Defect Alert- Sudden Acceleration Problem in Toyota & Lexus Models

November 04, 2009
By: Robert Silverman

As ABC News is reporting, owners of Toyota cars are rebelling over a series of more than 200 accidents caused by sudden acceleration.

Safety analysts have discovered more than 2000 instances among Toyota models such as the Camry and Prius, and various Lexus models, where cars were surging up to 100 miles per hours without warning. The manufacturer was constantly blaming the problem on floor mats, saying the mats are getting stuck under the pedal, but drivers are rightfully skeptical. There was a national recall regarding the floor mats, affecting many vehicles.

NHTSA, The National Highway Traffic and Safety Adminstration, has conducted six investigations on sudden surges in Toyota models since 2003 and has not found any defect in the electronics system, and yet the instances keep occurring.

If you find that you are experiencing this problem, do not ignore it. Contact your dealer immediately and make sure you address it with your service advisor. Even if they claim they have no solution to the problem, make sure you receive a repair invoice illustrating that you have attempted to get this addressed under your manufacturers warranty.

If you are in New Jersey and Ohio and cannot get this problem fixed after one repair attempt, contact us immediately, as the Ohio Lemon Law and New Jersey Lemon Law both only give the manufacturer one attempt to fix a problem which could cause serious bodily injury or death.

If you live in any other state, please contact us via e-mail or call 1-800 LEMON LAW (1-800-536-6652) after you have three repair invoices for this problem. We are already handling cases on this issue and will be happy to help you in any way we can.

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9 Responses to “Defect Alert- Sudden Acceleration Problem in Toyota & Lexus Models”

  1. #1 fyi says:

    First and foremost, it’s tragically obvious there has not been nearly enough thought to all the necessary fail-safe and safety override modes designed into these “drive-by-wire” automotive systems. The Germans at least had the good sense to make their engines go to idle mode if their systems were presented with the conflicting inputs of throttle and brakes applied at the same time (“smart pedal”). (The Toyota system does not do this. Shame on Toyota — as well as the NHTSA who apparently “approved” of this!) As far as “keyless” ignition system designs go, an across-the-board “standard” is needed immediately. The dashboard “switch” should probably have at least three positions: “Off” (as in — turn the engine ignition AND electric fuel pump systems both off — right now); “Idle” (to bring engine power down – but not fully off – to allow for the power steering and brakes to continue to function); and “On or Run.” To have to “hold” the start-button in for ” three seconds” during an emergency situation is beyond any safety design rules I believe could or would ever be allowed for production and placed into widespread use by the driving public……

    • #2 Carlos Perez Jr. says:

      This is some very useful post I also have a blog, On the Lemon Law and Car Defects. To my knowledge Toyota was recalling all floor mats for the 2007 Camry Models. Studies showed the mats were responsible for some accidents.

      • #3 Athina says:

        I bought a 2000 Lexus GS300 certified pre-owned in 2005. In 2007 I experienced the now famous sudden acceleration problem and I took it to the dealer immediately. I was on a side street going 30-40mph. I accelerated to pass a car stopped on the side, but it kept accelerating. Went to 5RPM without the pedal. I was trying to slow down-so I slammed the brakes and hand brake – stopped before hitting cars- and I put it in “park” while the RPM was revving at 5-6. So I tuned off the engine.Lexus tested it overnight and said they could not “reproduce the problem” therefore can only blame the mats. It did not happen again until Jan 2010…now driven by my daughter in college. She was on the highway and depressed the pedal all the way down. Then it kept accelerating. She panicked but at least she knew I went through this 2.5 yrs before. She stomped on the pedal and finally the car stopped accelerating. Again, no accident. I wonder why it happend only 2 times in the 5 years of ownership? It can’t be the mat. We removed it after the first incident. I called Flow Lexus in Greensboro again and they insist the 2000 GS300 is not part of the recall. They said’s the mats. In 2007, I had this problem way before it became public and I was brushed off as being the only one they had heard of with this issue.

