Toyota Dismisses "Unintended Acceleration" Claims

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
toyota dismisses unintended acceleration claims

The Detroit Free Press reports that Toyota has finally responded to months-old accusations that its Tacoma pickup suffers from "unintended acceleration." Reading ToMoCo's letter to ToMoCo tells the National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA), it's clear they're treating them with all the contempt engendered by the Audi 500 debacle. "Toyota believes that it is likely that many of the consumer complaints about the general issue of unwanted acceleration… as well as many of the complaints about this subject that have been received by Toyota, were inspired by publicity… Even taking (the accusations) at face value, it is clear that the majority of the complaints are related to minor drivability issues and are not indicative of a safety-related defect." NHTSA has been investigating some 32 complaints of the deus-ex-machina defect in 2004 – 08 Tacomas. Toyota held its own investigation of 12 pickups that had supposedly suffered from unintended acceleration back in October, concluding that the machines harbored "no mysterious brake-circumventing defects." In fact, having prepared for this possibility, Toyota programmed its drive-by-wire system to report an error in case the accelerator pedal and throttle are mismatched. And no such error codes have not been found on any Tacomas reported to have driven themselves into stationary objects.

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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Sep 18, 2008

    FRE you are right on all points. FWIW engines at full throttle (no load) last a surprisingly long time sometimes. Not that I'd do this to a car I intended to keep or a car that I intended to sell honestly. We floored a Mercedes going to the junkyard. Engine was good, car's problems were cosmetic (age, rust, collision damages). Engine never really died. So we cut the coolant hoses and went again. After several minutes we got bored and gave up. The engine was damaged but still running and very, very hot. Car was getting crushed anyhow. Complicated overseas Navy rules. I like to salvage anything reusable. Navy said no. A Fiat 131 we did this to (severe chassis rust, Navy rules specified we could not salvage anything, long story) lasted a minute or two without OIL! Again it was quickly damaged but still running for a couple minutes before the oil drained out and it slowly seized. I agree - a manual tranny is the better choice. Also doesn't wear out at 100K miles needing a rebuild under normal use. Got throttle body problems or run away cruise control? Just put the clutch in and turn the engine off. I like the key switch in my '97 VW. When you turn the key all the way off the steering does not lock until I pull out the key. I think my '99 Honda is the same.

  • Dliz Dliz on Sep 12, 2009

    I had a sudden acceleration incident yesterday with my 2009, (7000 miles) prius. I can't believe how many people comment about applying the brakes!!!! Do they really believe that a driver would not have the immediate sense to apply the brakes!!!! I was accelerating from a stop light to cross an intersection when the car continued to accelerate on its own. I APPLIED THE BRAKES as any normal driver would do. They did not stop the car. It continued to accelerate until I hit the power button on the dash board. That finally stopped the car. Luckily there was nothing in front of me during this incident and I was able to think quickly enough to stop the vehicle. The first thing I did was check the floor mat as I couldn't imagine anything else causing the situation. They were far from the gas pedal. I never use cruise control. I don't know why it's so hard for people to believe these stories. Why would we make them up????? Does anyone else notice they are pretty consistent!!!!! I was in that "love my prius" group. I enjoy the car and have been very happy with the ride, the gas mileage, and the overall look of the car. I am sick about this incidence and I like so many others, I am afraid to drive it again. Buying a car is no small expense. So far, toyota service says there's nothing wrong and doesn't even feel responsible to provide a loner car while I wait for the factory person to come and take another look. It is quite obvious when a vehicle is accelerating on its own and won't respond to braking. Having fellow consumers smugly comment "it is impossible" or "why didn't they apply their brakes?" is ridiculous. This is a huge problem and Toyota needs to take responsibility and address it before more people suffer or die as a result.

  • BElliott BElliott on Sep 13, 2009

    I had an experience with my 2004 Corolla a few days ago with sudden unexpected acceleration. This occurred when I put the car into reverse to back out of my driveway. Within aproxc 2 seconds I had accelorated accross the street and hit my neighbors house. My driveway has a slight downward grade little gas is needed to reverse out of the driveway. As well there is a school just beside my neighbors house (The house I hit.) In addition my next door neighbour does child care at home and my house is at a corner where trafic is frequent at 8:00 am. I am in the habit of being cautious and excessive acceleration is not my style. It happened so quickly and completely unexpectedly, and brake was very stiff.

  • BElliott BElliott on Sep 13, 2009

    Just an add on to my previous comment. The police report says I hit the house at at 40 kilometers or more. I travelled less than 50 feet. Thankfully no one was injured.