Toyota has extended a massive recall to Canada, suggesting owners remove problematic floor mats that could jam the accelerator pedal.
This week, the automaker issued a warning about 3.8 million vehicles in the U.S. after a high-speed crash in San Diego in August that may have been caused by a jammed accelerator. Four family members died when their Lexus crashed while speeding at 190 km/h.
"Until Toyota develops a remedy, Toyota Canada joins our U.S. colleagues in asking owners of specific Toyota and Lexus models to take out any removable driver's floor mat and not replace it with any other floor mat," said Toyota in a statement on its website.
The recall involves popular models such as the Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger car in America, and the Toyota Prius, the bestselling gas-electric hybrid.
"A stuck-open accelerator pedal may result in very high vehicle speeds and make it difficult to stop a vehicle, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death," Toyota spokesman Irv Miller said.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it had received reports of 102 incidents in which the accelerator may have become stuck on the Toyota vehicles involved.
It was unclear how many led to crashes, but the inquiry was prompted by a high-speed crash in August in California of a Lexus. As the vehicle hit speeds exceeding 190 km/h, family members made a frantic 911 call to say the accelerator was stuck and they couldn't stop the vehicle.
The Japanese automaker warned owners that if they think their vehicle is accelerating out of control, they should check to see whether their floor mat is under the pedal. If a driver can't remove the floor mat, Toyota advises drivers to step on the brake pedal with both feet until the vehicle slows and then try to put it into neutral and switch the ignition to accessory power.
Highway safety investigators determined that a rubber all-weather floor mat found in the wreckage of the California crash was slightly longer than the mat that belonged in the vehicle, something that could have snared or covered the accelerator pedal.