If you lease a car, do you have to take part in a recall campaign becaue you don't own the car?

For now I lease my 2009 Camry for many reasons and based on my mechanical knowledge it’s impossible for my floor mat to get stuck with the accelerator if the floor mat is secured with the hooks on the floor. So if I’m leasing my car and is technically owned by Toyota financial, does the leasee have to take part in the recall campaign or do I have a choice? Thanks in advance, Steve.

Read the FINE, fine print on the lease you signed…Is there something about complying with ALL maintenance requirements? But a floor mat issue, that’s something a forgetful person might forget to do…

We need tort reform and we need it BAD…

There is no way to force an owner or lessee to bring a car in for a recall, however if this car causes a crash because of intended acceleration, and it can be shown that you ignored the recall, you could be found to be negligent.

Yep, you end up crashing the car and your passenger or the other car’s passengers sue, you could be in trouble if you don’t do the fix.

Legal requirement or not, I wouldn’t risk my life over something that can be repaired quickly and will cost nothing.

The mats in my Lincoln also have a floor mounted hook to prevent their scooting forward and on more than one occasion the mat has come off the hook and wound up under the pedals.
So I would say that anything is possible.

Recall repairs are free, absolutely free, whether you lease or own. Why on earth would you NOT participate??

Why would you NOT want to take your vehicle, whether leased or not to the dealer for recall services??? You’re not making any sense…


This is America and you are free to ignore the recall. Lease or owned Toyota knows your address and will send you notices and directions on getting the repairs called for in the recall. It is the law that the mfg make every effort to locate the cars and notify the driver’s, but the law can’t make you bring the car in for the repairs.

Since it will be free and likely will take only a few minutes, I can’t see your reasoning but that’s your call. When the car is turned in or sold the VIN # is tracked by Toyota and they will know the car did not have the recall work done. The next owner might not be happy, but should be able to bring the car to Toyota for the recall repair. I don’t believe there will be a time limit on this recall.

Since you lease the car, do you feel oil changes and other service is your responsibility or Toyota Financial’s?

A recall is never a requirement of any car owner. If they ever complain(never) simply state you were never notified.

You don’t even have to maintain the car leased or not. You just bear the costs of any failure if they have reasonable suspicion or cause to deny a warranty claim. You may or may not get hit at lease turn in but that is more surface problems.

Not suggesting to neglect but that is the truth of the matter.

If a car maker truely cared about leasing and reselling them like BMW, MB, Audi they include the maintenance in lease price AND design the engine properly to take longer OCI’s(yearly) by using a large oil sump and offer a free loaner during service.

This gets car maker cars they can resell at a profit and warrantied certified used.

If for any reason it has a like problem and someone is injured, I would not want to be in your place trying to explain that you know better than Toyota and decided that you did not want to bother with it.

I didn’t think I could be sued if something we’re to happen because I did not participate in the recall campaign. As far as maintenance goes I’ve changed my oil with synthetic oil twice and rotated my tires already with only 7400 miles on the odometer. I can confidently say that my vehicle is better maintained that probably 75% of the general public because I work in the auto repair business. I’m also planning on buying my lease due to my low buyout figure. Thanks for the replies.

If you don’t participate in the recall, you can no longer claim that your car is “better maintained than probably 75% of the general public”.

You would be neglecting a potential life threatening issue that should be a very serious concern to anyone with this particular recall.

I can’t think of any good reason that anyone would not want to participate in the recall.

Can you?

Caddy, what in the world does tort reform have to do with anything here?

If you read your contract or have your lawyer read it for you if you don’t understand the terms, you will find that you are responsible for all maintenance and repairs which of course would include any recalls. If you scratch the fender, you must fix it. If you cut the seat, you must fix it, and so on. If you have not taken care of these things you will be dinged financially when you turn it in. Now again why would you not want to have this taken care of even if there is less than a 50% chance this is what is actually causing the acceleration problem? Don’t confuse renting a car from Alamo with leasing a car. Two different contracts entirely.

