Three years after the company recalled its first cars to fix the problem, it has identified two more models at risk, the 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450H SUVs.
Toyota said last week it will recall 154,000 of the luxury SUVs because their floor mats can trap the gas pedal and cause the SUVs to speed up without warning. U.S. safety regulators, who asked Toyota to recall the vehicles, might investigate whether the company reported the problem quickly enough.
Toyota’s action adds to a string of embarrassing safety recalls that began in 2009. The automaker has recalled more than 14 million vehicles globally to fix problems including sticky gas pedals and floor mats. The recalls tarnished the company’s reputation for reliability and cut into sales. Toyota says it thought the acceleration problem had been solved when it began selling the SUVs.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sought the latest recall after reviewing complaints from customers and information from the company. Owners of the Lexus SUVs should take out the driver’s side floor mat and have their vehicles serviced as quickly as possible. They will be notified of the problem by mail in early August, and dealers will fix it free.
Experts say that if a car accelerates unexpectedly, step on the brake and shift into neutral, steer safely to the roadside and shut off the engine.
Toyota’s string of unintended acceleration recalls occurred in 2009 and 2010.