RAV4 Complaint Exception In New Toyota RecallsBy Bill Visnic February 25, 2011
Toyota Motor Sales USA added another 2 million vehicles to a recall initiated in 2009 to remediate loose floormats that could cause the accelerator pedal to remain partially depressed after the driver releases it. An analysis by Edmunds.com of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) relating to the condition shows that at least one model in the new recall actually had a higher incidence of complaints than some recalled in Toyotas initial response in 2009.
In a two-phase action that started in fall 2009, Toyota has recalled a total of 5.3 million vehicles in the U.S. to examine and fix loose or stacked floormats that potentially could trap the accelerator pedal in the partially open position. At the time, Toyota said loose or stacked floormats could have been one cause in a rash of unintended acceleration incidents that led to the image-scarring recall and bought Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda to Capitol Hill to testify before Congress almost exactly one year ago.
There were a total of 272 Toyota or Lexus floormat-related complaints to NHTSA between January, 2005 and January,2010, said Edmunds.com data analyst Panee Segal, adding that 78 percent of the complaints were associated with the models in the recalls initiated in 2009 (the number includes complaints about unintended acceleration that also mentioned floormats).
Of the four Toyota-brand models added by Thursdays recall, the 2006-2010 RAV4 crossover led with nine complaints to NHTSA in the January 2005 to January 2010 timeframe. That eclipsed the number of complaints recorded for the Corolla, Matrix and Venza each part of Toyotas initial recalls.
Of the three Lexus-brand models affected by the new recall, there has been a scant number of complaints to NHTSA about floormats: two for the 2006-2007 GS, one for the 2008-2011 LX and two for the 2004-2007 RX.
A few models in Toyotas existing lineup have escaped the floormat recall altogether: the Camry Solara, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Sienna, Sequoia and Yaris. Each has had at least one floormat-related complaint lodged with NHTSA in the five-year span covered by Edmunds.coms data analysis.
Several Lexus models have not been encompassed by the floormat recalls, although some, including the flagship LS, also have had floormat-related complaints recorded by NHTSA.