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Toyota 4Runner exhibits acceleration, brake symptoms

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Report: Toyota 4Runner exhibits acceleration, brake symptoms

02/08/2010, 10:58 AMBY ANDREW GANZ

Toyota’s massive recall of many of its high-volume models has, surprisingly, led to few credible reports of similar symptoms in non-recalled models. Yet a 2004 Toyota 4Runner in California is said to be experiencing exactly the same issues as its recalled brethren.

Deanna Reynolds of San Clemente, California, told the Orange County Register that her 4Runner’s engine surged when she pulled into a parking spot, forcing the SUV into a parked Chrysler PT Cruiser. That story might be an isolated incident – and one easy to shrug off as driver error – except that the body shop where Reynolds took the 4Runner claims the SUV is experiencing such unsafe braking issues that have popped for a rental car for Reynolds until Toyota does something. The shop, Caliber Collision Center, is paying for Reynolds’ rental car because it doesn’t believe the 4Runner is safe.

According to Reynolds, Toyota has visually inspected the 4Runner but has not driven it. The incident is the first reported issue for the 4Runner, although the symptoms – at least from what Reynolds reports – are similar to those that have plagued many of the automaker’s other products. All 4Runners have been assembled in Japan, presumably using Denso pedal assemblies instead of those made by U.S. supplier CTS.

“I strongly suspect that Toyota does not want to believe that yet another model is having acceleration problems,” Reynolds told the paper in an email, “but, believe me, if anyone had experienced how my accident happened, they would have no doubt that my vehicle is in question.”

The vehicle in question was one of Toyota’s fourth-generation 4Runners sold from 2003-2009; the redesigned 2010 4Runner is actually the only Toyota product that saw an increase of demand at the end of January after the automaker suspended sales of many of its models.



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