Maserati is recalling all of its 2015 and 2016 Quattroporte and Ghibli luxury sedans to fix a problem that vexed Toyota for years prior to 2009.
The Italian carmaker owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles says 28,235 of the cars in the U.S. could suffer unintended acceleration if the driver’s side floor mat slides against the gas pedal, causing it to stick unexpectedly.
“If the floor mat moves and becomes trapped between the accelerator and the vehicle carpet, it may result in very high vehicle speeds, which could cause a crash, serious injury or death,” the U.S. National Highway Transportation Administration said in a recall acknowledgement letter dated March 11 that was posted on the regulator’s website on Monday.
The company said it opened an investigation into the flaw last year after four instances were reported. The problem can occur when driver’s side floor mat anchors become dislodged causing the mat to move and the pedal to stick “in any operating position, including the wide open throttle position.”
Maserati says the cars are equipped with a brake override feature that cuts acceleration when sensors detect multiple pushes of brake and gas pedals, an indication that a driver is panicking.
Toyota installed a similar override when it recalled millions of vehicles in 2009 and 2010 after receiving defect complaints dating as far back as 2002. The company paid a $1.2 billion fine in the U.S. for failing to disclose the defect in a timely manner.