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Toyota Sudden Acceleration: What To Do If It Happens To You

7 comments

There has been a lot of news in recent weeks about the Toyota’s sudden acceleration recall because of floor mats and the potential of additional Toyota sudden acceleration problems. I have had several people ask me what they should do if their Toyota or Lexus experiences the sudden acceleration issue.

ABC News and Consumer Reports have put together a helpful video that can help you avoid disaster if your Toyota or Lexus experiences sudden unintended acceleration. You can view the safety video here.

Some important things to know:

Unlike many other vehicle manufacturers, Toyota and Lexus did not incorporate a critical safety feature into their vehicles that shifts the vehicle into neutral when the driver pushes down on the brake pedal. This means that the relatively small Toyota and Lexus brakes do not have enough power to stop the vehicle when the engine is racing out of control. Do not pump your brakes as this will cause your brakes to fail.

Also, you should not turn off your engine. Turning off your engine may shut down the power steering and power braking in the vehicle, making it very difficult to steer or slow the car. In some instances, the steering wheel will actually lock up, making it impossible to steer the vehicle. In vehicles with a power button, it can be very confusing and difficult to shut down the engine during sudden acceleration.

What to do if your vehicle suddenly accelerates:

Because Toyota did not incorporate the critical safety feature that shifts the car into neutral during braking, the driver must manually shift the vehicle into neutral. According to Consumer Reports, if your vehicle accelerates out of control, take these steps:

(1) Put your foot on the brake hard — slam on the brake.

(2) Shift the car into neutral.

(3) The car will slow and come to a stop while the engine is revving.

(4) Once you are stopped, turn off the vehicle.

You can learn more about the Toyota sudden acceleration defect by reading these previous reports of Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem:

Toyota Recall: Unanswered Questions

Toyota Denied Sudden Acceleration Problem For More Than 5 Years

"Inaccurate and Misleading" Statements On Toyota Sudden Acceleration Problem

Toyota Sudden Acceleration: Case Is Not Closed

Safety Group Responds To Toyota On Sudden Acceleration Defect

Toyota Has More Troubles Than Just Sudden Acceleration

You can learn more about Toyota’s dangerous sudden acceleration defect at our auto safety blog or by visiting our web site.

Learn more and become a fan of Langdon & Emison on Facebook.

7 Comments

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  1. Gokhan says:
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    With the acceleration pedal stuck to the floor, if you put the transmission into neutral, you will blow your engine and possibly the transmission as well.

  2. Mike says:
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    Gokhan:

    Yeah, but that beats being killed.

  3. Mike Bryant says:
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    This is the first piece I have seen on what to do. Very helpful stuff, hopefully Toyota is getting this information out, but probably will continue to hide.

  4. Facebook User says:
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    TOYOTA SENT ME A RECALL LETTER AND IN IT THEY STATED THAT WE SHOULD TAKE OUT THE FLOOR MATS UNTIL THEY CAN FIND A CURE FOR THIS PROBLEM AND NOT REPLACE THEM WITH ANYTHING ELSE UNTIL THE CURE HAS BEEN FOUND. I PERSONALLY WOULD RATHER HAVE A DIRTY FLOOR BOARD THAN TO RISK BEING KILLED OR KILLING MY BABIES OR SOMEONE ELSE SO MINE ARE OUT OF THE CAR UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE FROM TOYOTA.

  5. EG says:
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    It is NOT the floor mats. When I first heard about this, I remembered an incident I had a couple of years ago when my car suddenly accelerated on the freeway; I panicked because I was coming up on traffic, but hitting the brakes hard worked. It was brief, but it was really scary. I didn’t report it because I didn’t really know what it could have been, but I KNOW it wasn’t the floor mat (mine doesn’t have an ill fitted floor mat) and I wasn’t going pedal-to-floor fast anyway. The minute I heard of this, I suspected that Toyota was taking the easy way out by blaming floor mats. Yesterday’s L.A. Times, I think, tells the true story. Saying it was the floor mat makes it look like the driver is somewhat at fault. It’s not the floor mats.

  6. Ben Thurston says:
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    In some, but obviously not all, cases, it IS the floor mat. In some cases, drivers have stepped on the throttle, thinking it was the brake. In others, drivers have falsely claimed “unintended acceleration” to try to explain away an accident. But there are still some cases, such as yours, that don’t fit in one of these categories. For these cases, Toyota’s changes to the engine management computer to shut the throttle when the brakes are applied seems like a reasonable response.
    In response to Gokhan’s comment on 11/8, all modern engines have rev limiters that will allow full throttle for an indefinite period without damage to the engine. No one should hesitate to shift into neutral if they encounter an unintended acceleration situation–whatever the reason.

  7. Keith R. Herbert, Esq says:
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    Dear Brett Emison,

    As a personal injury attorney in south Florida I have recently been retained on a claimed Toyota accelration case from 2007. A woman in here 2002 Toyota was stopped at a red light when turned green started nnormally, car shot forward off road to her right and flipped three times hitting tree. She underwent immediate knee surgery and amputation of four toes. She was months in hospitatl, rehab, and home therapies. She now uses can when it acts up. I am looking for attorneys to from a class to bring a suit. Please advise if this may interest you.

    Looking forward to discussing this matter with you,
    Keith Herbert
    Cell 972 900 1202