WASHINGTON, Sept 29, 2009 (AFP) - Automaker Toyota has issued a safety warning affecting some 3.8 million vehicles in the United States after a deadly crash in California believed to be the result of a gas pedal that got stuck on a floor mat.
"We're asking customers to remove their driver's side mat from their vehicle and... store it somewhere," said Brian Lyons, safety and quality communications manager for Toyota USA. "We're looking for a remedy on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis."
The warning affects seven Toyota brand vehicles, including the ES350 -- the vehicle that off-duty California highway policeman Mark Saylor was driving when he crashed in San Diego in an accident that may have been caused by the gas pedal getting stuck on driver's side mat.
Saylor, his wife, daughter and brother-in-law were killed in the August 28 crash.
"We started taking a look at... potential causes," in coordination with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Lyons told AFP.
He said the advisory was expected to affect some 3.8 million vehicles in the United States.
The Toyota models affected are the 2007-2010 year Camry, the 2005-2010 Avalon, the 2004-2009 Prius, the 2005-2010 Tacoma, the 2007-2010 Tundra, the 2007-2010 Lexus ES350 and 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350.
"Until Toyota develops a remedy, it is asking owners of specific Toyota and Lexus models to take out any removable driver's floor mat and NOT replace it with any other floor mat," a statement on the company's website said.