TORRANCE, CA --- Toyota Motor Sales USA is warning vehicle owners about the risks of having the wrong floor mat installed in their vehicle.
The warning was prompted by an Aug. 28 accident, in which California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor and three members of his family tragically lost their lives on a highway near San Diego while driving a 2009 ES350 loaned to them by a local Lexus dealer. Law enforcement investigators have preliminarily concluded that the cause of the accident may have been an all-weather floor mat from a different Lexus model. If installed incorrectly in the ES350, the floor mat could have interfered with the accelerator pedal.
All-weather floor mats are installed by dealers or customers as an accessory item. Driver's floor mat interference with the accelerator pedal is possible in any vehicle make if the mat isn't properly secured or if it isn't the factory-designed floor mat for the vehicle.
"We are instructing all of our Lexus and Toyota dealers to immediately inspect their new, used, and loaner fleet vehicles, and we urge all other automakers, dealers, vehicle owners, and the independent service and car wash industries to assure that any floor mat, whether factory or aftermarket, is correct for the vehicle and properly installed and secured," Toyota said in a released statement.