Toyota and Lexus warn drivers after fatal accident

Posted on Friday, 2 October 2009 , 09:10:07 byEmil

Filed under toyotalexuswarndriverfatalaccidentToyotaLexusTechnology

Toyota and Lexus warn drivers after fatal accident

Toyota and the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration) have released an official statement in which they warned owners of seven Lexus and Toyota vehicles. The drivers of these seven models are warned that it is possible that the accelerator pedal to get stuck in the full open position due to, an I quote, ``unsecured or incompatible driver`s floor mat``. The famous news agency Reuters previously reported that government of the USA has received reports of no less than 100 incidents related to this problem alone including 17 crashes and 5 fatalities in which Lexus and Toyota vehicles were involved. Thus, even if at first this may not sound very serious, the problem is real and Toyota decided to react.

The most important accident, that actually was revelatory for the Japanese automaker, took place in San Diego. A family of four was killed after their 2009 Lexus ES350 crashed. According to the famous news agency Reuters, someone in the car called the police saying that the accelerator was jammed and that the car had reached at that time 193 km/h. This happened few moments before the car crashed and everyone inside died. Toyota has stated that they wanted to take measures after this accident, even if the San Diego accident is still under investigation by the police.

Irv Miller, the spokesman of Toyota, has stated that ``Obviously the tragic accident in San Diego was certainly an eye opener for all of us and we`ve paid very, very diligent attention to moving forward to try to make sure none of us will be reliving that kind of a very tragic situation``.

The Japanese automaker Toyota has in plan to recall almost four million cars (3.8 million cars to be more precisely) due to this problem.

The Toyota models affected by this problem include the 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra , 2007-2010 Toyota Camry, 2005-2010 Toyota Tacoma and the 2004-2009 Toyota Prius.

The Lexus models affected by the recall include the 2006-2010 Lexus IS and the 2007-2010 Lexus ES350.

The Japanese automaker has asked all owners to ``take out any removable driver`s floor mat and NOT replace it with any other floor mat`` until they ``develop a remedy``.

Toyota has also advised drivers what to do in case they encounter a blocked accelerating pedal. Here is the official statement of the Japonese automaker

Should the vehicle continue to accelerate rapidly after releasing the accelerator pedal, this could be an indication of floor mat interference. If this occurs, Toyota recommends the driver take the following actions:
First, if it is possible and safe to do so, pull back the floor mat and dislodge it from the accelerator pedal; then pull over and stop the vehicle.
If the floor mat cannot be dislodged, then firmly and steadily step on the brake pedal with both feet. Do NOT pump the brake pedal repeatedly as this will increase the effort required to slow the vehicle.
Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.
If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF, or to ACC. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost.
-If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.
-If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.