Toyota recalls 2.1 million vehicles in U.S. over acceleration

Toyota has recalled more than two million vehicles in the U.S. to address accelerator pedals that could become entrapped in floor mats or jammed in driver's side carpeting. (Feb. 24)
By Peter Whoriskey
Thursday, February 24, 2011; 10:21 PM

Toyota announced Thursday morning that it is recalling another 2.1 million vehicles in the United States for problems related to unintended acceleration. The latest recall is a massive setback for the company's efforts to move beyond the highly publicized safety defects that prompted Congressional hearings and led to staggered sales.

The concern over Toyota's quality had seemed to be receding. Last month, U.S. investigators ruled out defects in Toyota's engine electronics as a cause of the sticking accelerators.

But the announcement on Thursday revives the old questions about the autos' safety. Another 2.1 million cars are being recalled because unsecured or ill-fitting floor mats could entrap the accelerator, causing the car to speed without the driver pushing the pedal.

Among the cars being recalled are:

* Approximately 603,000 2003 through 2009 4Runners

* Approximately 17,000 2008 through 2011 Lexus LX 570 autos

* Approximately 761,000 2006 through 2010 RAV4 vehicles

* Approximately 372,000 2004 through 2006 and early 2007 RX 330, RX 350 and RX 400h vehicles

* Approximately 397,000 2004 through 2006 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles

* Approximately 20,000 2006 and early 2007 Model Year GS 300 and GS 350 All-Wheel Drive vehicles

The automaker has now recalled more than 14 million vehicles globally. The safety fears erupted in 2009 after a high-speed crash near San Diego killed a California highway patrol officer and three family members.

It wasn't until the family's fraught 911 call seconds before the crash was released that the company and federal regulators seemed to give more credence to consumer complaints.

Toyota and federal regulators have pledged to respond more quickly to complaints about the vehicles' safety.

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