Lexus Defect Investigation DP09001: UNWANTED AND UNINTENDED ACCELERATION

2007 Lexus ES 350

UNWANTED AND UNINTENDED ACCELERATION

Vehicle Speed Control

Summary
The Office Of Defects Investigation (ODI) opened DP09-001 on April 8, 2009, to evaluate a defect petition requesting additional investigation of potential throttle control system defects unrelated to floor mat interference with accelerator pedals in model year (MY) 2007 Lexus ES 350 vehicles.the petitioner referenced an earlier ODI investigation concerning floor mat interference with accelerator pedal return (PE07-016/EA07-010), which he stated was too narrow in scope as it did not include all incidents of unwanted acceleration and consider all potential causes of vehicle speed control concerns.the petition also requested an "investigation of MY 2002-2003 Lexus ES300 for those 'longer duration incidents involving uncontrollable acceleration where brake pedal application allegedly had no effect' that were determined not to be within the scope of investigation PE04-021." As background, the petitioner owns a MY 2007 Lexus ES350 that allegedly experienced an unwanted and uncontrolled acceleration event (ODI complaint number 10261660).Toyota concluded that the incident was caused by an unsecured floor mat. To assess the petitioner's request, ODI interviewed the petitioner, inspected his vehicle, reviewed information submitted by Toyota, reviewed owner complaints alleging incidents of unwanted acceleration in the subject vehicles and material related to the investigations cited by the petitioner.ODI identified 64 complaints alleging incidents of unwanted acceleration in MY 2007 Lexus vehicles, resulting in 8 crashes and 15 injuries.ODI's analysis of these complaints determined that 50 (78%) involved incidents of floor mat interference, including 7 (88%) of the crashes and all 15 injuries.therefore, ODI's analysis found that the only defect trend related to vehicle speed control in the subject vehicles involved the potential for accelerator pedals to become trapped near the floor by out-of-position or inappropriate floor mat installations. On October 5, 2009, Toyota initiated a safety recall (recall 09V-388) to address concerns with potential accelerator pedal entrapment by floor mats in approximately 3.8 million vehicles, including the subject vehicles.except insofar as the petitioner's contentions relate to that recall, the factual bases of the petitioner's contentions that any further investigation is necessary are unsupported. In our view, additional investigation is unlikely to result in a finding that a defect related to motor vehicle safety exists or a NHTSA order for the notification and remedy of a safety-related defect, as alleged by the petitioner, at the conclusion of the requested investigation.therefore, in view of the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA's limited resources to best accomplish the Agency's safety mission, the petition is denied.this action does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist.the Agency will take further action if warranted by future circumstances.please see thefederal register notice for further details.
Documents (14)

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Date Opened
APR 08, 2009
Date Closed
OCT 29, 2009
NHTSA Recall #
No recall issued
  • Status:
    CLOSED
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