Hybrid Owners Question Toyota Acceleration Explanation

When Toyota announced last week that it was halting sales and production of models associated with unintended acceleration, owners of the Toyota Prius, Camry Hybrid, and Highlander Hybrid, as well as Lexus hybrid owners, were somewhat relieved. That’s because the hybrid models were not included in the list of affected models.

Toyota said the problematic pedals found on conventional models are provided by CTS Automotive Products, while a different supplier, Denso Corporation, supplies the accelerator pedals for Toyota hybrids. As a result, the assembly line for the Camry Hybrid has remained online at Toyota’s Kentucky plant, while the non-hybrid Camry in the same plant has been idled.

Sticking Pedal versus Pedal Floor Mat Entrapment

To add to the confusion, the Toyota Prius remains on a different recall list, first issued in September, when the company said it would reshape or replace accelerator pedals on 3.8 million vehicles. That recall involves 2004 to 2009 Priuses—and recent year models of the Camry, Avalon, Tacoma and Tundra, as well as Lexus models ES 350, IS 250, and IS 350. The correction is intended to reduce the risk that the pedal may be jammed in the floor mat. In addition, the company will replace original equipment floor mats with redesigned mats.

Mike Michels, Toyota vice-president of communications, informed HybridCars.com in an email:

“The sticking pedal issue does not affect Prius, but the pedal floor mat entrapment does involve Prius and there is a recall in the works to modify the cars to make them less likely to get entrapped by an out of place all weather floor mat.”

At the time of the floor mat recall—prior to the more recent recall involving the accelerator hardware—ABC News cited reports of 16 acceleration-related deaths and more than 200 accidents. It’s not clear if those accidents are attributed to a sticking pedal or the floor mat problem, or a combination of the two. At the time, Toyota said it had confidence the problem was linked to floor mats and not a vehicle design flaw or problems related to braking, fuel or accelerator systems.

Publicity Fuels Speculation

Confusion about the two different potential causes of the acceleration problem most recently has been confounded by a number of anecdotal stories concerning Priuses. Speaking at an event in San Francisco last week, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said that his 2010 Toyota Prius—not on either of the two recall lists—has “an accelerator that goes wild, but only under certain conditions of cruise control.” He said, “This is software. It’s not a bad accelerator pedal. It’s very scary, but luckily for me, I can hit the brakes,” he said.

The problem experienced by Wozniak, attributed using cruise control at high speeds, appears to be completely separate from other reported issues involving rapid acceleration from a standstill or the inability to stop despite the use of brakes. Toyota advises drivers experiencing the acceleration problem to put the vehicle into neutral, and to firmly plant both feet on the brakes.

John Hanson, national manager environmental safety and quality communications at Toyota, responded to Wozniak’s complaint, saying, “After many years of exhaustive testing, we have not found any evidence of an electronic [software] problem that would have led to unwanted acceleration.”

The highly publicized case has led other Prius drivers to submit their unintended acceleration stories to website forums. On Jan. 29, a visitor to PriusChat.com reported that his accelerator pedal got stuck twice over a two-year period, when after he “fully depressed forcefully” the accelerator when merging on to the freeway. “I do not have floor mats in my car,” he added.

In a separate inquiry initiated in late 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration responded to a few dozen complaints about the 2010 Toyota Prius’s braking performance. The Prius owners complained about a feeling that the car lurches forward when hitting a pothole or other uneven surfaces. These complaints were echoed by a number of visitors to HybridCars.com, although drivers of hybrids made by other automakers, complained about the same issue. NHTSA has not yet opened an official investigation into the 2010 Toyota Prius braking issue—which appears to be a minor safety concern compared to uncontrolled acceleration.

Some of the reports to NHTSA and websites appear to be random and isolated, but speculation that Toyota had not correctly identified the core and potentially fatal problem with runaway acceleration was further fanned today by Rep. Henry Waxman, D.-Calif., and Rep. Bart Stupak, D.-Mich. The congressmen questioned Toyota’s claims that sudden acceleration was due to “two different issues,” sticky gas pedals and poorly fitting floor mats. Waxman and Stupak demanded answers from Toyota by the end of the week.

