2004 Toyota Prius accelerator pedal after being shortened as part of sudden-acceleration recall
While the dust is now settling on a year's worth of recalls by a beleagured Toyota, the company is still working to modify millions of vehicles that are potentially involved in recalls over sudden acceleration or other safety issues.
Toyota Prius models built from 2004 to 2009 are part of a recall announced in November to reshape the accelerator pedal to prevent incorrect floor mats from trapping the accelerator pedal.
Too-large accessory floor mats are blamed for the fiery crash of a Lexus model last year that killed four people, including the California Highway Patrol officer who was driving the car at the time.
Loose all-weather floor mat jams accelerator pedal. Photo: NHTSA
NHTSA: No "sudden acceleration"
It's worth noting that while a tiny fraction of Prius models may have incorrect floor mats--which Toyota implored owners to remove last fall--there is no evidence that the Prius or other models suffer from any systemic electronic faults that would cause them to accelerate out of control.
In fact, in two highly publicized cases of so-called unintended acceleration, early analysis indicates the cars were not at fault--the drivers were.
And that conclusion was bolstered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in its analysis of multiple Toyota accidents, which said Toyota electronics had no "sudden acceleration" fault.
Nonetheless, to eliminate any concerns over accelerators that could become trapped by overly large floor mats, the company is systematically recalling 2004-2009 Prius models to shorten their accelerator pedals.
The photos show the result of one such amputation, performed a few weeks ago on our editorial director Marty Padgett's 2004 Prius.
Compare the shortened pedal to the original Toyota accelerator shown in the photo of the incorrect accessory mat, below.
For full information on all recalls that apply to any model of the Toyota Prius, see our Sudden Acceleration & Brake Safety Recall Guide for the Prius.