! Problem solved.

I've never had to move that floor mat. I would know, bought it new in 1997, currently has over 200,000 miles on it.

Vinay

September 30, 2009 05:01 PM

I have 2009 Toyota Rav4. Its mat is actually hoked in 2 places at the back end of the mat. The mat has 2 holes and there are 2 plastic hooks which hols the mats to the floor. I think toyota itself has the very smart design on one of its vehicles. I find it very functional. They should replicate it to their other vehicles.

max

September 30, 2009 05:08 PM

Many auto manufacturers include securely anchored "mat hooks" for factory supplied floor mats. Honda immediately comes to mind. This totally eliminates the problem. It seems amazing that Toyota apparently doesn't have them.

tom taylor

September 30, 2009 05:08 PM

please stop defending toyota they can put out their own bs you know you are defending their bad quality. write some lies about GM Fordand chry.
thanks tom t

Honda Guy

September 30, 2009 05:10 PM

Honda uses hooks on their mats so they don't ride up. Other cars have that too.

Kevin

September 30, 2009 05:15 PM

They should give FREE new mats to all owners of these vehicles or a credit to buy the mat of your choice!

Shaun B

September 30, 2009 05:31 PM

I think there are various makes of vehicle that have hooks on the floor to hold the driver's side floor mat in place. My Mazda3 has one. Here is a link to a picture of a Mazda CX-9. You can see the little black hole in the floor mat that is held by a hook on the floor.

http://www.elitegrafx.com/autoupgrade/int_bmmain.jpg

Art

October 1, 2009 08:30 AM

Can't believe the spin that you all are putting on this! This is yet another of the issues that Toyota has gotten caught up in.

This would not have made the news had there not been some people die!

Would you have put the same spin on a similar issue from one of the big three?

Jamie

October 1, 2009 10:16 AM

My 2001 Toyota has hooks for my floor mat. I find it odd that they took it out in the new models. Not a good idea.

Carol

October 1, 2009 11:13 AM

My Scion has hooks so the floor mats are anchored and do not move. Should be standard on all cars

Ian Rankin

October 1, 2009 12:03 PM

We own a 2008 Prius and the driver side mats are fastened down by hooks. We have also had no issues with this car and just love it.
I have also owned other vehicles where this was not the case and the mats did travel but I always straightened them before I got in or out and if they became a problem while driving, I would stop and straighten them and in some cases found my own way to fasten them down.

Misty

October 1, 2009 12:46 PM

I have a toyota 4 door crew-max and my floor mats are no where near the gas and plus they lock down on the floor. I heard that it was somekind of after market floor mats.

Rod B

October 1, 2009 03:37 PM

I own a 2005 Avalon. It has hooks for the floor mats. You have to use them to make them work.Sounds more like the problem is after market mats that are ill suited.

Papadoc

October 1, 2009 04:17 PM

Lots of spin on that article. That said, Toyota has had many designs that work. I have both a Lexus (made by Toyota) and a Tacoma. The Tacoma rubber matts climb under the pedals. The Lexus mats are hooked into place. It was not a matter of not knowing a good design. It was a choice to not implement it.

Samantha

October 1, 2009 05:10 PM

Its wierd Because My 2007 Camry Hybrid has floormat hooks and it does not bunch up..I wonder if I will get a recall notice......

Nineth

October 1, 2009 05:32 PM

My BMW 325 does not have floor mats. Keep it simple.

Ruth

October 1, 2009 06:08 PM

In early July I also had an unintentional acceleration event occur while driving my 2002 Honda Accord, 6 cylinder car, on a major highway in NJ. As I entered the highway and accelerated, I felt the engine gun artificially and thought perhaps my cruise control was engaged, but it wasn't, and I haven't used the CC since I purchased the vehicle, I never use it. Immediately I realized I was traveling at 55MPH and could not slow the car down in spite of what I intuitively tried to do...ease off gas, hit the brakes (with both feet!), use the hand brake (lots of smoke, no slowing of the car), put transmission into first gear (still 55 mph, just like nothing happened)...nothing worked. Now I realized that I was probably going to die. I saw a traffic light with many cars sitting in the road not far ahead. The last thing I wanted to do was to take someone else out with me! I maneuvered onto the shoulder, still barreling down the road at 55MPH and realized that if I put the car into park or reverse, the car would have to stop. I slammed the auto-transmission into park and pulled up again on the hand brake and the car finally stopped just short of the traffic at the light. All of this took place within 2 minutes.
What I have learned since this event is the following: if you turn off the key, you lose your ability to steer. If you turn the key to accessory, you have limited steering potential, (steering was all I had left!), if you put the car into neutral, the motor may blow up and ignite into a fiery inferno (there are many documented cases of this happening), the throttle opening and getting stuck has nothing to do with the car being in or out of cruise control. In my case, the cruise control cable clips failed (despite the fact the car was NOT in cruise control mode) and the cables relaxed and opened the throttle. In other cases, the microchip fails. When a service guy started my engine the following day at Honda, the RPMs raced immediately to 6500. The transmission was miraculously intact because the throttle box was wide open. Under normal conditions, if you threw the transmission into park while driving at 55MPH, you'd blow the transmission.
Unintentional acceleration is a common dysfunction you rarely hear about because people die and their cars are generally wrecked or burned beyond the point of investigation. When I contacted Honda Corporate customer service all they had to say was that they were sorry for the "inconvenience". All I can say is that I hope it never happens to them, you, or someone you know. It was terrifying. The day after my incident, a woman driver in Pennsylvania apparently went through a similar situation, except she perished in a crash and injured other people. As a survivor, my intent is to alert as many people as possible about this malfunction and what to do to correct it, if it should happen. Please set the record straight...unintentional acceleration has nothing to do with cruise control status and turning the ignition off will leave the driver without the ability to steer the car, while placing the engine in neutral may ignite the engine. The Lexus in San Diego was a keyless ignition, from what I have heard. Oh yes, and it also has absolutely NOTHING to do with car mats. Here is a link to the story from Pennsylvania.

