2+ Million Toyota Vehicles Recalled for Pedal Entrapment Issues

Just a little over a year after Toyota recalled millions of vehicles for unintended acceleration issues, history is repeating itself. Toyota announced today that it is recalling 2.17 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles sold in the U.S. for flaws that could jam gas pedals, leading to instances of unintended acceleration.

Worldwide, 14 million Toyota vehicles have been recalled over unintended acceleration issues over the past 18 months.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the newest Toyota recalls affect six models and address various potential defects that could entrap the gas pedal, leading to unintended acceleration. Some of the vehicles require modifications to the shape of a plastic pad embedded in the driver’s side floor carpet. Others require that the vehicles’ driver’s side floor mats and their retention clips be replaced.

The company is also adding three models to a November 2009 recall involving unsecured or incompatible floor mats which could lead to accelerator-pedal entrapment. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) asked Toyota to expand the recall after conducting a review to determine if the original action was sufficient, The New York Times said.

In total, the three Toyota recalls involve:

• 372,000 Lexus RX 330, RX 350 and RX 400h models from 2004–6 and early 2007

• 397,000 Toyota Highlander and Highlander HV models from 2004-6

• 603,000 Toyota 4Runners from 2003-9

• 17,000 Lexus LX 570s from 2008-11

• 761,000 RAV4s from 2006-10

• 20,000 Lexus GS 300 and GS 350 all-wheel-drive models from 2006 and early 2007

The past year and a half has been a difficult time for Toyota, a company that was once synonymous with vehicle quality. In December Toyota was assessed $32 million in fines by Department of Transportation (DOT) investigations into how the auto giant handled two recalls concerning sudden acceleration and steering problem. In one case, Toyota agreed to pay $16.375 million after the NHTSA found it delayed advising the federal government that accelerator pedals in its vehicles could became snagged by floor mats, causing vehicles to speed out of control. In the other case, Toyota agreed to pay $16.050 million over accusations it inappropriately delayed a recall of nearly one million trucks and SUVs over defective steering rods.

Toyota is also facing hundreds of personal-injury, death and economic-damage lawsuits in state and federal courts related to unintended acceleration of its vehicles.

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