Toyota Floormat Recall

This is a pretty serious problem: Toyota plans huge U.S. recall for dangerous floormats
It sounds more like a headline from the Onion, but it seems like it’s responsible for deaths. I can attest to the dangers of certain types of floor mats because they caused problems in my car last year a few times.
I was using an aftermarket rubber floor mat on the driver’s side of our Cefiro and the mass of the raised lip made the front edge heavy. The mat was naturally pushed forward when I moved my feet around while driving, and once in a while it would get pushed up onto the accelerator. When this happened, I immediately noticed that the pedal wasn’t responding so I shifted to neutral and instinctively kicked the pedal a few times to work the problem loose. This caveman solution worked well enough, but it was pretty surprising to say the least. I dreaded the day when this would happen with my wife driving.
The thing is, I had no idea what was causing the problem at the time. I suspected a mechanical problem with the throttle, so I took it in to the dealer and “rush” ordered a new throttle cable and assembly. Meanwhile, I had the current assembly taken apart, examined, and lubricated. I also had the return spring on the accelerator pedal stalk changed for good measure. It took forever for the new part to come in and a couple weeks into waiting, the accelerator got stuck once again. This time, it took several rounds of furious kicking to get the pedal free. I’d had enough. I ordered the part through a specialty store in town and they got it for me in one day (fucking dealers!). The dealer changed it out. I was happy… Of course, a week later, the accelerator got stuck again.
This time when it happened, I was on a wide open road with nobody around, so after I shifted into neutral, I put my seat all the way back and took a careful look down at the pedals. Lo and behold, the floor mat had shifted forward and was holding down the accelerator part way. I went by my homeboy Ot’s accessory shop and bought a nice set of lower profile mats that fit my car’s floor design much better and don’t shift forward. I haven’t had problems since.
The thing is, if you have one of the cars described in the recall, what you could do to prevent problems is IMMEDIATELY REMOVE THE DRIVER’S SIDE FLOOR MAT(S).

1 thought on “Toyota Floormat Recall

  1. We will have both our Prius’ floormats changed out. So far, no problem as described, but I agree, this is a very, very serious fix-it!

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