DETROIT - Toyota is expanding a 2009 recall and initiated new recall campaigns covering 2.17 million vehicles in which accelerator pedals can become entrapped or jammed in floor mats or carpeting.
The expanded voluntary action comes about two weeks after a study requested by Congress and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found no electronic cause of unintended acceleration.
About 1.38 million of the new recalls are an expansion of Toyota’s massive November 2009 recall to address the risk that an improperly placed floor mat could be entrapped by the accelerator pedal.
The Japanese-automaker has recalled more than 14 million vehicles worldwide since 2009 for a variety of safety and quality concerns, including sudden unintended acceleration. Earlier this month, a panel of NASA experts reported they found no evidence that electronic malfunctions contributed to unintended acceleration.
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Quality concerns were a factor in driving Toyota’s U.S. market share to 15.3 percent last year from 17 percent in 2009. On Tuesday, Toyota also reported that its profit fell 39 percent, to $1.1 billion in the last financial quarter.
The new models affected by the November 2009 recall are about 603,000 4Runner SUVs from model years 2003 through 2009, about 17,000 Lexus LX 570 models from model years 2008 through 2011 and 761,000 RAV4 compact SUVs from model years 2006 through 2010. Owners of those vehicles will be notified by mail in the next few weeks. Toyota will send a second notice when dealers are ready to fix the problem.
Separately, Toyota is recalling 372,000 Lexus RX 330, RX 350 and RX 400H vehicles from 2004 through early 2007 model years and 397,000 Toyota Highlander SUVs and hybrids from 2004 through 2006 model years. Dealers will replace floor carpet covering and retention clips on the driver’s side that could interfere with the accelerator pedal arm.
In yet another action, Toyota is recalling 20,000 Lexus GS 300 and 350 all-wheel drive models to change the shape of a plastic pad embedded in the driver’s side floor carpet that could cause pedal interference. Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said the company was unaware of any accidents or injuries related to the new recalls.
Beyond replacing or tweaking floor mats, Toyota is introducing brake override technology in all new models that ensures drivers could bring vehicles to a quick stop even if there is an unintended surge of acceleration.