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Toyota recalls 3.8 million vehicles

Posted by: David Welch on September 29, 2009

Regular readers, especially those who work for or buy cars from Detroit’s automakers, often bemoan that Toyota’s recalls don’t get enough attention in the media. Well, here’s one hot off the press. Toyota said today that it is launching its largest recall in history, bringing back 3.8 million vehicles because an unsecure floor mat may hit the accelerator, send the car speeding forward and cause accidents. The fix seems simple enough, but that is a lot of cars.

Toyota has told drivers to remove the floor mat until the company comes up with a remedy. The following models are affected:

• 2007 – 2010 Toyota Camry
• 2005 – 2010 Avalon
• 2004 – 2009 Prius
• 2005 – 2010 Tacoma
• 2007 – 2010 Tundra
• 2007 – 2010 Lexus ES350
• 2006 – 2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350

Every carmaker has recalls. But Toyota has had some big ones in recent years. The company recalled 533,000 Tundra pickups and Sequoia suvs in 2007 because of bad ball joints. The Tundra also had problems with the cam shaft in the Tundra’s 5.7-liter V-8. Toyota also had a problem with sludge accumulating in the engines of a handful of models. The company repaired the engines later on, but not after the publicity did some damage.

What’s with the recalls? Toyota went on an expansion binge over the past decade, launching new models and sprouting factories up all over the world. The race for growth overtaxed its engineers and problems cropped up. In fairness, Toyota is still a first-rate carmaker whose vehicles do well in quality surveys across the board. The company has also been pushing to handle these issues more effectively. But recalls are never good even if they are handled well. Toyota has throttled back on growth and in doing so, its engineers are getting back to basics. Smart move. Remember, GM was the industry’s kingpin when its quality problems began in the 1960s. Toyota seems to have taken that history lesson to heart. But its long-standing edge in quality may have already been dulled.

Reader Comments


September 29, 2009 8:03 PM

wow..what a cheap headline..!! a floor mat..!! I've been dealing with that with many different vehicles for quite a while. I figured it out..!! It's not a defective transmission like my '02 Honda Odyssey (which Honda looks the other way and hopes I go away) that would be a nice story for you..!!


September 29, 2009 8:11 PM

i purchased my car in edmonton, alberta canada, should i be worried.


September 29, 2009 8:13 PM

This is unlike the GM recalls which are more serious.


September 29, 2009 8:32 PM

My 2008 Yoyota Yaris has an unsecured floor mat. How do I get it fixed?


September 29, 2009 8:32 PM

My 2008 Toyota Yaris has an unsecured floor mat. How do I get it fixed?


September 29, 2009 8:35 PM

If this was about GM the blogs would be all crowing about how badly made are American cars. It seams that in the last few years Toyota has had multiple recalls for transmissions,cam shafts, and engine sludge. Maybe GM and Ford are actually building better cars but people can't or won't see the quality now being produced by the American car companies.


September 29, 2009 8:43 PM

Not sure if your new car is affected

Tom Boston

September 29, 2009 8:52 PM

Always always, applaud the car company that steps up and recalls unsafe, or poorly engineered products. It's the companies that slouch on honesty that are the ones to avoid. GM has been good in the past, taking it on the chin. Ford, unfortunately, not so, but they learned their lesson and are now coming forward. The Japanese culture is extreme about losing honor (suicide by banking and industrial executives), and a little recall action is taking it far enough, the proper way.


September 29, 2009 9:04 PM

I'd still rather own a Toyota then a freaking CHEVY!

Paul Stewart

September 29, 2009 9:32 PM

They are quick to acknowledge and correct all mistakes of any significance and to the full extent necessary. They are a class act. That is how they protect their reputation. And lead the market.


September 29, 2009 9:54 PM

Toyota is doing right thing. It's hard to make a recall, but it's better than hide the problem from people.

D. Rodney Mack

September 29, 2009 10:00 PM

For 15 years I have purchased Toyota vehicles because of their quality and respected engineering. Yesterday, I took my 2008 Tacoma to the dealer to have the defective radio replaced. Today I learn of the floormat problem. WHAT NEXT????

Jim Laroque

September 29, 2009 10:13 PM

Toyota = Garbage


September 29, 2009 10:45 PM

it just pisses me off how american car makers get put on blast for a recall....but look at all the recalls the asian car makers try to sweep under the rug. i will always feel more comfortable driving an american car over an asian car and so will my wallet.


