Toyota recalled 400 Celicas in 2003 over fears the car’s floor mats could slide forward into the accelerator pedal, causing drivers to lose control. The company says the problem is unrelated to the massive 2009 recall of Rav4s and Matrixes over similar problems. However, Canadian politicians and
industry watchers such as the Automobile Protection Association say the earlier recall shows Toyota knew about potential problems with floor
mats and should have done more to keep its cars safe. “Now either Toyota was not completely forthcoming to Transport Canada on the causes of
the problems, or Transport Canada bought a line or didn’t act on the information it had. In either case, this is troubling,” says Liberal MP Joe Volpe, vice-chairman of the committee examining into the Toyota recalls. American politicians have also criticized Toyota for its handling of the recall, with Democratic Congressman Edward Markey saying “why didn’t it do something additional before fatalities and other serious accidents occurred?
If the [U.S.] Department of Transportation knew about these problems before 2007, why didn’t it do something sooner?”