Toyota Motor Sales USA
is issuing a warning to consumers about the risks of installing the wrong floor mats in their vehicles.
Toyota decided to make the issue a priority after an August incident in which a California Highway Patrol
officer and three members of his family tragically lost their lives on
a highway near San Diego. The victims were driving a 2009 Lexus ES350
loaned to them by a local dealer. Law enforcement investigators
concluded that the cause of the accident may have been an all-weather
floor mat from a different Lexus model. If the mat was installed
incorrectly, then it could have interfered with the operation of the
accelerator and caused the deadly crash.
All-weather mats are often installed as an accessory item either by
dealers or consumers. Any after-market floor mat has the potential to
interfere with the accelerator pedal if the mat is not properly secured
or if it isn’t the factory-installed mat for that vehicle.
“We are instructing all of our Lexus and Toyota
dealers to immediately inspect their new, used, and loaner fleet
vehicles, and we urge all other automakers, dealers, vehicle owners,
and the independent service and car wash industries to assure that any
floor mat, whether factory or aftermarket, is correct for the vehicle
and properly installed and secured,” Toyota said in a released statement.