Posted On: October 1, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Toyota Has Known About Deadly Floor Mats for Two Years, Reports New York Times

This week, Toyota, the largest automaker in the world, announced that it is going to recall 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles because the motor vehicle’s floor mats can cause accelerator to get stuck. That’s what investigators believe happened last month in the Lexus that Mark Saylor, his wife Cleofe, their teenager daughter Mahala, and his brother-in-law Chris Lastrella were riding.

During a 911 call made from the Lexus ES 350, one of the passengers exclaimed that the brakes did not appear to be working. All four vehicle occupants died after the auto, which was moving at high speeds, struck another vehicle, crashed through a fence, bounced off a dirt embankment, flew off the ground, and landed close to a riverbed before catching fire.

Toyota says that preliminary data from the tragic crash probe indicates that the all-weather floor mat on the driver’s may have been installed improperly, which allowed the mat to interfere with the accelerated pedal.

According to the federal government, five deaths, 17 injuries, and 13 car crashes have been linked to Toyota floor mats. Over 100 related complaints have been filed.

The New York Times is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Toyota have known about this floor mat problem for a couple years. As a matter of fact, Toyota recalled a number of all-weather floor mats in 2007.

The NHTSA’s investigation in 2007 found that there were problems with the Toyota accelerator pad’s design and the optional all-weather, rubber floor mats. According to a NHTSA test center, the accelerator pad’s design allows it to easily become entrapped in the floor mat’s groove if the mat isn’t secured correctly. The test center’s report went on to say that if the accelerator pad did get stuck, the driver’s ability to brake could be reduced significantly.

Car manufacturers can be held liable for auto products liability if someone is seriously injured or dies in a Chicago car accident because the automaker made a mistake and designed a vehicle or auto part with a defect that caused or contributed to the deadly Illinois auto crash.

Toyota Floor-Mat Problem Was Known Two Years Ago, NY Times, October 1, 2009

Toyota recall: 3.8 million cars with risky floor mats, CNN, September 30, 2009

Floor Mats the Focus of Deadly Lexus Crash, NBC San Diego, September 10, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Toyota Motor Corporation

Defects & Recalls, NHTSA

Chicago auto products liability lawyer Steve Malman would like to offer you a free case evaluation.

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