Toyota Motor Co., which last fall began the largest auto recall in U.S. history after incidents of random acceleration resulting in fatalities, has announced the recall of an additional 2.3 million vehicles to correct similar problems, according to ABC News.
Four people died Dec. 26 in Southlake, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, when a 2008 Toyota sped off the road, through a fence and landed upside down in a pond. The car’s floor mats were found in the trunk of the car, where owners had been advised to put them as part of the first recall.
Although local and federal investigators are still trying to determine why the car went out of control, one possible cause has been definitively ruled out — floor mats. The floor mats were found in the car’s trunk, leading police to speculate that they were removed when the driver was notified by Toyota of the floor mat recall in November, 2009.
In the ABC News report, safety expert Sean Kane told ABC News that since last fall, when Toyota said it had solved the acceleration problem with proposed changes to gas pedals and a recall of 4.2 million cars with suspect floor mats, more than 60 new cases of runaway Toyotas have been reported.
In the report, Kane says he believes the new recall may still not be a complete fix of a problem that continues to be linked with serious accidents and deaths.
The latest recall, announced Thursday, affects the RAV4, Corolla, and Matrix models from 2009 and 2010, Avalons from model years 2005 to 2010, Camrys from 2007 to 2010, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007 to 2010 Tundra and the 2008 to 2010 Sequoias. About 1.7 million of the vehicles cited are also affected by the earlier recall.
Toyota officials said this recall is separate from las year’s recall of 4.2 million cars to replace floor mats and alter accelerator pedals.
“Toyota takes the issue of unwanted acceleration very seriously, as underscored by our ongoing recall,” said Toyota spokesperson Brian Lyons. “As part of our commitment to the safety of our customers and the public, Toyota constantly monitors product reports and customer complaints and works to identify any defect trends. We are confident that we’re doing the right thing for our customers, and we will continue to do so.
“We will remain vigilant in thoroughly investigating incidents of unwanted acceleration, including those cited by ABC, and taking appropriate measures to address any defect trends that are identified.”