Toyota acceleration problem


A lady testifyed that her Lexus accelerated to 100 miles, and she was unable to control the speed, even with engaging all gears, incl.reverse. Is this technically possible ? At this speed, switching into reverse would probably be fatal, I think. Using neutral should have slowed the car, which she probably did not realize because of the continuing engine roar. Yuor comments, please. Thanks, RJ in Virginia


There are a number of posts on this already. The lady testified that she tried all positions, including reverse.

When people panic, they are not really sure of what exactly they are doing. Selecting neutral, which in my Toyota simply means nudging the shift lever forward (without taking your eyes off the road) till it stops, would have disengaged the engine from the transmission. To put it in reverse or Park means pressing the button on the gear shift leave and then moving it forward. I assume the Lexus shift mechanism works the same way.

The testimony dramatizes the situation, of course, but does not provide any answers. This is an important lesson for Toyota to make their cars completely fool(idiot)-proof, so that any brake application with the engine at high rpm will disengage the transmission.


The lady was in “panic” mode. There is no way that the vehicle could attain 100mph if she was cool, calm and collected. It’s a story that she concocted to cover herself and prevent embarrassment to herself. I’ve seen it many times when I drove a tow truck. People will press the accelerator to the floor and drive through banks, supermarkets and restaurants. The story was always the same: I stepped on the brakes as hard as I could and it would not stop. No brake failure was ever found. These events occurred in the late 60’s and early 70’s which was long before vehicle computers and the Toyota recall. It’s panic, pure and simple. If the lady just put the car in neutral and turned off the key the car would have stopped. It’s not technically possible for a Lexus to stay running after putting the vehicle in neutral and turning the key to off. No way…no how.


Here is the video clip of the actual case described above:

(after putting car in neutral and unable to turn off engine!!!)

See also other related video clips:


and the CA crash:
“911 Call Released from Crash that Prompted Initial Toyota/Lexus Floor Mat Recall”
(with California Highway Patrolman driving unable to stop vehicle)

"Witnesses saw flames coming from the front and rear tires of the speeding 2009 Lexus ES 350 before it crashed Aug. 28 in Santee, suggesting ?long, constant heavy braking,? said Sgt. Scott Hill, the lead sheriff’s investigator. "