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March 22nd, 2010
01:00 PM ET

Questions about possible faulty electronics in Toyotas

(CNN) – For decades it was the automaker that stood for quality, but these days Toyota is struggling to regain its customers' trust after problems with gas pedals and vehicles speeding out of control.

Now, Toyota maintains faulty electronics are not to blame for their problems, but not everyone's convinced. Our Deb Feyerick has the report.


Filed under: Business
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Kent

    I have been driving Toyota's for 20 years and just purchased a 2010 Corolla last week that I hope to drive for the next 10 years. I think Acceleration issues can happen with all modern vehicles, in fact, my local carwash made me turn on my hazzard lights whenever I brought my Jeep Cherokee through. They claim Jeep Cherokee's have been known to lurch forward and they are handing out public service announcements regarding sudden acceleration situations and specifically mention Toyota's and Jeep's.

    March 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  2. Howard

    Now, the question arises what the US gov't knew, when they knew it, what information was not acted on or revealed??? As always, there are more players in this poker game of politics & economics.

    March 23, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  3. Sparky Miller

    I made a second post some time ago about Toyota and it hasn’t appeared yet. Should I assume that Media Imperialism is alive and well at CNN

    March 23, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  4. Sparky Miller

    Since only a few, out of the many Toyotas are experiencing this problem. Those that are much smarter that I, should have a look at the “foreign” impurities in the component and the relationship to that impurity to the fuzzy logic mathematics that control acceleration

    March 23, 2010 at 9:20 am |
  5. chris goodfellow

    I have had my 2009 Venza exactly one year on Thursday. After buying GM and Ford products for 30 years, I bought my first Toyota last year. From day of delivery to today I have had 4 oil changes and no issues whatsoever. The Venza all wheel drive with large tyres provided excellent winter snow performance. The car is comfortable for road trips and very economical with the 4 cylinder proven engine. To date I am a satidfied customer. Could there be a software issue in the electronic throttle system of Toyotas or the possibility of errant radio wave interfenerence with the system causing some anomaly? Possible but when you drive any car you have more risk of being killed by a drunk driver than what appears to be a statistically minute number of throttle "surges". Just learn how to stop any out of control vehicle. Shift to neutral, brake to a stop, turn off the engine.

    March 23, 2010 at 9:09 am |
  6. Melissa Bartalone

    I have a 2001 Rav 4 that finally was diagnosed correctly by a Toyota dealer as "the Brain or computer" of the car. He said it was hoppin around their parking lot like a "jackrabbit" !!! After being told it was several other things and spending over $800.00, one of the servicemen said "you know I think I saw a memo on this". $It cost $$2,200 to replace it and because I had 140,000 miles on it Toyota wouldn't do anything. I've owned 6 Toyotas – I'll NEVER buy one again. This is NOT a floor mat problem.

    March 23, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  7. tom

    what i believe is wrong with toyota is the whole acceleration mechanism to where the pedal wire connects to the control box in the engine area, not eliminating any other connection that has to do with the acceleration cruise control etc... have their tech's looked at this. tom

    March 23, 2010 at 9:01 am |
  8. coventry snell

    No surprise of cover up...the car manufacture hired former nhst members and they needed to cover it up since they would not look bad in the eyes of former co workers

    March 23, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  9. G. Stevens

    I am another faithful Toyota owner. After driving Toyota and experiencing their very low maintenance record I decided to never go back to my old, high maintenance brands again. Toyotas are solid built vehicles. I think a majority of Toyota owners feel the same way. I currently own a Prius and I intend to purchase another Toyota soon! Let's not forget, Toyota employs around 200,000 Americans in the U.S., and considering our economy, we need Toyota to survive.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  10. Don Eckholm

    What about the millions of people who have had pre-existing conditions and/or could not afford health insurance and have amassed thousands of dollars of medical debt that they are already trying to pay off?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  11. Christine

    I have never been a Toyota owner, and after this most recent story about them possibly lying about the problem, I never will be! I have to be able to trust who I purchase my car from and after all the problems and disputes about where their acceleration problems are actually coming from, I can't trust Toyota.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  12. Sparky Miller

    If the attorneys did just a little deeper, I am confident they will find the answer. Their very nearly right about the electronics. However, I am confident that they will find the flaw in the Fuzzy Logic Algorithm. By the way, Fuzzy is used in other products like elevator controls and train acceleration and more. (That my opinion)

