Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday it will recall some 3.8 million vehicles -- including its popular Prius hybrid -- because of the risk a floormat could keep the accelerator pedal forced down, a problem suspected in a recent fatal crash.
In August, an off-duty California state trooper and three members of his family were killed in the San Diego area in a crash of a 2009 Lexus ES350.
Before the crash, a passenger in the car had called 911 and told dispatchers that the accelerator was stuck and the car had reached 120 miles per hour.
As an immediate remedy, the Japanese automaker urged drivers of a range of recent models to remove driver's-side floormats until it could issue a recall in consultation with U.S. safety regulators.
The safety recall would be the largest ever U.S. recall for Toyota, the top global automaker.
The recall will cover recent versions of the Camry and Avalon sedans, the Prius hybrid, the Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks and luxury Lexus models, the IS250 and the IS350 as well as the ES350.
More details on the safety advisory are available at the Toyota website http://www.toyota.com . Drivers can also call Toyota at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus at 1-800-255-3987.
The San Diego Sheriff's Department has not completed its investigation into the off-duty trooper's crash, a spokeswoman said.
We're still waiting for the final investigation but there was some indication that there could be a floormat involved, Toyota spokesman Irv Miller said.
Toyota's largest previous largest recall was in 2005 for a problem with steering rods. That recall covered about 900,000 vehicles, the automaker said.
(Additional reporting by Kevin Krolicki and Bernie Woodall in Detroit and John Crawley in Washington; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)