WASHINGTON – Toyota is recalling about 154,000 2010 model-year Lexus RX 350 and Lexus RX 450h vehicles to address the risk of the accelerator pedal getting stuck or entrapped by a loose or incompatible floor mat. This recall represents an expansion of the 2009 Toyota recall aimed at addressing unintended acceleration.

This latest recall covers Lexus RX 350 and Lexus RX 450h SUVs manufactured from Nov. 28, 2008 through Sept. 1, 2010.

To remedy the problem, Lexus dealers will modify or replace the accelerator pedal and replace any Lexus driver’s floor mat not specified for the vehicle. This latest recall is due to get under way in early August. There will be no charge for the dealer-administered remedy.

“Lexus has determined that the pedal entrapment can only occur in vehicles where the driver’s side floor mat is not compatible with the vehicle and/or not properly secured,” the automaker said on its website. “To help reduce the risk of incorrect floor mat installation and/or application, owners should take out any removable driver’s floor mat and NOT replace it with any other floor mat until the recall remedy has been completed on the vehicle. After the remedy has been completed, only floor mats both designed specifically for the vehicle and properly secured should be installed on the driver’s floor.”

If the gas pedal gets stuck in the wide-open position after being entrapped by the floor mat, the driver may struggle to decrease the speed and stop the vehicle, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which called for the new recall. 

“After carefully reviewing the available data — including both consumer complaints and information provided by the manufacturer — NHTSA requested that Toyota conduct an immediate recall of model year 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h vehicles for a serious safety issue involving potential pedal entrapment by the floor mat,” NHTSA said in a released statement. “Based on its evaluation, the agency does not currently believe the issue involves additional vehicles beyond those indicated as part of the recall.”

NHTSA said it approached Toyota regarding this issue late May after the agency noticed an increase in consumer complaints and other reports regarding pedal entrapment in these vehicles. When Toyota confirmed it too had received similar complaints, NHTSA asked the manufacturer to conduct a recall. 

“NHTSA is requesting additional documentation from the manufacturer and is considering opening an investigation into whether Toyota met its obligation to notify the agency and conduct a recall in a timely manner,” the agency added.

Vehicle owners can reach Lexus at (800) 255-3987.