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Toyota Recall – Does it hamper image?

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Consumer Reports puts floor mats to a real-world test

Yep, Consumer Reports has taken the recent Toyota floor-mat recall news and done what it does best: test the situation under some real-world scrutiny.

Granted, the parameters were pretty unscientific, as the magazine itself notes. Still, the premise — take their current fleet of 25 test cars and drive them, as equipped, under conditions that could lead to the type of unintended acceleration that allegedly caused the accidents — yielded some interesting results. For one thing, none of the factory-installed mats caused any problem thanks to a hook-and-eye system that secured the mats to the floor. The problem mats (which numbered three of the 25) were rubber, all-weather mats that did not have hooks and therefore could shift forward under pressure, eventually tangling with the accelerator. So the solution is simply to not buy aftermarket all-weather floor mats, right? Not necessarily. As the article notes, many (mostly luxury) dealers include all-weather floor mats as an add-on to the purchase; however, rather than popping them in the trunk, they place them over the standard mats — which leads to the same sort of sliding effect, since they’re not attached to the secured ones below.

So the real solution is simple: Check your driver’s-side mat. If it doesn’t have a system for securing itself to the floor, check to see if your car is equipped with the type of smart-pedal technology that renders the problem moot. If the answer to both is “nope,” you should consider ditching the mat altogether. Sure, it’s a long shot that it would cause a problem — but eliminating potential problems, no matter how unlikely, is what accident prevention is all about.

Article courtesy of MSN, posted by Joshua Condon

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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