DETROIT (Feb. 24, 2011)—Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 2.17 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in the U.S. to inspect and repair accelerator pedals that may get trapped in floor mats or carpeting.
The auto maker said more than half of the recalled vehicles—1.54 million models—are being added to a giant 2009 recall to inspect and repair accelerator pedals that may become trapped in floor mats.
A 10-month investigation by NASA engineers determined that electronic flaws were not to blame for widespread consumer complaints of unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus models, the U.S. Department of Transportation said this month.
The Japanese auto maker has now recalled 19.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles worldwide and more than 13.7 million in the U.S. to address safety problems since the fall of 2009.
The latest recalls—announced exactly a year after Toyota President Akio Toyoda testified before Congress— also address government concerns over whether the auto maker recalled enough vehicles following reports of unintended acceleration.
Federal safety officials have imposed fines of nearly $49 million on the auto maker for failing to undertake three separate recalls in a timely manner.
NHTSA said it doesn't plan to impose any more fines following the latest recalls.
The Transportation Department said it had reviewed more than 400,000 pages of Toyota documents to determine whether the scope of the auto maker's recalls for pedal entrapment was sufficient.
“As a result of the agency's review, (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) asked Toyota to recall these additional vehicles, and now that the company has done so, our investigation is closed,” NHTSA administrator David Strickland said in a statement today.
Toyota said 20,000 2006 and early 2007 Lexus GS 300 and GS 350 all-wheel-drive sedans will be recalled to modify the shape of the plastic pad embedded in the driver's side floor carpet.
If the floor carpet around the accelerator pedal is not properly replaced after service, Toyota said there is a possibility that the plastic pad embedded into the floor carpet may interfere with operation of the accelerator pedal.
Toyota said it had received two complaints about the issue. Owners of the GS 300 and GS 350 vehicles will be notified in early March, Toyota said.