Uncertainty Remains

The complicated and shifting explanations—and the increasing number of personal anecdotes and high-profile accusations—are likely to continue producing confusion and worry among Toyota drivers, including hybrid owners, even after various corrective measures are taken. Yet, Toyota asserts that it’s on track to fix the various problems. According to the Toyota website, “The condition is rare and does not occur suddenly.”

We will continue to monitor the situation and update this page with any additional information. Readers are encouraged to post their experiences in the comments on this page.

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  • Barbara

    We are the owners of a 2008 Prius and had an incident of sudden, unintended acceleration while driving in SC last October. Fortunately we were not involved in an accident but the brakes on the car were actually ON FIRE by the time my husband could safely get the car off the highway. It was all he could do to maintain control to avoid hitting another vehicle. We had the car transported to the nearest dealer for repair and we were told that the floor mat caused the problem. Since we had less than 17,000 miles on the car it was repaired under warranty and we were sent on our way. We KNOW the floor mats did not cause the problem – there were several inches clearance from the mat around the accelerator pedal and that was the first thing my husband checked. We tried to tell the dealer we knew the mat was not the problem but that was like talking to a brick wall – we were told it COULDN’T have been anything else. Now we understand Toyota is saying the Prius has an override system in it that will cause the brakes to override the accelerator when the brakes are applied. If this is true THE SYSTEM FAILED IN OUR CAR and Toyota is doing nothing about it. We had no injuries so we are not interested in a lawsuit against Toyota but we are concerned that we now have a car that has malfunctioned and there seems to be nothing we can do. This is very frustrating but the isssue needs to kept at the forefront so Toyota will admit that the Prius also has an issue that is NOT RELATED TO THE FLOORMATS!

  • Bob Miller

    We almost got in an accident twice last night with our 2010 prius. It was snowing. About a quarter of an inch of snow was on the ground. No big deal. When I came to a stop sign I was doing about 5 mph and when I braked the car just kept on going. I could not stop. It just kept accelerating until I let completely off the brake and tried two more time till it finally stopped. Same thing happened again when trying to make a left turn. It has done this twice before on bare dry roads when you hit a bump. Something needs to be fixed. The car should not accelerate when you brake.

  • Toyota Driver

    while serious in nature, i find a lot of these “accelerator problems” are fanned by news sensationalism. I remember my brother owed a Ford Escort that had a sticky gas peddle too but no one jumped all over that news.

    Someone needs to do an objective statistical analysis of how many toyota cars experience the problem (per vehicle sold) vs other brands and vehicles that received the same complaints. I suspect the number would not be statistically significantly different.

    Furthermore, people who do not how to stop a car with a stuck gas peddle should have their license revoked.

    BTW I drive a toyota, i’m not losing sleep over this.

  • Anonymous

    The sad truth is, there are many cases of unintended acceleration due to DRIVER ERROR. That’s right, some people hits the gas peddle instead of the brake peddle.

    Let’s be objective here. Rather than blindly jump on the bandwagon without any scientific proof, do some research comparing to other vehicles before screaming OMG my car is broken. If it’s that bad, don’t feel you have to keep it because there are lots of other cars to chose from.

  • RM1

    I think this is a negative publicity campaign–it could be “Big Oil” or the American car companies… anyone really. American car companies are unable to approach the level of quality Toyotas are known for. I have a 2010 Prius and never have any of these issues. If it’s a software issue, why wouldn’t my car have the same problem?