September 29, 2009 10:53 PM

The fatal deaths resulting from a stuck floor mat is unfortunate, but if the victims (in one particular case) had time to call 911, they should have had time to shift the vehicle into neutral or shut off the engine while braking hard.


September 29, 2009 10:55 PM

*fatal crash

karen missimer

September 29, 2009 11:56 PM

almost ran over people in a parking lot due to stuck gas pedal in my toyota solara. i couldnt understand what happened but after seeing the news now i know what caused the acceleration. this car was brand new right out of the dealership. i never took it back because i felt it was a fluke. this was a new car that toyota issued to me because the first one i bought was a lemon. the issue with the first solaro was even more complex . happy that 3 months ago i traded it in for a subaru and couldnt be happier.


September 30, 2009 2:55 AM

Excellent for the US consumers. Toyota is an international company with major market share in the emerging markets, developing countries with highest motorsiation with local assembly only like transplant of imports. Only assembly, paint shop, and local components as seat foam, rubber mattings, tyres, polythene on new seats, and spray paint and of course local unskilled/semi skilled labors and trained technicians from the factory in Japan, Thailand etc. These transplants are only for the domestic market, with no export license, as they are only for the poor deprived masses with punitive import duties as high as 100% plus on completely assembled or built up units. However local assembly enjoys tax free, and franchises are awarded to local partners to mint money. In markets as sub-continent of India Pakistan for example in Pakistan Toyota with literal monopoly for local assembly no export has never ever recalled a car it ever produced. Consumer NGO's aren't aware of product recall for quality assurance. JD Power is unheard of in Pakistan. Local manufacturers are selling cars at 300% premium local defective cars with warranty never honored. Consumer is killed by Toyota and likes.

Paul (Vw)

September 30, 2009 8:13 AM

I was driving my A4 on the highway one day and it started accelerating on me. I pushed in the clutch, popped it into neutral, and the engine started red-lining. Pulled over to the side, turned off the car. Started it again, same thing. Pumped the gas pedal a few times, and the problem went away.

The Audi dealership was right around the corner. I pulled in, the service guy came over, I told him the car was accelerating on its own. His eyes got big. Then he paused and asked me if the floor mats were secured. Sure enough, they weren't and had mine had crept up so as to hold the gas pedal down.

I know VWs & Audis have tabs to secure the floor mats. The last time my car was cleaned, they did not latch them in. After my experience, I regularly check the floor mats to make sure they are secured.


September 30, 2009 8:46 AM

Put a deposit on a new 2009 Avalon XLS on 9/25 to be picked up t'morrow 10/01. In view of recall would you go through with deal?
Thanks for your opinion.


September 30, 2009 10:46 AM

A floormat, I hope US automakers don't feel relief from this since, as noted above, their recalls are much more serious. Take for instance the recall last year (I think it was Ford, google it) where an electronic sensor in the brake would deteriorate (because is was made of cheap material) and perhaps ignite brake fluid since it was powered all the time, even when the car was off and parked. Or for instance Chevy's recall on a wiring harness that could potentially come into contact with the exhaust manifold and cause a fire. Fires Vs. Floor Mats, the differnce in safety between the US and our rivals is amazing.

Bill Treible

September 30, 2009 11:17 AM

I suspect this is more than a floor mat malfunction.

I own an '07 Prius. I have complained to the dealer that 90% of the time the car shuts down immediately upon "briefly" depressing the power button, precisely as described in the owner's manual. However, about 10% of the time it does not shut down on the first push, and will move forward when I take my foot off the brake. I have to push the power button a second time to stop the engine.

The dealer actually told me I should push the "Park" button before pushing the Power button to turn the car off. It says nothing about doing that in the manual. Now they're saying you should hold the button 3 seconds to turn off the car? The manual says (p. 141 and elsewhere) "The hybrid system will start and stop by firmly pressing the "POWER" switch BRIEFLY with the brake pedal depressed." Three seconds is certainly more than "briefly," and more than it takes to turn off the engine 90% of the time.

