Although many people don’t often think of vehicle floor mats as a danger, they can pose serious risks for drivers. For years, poorly designed or defective floor mats have been linked to pedal entrapment and unintended acceleration. In 2012, Toyota recalled over 150,000 vehicles over concerns of floor mat pedal entrapment. NHTSA had received 63 alleged reports of entrapment, but Toyota did not acknowledge them until a month later, resulting in a large fine for the Japanese automaker.
Now, Subaru is recalling certain 2014 Forester Wagons due to a potential manufacturing defect in their floor mats. The recall affects approximately 10,137 Foresters that were built from January through March 2013 and include potentially defective carpeted floor mats manufactured by Pretty Products, LLC.
According to the defect summary on NHTSA’s website, the resin material used on the underside of the mats can curl when exposed to heat and may come in contact with the pedals. This problem can cause the driver to have difficulty controlling the brake, shifter, or accelerator pedal, possibly increasing the risk of a crash.
On April 1, Subaru discovered the curling mat defect in twenty-one of the new Forester models at a Vancouver, WA port. The company began an investigation the next day, and determined the need for a recall on April 24. The Los Angeles Times reported that no accidents or injuries have been linked to the defect, and Subaru spokesman Michael McHale explained the reasoning behind the recall as “[j]ust us being careful.”
Subaru has already begun notifying dealers who will replace the recalled vehicles’ floor mats free of charge. The company will also notify owners of the affected 2014 Forester Wagons, and if owners have any questions they can contact Subaru at 1-800-782-2783 and reference campaign number WQH-44.