Acceleration Accident after Toyota Recalls Performed

This 2008 Toyota Avalon has been sitting in the driveway for close to two weeks.
Mary Johnson says she's afraid to drive it and was warned by a Colorado Springs police officer not to... until Toyota inspects it.
Mary says, "I was thinking I could've died. You know I could've been dead."
Mary took me around the corner ... showing me where her car suddenly accelerated without warning.
She says she was driving about 15 miles and hour and braked to go over this speed bump and then the Avalon took off... out of control.
Mary says, "the next thing I know... it had jumped the curb and went up an embankment and then it was just as fast as lightning speed look like."
Mary says there's damage to her neighbor's bushes and fence, but they kept her car from going any further.
Sarah MacAllister, who lives four doors down says she'll never forget the sound of the car's engine.
Sarah says, "we could hear something go rrrrrh... like an engine revving so we all went down the street and around the corner and we could see her car up on the embankment by the house and you could still hear the engine roaring."
Mary says the accident's really shaken her up. She's horrified about what could've happened.
Mary adds, "It just was so fast. A lot of people were standing out there. If it had gone the other way... there were a lot of children out there and I don't know what kind of damage it would've done."
Mary's Avalon had the Toyota floor matt recall performed five months ago and the accelerator pedal recall was done a month later.
She says at the time... Toyota mechanics told Mary she shouldn't have any sudden acceleration problems... but if she did... she was told to put the car in neutral.
Mary says she couldn't.
She says, "It happened so fast. Nobody really can think. It happens faster than you can even think."
Mary reported what happened to police and to Toyota. The car maker told her a regional rep would come out and inspect the Avalon within five to 10 days.
Then she was told a report would be issued about 30 days later.
Mary says that's a long time to wait for answers when she's afraid to drive her only car.
She called me after a phone call between her daughter and Toyota.
Mary says, "They told her if she called again, they were going to just put my name back on the list. It would be longer taking care of me."
I called Toyota and a rep apologized for the way Mary and her daughter were treated.
I was told a Toyota inspector would soon be out to take a look at Mary's car... examining both the mechanical and electrical systems.
Lisette Vasquez, a Toyota regional rep says the car maker has taken other reports like Mary's... of sudden acceleration in vehicles that have already undergone the recalls.
She says that's why the investigation is ongoing.
We'll keep you posted on Mary's car and what advice she's given.
If you own a Toyota and have experienced sudden acceleration problems after recalls have been performed, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to hear from you.

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  • by Jane Location: Michigan on Aug 7, 2010 at 08:23 PM
    Mary, you're an idiot.... and clearly a terrible driver. Unfortunately, it's people like you that give us women drivers a bad reputation. If you aren't smart enough to put a car into neutral if the accellerator allegedly "sticks" then you shouldn't be driving; period.
  • by kitkat Location: VA on Jul 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM
    In my Toyota Tundra, driving 15mph is almost idling forward. If my Toyota were to speed away while cruising at idle, I think I'd have plenty of time to react. Mary's Avalon takes well over 15 seconds to go a 1/4 mile distance. It's not a racecar. Try counting to 15 in your chair and tell me you don't have time to shift a car into Neutral. Mary, are you absolutely sure that you didn't hit the GAS pedal instead of the BRAKE pedal? They are only about 3 inches apart. While driving 15mph, just tapping the GAS pedal and thinking it's the BRAKE pedal could be catastrophic. If you already think you're foot is on the BRAKE pedal and you feel as if your car is going out of control, then pressing harder on the pedal that you think is the brake but is actually the accelerator, you will certainly accelerate and get into an accident. Take a moment to think about what your actual actions were before accusing a scapegoat. I am glad your crash was not more serious and no one was physically hurt.
  • by Bonn Location: Colorado Springs on Jul 18, 2010 at 09:25 PM
    Hey, would anyone know why if people are being told to put those accelerating cars into neutral why Toyota is not looking at the shifting box (or whatever it's called) and how that is reacting with the transmission?
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