  • Anonymous

    I too feel this is sensational news hype. Just maybe other car
    makers are pushing this out of perspective because Toyota makes
    an exceptionally high quality product. I have a 2010 Prius and
    couldn’t be more satisfied. Floor mat , possible faulty pedal on
    some models can be easily fixed. The statistics are in line with
    complaints from all automakers. 16 reports out of millions
    and millions of cars ! Toyota is acting to take care of the problem.
    Siince Toyota is #1; watch carefully as this could be a “smear
    campaign”. Just how many people who have an accident
    are now going to say the accelerator stuck or brakes didn’t
    work? Think about it.

  • Thomas Armstrong


    ” In a report Wednesday, Kyodo elaborated that the issue involved the brakes temporarily stopping working on bumpy or slippery roads, and included one reported crash. “

  • Anonymous

    to RM1: Just because you own a Prius with no problems does not mean nobody else will have a problem! I had a PC with Windows ME and while EVERYONE complained of the computer crashing and such, I never had a problem with mine. Similarly, not every software issue would happen on every vehicle. Also, Ford doesn’t need to smear Toyota, they are matching Toyota in quality and in many cases, exceeding them fuel efficiency.

  • Anonymous

    Anoymous said “Ford doesn’t need to smear Toyota, they are matching Toyota in quality and in many cases, exceeding them fuel efficiency.”

    Competitors don’t try to smear each other? LOL, that would be a first…

  • AP

    As a GM employee, I’ll be the first to say that Toyota has built a great business out of producing useful, reliable cars (albeit with lackluster looks).

    Also as a GM employee, I know about the pot shots you take in America when you are number 1. For one thing, we tend to cheer for the underdog, until they’re not anymore. Also, as a number 1 automaker, everything you do happens on a grand scale: a problem that appears on a small percentage of cars ends up being a large number of incidents, attracting the attention of the NHTSA. Trial lawyers lick their chops at class action suits, due to the quantity of potential law suits (I know…they’re just “serving” us).

    Up to now, people have been willing to give Toyota “the benefit of the doubt” when anything went wrong (much as they did with GM in the 1950’s and 1960’s, after which GM’s 1980’s and 1990’s quality problems betrayed that trust). Toyota has been able to keep sludge problems, rust problems, etc., fairly low key, whereas GM’s problems had been emphasized in the press (to the point where there should have been a 15-yard penalty for piling on). Dateline NBC even lied on the air to dramatize the side-saddle gas tank “defect.” The libel suit that should have followed would have bankrupted them.

    But the way Toyota is handling this problem is a nightmare for PR. Blaming one problem (the floormats), and acting as though that was the extent of it (to the consternation of NHTSA), put them in the situation of later saying “well, there is this one other thing,” the throttle pedal mechanism. Now Wozniak points out an issue that has nothing to do with throttle pedals or floormats (but likely software) and it occurs on a non-recalled model!

    This is not how the Tylenol scare (a textbook case of how to do it) was handled, but cars are more complicated than any other product on the planet – a point often not appreciated by people on this website. Hybrids in particular depend on very inter-woven software algorithms to control the transmission (via the motors), use the motors for re-gen braking, and blend the engine power with the motors. But whereas software lock-ups and Li-ion battery fires in a laptop are an inconveniences, in a car they are potentially life-threatening situations. And just like that unrepeatable Microsoft bug, they may be hard to diagnose and prevent – and you can’t just re-boot.

    That’s why not every Tom, Dick, and Harry can just decide one day to build and sell cars, and why most people (and most new manufacturers) underestimate the task. For every visible part on the car, there are ten that are not seen and took a whole lot longer to develop.

    Toyota will likely come out of this OK, although their invincibility may have disappeared like the GM of the 1970’s. But their “Japanese Way” of understating an issue, then correcting themselves, doesn’t play in America – especially if information keeps trickling out repeatedly. If they don’t know what’s happening, they need to come out and say it.

  • Baltimore Prius Owner

    We are the owners of two Prius’ (2005 and 2008). We have never experienced any of the latest “sensationalized” issues. Furthermore, I believe that if there is a real issue, Toyota will step up to the plate and take action. Remember, unlike The Big Three, Toyota is not deeply concerned with short term profit. This shows me that they will take care of their customers.

