The National Highway Safety Administration is investigating the Lexus ES350. An investigation is a preliminary step that can, in some circumstances, lead to a recall.
The problem is unintended acceleration. Apparently there have been forty reported incidents of unintended acceleration, eight resulting in collisions and twelve people being injured.
According to Toyota, the problem is a floor mat. If the mat isn’t secured properly, it apparently can jam the accelerator pedal.
It’s the same explanation which Toyota gave for earlier reports of unintended acceleration in the Prius.
If Toyota’s explanation is accurate – and that’s what NHTSA is checking – it raises a question:
Does it reflect more poorly on Toyota for designing a floor mat that needs to be specially secured or on the drivers of the Toyota products that are so unaware that they don’t know enough to keep the floormat away from the gas pedal.