    March 23, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  13. mary lee

    My son who is cancer survivor at 22 will not face discrimination by the health insurance industry. He will be able to remain on our insurance until he is through graduate school. People don't remember the predictions of doom and gloom that went around after the passage of Medicare. Most of the boomer generation aren't saying they will not use or give up Medicare. So every one needs to take a deep breath. Compromise doesn't mean that one side yields to the other, it means each side gives a little. Maybe we all need to remember what that means.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  14. Dan

    I would like to see your reporters reporting what the actual service bulletin said. It did not reffer to "sudden acceleration", but reffered to "surging". I don't think you could find any mechanic that would equate these terms. When you start a car on a cold morning and it is running unevenly, that would be reffered to as "surging". When you drive down a street at a constant 30 miles an hour and feel an unevenness in the speed, that would be called "surging". I have NEVER heard anyone refer to what the man in California experienced when his Prius took off at 90 miles an hour as a surge. I have owned Toyota Camrys in the past and like them, but I am a Ford fan. I just would like some honesty in reporting or at least a discussion that doesn't exaggerate the facts of the service bulletins.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:32 am |
  15. Maurice Scott

    In January 2010, while sitting in my driveway, approaching to enter my garage, my 2003 lexus ES 300 locked in gear, accelerated on its on, and no matter how much i pushed the brake, it didn't stop. The result was it tore down my garage door, damaged my home, and completely destroyed my vehicle beyond my ability to repair. I had brought this vehicle with my settlement monies from Department of Veteran Administration from my disabilities.

    In response, I've tried to work this out with Toyota, and Lexus, by telephone, fax, email, facebook, twitter, and myspace, only in all cases to be ignored. I thought I was being reasonable, I have ALS, and I in no way indicated that I was looking for lawsuits or injuries monies, just their help in replacing my vehicle, and help replacing my garage door. Was I being to unreasonable?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  16. ann in nh

    I have a Lexus that does this. I got the car because of Toyota's safety record. I will probably buy a different brand next time. My car does this acceleration thing.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  17. Dave

    I was involved in an excelleration accident with my 2008 RAV4. It ended up with a 3 time rollover and injuries were limited but substantial. What I am concerned with is that Toyota didn"t address the problem as soon as it could have. And, we should be investigating the government agency that didn't make Toyota do just that. There are those of us that were involved in accidents and have not reported to anyone about this. My insurance took care of the car and my medical bills that they are still paying. I told the insurance company that the car was theirs now and I didn't want anything to do with any of it from this point. If Toyota and our government knew then there is a problem.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  18. Michelle K

    We own three Toyota's; two Prius and one Venza and we have owned Toyota's for almost 20 years and I would never consider changing. I have never had a problem with any of our Toyota's. Every manufacturer has recalls and through the years if Toyota has had a recall we have brought our cars in for the repair without any due concern. We also keep our cars continuously up to date with service maintenance and over all condition and would never falter on those aspects.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  19. j. doe

    The Republicans continue to prove that they are becoming a worthless Party! Sore losers is what we call it, out here in reality. They are evil and mean-spirited, individuals, incapable any longer of hiding their nastiness, and repugnance towards the average and common American. They are fighting to represent their own personal interests, NOT ours. They are about to get their second shock, come Nov., for it is THEY that are appearing to hold progress down, at a time, when the American People have no time or tolerance for their arrogant, smug, psycho- drama. We need them to stop wasting taxpayer money, and get on with the business of the Land, which was why they were elected in the first place. It occurred to me that John Boehner was theatrical in his House presentation yesterday, and actually, borderline "unstable." I have this same impression whenever I hear that idiot, Palin, speak. John McCain, (the John McCain of this week), was on the verge of one of his fits, on the news yesterday. I suppose things are steaming up for him in his local election, and he may be one of the first REP's to meet their fate, and he knows it! And THESE are the LEADERS of the REP Party???? Steele is an idiot; Kantor tries to give the allusion of leadership, but keen eyes recognize, his feverish ambition without the talent to back it up!; And Scott, you ask? Trying waaaay too hard to be Kennedyesque, thinking he can and will be the white verson of Barack Obama, but it ain't happenin'. He's a Chippendale, with the surprising ability to use 2-syllable words. Your polls are not getting it right, but yet, AGAIN, CNN. It is NOT the Dems who have something to fear come NOV, but ALL politicians who are not serving the taxpaying constituents they represent, right and left, INESPECIALLY, the REP's! Mark my words.....(For the record, I am an Independent.)