Fortunately, I haven't hit anyone or anything, I've gotten used to it, and I'm careful to be sure the engine has actually stopped before I take my foot off the brake. Once in a while, I have to push the Power button a second time, an inconvenience hardly worth mentioning. However, I'm now concerned that the minor problem I'm experiencing could progress into something much more dangerous.

Look at the mat: someone would have to deliberately install it so it was over (rather than under) the accelerator pedal to cause a problem. I don't think it's the mat. I think there's a problem with the computer.

Kristen DeBlasio

September 30, 2009 2:05 PM

Having worked for Toyota for several years now, I have come to respect the company and their ideals. Toyota steps up to the plate anytime there is an issue concerning pulic safety. Checking your mats on the driver side should be automatic when stepping into your vehicle and while driving. This type of incident occurs in my daughters Ford Explorer all the time, we just fix the mat when it rides up. PAY ATTENTION to detail while driving.

Kristen DeBlasio

September 30, 2009 2:05 PM

Having worked for Toyota for several years now, I have come to respect the company and their ideals. Toyota steps up to the plate anytime there is an issue concerning pulic safety. Checking your mats on the driver side should be automatic when stepping into your vehicle and while driving. This type of incident occurs in my daughters Ford Explorer all the time, we just fix the mat when it rides up. PAY ATTENTION to detail while driving.


September 30, 2009 3:28 PM

The question that I have is, if the floor mat caused the cars pedal to stick how come the brakes did not stop the car in CA. On my GM cars if I shift my car into neutral the engine rpms drop to 4,000 with the pedal to the floor and my brakes or parking brake will slow my car down to a stop. And one push of the Onstar button would have brought expert instructions on how to stop the car. On my CTS the Onstar rep could also power the engine down from 100% to 0% power. Also on GM cars the black box would have recorded all the data, but then is not a Toy.


September 30, 2009 5:40 PM

I own a Camry LE/07! best car I ever owned in over 40 years of many N.A. brand cars. for now, I would buy Toyota again. I use my own rubber mats in the car. no problem!


September 30, 2009 8:55 PM

If you like to hear honest opionon, I would say people are more dumb than ever. People are nowadays are trying to find loop holes to go against company and those people who lost their life might have the same intension. If people can talk on the phone while driving, I believe they can also move their floor mats too. I also heard the person who got killed was a veteran of California Highway Patrol. How could they be so stupid? I am sorry for the family, but we need to accept the reality without blaming on each other.


October 1, 2009 2:53 AM

Toyota has been covering up problems for years, problems that American manufacturers routinely report as required by federal law. There are no voluntary recalls. Every vehicle problem must be reported and federalized. No manufacturer, period, is permitted to backdoor recalls by calling them voluntary. The spin is ridiculous and the only thing that makes it possible is the desperate need to feel smug and superior that leads so many Americans to sneer, without thinking, at domestic manufacturers.


October 1, 2009 7:46 AM

The difference between Toyota and GM for example when it comes to recalls is simple. Toyota only recalls after the incidents are being reported or a fatality has occured. That's sad! It's always been that way with Toyota. I read one comment about a GM recall for the wire harness and potential fire. This was an actual recall yes but the best part,,, NOT 1 vehicle sold ever had the wire harness come into contact with the exhaust manifold. Yes it hurts an automakers image to have recalls but I'd much rather buy a vehicle from the one recalling before the accidents happen rather than after deaths occur.


October 1, 2009 9:36 AM

Wow 2004, 05, 06, 07 did you see that? So Toyota is just now doing RECALLS! How can this be? Have just figured out that there is a PROBLEM? Yes, if this was an American company, it would be on ALL the News cast, ALL the Talk shows, yet our media says, oh it’s ok, and they have admitted it so we can move on. It’s gone on for SIX YEARS PLUS, pat them on the head, bow, and turn the page. How can something so very simple, a Floor Mat, be missed for all of these years? They talk about safety? They have a service bulletin, (as they call it), not a RECALL! Unless like now, it goes on for YEARS. They talk about safety? That is why being in American, Buy American, invest in our Country. We have the best in the world!!!


