Toyota to Recall 3.8M Vehicles

Govt warns Toyota owners about stuck accelerators after a fiery crash in Santee that killed a CHP officer and his family.

By Michelle Wayland
|  Wednesday, Sep 30, 2009  |  Updated 6:27 AM PDT
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Saylor Family Killed in Lexus Accident

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Deadly Accident Prompts Floor Mat Warning

An accelerator stuck on a floor mat may have caused a tragic crash that killed a CHP officer and his family.

Memorial Service for CHP Officer, Family

Hundreds gathered to remember a CHP officer, his wife, teenage daughter and brother-in-law who were all killed in a fiery crash in Santee.
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Toyota is calling it the largest U.S. recall in its history.

The company says it will recall 3.8 million vehicles in the United States because of safety problems with removable floor mats, one month after a mat was suspected of snagging a gas pedal on a runaway Lexus in Santee, killing a CHP officer and his family.

Mark Saylor, 45, his wife Cleofe, 45, their daughter Mahala, 13 and brother-in-law Chris Lastrella, 38, died in the August 28 crash on Highway 125.

Witnesses reported seeing a Lexus weaving through traffic at a high rate of speed. The driver tried to make a left turn, but he was going too fast and struck a Ford Explorer. The Lexus broke through a fence and struck a dirt embankment, catapulting it through the air more than 100 feet.

The 2009 Lexus ES 350 involved in the crash was a loaner from Bob Baker Lexus El Cajon.  Investigators said it was equipped with all-weather mats, designed for Lexus vehicles made between 2004 and 2009.

Toyota ordered dealers to inspect their cars for mismatched floor mats. The Transportation Department says owners should take out the floor mats on the driver's side and not replace them.

The consumer alert affects:

  • 2007-2010 model year Toyota Camry
  • 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon
  • 2004-2009 Toyota Prius
  • 2005-2010 Tacoma
  • 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra
  • 2006-2010 Lexus IS250 and IS350.
  • 2007-2010 Lexus ES350

Toyota and Lexus also issued a safety recall two years ago, involving all-weather floor mats in the 2007 and 2008 Toyota Camry and Lexus ES sedan.

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