TOYOTA yesterday said it was recalling nearly 2.2m vehicles over the risk that the accelerator pedal could be trapped by loose or misplaced carpet mats on the driver’s side.
Toyota’s decision to recall the vehicles was part of an agreement it made with US regulators, who in return have agreed to close their investigation into the safety crisis that damaged the firm’s once-faultless reputation.
Although Washington officials recently handed the carmaker a huge victory by finding that its electronic throttle systems were not a factor in the recall saga of nearly 8m vehicles in 2009 and 2010, yesterday’s action raises new questions about mechanical and equipment issues.
“These problems are going to haunt the company until they get to the real root of the issue,” said Sean Kane, president of Safety Research & Strategies.
Since Toyota’s recalls of a wide range of models, including its top-selling Camry, the carmaker has lost market share and had to resort to discounts to win back American consumers.