Loose mats - well, back in the day, when I was fitting carpet into a rubber-matted Renault to make it look more modern, my Dad was deeply unimpressed. Never have anything on the floor that can move about, was his message. I found out, after a few subsequent scarey moments, that he was right. I've never had a loose floor mat since. That's a lot of years. If my Dad understood the problem back in around 1961, why has it taken the industry so long to wake up?
One of my scariest moments, I must add (looking back fondly on a enjoyably miss-spent youth) was when an empty beer can rolled forward and came to rest under the brake pedal just when I needed brakes . . . Well, the car and I survived unscathed, but it was a lesson I've never forgotten.
No loose mats anywhere near the pedals. Ever.
Incredibly, loose shag-pile pure sheepskin mats have been, for years, optional in Rolls-Royce cars. They look awful, and in the driver's pigeon-hole they are bloody dangerous.
(Edit - a loose beer can rolled under my keyboard)
Well - and I may introduce myself as this is the first post I make here after several years of lurking... (I am a german engineer, acually worting in Motorsport and - just at this very moment - am quite drunk)
The problem with all these mats sounds like quite some specifical USA thingy (no pun intended). As nobody doesn't want to pay for an additional replacement of the original floor mats when they sell the car back to the dealer, additional mats are used to be placed upon or replace the original ones. Of course, those were never designed to be held back by whatever system Toyota uses for their mats. I've seen velcro, plastic pins and whatever, depending on the car's make, with the sole pupose to fix the carpets. But an additional mat, casually thrown upon them is.......the carelessness, ignorant and idiotic way that you have to deal with, if you have real-existing customers. Even whe just on in amillion customers is stupid enough to... smoke while tuning his injection system and gets burned. Just remember some of those fires at petrol stations, caused by peapole putting the fuel tap in the car and re-entering the driver's seat - leaving it again, loaded with lots of galvanic induced electricity to touch the oppositicely loaded fuel tap...
But - with the wrong publicity, you are the one to get grilled.
The floor mat story is one of all those pieces, that made up all the misery that toyota has to endure - additional to some potential mistakes they may have made just on their own. I don't know enough to make a judgement about those.
I mean - toyota didn't biuld a Pinto - but as a mass producer, even a sub-otpimal detail leaves a big mark in Toyotas history.
Well, I NEVER worked for Toyota. But I understand the situation, an enigneer could find himself in (mentally), if somebody dies in one of "his" cars. Which never happened to me (knock on wood).