A temporary solution to the ongoing safety recall affecting the Lexus ES 350 & IS 250/350 has been announced—according to Automotive News, zip ties will be used to hold down the floor mats until a permanent solution is ready:
“We have reviewed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration what we’re calling a semipermanent floor mat installation process, and we’re providing these instructions to our dealers,” Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons says.
“This allows dealers to continue selling and delivering both new and used vehicles.”
He says the mats are to be secured to the driver’s seat frame with nylon self-locking wire ties, described as plastic straps that loop back into themselves and lock when pulled tight.
Again, the affected models are:
- 2007-2010 ES 350
- 2006-2010 IS 250/IS 350
Dealers have received the recall info, and Lexus will likely begin contacting owners shortly.
As an aside—I respect that what happened in California was a tragedy, it’s important to note that it was due to an improper set of floor mats, not the standard equipment ES 350 floor mats.
That said, should unintended acceleration ever happen to you, no matter what car you’re in:
- First, if it is possible and safe to do so, pull back the floor mat and dislodge it from the accelerator pedal; then pull over and stop the vehicle.
- If the floor mat cannot be dislodged, then firmly and steadily step on the brake pedal with both feet. Do NOT pump the brake pedal repeatedly as this will increase the effort required to slow the vehicle.
- Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.
- If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF, or to ACC. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost.
- If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.
- If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.
Update: It wasn’t clear from the Automotive News coverage, but this zip tie solution is only temporary until a permanent solution is ready. Whew!