        • #4 Theresa says:

          In response to Athina’s 2/11/2010 post, I would like to let you know, Athina, that the same acceleration problem happened to me yesterday, 11/18/2010, while I was driving my 2000 Lexus GS 300. I, too, purchased my car in 2005 and in the subsequent five years I have logged about 90K miles (~ 130K miles are on the car); however, I have not had a problem with it until this incident, when the car’s acceleration could not be controlled for what seemed like an eternity but was in fact just seconds. It was about 9:30 a.m. and I was driving a mountain road, I-80 west out of Truckee, California (near Tahoe), heading uphill to Donner Summit, when I pressed on the accelerator pedal a little harder than usual to pass a line of slow trucks. As I reached a satisfactory speed, I let up on the accelerator, yet the car kept speeding up. I immediately put on the brakes and nothing happened. The car kept accelerating. A curve was approaching and the whole of Donner Lake was sitting below me on the left. I pressed hard on the brakes, again, and nothing happened — the car kept accelerating. I yelled out to my husband who was sitting next to me in the passenger seat that the car was speeding up and I couldn’t stop it. There was no where to go on this road in an out-of-control car — how many times had my dad told me when I was young to always be thinking of “an avenue of escape” when driving, yet, there was no where to go; trucks were blocking the right side, cars were not far ahead of me, and there was a railing on the left, leading to a terrible drop-off. I was frantic and disoriented, trying desperately to remember what all those TV reports about this issue said to do. I kept yelling at my husband that the car was going out of control. He told me to put the car in neutral. Just as I was trying to process what he was telling me, the car responded to the brake pressure I had been applying and the acceleration stopped and the car operated normally. If the car hadn’t stopped accelerating when it did, I believe the consequences would have been tragic, not just for my family but for other families as well, as I do not think I would have been able to get through the traffic to find a clearing that would have allowed me to steer the car into a tree or embankment. As soon as I reached a secure area, I called my regular mechanic, who is Lexus-trained. I told him the car mat could not have been the problem as it was the first thing I checked and it was several inches away from the pedal. Because he had not heard of this problem in the 2000 model, we agreed the best thing would be to take the car into the Lexus dealership, which I plan to do on Monday. This incident has changed my whole perspective on Lexus. This car has been perfect for the 5 years I’ve driven it — I have loved, loved, loved this car — and now I don’t trust it all. Like you, Athina, I have a daughter in school, and I had planned to give it to her to use, starting next month. Now, we’ll have to come up with another plan. Thank you for posting your experience. Any news you have learned since then would be greatly appreciated.

          • #5 Nan says:

            My 2005 ES330 just ( July 2012 ) add an acceleration problem praise God it did
            hurt or kill anyone. My foot was on the BRAKE going into a parking spot in front
            of a cement wall. Foot on brake inching close to the curb all of the sudden it
            accelerated jumped the curb hit the cement wall I was shocked the engine was
            roaring put the gear into park the wheels started going so fast the dust was flying
            I turned off the key it stopped. This was at the church before Mass I usually park
            facing openess which would have killed people it was unbelieveable. The car is
            7 years old had just been (4 days before the acceleration) in for the 65 mile
            check up. A outside person is going to read the black box to see what happen. I
            will not drive it again. If you have any warnings do NOT hesitate see the dealer.
            After the repair I noticed it rolled forward slightly when put it in park I was going to take it back to be checked as my car never rolled forward before. Lexus’s are
            famous for rolling backwards when I asked why backwards they said it was just
            Hope this helps someone.

            • #6 Wen says:

              I had a similar incident. Waiting for the inspection. I would like to know if anyone has been compensated by Lexus in any way for this problem that is obviously unique to their automobiles.

              • #7 LemonLaw says:

                Wen: We have handled similar claims. Call us at 800-LEMON LAW.

                • #8 Mary Traylor says:

                  I purchased my 2000 Lexus GS 300 new in late 1999. I was in a fast food drive thru line when I tried to move up slightly. I felt a jolt similar to being rear-ended and my car accelerated at a fast speed. I struck the right bumper of the car ahead of me as I struggled to lessen the damage that my out of control car might do. The vehicle jumped the curb, took out some hedges,jumped the second curb and finally came to a stop at an exit that leads to a busy street. I had my grandkids in the car. Thank God we were not hurt. I have always had all services done on my car in a timely manner and it had been a great car. The car was totaled which is probably the best thing. I would never feel safe in the car again.

                  • #9 elfie shgeldon says:

                    My car 2015 lexus Gts was completely totaled, in one block of acceleration. My grandson and I were wearing out seat belts. I was barely driving at 10 miles per hour when it suddenly took up like a jet, I was stopped from getting into the intersection of Doheny Dr. and Pico by slamming into an SUV. I stopped at about 45 to 50 miles an hour. After a long test, it was determined that there was nothing wrong, I stepped on the gas????? no that never happened. I drove so carefully, my precious Eli was in the car with me. It is the biggest cover up, there is too much money involved. I lived and my Eli lived but it was a great Traumatic experience. E Sheldon

                    • State: california

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