Precise Fix for Defect in Toyotas Still Unknown

 Toyota has a problem with some of the vehicles it has manufactured and a little over 40 days ago issued a recall of 3.8 million of them.  According to Toyota, "[r]ecent events have prompted [the company] to take a closer look at the potential for an accelerator pedal to get stuck in the full open position due to an unsecured or incompatible driver’s floor mat. A stuck open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop the vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death."  Read more here.

Something else is going on.  Read this statement released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on November 4:

A press release put out by Toyota earlier this week about their recall of 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles inaccurately stated NHTSA had reached a conclusion "that no defect exists in vehicles in which the driver’s floor mat is compatible with the vehicle and properly secured." NHTSA has told Toyota and consumers that removing the recalled floor mats is the most immediate way to address the safety risk and avoid the possibility of the accelerator becoming stuck. But it is simply an interim measure. This remedy does not correct the underlying defect in the vehicles involving the potential for entrapment of the accelerator by floor mats, which is related to accelerator and floor pan design. Safety is the number one priority for NHTSA and this is why officials are working with Toyota to find the right way to fix this very dangerous problem. This matter is not closed until Toyota has effectively addressed the defect by providing a suitable vehicle based solution.

NHTSA constantly monitors consumer complaints and other data. This comprehensive recall focuses on pedal entrapment by floor mats, but NHTSA will fully investigate any possible defect trends in these vehicles.

The recall affects Toyota models from 2004 – 2010. Specific models affected include 2007-2010 Toyota Camry, 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon, 2004-2009 Toyota Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra, 2007-2010 Lexus ES350 and 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350.