  • Joe

    I am glad I choose VW over Toyota this time. My Toyota was one month out of engine manufacurer date and had the same problems as the earlier models. Oh not what a feeling, Toyota!

  • Sean7456

    Anyone who does not see this is a smear campaign against Toyota is an utter moron and probably should not be driving anyway. The U.S. government owns a big stake in GM + Toyota is #1 in car sales = One BIG government and media ploy to discredit Toyota’s reputation in hopes of increasing GM sales. Simple as that.

  • JohnMu

    I have had GM, Chrysler and Toyota cars. My experience is that people expect problems with US manufactures so don’t question what the dealer says. There are a lot of non-problems fixed on US based manufacturer cars. With Toyota, there is a “quality” bias, so you have to convince the dealer that there is a problem. I once had a recall notice from Toyota, but to get it fixed, the Dealer said here was a $100 test. If the test indicated I had the problem, it was free, otherwise I’d pay for the test.

  • AP

    Sean 7456, I really doubt that the media is doing this to benefit the domestic automakers. If anything, they still love to grill us over any slight issue – you know it’s fun for Americans to hate other Americans (who might vie with you economically or politically), much harder to hate anonymous people in foreign countries, who do things “differently,” and you need to “empathize with.” We spend too much time beating each other down instead of taking pride in what we know and do.

    So if anything, the media is doing their usual of sensationalizing the news, so they can feed 4 or 5 cable news channels 24/7, not because they have pro-American bias (LOL, LOL, LOL). Our media would have to have help saying ANYTHING positive about the American auto industry. Toyota’s gradual release of information only fuels the feeding frenzy.

    As far as government ownership of GM affecting the government’s scrutiny, I think you give them more credit for planning and intelligence than they deserve, and if ever biased, it is toward foreign makes.

    I can tell you that I and my fellow GM employees are not keen on being government-owned, although I’d have to say that I have not seen any first-hand negative effects (since they know little about car-making or business, they pretty much stay out of the way, to their credit). The sooner we are back in the private sector the better. Government involvement in any business (including health care) makes me and most Americans suspicious. Bureaucrats don’t know how things work.

    JohnMu brings up a good point about dealers working on American cars. There has been a definite practice of “fixing” what wasn’t broken, in order to collect the warranty money and keep the mechanic paid. This has made reliability look worse than it is. Many parts have been returned on warranty that had no problems.

    With Japanese cars, customers have tended to 1) blame themselves, 2) deny the problem, or 3) defend their car. This isn’t to say Japanese cars haven’t earned their reputation – it’s just that they have been cheapening their products for years to cash in on it, and people have ignored it (a Chevy Malibu interior now makes a Lexus interior look cheap). As far as reliability, all cars are so reliable now that the differences are almost meaningless (like everybody getting A’s or A+’s).

  • alancamp

    I wonder if insurance companies will cover accidents cause by drivers in cars where the policy holder continues to drive the car with a KNOWN DEFTCT.

    Will this be seen as negligence on the part of the driver?

  • KIM

    we have a 2010 Prius and on several occassions the car has accelerated when the brake is depressed. This has happened mostly at startup. It was pretty scary to the driver. We took it to Toyota but they said they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. We left it a couple of days to see if they could replicate in the morning but to no avail. …

  • Bob_C

    I have a 2007 Prius & have never had these problems. When I first heard about acceleration problems due to car mats, I checked mine & couldn’t figure how the gas pedal could get caught underneath it. There is too much clearance so I just assumed that these people either did not have the same mats or did something very careless with how the mats were laid. I lost no sleep either. But now that Toyota has disclosed this pedal problem in other cars…. It makes the carpet explanation seem pretty farfetched. I am embarrassed that I even believed it now. It is much more likely the same pedal problem as all these other models & Toyota is feigning ingorance (tactful way of saying lying). Anyone who says this is can’t be true because they never had problems & this is a smear campaign, you are not paying attention to Toyota. They STATED there is an acceleration problem with their cars as FACT including the Prius to the point of an expensive recall. Go argue with Toyota that there is no problem. After they sell you the mat story, go into your Prius and try to move the mat around in such a way it is plausible a gas pedal could get stuck under it. You would have to do some work to misplace it that badly. To the extent that ANY with a mat that badly displaced could have the pedal get jammed.