Why would I want to spend a half a day at a dealership to fix a problem that only exists in the minds of lawyers??

In virtually EVERY “unexplained acceleration” accident, the reason is the driver stepped on the accelerator pedal. But trial lawyers make a very good living convincing juries otherwise. That is the reason for this recall. If I felt the floor mat could cause a problem I would toss out the floor mat before I would waste half a day screwing around at a dealership…

You can change your oil every 1000 miles, use super gas, tune up every 10k miles thats fine and dandy but you still have not answered the question that every one of us have… Why do you not want to have the recall performed on your vehicle??? You do know that if you take your vehicle into a dealer for warranty work, the campaign will come up on their computer and they will perform it anyway, ESPECIALLY if its a safety campaign. If your alternator goes out tomorrow and your car is still under warranty, you’re going to take it to the dealer to be replaced under warranty because it is a defective part. The campaign is the same thing, its a faulty part or parts that Toyota is going to replace at their cost. And if you think you cant get sued, think again. Heres how it goes, you hit someone, maybe a pedestrian, they are hurt for life, they get all lawyered up. Dont think for a minute that an attorney wont check to see if this vehicle has safety recalls on it and whether they have been performed. They want Toyota, deep pockets… Then they find out that the owner refused to have the safety recalls addressed. Toyota will pull out all the correspondence they sent you telling you to bring your vehicle in for safety recalls, now Toyota is off the hook and you are on it… So please tell us why you would not accept a free service on your Toyota…


I disagree. I’m not saying none of the acceleration problems were caused by the driver but if you remember the Audi 5000 series I believe it was, had something in the computer that could not be found. Chrysler had a similar problem if you listen to Bruce Williams. He sued Chrysler and just parked the car and he certainly is not a novice. The incident with Toyota involved a California Highway Patrol that went over the cliff at over 100 MPH. Certainly he new what pedals to press and how to control a car. Ford fires were blamed on owners too until they finally discovered the cruise control problem.

There are just a whole host of problems that are unexplained at this point and cannot be chalked up to operator errors. The manufacturer’s first explanation is that but when pushed and shoved they finally come up with the true cause. I don’t think the floor mat is the problem either, but rather something in the computer or other controls that is as of yet undiscovered or undisclosed which may result in far more expense than replacing pedals and floor mats.

Steve, make an appointment that is convenient for you, not the dealer. If you use your car to commute or for work, it is often difficult to find a convenient time. Some dealers have night or Saturday hours to accommodate folks that have to have their car. It shouldn’t take long to cut the pedal.

You should consider getting your other legal problems straightened out.

Once I realized I could be sued for not taking care of this recall I’m going to get it taken care of. I just forgot to put that in my post when I posted it. I know I’m on the hook for other maintenance related issues and dings because I’ve seen it happen to my boss at my other job. Restaurant leased vehicle, family and co workers did a number on it, restaurant had to foot the bill.

A few comments/questions:

  1. Should the OP drive, for example, 70 miles round trip to the nearest Toyota dealer on his nickel for the recall including gasoline, his time, and possibly some of his allotment of mileage on a leased car with a potential problem that could be avoided if he simply removed the floor mat until his next trip to the dealer?

  2. Is the OP liable if he did not receive a formal recall notification? What he sees in the news could be hearsay and his car may not be part of the recall for all he knows. It would be responsible, however, for the OP to call the car’s owner to discuss.

If it was my car, I would want to remove the floor mat and let it go until my next trip to the dealer unless the owner sends me some money for at least gasoline if the dealer is some considerable distance away and with the relatively small number of Toyota dealers in rural areas, this can be a problem.

There is some scuttlebutt on the Internet about Toyota electronic throttle control sticking. I find it hard to believe that Toyota could have a problem with electronic throttle control sticking that they are hiding with the floor mat issue. The repair is apparently a 3/4" length reduction of the gas pedal length but while doing that change it would not be difficult to also reprogram the computer. The truth on this should become apparent soon.