Do you own a Toyota? If so, you should know what to do if your gas pedal sticks while you are driving. There have been many incidents of the Toyota gas pedals sticking, some causing accidents resulting in death, and leading to a recall of over 4 million Toyota vehicles, including:
• Certain 2009-2010 Toyota RAV4 Vehicles
• Certain 2009-2010 Toyota Corolla Cars
• 2009-2010 Toyota Matrix
• 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon
• Certain 2007-2010 Toyota Camry
• Certain 2010 Toyota Highlander
• 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra
• 2008-2010 Toyota Sequoia
Toyota has blamed the sudden acceleration problem on out of position floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals. In reality, the problem really may electromagnetic interference with the electronic throttle system that those recall vehicles use. Electronic throttles replace mechanical links between the gas pedal and the throttle with electronic relays. This system recudes the weight of the vehicle and saves fuel.
So, what should you do if you are driving a Toyota vehicle and your car accelerator pedal is stuck? Let’s talk about the options:
- Brakes: Stops take much longer then normal while traveling at high speeds. Also, most drivers are not used to breaking while the gas pedal is being accelerated so brakes have to be applied much harder than normal.
- Turning Off the Ignition: Turning off the ignition may also be a solution, but that may lock the steering, preventing you from the ability to manuever the car. Even if steering is not locked, you will lose power steering and power breaking. Also, many newer vehicles now have push button start and stop systems so simply pressing the on/off button may not work with a single press. Read your owners manual to find out how to stop the car while it is moving. It may take a 3 second push and hold to shut off the engine, which may be difficult if you’re in a panic situation where you may be hitting the on/off button repeatedly.
- Put the car in neutral: This is the best solution, hands down. The accelerator will continue to be race but that won’t effect the car since it’s disconnected. You will still have power breaks and power steering if you put the car in neutral so that seems to be the best solution.
In August of 2009, 4 people were killed as a result of a Toyota stuck accelerator when they were driving a Lexus that was out of control and the brakes would not work. A Toyota lawsuit lawyer may be able to help if you if you have been injured as a result of a stuck accelerator. If you have not been involved in an accident and you do have one of the recalled vehicles, please take it into a Toyota dealership immediately. The fix apparently takes around 30 minutes, and who knows what the waiting time is, but in this situation the safety of you and your family is what matters most.