October 1, 2009 9:39 AM

All vehicles should have an emergency stop/ shut off located on the steering wheel or dash board. One button inverted into the horn pad at the center or on the dash next to the key that you could quickly (finger)put your finger in to shut off the vehicle.This way you couldn't hit it by mistake. It could be pressure or infra red laser detection. It would have a rubber cap door so not to collect debris.It would also work great with the ABS system stopping the vehicle as quickly as possible without a skid.Also the vehicles computer should not have let this vehicle get to 120mph. Where was the governor on this thing. Talk about not making vehicles in a responsible manner.Not that it makes a huge difference, my Chevy truck cuts off @ 99mph.I also own a 2008 Honda Accord. Manufactures should make programmable vehicles that don,t exceed 80 mph. If you program higher speeds into your vehicle you must take the responsibility for the outcome.If your kid is borrowing the car you could set it @ 60 mph with a special code.


October 1, 2009 1:55 PM

The little plastic cliups that is supposed to secure my floor mat fell off and disappeared the first month that I had my car. Can I get those replaced now?


October 1, 2009 5:02 PM

Darrell show ME an American car that get's 50 MPH and I will buy it. JOHN


October 1, 2009 7:02 PM

Lexus and Toyota = Poor Engineering
Poor Engineering = Unsafe Vehicle

This is more than just Mats problem. Their accelerator systems could be ill designed. In case of the fatal crash of the Lexus on San Diego freeway, the driver must have tried brakes and changed gears but could not escape the runaway acceleration. That would be a more serious issue.


October 2, 2009 6:23 PM

So basically Toyota vehicles Kill people! Buy an American vehicle! If this happened to an American vehicle these same Toyota owners would be saying how crappy American autos are, but when their cars kill people.....Not a PEEP! Buy a Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep Today!!!!!!


October 3, 2009 8:43 AM

Maybe all these vehicles can have their AIRBAGS checked to make sure they're not defective while they are at the dealership, right? I just 'Googled' this- ENGINE SLUDGE, and went to the consumeraffairs website about 'Toyota Engine Problems' and clicked on- AIRBAGS, and read the complaints. My goodness, that's quite alarming, wouldn't you agree?


October 4, 2009 1:03 PM

I agree with some here that Toyota seems to get off easier that U.S. makers. They've dramatically expanded international operations, yet they're not infused their "Toyota Way" philosophy in those many and far flung foreign operations. Opening new Toyota Institutes in Kentucky, Thailand and more will help, but the culture is hard to spread. They now have over 200,00 workers at 27 plants overseas; only 1/3 of its tot. workforce is employed at its 18 plants in Japan. Ironically, that which brought them to world market share (the Toyota Way philosophy)is precisely the problem. Kaizen heal thyself! If Toyota can't inculcate its philosophy into those 200,00 workers, these quality problems will continue to happen.

rober J hernandez

October 8, 2009 12:01 PM

Some defects of Toyota can not be repaired. The insoluble potential problems are electric power steering problem and acceleration problem. Conceal will cause TOYOTA autoland crack


October 13, 2009 11:58 PM

Hey John, the Ford fusion gets pretty close to 50mpg and its actually a car, not a bubble on wheels like the prius! The Ford fusion is the most fuel efficient sedan in the united states! Ford is known for greatness lately, check consumer reports. And reed, Ford has what's called mykey, its too much information to list on here but search it, it does pretty much what you want it to do. It was designed for parents and teenagers, just search it, its called MyKey by Ford


October 18, 2009 1:09 AM

Floor Mat??!!! How about FORD's recall of 4.8 Million that could cause FIRE on your vehicle. I would still buy Toyota over Ford anytime.


November 4, 2009 7:46 AM

If you own a Toyota with a push button start, yes while it is in gear you have to hold the button for 3 seconds to shut it off. I guess that is so little Johnny or Fido doesn't push it by accident and shut off your car while you are driving it. As for a Prius. While I realize it doesn't have a conventional shifter to place it in park, like any other vehicle you should place the vehicle in PARK BEFORE pushing the OFF button!!! If you turn off a conventional shifter vehicle with the car in gear, the engine will shut off, but the car will still roll. Get into the habit of pressing the Park button. That is what it is there for. Could something other than the mat have caused the problem with the car that crashed in Cal? Of course. Anything man-made with more than 10,000 parts could have a problem with one of them. Be your own advocate, and check out your own car. If you have any questions or concerns about your mats, go back to your dealer. Also, if you have aftermarket mats in your Toyota/Lexus they may not mount properly, and that is your problem. Also, do not place all weather mats on top of your standard floor mounted floor mats. If you bought your car from some other dealer,and it doesn't have the floor mounts, go to Toyota and get the proper mounts installed. If in doubt, get it checked out! You'll be glad that you did. It may save your life.


