Late last week NHTSA issued this statement about Toyota's 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450 H models, approximately 154,000 vehicles:
"After carefully reviewing the data, including consumer complaints and information provided by the manufacturer, NHTSA requested that Toyota conduct an immediate recall of the aforementioned Lexus vehicles for a serious safety issue involving potential pedal entrapment by the floor mat." Pedal entrapment can cause runaway acceleration.
If you think this sounds familiar, you're not imagining things. For Toyota's Lexus, it's deja vu all over again. NHTSA alerted Toyota to the same problem in 2009 for the Lexus ES350 and Lexus IS and Toyota responded to NHTSA that it was not certain that any "safety-related defect exists" but it acknowledged in its response to NHTSA that 3.8 million Toyota vehicles could be affected. Here's Toyota's letter of Oct. 5, 2009 recognizing the same problem it has today:
Toyota's letter to NHTSA: 10/5/09
In 2009, Toyota acknowledged that many of its vehicles other than Lexus could also be affected. In 2009, the company identified the following vehicles:
Lexus ES 350 (2007-2010)
Lexus IS (2006-2010)
NHTSA said Friday that it approached Toyota about the same problem in May after the agency observed an increase in consumer complaints and other reports regarding pedal entrapment in the Lexus vehicles. When Toyota confirmed that it had received a significant volume of complaints from Lexus RX 350 and RX 450-H owners on the same issue, NHTSA asked the manufacturer to conduct the recall.
NHTSA urges consumers impacted by the recall to immediately remove the floor mat and have their vehicle serviced promptly.
Toyota said: "The remedy plan is under development, but will involve modification or replacement of the accelerator pedal and replacement of any Toyota-designed all-weather floor mat not
specified for the vehicle."
NHTSA anticipates the remedy proposed by Toyota will address the problem but it will continue to monitor the issue and will take appropriate action as warranted.
See if this makes sense... The floormat problem Toyota reluctantly admitted to three years ago, which extends to vehicles and complaints going back eight years ago, still has not been corrected? And now NHTSA is pushing Toyota to fix it? Again?