  • Bob_C

    .. Typo – meant to end post wirh:

    The mat would have to be so badly misplaced that it would cause the gas pedal of ANY car to get jammed like that.

  • Toyota Driver

    Consumer reports did a statistical analysis of the complaints. While they have clearly stated “… NHTSA complaint database does not reflect all sudden, unintended acceleration cases”, it does reflect toyota and ford having higher incidents relative to number of vehicles sold (about 1 in 50k, or 0.002%)


    What’s also interesting is that Ford also has a high proportion but I haven’t heard anyone crying for a recall to Ford. (about 1 in 65K, or 0.0015%)

    GM has the lowest complaint in this category. (assuming one can start their car, LOL).

    All joking aside, will Ford be the next car company under the microscope? Is a 0.002% problem acceptable? Let the discussion begin!

  • a josephs

    If the problem turns out to be an electronic one does it make any difference that the hybrid accelerator pedals were manufactured by a different company?

  • AP

    a josephs, most parts in a car are manufactured by suppliers -companies other than the one that assembles and sells the car. Some are big (like Bosch, Delphi, and Denso) and others are small (like “CTS” the one that makes these pedals).

    According to them, the pedals in question were made to Toyota’s specifications, and their pedals (made to different designs) have never been a problem in anyone else’s cars. Toyota is only 3% of their total sales.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter who made each part, it’s Toyota who’s responsible for integrating them into a car. You can imagine that otherwise there would be no end of finger-pointing and lack of accountability in what went wrong.

    Come to think of it, it would be a lot like Washington!

  • Anonymous

    Chrysler does not do the recall either!

  • clifforddouglas

    We have a Prius with over 100K on it, and a couple oif times it has been taken to the dealer about the ‘lack of braking” on a bumpy road. He said “everything is working just fine”!

    This car does have a SERIOUS braking deficiency as when you apply the brakes, and the car hit even the smallest of bumps, the brakes un-lock just as though they have failed completely.

    Try that at a busy intersection!

  • Scott Z

    There is no doubt that the media is getting carried away with this. I have not heard one report on the percentage of reported problems compared to overall models out on the road. I know every make has reports of issues. I am sure we can find a long list of fords, GMs, Hondas or whatever that have reported acceleration problems or braking problems. I recall Audi having a huge public relations issue with sudden acceleration in the 80s. Turned out less than 1% percent of the Audis sold had reported the issue. I am betting this is even less when you consider the market share Toyota has. Regardless Toyota better keep working on the problem. This will not stop me from buying a Toyota I am interested in unless clear evidences is presented that failures are wide spread (say at least 5%) and Toyota knowingly ignored the problem. Time will tell.

  • Joe

    Yes indeed with the Great Orator we move towards communism everyday!

  • Anon

    I have a Camry Hybrid, and though I haven’t experienced any problems as yet, I was a little bit disturbed to hear that I cannot turn my car off, if wildly accelerating, without pressing the “on/off” button for 3 WHOLE seconds. One can travel quite a distance in 3 seconds at 120 mph (too bad we can’t ask the Ca. state patrol officer who died—his passenger on the phone with 911—while trying to bring his out-of-control Toyota to a halt last year).

    Speaking of that incident, I am so turned off by all the comments here remarking about media sensationalism. It doesn’t get much more sensational than that Ca. wreck (in which 4 people were killed, including the passengers in another vehicle), and stories don’t get much more fishy than the B.S. “floor mat” story Toyota fed us for so many months. I was suspicious of that “fix” from the beginning. Honestly, drivers are not that incompetent and no floor mat is that thick or that mobile atop the carpet its got teeth in—ridiculous.