November 10, 2009 4:13 PM

I believe that the problem is more than a floor mat. It could be the computer that is malfunctioning. As far as Toyota reporting all of its problems they don't. The US car manafacturers have to report everything and they get the media involved. Everyone knows what the media can do with a story. It is made to be worse than it really is. I think that if it is sold here they should be honest and let us know all of their problems and not have to find out this way. A life is precious and should not be put in danger due to someone being dishonset. Buy American.


November 13, 2009 7:31 PM

This is serious stuff. You are playing with "Russian Roulette" here. The company agree to replace the floor mat, I they can not engineer a carpet, I won't trust them in building the actual car. I would deal with Ford explorer high speed roll over issue, I just won't drive the car on the high speed highway. Sudden acceleration up to 100 mph....that is insane an you People would support this type of defect? I don't know what have you been smoking.


November 25, 2009 1:23 PM

I also think this defect is a more serious problem than a floor mat.

Albina Curik

November 25, 2009 1:52 PM

I'm leasing Yaris 2009, what should I do to be saved?

kenny hall

November 25, 2009 7:58 PM

Its about time they start showin all the problems with Jap cars. Everyone is so fuckin brainwashed to think that Toyota is the best car company in the world. I see more old Chevys,other GM products and Fords on the road than all the Jap companies put together!


November 25, 2009 9:50 PM

Guess you haven't driven a Ford lately Leo.You should try being an AMERICAN for once and drive one.I think you will be surprised.

Phil Langston

November 26, 2009 1:57 AM

I don't know where to start except with past history. I was a ford man until I bought a Supra in 81. I drove it everyday for 17years to work at a hospital in any weather conditions. I still have it plus my 95 T-100, and my current 07 Tundra. My wife flipped her lexus es300 and opened the door and stepped out. Let me refresh all of your memories. Look at the countless things on cars that toyota has had for years.
Let's face it, they beat us at our own game just like electronics. Bet all of you have a house full.
Toyota and lexus are the Best car and trucks made today. Consult Consumer Report and do learn from history in the last 20 years


December 14, 2009 10:08 AM

Ok so I have a 98 Toyota Camry...Does the recall include my car? Because my gas pedal sticks. what should I do?


January 22, 2010 11:21 AM

still the best cars in the world. peroid


January 27, 2010 8:36 AM

I just got a 2010 Highlander 3 weeks ago and now all of a sudden they are not selling or making them until they figure out the problem. Is there any way I can get out of my lease contract due to this problem? Am I just supposed to wait to see if something happens in my car? Seriously.


January 28, 2010 10:49 AM

I have the same question. I have a 2009 Toyota Corolla... am I able to get out of my lease? The plan was to buy the car at the end of the lease, but now... who is going to buy it from me? I am scared to drive my own car!


January 29, 2010 3:19 AM

I just want to have my 2 cents. Well toyota dispite the current issue that they are have. Is a great car ur still going to have a hard time finding a car with there reliability. Although the issue is not a lite one it really reassuring that due to a little throttle issue. And I can't seem to grasp why people are able to call 911 but don't have the commo. Sense to either throw car into neutral or just simply shut off the ingnition. But because 22 people todate if not more have been caught in an accident the company as a whole is throwing it's reputation out the window. Who knows it could be a government thing to attract people back over to american car makers. Big problem now is getting out of these cars if people want to there screwed no one is gonna want to touch them now until Toyota do something.

Poopy aka Rachel Kerr

February 1, 2010 1:05 PM

i think toyota sucks, chevy is the best. toyota needs to get their act together because people are dying of their stupid mistakes in car manufacturing.

new driver

February 3, 2010 6:44 PM

I am a mother of two, an infant and a toddler. I am just learning to drive and unfortunately we leased a toyota camry hybrid. I feel as though being a learner it is not safe for me to drive our vehicle. I am hoping we can get out of our lease. I would like to feel safe in the car I drive especially when I get my license and am able to drive with my two little ones by myself. I would like to get a reliable vehicle. Toyota cant be considered reliable if it is having these problems. A reliable car would obviously be one that isnt recalled for safety issues. At this time I am hoping there is something we can do. If anyone has any information regarding this could you please help.