    March 23, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  20. Raaj

    I have about 100 000 miles on my Camary of 04 and about 70 000 miles on my Corolla of 05 not once have I gone to the garage till date. No Accelaration problem nor brake.

    I will always be a Toyota man.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  21. Dianne

    "a tree falling on a Toyota Sequoia..." aaaaahahahaha. John is so on today. Don't think we didn't hear that hilarious 'text message' comment from Kiran, either. You guys are going to put Colbert on notice for his job sooner or later. Keep it up! Great show.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:25 am |
  22. A. Martin

    I have about 190,000 miles on a 2002 Camry SE. Never any sudden, unintended acceleration problems. This car still has many miles left on it and I intend to drive it until it won't go anymore. :)

    March 23, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  23. jacki from Tampa

    I bought my 2005 Toyota Prius 2 weeks before Hurricane Katrina. I have all the recommended service performed by my dealer on schedule and have never had a problem with the car. Quite the contrary – I LOVE my Prius. I've read all the documents CNN has posted and perfomed the road tests recommended by the NHTSA and my car performed perfectly.

    Two comments to those who are so eager to trash Toyota: 1) This car is not for everyone. I am 5'7" and have plenty of room. But, this was a huge switch from the Cadillac Deville I traded in on this car. I wanted a friend to drive it – 6'0" and he was cramped. (One thing I have not heard mentioned is the cruise control is on the steering column right where this guy's knee hit – hmm. I can see where a large person could easily engage the cruise control by accident. So I tested my cruise control just in case. No issues on mine.) 2) You must learn to drive this car properly. The keyless, push-button start isn't the only difference from American cars. Take time to get a thorough review of the features from your dealer and actually read the owner's manual.

    I was so pleased to see Ford and GM coming out with improvements. Let's not focus so much on these so-called "defects" (yes I am very skeptical) that we don't keep the pressure on American automakers to deliver on their promises.

    It's beautiful in Tampa today. I'm going outside to wash and wax my Prius.

    March 23, 2010 at 6:55 am |
  24. Nelz

    Business has not been conducted in a favourable manner for Toyota. The problems date back years. Goodbye loyalty. That Mitsubishi Lancer is looking good. I may be able to afford that soon. Oh yea look at the time, I'm on the WC and have school work later in the morning. Honestly cannot explain why I'm awake....ZZZZZZZZZZ.

    Good Job CNN.

    March 23, 2010 at 6:49 am |
  25. Tommy Sayles

    I applaud the CNN and all media groups who are keeping this front and center, I am not doubting the reliable cars that Toyota has put on the roads, however this is news when people are loosing their lives and being involved in accidents that not only endanger their lives but everyone else on the road too. Too many times corporations get away with this kind of stuff that if an individual such as my self were involved in or lied about would be locked away in prison for a long time.

    Tommy Sayles
    San Diego

    March 23, 2010 at 6:36 am |
  26. Nelz

    My father owns a 2008 model Camry hybrid.

    I do not feel that there are unsafe issues while on the road (with the car).

    However one day when I was driving up the hills in the complex to get home, a relative was blocking the garage.

    I may have stepped on the gas pedal too hard. (I was mad because I had already asked this relative of mine not to block the garage entrance.)

    The car took off suddenly, I'm not sure if there was a delay. The car bottomed out and now the plastic under the car is torn up. I do not have the money to repair the damage because I am a f/t student.

    I got S*** for it which just adds to my stresses of living in this situation (but that's life.)

    -M/22/778

    March 23, 2010 at 6:34 am |
  27. Arun B

    I think this Toyota is matter has gone too far. Every single document is getting sensationalized.

    I drive a Camry hybrid and a Lexus hybrid. I am still 100% behind the Toyota company. There is no other car manufacturer that has a more fuel efficient and historically dependable lineup of cars.

    Yes this incident was a fumble, but if it was GM or Ford we would have taken it as usual business.

