The Washington Post reports that in 2007 Toyota devised a game plan to avoid a recall due to unintended acceleration in several of its models. Despite findings by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that certain Toyota models were more likely than other vehicles to "stuck" accelerators, Toyota ensured its customers that, if properly installed, Toyota-made floor mats would not interfere with the gas pedal and lead to unintended acceleration. At the same time, NHSTA investigators had come to "believe that something about the throttle pedal or floorpan design lends itself to easier jamming than other models produced in the past."

Eventually Toyota agreed to recall one type of floor mat that was used in fewer than 55,000 vehicles, but it wasn't until late 2009 that Toyota finally acknowledged that accelerators in 12 different models would need to be fixed to prevent floor mat interference. By that point, the Post reports, over 20 deaths had already been attributed to unintended acceleration.

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