Any Need To Panic?

The wife and I bought a 2009 Toyota RAV4. With all the “Recall” news I’ve made sure we BOTH understand what to do if the throttle sticks. I haven’t persued it further while waiting to hear from our dealer. What’s your take on this?

My suggestion is for you both to practice putting the transmission into neutral while driving at highway speeds, just so that you can be prepared in the event of…you know what.

In the meantime, wait for your recall letter. There is really nothing else to do, IMHO.

The race is on to see who will contact you first, the Dealer or the Class Action Lawyers…

You can scan this and the “General Discussions” Forum for several detailed threads on this subject…

I’d imagine everyone’s take can be found in the existing threads on this topic.

To put things in perspective. There are 40,000-50,000 traffic fatalities in the US every year. 85% are DRIVER ERROR, 10% road and weather condition and only 5 % mechanical failure. Of that, 5% (2000-2500), the vast majority are due to OWNER NEGLECT, and lack of maintenance.

A vey tiny minority are due to bad design of the car itself. Just setting out on the road each morning with a “good” car has a 1 in 1000 chance of having a serious accident. The major cause of this is the poor quality of US driver training. So, if any blame is to be assigned, the vast majority will go to your fellow drivers and the State driving standards where you live.

That’s why flying is 4 times as safe as driving; the environment is much better controlled.

As mentioned before, learn to put the car in neutral if anything happens, and steer out of trouble.

VDC has givem excellent advice as usual.
Practice putting the car in neutral.

And, should the accelerator stick and you put it in neutral do NOT turn off the engine until you’re safely stopped. You want to keep your power steering and your brake booster. The engine will protect itself. Focus on protecting YOURself.

Check your VIN number if it begins with J there is no need to worry…these vehicles are not under the recall notice. Check this web page…

If you are a person who can keep your presence of mind, PRACTICE a stuck-at-full-throttle SIMULATION. On a lightly traveled road, get to some speed, hold the gas pedal to the floor (with the right foot) and with the left foot, fully depress the brake pedal. If it seems that the fully applied brakes can’t hold the vehicle, then, you would put the gear shift into neutral. Safely, and calmly, steer to the side of the road and shut off the engine.

The sticky throttle takes wear and humidity to cause it to stick. You can drive your Rav4 without worry for now, unless you have a lot of miles on it. I’d guess that a lot would be at least 25,000 miles. You should notice sme small amount of sticking before it sticks for good.


You could give it to me for safe keeping! After my, uh, your truck is fixed, I’ll surely return it!

Looking at the statistics, you are still very unlikely to experience a stuck throttle. Even driving a Toyota with the defect, you are only twice as likely to have a stuck throttle on it as you would be in any other car.
The real story here is that driver’s ed is not doing a good enough job. They need to teach how to handle unexpected emergency’s such as a stuck throttle.

Shift to neutral. After you have safely stopped, turn the engine off.

An interesting fact about the Toyota RAV4 VIN’s that begin with ‘J’ not having the acceleration problem is that the ‘J’ means that the car was made in Japan.

If fatal accidents were traced to a particular line at a Japanese plant, one or more people on that line would probably commit suicide.

You think anybody in North America takes their job that seriously even though they are assembling parts that directly affect safety of life?