http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer/the_intelligencer_news_details/article/27/2009/july/09/crash-site-called-horrific.html

True American

October 1, 2009 06:53 PM

Buy American. You are americans. Stop buying foreign crap.

Holly

October 1, 2009 09:15 PM

You guys need to read Sonny's post above, where he explains the problem is double mats, heavy all-weather mats laid atop the standard carpet mats.

I have a 2001 Toyota Corolla that has the hook in the floor where the mat secures into place, as do all Toyota's. There's no defect here, and I agree, Toyota should be COMMENDED for bringing the problem to the attention of their customers so quickly to help ensure this does *not* happen again, even if it is more the consumer and dealers issue. (These all weather mats are usually purchased and installed with the dealer).

JP

October 1, 2009 10:24 PM

I own a honda civic (04) and like other cars it has hooks located under the driver seat to hold the mat in place. In many occasions though after having the car washed, the car wash guys failed to put in back in place. I don't know if it's just laziness but I always have to ask them to put it back properly.

Grant Hasselbach

October 2, 2009 12:42 AM

2006 Toyota Tacoma. This recall right now is complete bull crap. This happened to me 5 months ago late at night coming home from the gym. I accelerated through a green light and my gas got stuck to the floor. I was going 70 down a city street slamming on the brake, only to hvae my brake get stuck as well.

I eventually turned the engine off. During this incident, I had pulled up and thrown the floor mat into the passenger area.

IT WAS NOT THE FLOOR MAT. I came to a stop and waited for a tow truck for 45 mins. I couldn't muscle the accelerator or brake from the floor. They were stuck! I am kicking myself in the butt because I didn't snap pictures. The tow truck driver couldn't believe it and towed my truck to the nearest dealership. He could barely stop if off the bed of the flatbed tow truck becasue the brake was still stuck as well as the gas pedal.

Of course, the next morning, the pressure I guess relieved in both pedals and Toyota could not zero in on the issue. I am going to fight this until Toyota does something.

It is not the floor mats that causes this a majority of the time, although it may sometimes happen. These pedals and brakes are all controlled through a computer. Computers malfunction...

IF my wife was driving the truck with my 9 month old, almost a guarantee they would have crashed.

I hope Toyota makes a good recall and fixes the issue...and does NOT cover it up with a floor mat.

And FYI to all here, ALL TOYOTA's HAVE HOOKS FOR THE MATS! This is exactly why this is half bull crap!

alonzo

October 2, 2009 10:37 AM

Toyota daoes have hooks on all of their floor mats. This problem is because someone put all weather mats on top of the already anchored mats instead of replacing them. Toyotas are the safest cars on the road period.

Andy Palmer

October 2, 2009 11:19 AM

REALLY Floor MATS??? That's want the are blaming this on?

sounds like Damage Control to me. I heard the 911 tape on TV last night and there is no way it was Simpl;y Floor Mats!

That doesn't explain why the brakes didn't stop the car. If you take your foot off the gas and put it on the brake there should not be enough force from a floor mat to counteract the brakes unless there was a brick wedged behind the break pedal as well.

Total Damage control and cover-up by toyota here.

Ed

October 2, 2009 02:32 PM

You erred somewhat in suggesting there was no resolution to the hatchet job 60 Minutes did on the Audi 5000, which in reality was a pretty good car. NHTSA DID issue a final statement explaining what the root cause of the "unintended acceleration" claims: Pedal Misapplication. Bad drivers, freaked out by who-knows-what, stomping the accelerator to the floor while thinking their foot was on the brake pedal. The car DID tend to attract poser drivers that wanted to be seen driving a German car, but didn't actually want the performance of a BMW or Benz. This info was not widely disseminated in the general press, and Audi sales in the US suffered mightily for a long time thereafter. To paraphrase Ray Donovan: "Where do I go to get my reputation back?"

