Thursday, November 5, 2009

Toyota rebuked for issuing inaccurate and misleading information about a safety recall

Toyota Motor Corp. received a reprimand from federal safety regulators for stating earlier this week that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that “no defect exists in vehicles with properly installed floor mats.” In the agency’s official statement to correct the misinformation, it said matter-of-factly that Toyota vehicles have a “very serious defect.”

The NHTSA, a unit of the U.S. Department of Transportation, said that Toyota issued “inaccurate and misleading information” about a safety recall involving 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles. NTHSA said that the accelerator and floor pan design of the vehicles created the risk for entrapment of the accelerator by the floor mats. Toyota has asked owners to remove the floor mats but NTHSA calls this as an interim measure that doesn’t correct the defect. Discussions are ongoing between the agency and Toyota to determine the carmaker’s action plan for redesigning the vehicles.