Nearly a ton and a half of steel hurling its way down the road at 50 miles an hour suddenly lurches and begins to increase its speed; 60 mph, 70 mph, 75, mph, 80 mph. The driver applies the brakes in a frantic effort to slow the vehicle; it does not slow the vehicle. The vehicle continues to accelerate as the driver continues to try and control the tons of steel and the brakes continue to fail to slow the vehicle.
That is a reasonable picture of the descriptions given by drivers of various Toyota vehicles. Toyota recalled vehicles and blamed floor mats for sudden acceleration of the vehicles, which resulted in crashes. Although floor mats may be an easy…and cheap…fix, that does not seem to be the problem. There are reports coming in of vehicles suddenly accelerating with floor mats different from the mats Toyota claims is the culprit.
For its part, Toyota apparently continues to maintain that no problem exists with any Toyota vehicle in which the proper floor mats are installed. They say the wrong floor mats may be in as many as 3.8 million vehicles.
Toyota owners and drivers should beware of this defect. In the case of any sudden acceleration, drivers should:
- Check your owner’s manual now to determine if you must lightly depress the brake in order to shift the car to neutral
- Shift the car to neutral
- Apply the brakes evenly
- Bring the vehicle to a stop
- Shut off the ignition
- Do not shut off the ignition until after you have come to a complete stop because you will lose power steering control and other functions allowing you to control the vehicle.