    Now, having read the above comments, it seems necessary to state that I’m not a conspiracy theorist, nor do I have any interest or special affinity for any of Toyota’s competition. I take that back–I did once own the best Volvo on the planet. BUT when it was finally time to get a new car, my husband fairly easily convinced me to get a Camry based on his evidence that the most recent comparable Volvo models were statistically less safe (I honestly don’t care what my car’s look, color, or make is as long as it is the safest available car that I can afford).

    So now I’ve got this Camry (2009 Hybrid) that I was perfectly pleased with, and I’d had even vaunted Toyota to “safer-than-Volvo-plus-it’s-a-hybrid-status”—but I just don’t believe that Toyota even grasps exactly what the problem is or that it does not affect certain recent models. I don’t believe them because like I said, the “floor mat” ruse discredited them in my eyes and because frankly, I think it’s a software glitch, and they aren’t going to change my mind until they prove otherwise.

    So far, it seems they are not being forthright at all with real information about what is wrong or the extent of their understanding of the problem.

    Conclusion: unless they really aggressively inform the public about exactly what is wrong (and don’t patronize us by assuming we can’t possibly understand), and then call in every Toyota made in the past 5 years for a free check up and a certification letter stating that they have run software checks and physically investigated every inch, I am certain that when I can afford a new car (which I was hoping to not have to afford for at least ten years), I will be purchasing a Volvo or whichever car is Toyota’s first and most consistent safety competitor—I won’t care what the statistics say about Toyota if they don’t handle this correctly…and give me some physical evidence that, when time to resell, I can provide verifying my car’s safety.

    Lastly, I hope Vanity Fair (or someone) does an investigative piece on this debacle like they did on A-300 airplanes in 2001 or 2002. This reminds me of the incidences they reported on of ornery software risking entire planes full of people. I asked my uncle, now a retired American Air pilot who, at the time, flew not Airbuses but 777s, whether he would be willing to pilot one of those planes or whether I should ride in one to France. He told me that, however unlikely, if asked to pilot A-300s instead of 777s, he would choose to retire early—his decision based on the frightening anecdotes relayed by his colleagues who’d struggled to control their A-300s. And he advised against flying in one. His main reasoning for mistrusting the planes: their software was prone to malfunctioning and it couldn’t be overridden, no matter how competent the pilot.

    Reminds me of how I can’t turn my car off until 3 seconds and a football field have passed and of how the brake that my foot touches is not actually the car’s brake—it is but “sensor.”


  • Brandon

    If in doubt, hit the brakes as Toyota brakes (and almost all others) hold at full throttle. As someone else mentioned, Audi went through the same accusations in the early 80s and it was eventually debunked as driver error. You can’t really blame the US Govt/GM, they need to knock Toyota down a few pegs before they can get back in the game.

  • Shane Fen

    Technology is the Tower of Babel. Microsoft playing god. Computers flying planes and driving cars. We conform to technology, not the other way around. Will we make them (AI) mad if/when we finally try to regain control? Or will they simply turn us into batteries, slaves to the machine?

  • Toyota Driver

    Anon, what’s more disturbing to me is the CHP officer didn’t shift to neutral. I’d imagine a police officer should know better than not knowing what to do at that point. If he wasn’t able shift to neutral, that would suggest there is a bigger problem.

    If we look at the statistics, I’d say it’s a median sensationalism. Where’s the outrage when people died in traffic accidents? In my city alone, over a dozen pedestrians died in span of 2 weeks, I don’t see national media jumping all over that. That is reality of our media today, anything goes when they can sell news (e.g. tiger woods). Don’t try to tell me it’s not sensationalism because it is.

  • Anonymous

    Shane, you been watching terminator movie again?

