Toyota Issues Lexus Recall for Unintended Acceleration Issues

Japanese automaker Toyota has announced that it is recalling 154,000 Lexus SUVs due to reports of unintended acceleration. The issue appears to be caused by potential entrapment of the gas pedal by the floor mat used in these vehicles. This serious safety issue affects model year 2010 RX 350 SUVs and RX 450h hybrid SUVs. Both vehicles belong to Toyota’s Lexus line of luxury vehicles.

2010 Lexus RecallThe issues with vehicles and unintended acceleration have been plaguing Toyota for several years now. This latest recall is in addition to a 2009 initial recall, which involved several 2004 to 2010 models. In early 2011 another recall was issued for some RAV4, 4Runner and Lexus models for a related issue. In total, the issue has affected more than 7 million Toyota vehicles and their owners.

This year, in late May, the National Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) (www.nhtsa.gov) began investigating the issue once again after noticing an increase in consumer complaints regarding unintended acceleration. Last week, Toyota confirmed it had also received a number of complaints about the same issue leading the NHTSA to request the manufacturer to issue a recall notice.

Additionally, the NHTSA is concerned about whether or not Toyota was forthcoming in a timely manner regarding its knowledge of the safety issue. Toyota will need to provide additional documentation to the NHTSA on its activities surrounding the issue and an investigation may be opened to hold the manufacturer accountable. Toyota has previously been fined over $48 million for not conducting recalls in a timely manner.

Toyota is developing a plan to address the recall issue and will notify the public of the remedy but indicates the fix will likely involve accelerator pedal modification or replacement, as well as replacement of the Toyota-designed floor mat which is incompatible for these vehicle models.

While Toyota is still performing its own investigation into the issue with the Lexus models, the NHTSA recommends that owners of the affected vehicles immediately remove any floor mat on the driver’s side to prevent accelerator pedal entrapment in these vehicles. The NHTSA will continue to monitor and investigate the issue.

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