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Toyota Avalon displays unintended acceleration without floor mat

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Left Lane News

In a rather bizarre instance, a driver reportedly began to experience unintended acceleration from his Toyota Avalon and was able to drive the car to a nearby dealer with the vehicle still displaying wide open throttle, despite having the floormat removed. Dealer techs witnessed the problem and have reportedly offered to repair the vehicle free of charge.

According to a report from The Safety Record, on December 29, 2009, the driver of a 2007 Toyota Avalon experienced a bizarre case of sudden and unintended acceleration while driving on the highway, just miles from a local Toyota dealer. The driver managed to switch the vehicle between Neutral and Drive multiple times, while en route to the dealer in order to show the dealer the problem as it was still occurring.

The driver was able to reach the dealer, place the vehicle into neutral, and allow it to continue operating at wide open throttle. The dealer sent out a tech who verified that the floor mat was removed, and pushing the gas pedal had no effect on the acceleration. The dealer was unable to stop the wide open throttle and was forced to shut the vehicle off.

This incident was apparently not the first for the driver, either, who had been to the dealer before about the problem. The first time the unintended acceleration occurred, the driver was able to slow the vehicle with the brakes and switch the vehicle into neutral – where the engine continued to hit maximum rpms. At the time of the first incident, dealer diagnostics revealed no problems in the computer.

The dealer eventually offered to replace the throttle body, accelerator pedal and associated sensors free of charge for the driver after the second incident.

This incident may prove to be a crucial step in finding the true cause of the many reported cases of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. Toyota began its largest-ever recall in 2009 to replace the floor mats and accelerator pedals in over 3.8 million vehicles that could experience unintended acceleration. Critics and survivors of unintended acceleration cases argued that the problem was not a result of the floor mats or accelerator pedals, but instead insist that the computer controlling the acceleration of the vehicle is at fault.

The Safety Record also reported on a one-car crash that occurred in Dallas, Texas the day after Christmas involving a Toyota Avalon. According to the accident report, the vehicle inexplicably left the road and ended up crashing through a fence, and landing upside down in a pond – killing all four occupants. The floor mats were found in the trunk of the car – ruling out the possibility of the floor mat causing the accident.

The official cause of the Dallas crash has not yet been determined.

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Exactly the same thing so many others have said, including those on the ABC Nightline report, etc. Many of whom not only had nothing touching the pedal but either had no floormats or in a panic pulled them up & over/out or their passenger did, trying to get it to stop.

Yet when it goes to so many other news venues...eh, just a floor mat thing...eh, they'll give you new pedals. Cars are complicated. It happens. But issues like this should not live on for so many years, be brushed under the rug with settlement after settlement, etc. by a company with even data recorders only they can read with a bizarre 1 off prototype device...

Electronic or something, but having gone on for so long, they STILL can't sort it out? Again, reminds me of the Edmunds forums with new Toyota owners comparing models they test drove and making sure to select the one with the LEAST noticeable throttle/transmission lag out of a bunch. Sure, perfectly normal, absolutely.

My GM dealer salesperson/friend said it best about 2 months ago..."Toyota has never had to deal with problems and now when they do, they have no clue, the customer service is awful, and to even admit there are problems is out of their realm."

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