  • Anonymous

    Brandon, the difference is that Audi was truly blameless, and they got royally skewered by the press, especially when 60 Minutes had a demonstration of an Audi supposedly accelerating w/o the throttle pedal being depressed. What they didn’t say was that they had altered the transmission for the demo. Dateline NBC did the same again our pickup trucks (I work for GM).

    Here, there is an issue, or maybe several. There is also sensationalism, and we (as a society) often are not questioning of the press. You have to pick out the stuff that makes sense on your own, or discuss it with someone who can sort it out.

  • ummm yeah.

    I just want to say that the credibility that you believe you are building by stating that you are a GM employee is contradicted by everything else you just said. I dont think GM would be very happy to know that you are making public statements on their behalf.

  • John Jennetten

    I have a Toyota Avalon and experienced rapid unexpected acceleration using cruise control. I expect my problem may be similar to Prius owners. The problem is that the Avalon owners manual does not describe the fact that when using cruise control level to reset your cruise speed, it does so in 5 mph increments. Furthermore, if you hold the cruise control level up for a few seconds it continues to increment in 5 mph increments, so in just a few seconds you will have reset your cruise speed by 20 or 25 mph or more. This is extremely dangerous for car owners who have been accustomed to resetting cruise speeds by holding up the cruise control lever a few seconds to get to a new desired cuise speed setting.
    It took me a long time to figure out why this happened.

  • thebarnett

    As many have said, Toyota is a great company, what is happening with their cars is unintentional. All I have to say is no one is perfect not even the best car company can say they are.

    As far as the floor mats, There was a problem, they didn’t know what the problem was, and needed a solution quickly to please all the people asking about it.

    Many people need to relax and let Toyota do their job instead of trying to tell them how to do their job.

    I didn’t read all the responses but concerning the first one, coming from a mechanics point of view, never come off that you know more than your mechanic, if your going to a good mechanic, chances are you don’t know the answer, and he does. How would you feel if you were a chef and a mechanic came in and said well the problem with your food is that you don’t know how to cook it?

    The point is, yes this is a serious problem, but I can guarantee that Toyota is doing everything possible to keep their reputation and continue to provide the best automobile for their customer.

  • Brian Rose

    Toyoto Acceleration Problem Caused by Clock Oscillator Failure?

    I have sent this to as many congresspeople and agencies as I could think of, no responses. I am a retired electronics engineer, and more recently a consultant in the field of crystal oscillator products and clock oscillators.
    I had occasion to consult for a very large equipment company whose equipment problems presented in a way that strongly resembles those of Toyota’s acceleration problems.

    The problems occurred when the equipment microprocessor clock oscillator would “freeze”, causing a malfunction of the equipment run by that microprocessor.
    The problem only occurred at a specific, very narrow, temperature range of the clock oscillator crystal, and so was hard to reproduce in the laboratory and would appear as a random event in the field, just as the Toyota acceleration problems do.

    I would be happy to elaborate on my theory to the Toyota engineering department, but I have no way to get their attention.
    If you can help me communicate with the proper persons at Toyota, we might be able to provide some help in this matter.

  • EJD

    John Jenetten,
    The feature you describe is call Dynamic Cruise control. It is described in your manual.

  • Valerie

    I had this very problem 2 days ago and it scared the heck out of me. I braked while going over a bump as I was approaching a red light and the car just took off. Fortunately there was no one in front of me, but just that split-second feeling of having completely lost control was very frightening. Clearly there are situations where this could have dire consequences.

  • Anonymous

    why didn’t your husband just put the car in neutral so you could safely slow down under braking? sounds like more toyota owners experiencing driver error.

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  • tapra1

    That recall involves 2004 to 2009 Priuses—and recent year models of the Camry, Avalon, Tacoma and Tundra, as well as Lexus models ES 350, IS 250, and IS 350. The correction is intended to reduce the risk that the pedal may be jammed in the floor mat. In addition, the company will replace original equipment floor mats with redesigned mats.Premium Freebies