Toyota will recall 3.8 million vehicles in the United States


Al Hector

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said it will recall some 3.8 million vehicles in the United States because of the risk that a loose floormat could force down the accelerator, a problem suspected of causing crashes that have killed five people.

The recall includes the hot-selling Prius hybrid and would be the largest ever for Toyota, which has built a reputation for safety and quality that helped it surpass General Motors as the world's top automaker last year.
Toyota spokesman Yuta Kaga in Tokyo said on Wednesday that the floormats subject to the recall are used only in vehicles sold in the United States.

The company is also checking whether the problem originates in the floormats or the process of placing them in the vehicles, he said, without naming the floormat supplier.

Toyota and U.S. safety regulators warned owners to remove all driver-side floormats from eight Toyota and Lexus models manufactured in the last six years as an immediate safety precaution.

Last month, an off-duty California state trooper and three members of his family were killed in the San Diego area in a crash of a 2009 Lexus ES350.

Before the crash, a passenger in the car had called 911 and told dispatchers that the accelerator was stuck and the car had reached 120 miles per hour (193 km per hour).

The recall will cover the Camry and Avalon sedans, the Prius hybrid, the Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks and luxury Lexus models, the IS250, the IS350 and the ES350.

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