Craig

October 3, 2009 03:30 PM

My car has a key switch to shut off and a transmission I can disengage if I were ever to have that problem.

Oh..the hook doesn't solve the issue of an aftermarket mat on an older car.

Ted

October 3, 2009 09:11 PM

My suggestion is this: Please don't offend me by spinning an obvious and proven Toyota design flaw into some sort of marketing poitive. Yet another Toyota lapdog......

Cynthia

October 6, 2009 11:22 PM

Toyota Officially Launches Recall: http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/13228#more-13228

Louis S.

October 7, 2009 12:11 AM

TOYOTA IS ISSUING A SAFETY ADVISORY FOR 3.8 MILLION CARS ON FLOOR MATS! WHEN EVIDENCE SHOWS THIS ISSUE HAS BEEN ADDRESSED FOR MANY YEARS IN MANY MODELS. ITS CLEAR TO SAY THAT TOYOTA CANNOT AFFORD TO TAKE A MARKET SHARE CUT UNDER THIS ECONOMIC CONDITIONS RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE CATASTROPHIC FOR THE BRAND AND POSSIBLY WILL YIELD CLOSE COMPETITORS TO EMMERGE AS CHAMPIONS AND WILL LEAD THE WAY JUST BECAUSE OF SOME UNFORTUNATE FLOOR MATS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!! FLOOR MATS!

Joe

October 7, 2009 03:01 PM

Dodge and Saturn both designed my vehicles with enough clearance between the gas pedal and the mat to accommodate a slipped mat unlike Toyota. Seems like an obvious design flaw. Your article seems to diminish the deaths resulting from this faulty design. Sure you can pull a floor mat back but the car should be designed to have a fatal flaw that results from such a common occurrence.

Barbara

October 12, 2009 10:35 AM

I just want to relate our experience with our 2008 Prius this past Friday evening. My husband tried to disengage the cruise control when we reached a heavy traffic area on a four lane highway and the car went into an uncontrollable acceleration mode. We were crossing a bridge and he had to ride the brakes hard before we reached a place to pull off the road and get the vehicle stopped. Fortunately he had enough braking power to avoid hitting the car in front of us. By the time we got out of the car the brakes were on FIRE with flames coming from both front wheels. He put the fire out before the whole car caught fire. FLOOR MATS WERE NOT THE ISSUE and neither was hitting the gas pedal instead of the brakes. Of course, the service technician at the Toyota dealership where we had the vehicle towed said they found no problem with the car and we should remove the floor mat. There is something going on here with Toyota being unwilling to admit there could be some problem other than the floor mats. We are so fortunate not to have been injured or to have injured someone else.

Charlene Blake

October 12, 2009 03:35 PM

Mat causing the stuck Toyota (Lexus) accelerator? Hardly! This is yet another way for Toyota to blame the owner. Is there any major vehicle defect where Toyota will not blame the owner? Take a look at the "Toyota Owners Unite for Resolution: Engine Oil Sludge" online petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/TMC2003/petition.html. There are over 3,000 petition signatories already yet Toyota says that only 3,200 people had the sludge problem? Gross underestimation? Of course!

Toyota's major safety issues are being blamed on the drivers of its vehicles! This is a low blow by a company! Talk to the owners who have experienced non-deployment of the Toyota air bags (if they are not DEAD!) and see what they have to say about safety issues in Toyotas!

Take a look at the YouTube video entitled "Toyota Engine Oil Sludge" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs7WI2s-CVw which has been up for only a couple of months but has gotten almost 3,000 views. Go to the "Toyota Oil Gel" web site at http://www.toyotaoilgel.com to see what one Toyota owner has put together.

Next, read http://www.uc2.blogspot.com to fine out how one Toyota dealership treats an owner who wished to exercise his freedom of speech rights. Name-calling, flattening of tires, threats, and even attempts to run over the protesting Toyota owner are just some of this Toyota dealerships tricks to dealing with a dissatisfied customer!

Toyota---SHAME on you for trying to once again incriminate the Toyota owners---and DEAD ones at that!! You need to confess about your quality issues and resolve the current and former issues that Toyota owners had had to face over the last few years!! Stop the facade---stop the blame game---stop the FRAUD!!

ps

October 15, 2009 11:31 AM

Hey "True American"- Look at domestic content for Honda and Toyota versus Chevy and Ford. Which is American? In regard to the recall, tghe fact they did it quick was good. Drivers can mitigate it until it's fixed by pulling the mat back. It's good thay the recall got the publicity that Detroit gets when they have problems.

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