February 3, 2010 11:49 PM

Toyota is very reliable and have been he most reliable and dependable car manufactur for years. It is very unfortunate that they have to go through this problem at this time. My family and I have only owned a Lexus or Toyota all our life. We are now concerned if we will keep our 2007 Camry, 2009 GS 350 and 2008 Avalon. I am really devistated, but I am glad Toyota has stopped production and is willing to recitfy the situation. I would raise hell if they didn't. However, I guess it could be worse like my cousins Chevy that blew up due to faulty cruise control. People need to be informed of how to control the situation if there car becomes to get out of hand.


February 4, 2010 12:57 PM

I took my car to get this recall fixed toward the early part of January, and the servicer told me there's nothing that he can do about the issue... I asked about the floor mat being removed and he told me that may be a solution. My issue is why wouldn't the staff know how to deal with this issue, yet alone make it seem as if there is nothing that can be done to fix this problem. I have written a letter to the Toyota Manufacturing Company about this issue. I'm highly concerned about my safety and the publics safety as well...



February 4, 2010 12:57 PM

I took my car to get this recall fixed toward the early part of January, and the servicer told me there's nothing that he can do about the issue... I asked about the floor mat being removed and he told me that may be a solution. My issue is why wouldn't the staff know how to deal with this issue, yet alone make it seem as if there is nothing that can be done to fix this problem. I have written a letter to the Toyota Manufacturing Company about this issue. I'm highly concerned about my safety and the publics safety as well...



February 4, 2010 8:06 PM

A floormat sticking down the accelerator is the reason for this recall?!?! Are you kidding me? If you bumpnrhe floor mat out of position in ANY car it wil depress the accelerator. My god how dumb has mankind become? This sickens me. If my hand slips off the wheel I may crash ... so they should probably recall all cars with steering wheels too. Jesus. We are doing a great job of disproving evolution, people keep getting stupider.


February 5, 2010 10:00 AM

Since when did owning a Toyota make someone Un-American? All car manufacturers have problems. Instead of making comparisons and saying American is best, Foreign is better, fix the problems in all cars. I agree, Toyota has to take responsibility, but calling someone Un-American because they own one is ridiculous! If I eat Chinese food, does that make me Un-American as well. Grow up!


February 5, 2010 12:35 PM

I have had Toyota's sense I was 16, 8 years ago! I will still continue owning them. My 1st one was a '89 Camry which my parents have and still drive. It has over 330,000 miles on it and has never gave us problems. I currently own a Sequoia and it does have the hook for the floor mat to stay in place and so did my 2006 Camry. Iam not for sure why or if they did stop putting the anchors in. Keep on trucking Toyota's! Us fans will pull through with you!!

Wallace Rankin

February 11, 2010 4:06 PM

I would like to know, I have leased a 2008 Toyota Camry and my lease isn't up until March of 2011 and was wondering if I can get out of the lease, since I don't want to drive a unsafe car?


February 13, 2010 3:26 PM

i couldn't find an official toyota talk forum but i found this has all the info about the 2010 Toyota Motor Corp. Recall & Prius Brake Pedal Fix. i found it to be very informative, it has more commentary than just the official toyota recall site.... check it out

E. Kobayashi

February 14, 2010 1:15 AM

I have just published a book about the subject. The book title is "The truth about Toyota and TPS". It can be found at the following link:

Lee Hansen

April 27, 2010 6:06 PM

Buying a defective Toyota that STILL hasn't solved the issues, and more are suspect is irresponsible. They lie to save face and to keep the dummies coming back! If you buy a foriegn car be SURE to drive it to the UNEMPLOYMENT office! P. S. there is a corralation, here if you can get your head out of the sand LONG enough to see it! Foreign= jobs LOST = unemployment! SEE?

Lee Hansen

April 27, 2010 6:21 PM

Read Apple's co-founder Wozniak and you will see that Toyota has a software problem. He tested his Totota and said he could repeat the problem and it can only be in the software. I have to believe he knows the answer but can't get Toyota to listen! Although Toyota says they listen to all complaints. There are 100 complaints on the brakes on the pruis!

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