Toyota just can't seem to get the floor mats right on its cars. Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) is recalling approximately 154,000 model-year 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450 H cars for "potential floor mat interference with accelerator pedal," the same problem which afflicted millions of the company's cars in 2009 and 2010. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering launching an investigation of Toyota regarding delays in notifying the agency about the problem.
"NHTSA is requesting additional documentation from the manufacturer and is considering opening an investigation into whether Toyota met its obligation to notify the agency and conduct a recall in a timely manner," the notice from the NHTSA said Friday.
The NHTSA is urging owners of 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450 H cars to immediately remove the floor mats and take their cars in for immediate servicing. The NHTSA said it approached Toyota about the issue in late May after receiving an elevated number of consumer complaints. The company then confirmed last week that it had "received a significant volume of complaints on the same issue."
The current recall is a continuation of the 2009-2010 unintended acceleration recalls. In the earlier incidents, Toyota recommended that owners remove the driver's side floor mats from their cars "in response to reports of vehicles accelerating rapidly after release of the accelerator pedal, due to entrapment of the pedal by unsecured or improper floor mats."
The unintended acceleration problem is back to haunt Toyota. "After carefully reviewing the available data -- including both consumer complaints and information provided by the manufacturer -- NHTSA request that Toyota conduct an immediate recall ... for a serious safety issue involving potential pedal entrapment by the floor mat," a notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Friday.
For a company that used to be famed for meticulous attention to detail, durability and quality, floor mats have become a bit of a hydra. It seems like every time Toyota fixes them in one model, another model crops up with the same issue.
Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) shares rose 2.45 percent to $79.95 in midday trading Friday.
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