2005 Toyota Sienna, parked on a steep hill. No key in the ignition and no ebrake on. Our toddler jumps into front seat and plays around with the shifter. It pops out of park and into reverse. Chaos ensues. Wife (who is in back seat with baby) throws it into park, but van keeps on a truckin. Before she can get into frontseat and hit the brakes, they go diagonal across the street and crash into another car. Everyone is FINE. Thank you lady luck.
First off, is this a common occurrence? At the cop at the scene said it happens a lot on this particular hill.
Second - as an engineer, I really want to understand the possible point(s) of failure. My understanding is that two things must happen to engage the transmission:
- power to ignition switch
- break pedal depressed, triggering a sensor to release the shifter
I tried to reproduce the problem again tonight (on another hill), but nothing.
Is it possible for this system to fail? Will there be signs that a mechanic can identify?