2004-2010 Toyota, 2006-2010 Lexus
Toyota suffered a major blow to its reputation for exceptional quality after it was found that the gas pedals on several models could become stuck in the down position, causing sometimes fatal runaway acceleration. Its subsidiary brand, Lexus, was also affected.
At first, Toyota blamed "all-weather" floor mats that it said were prone to jamming the gas pedal. When the problem continued, the company was forced to change the pedal's design altogether, resulting in a recall of 9 million cars and a cost to Toyota in the billions of dollars.