    March 23, 2010 at 6:29 am |
  28. DS

    I find it interesting that the media keeps this front and center. I am a Toyota owner and will continue to be a Toyota owner. I wonder what happened to the recall this year by Honda and GMC? I saw them once on the news and then *POOF* nothing. I do not doubt that there is a safety issue that needs to be addressed, however; Toyota has had some of the highest safety and consumer ratings. I wish someone would do a study on the increase of GM, Chevrolet, and Ford sales due to this Toyota recall.

    I have complete confidence in Toyota and their vehicles. The problem will be fixed with the vehicles but I feel it will be a long time before Toyota can repair all of the damage done by the media.

    March 23, 2010 at 6:29 am |
  29. Tommy Sayles

    I think the fact Toyota continues to try to make excuses and not own up to what they know and for how long they have known it, are just appalling especially after new evidence that was uncovered prove that possibly as far back as 2002 Toyota had this knowledge. I also expect harsh rebuke on the part of our own governments part in what they knew. People need not let this matter go away and if Toyota leaders lied to members of congress and to the public they should be held accountable either criminally or financially or both.

    Tommy Sayles
    San Diego

    March 23, 2010 at 6:26 am |
  30. Tony

    It's seems the press is willing to give consumers who's claims turn out to be false a pass. yet, they are quick to jump all over Toyota at the first hint of a problem.

    Just seems like a lot of obvious bias reporting toward Toyota. I'm a happy Toyota customer for over 10 years now. bet many can't say that about the big 3 US auoto manufacturers.

    March 23, 2010 at 6:25 am |
  31. Larry

    I've driven a Toyota for about 7 years and have been extremely satisfied with the company's products. I think we need to step back a bit and realize that no machine made by human beings will ever be perfect. Have we become so comfortable in society, that we think nothing can go wrong? While Toyota must do everything in its power to rectify this situation, its workers can only do so much. At the end of the day, it's up to the consumer to make a decision in whether he/she thinks that product is right for them. I will probably always own a Toyota not just because of its high performing (imperfect) product, but th stellar customer service I've received over the years. That is exactly why I've remained loyal this long.

    March 23, 2010 at 6:24 am |
  32. Scott

    I feel that Toyota's problems are their own fault. I do not currently drive a Toyota I drive Ford. The Ford vehicle that I drive still uses cable throttle and has never been a failure technology measure. If the cable fails or breaks, the throttle doesn't work. There is no chance that the car can accelerate out of control. I think there should be a cap on technology and a wall of when the technology is getting to far advanced for the average vehicle and customer. Especially when peoples lives and others are at danger! I say Toyota should go back to standard technology such as what Ford is using and has proven to not endanger people's lives.

    March 23, 2010 at 6:22 am |
  33. Natalie Garris

    I have a 2005 Lexus that has the hesitation in the gas pedal and will have a surge. This is intermittent but generally happens at slower speeds. Being in outside sales and using my car as a tool of my employment, I've been nervous about all the Toyota problems that seem to escalate daily. I took it in to have it looked at and was told that they could not recreate what was happening with my gas pedal, therefore I basically got the "Good Luck" but we can't help you because mechanic says there was no bulletin posted.

    March 23, 2010 at 6:20 am |
  34. Marion Rhodus

    I own a 2005 Camry and 2007 Corolla. Both cars have been in the shop at Joseph Airport Toyota in Vandalia Ohio many times. The 2005 Camry has done the delay and then surge every since I have had it. All the times Airport Toyota tells me that it is normal. Now to see this bulletin inflames me. I plan to tell everyone to check out http://toyota.imnothappy.info
    The corolla has the steering problems that they also deny. I will not buy a toyota again. I am waiting for the car dealership to open and I plan to present them with this news...

    March 23, 2010 at 6:20 am |
  35. Howie

    interesting... Toyota claimed last week that the input information their on-board computer captures was for R&D only and not any kind of proof the cars performance. yet unlike ford and GM, Toyota's black boxes can only be read by a proprietary black box reader. if it smells like a fish and swims like a fish .. i ain't driving it nor do i want it driving behind me on the nations hyways... do you???
    look back to our first fly by wire jet fighter the F-16, it took years to get the manufacture to admit there were issues with their system, and even worse it took allot of pilots lives as well as lives of those on the ground. amazing how we fail to learn from past mistakes.

    March 22, 2010 at 2:11 pm |