According to a statement from Toyota Motor on September 29, it will soon be issuing a recall for at least 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles in order to correct a potential safety problem that could result in personal injuries if not fixed, caused by a car’s floor mat jamming the accelerator.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the meantime, has urged motorists to not wait for a fix. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called it an “urgent matter,” and said that owners are strongly urged to remove mats or other obstacles that could cause unintentional acceleration.
The impending recall is the larges U.S. recall in Toyota’s history and comes in the wake of an August crash in San Diego in which a mat was suspected of catching a gas pedal on a runaway Lexus, causing a fiery crash in which four family members died.
The driver called the police a minute before the crash to tell them the car had no brakes and the accelerator had become stuck. The runaway vehicle, which was traveling at a rate or more than 120 mph, struck a sport-utility vehicle, launched off an embankment, overturned several times, and burst into flames.
The car, which was equipped with all-weather floor mats, was on loan from a dealership while the vehicle owned by the driver was under repair.
The vehicles affected by the recall include 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2004-2009 Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2007-2010 Lexus ES 350, and 2006-2010 Lexus IS 250 and IS 350.