Toyota SUA problems

Just a worried mom…What exactly should I believe?! We have a 2005 Camry LE bought used from a little old man about 18 mos. ago. Current mileage 39,000…overall really good shape, no problems. With all this talk about SUA I’m a bit paranoid this could happen with this car even though it is not in any “recalls” for the pedal etc. When talking to my local Toyota dealer they just say “it’s not in a recall”.

This car is driven primarily by my 18 y.o. college freshman. We have discussed and practiced the “put it in neutral” thing, but I would never forgive myself if something happened to her in that car because of SUA. I bought the Camry for reliability and safety reasons, but now I just don’t know if I should keep her in that car or trade for something else. We do like the car a lot, drives nice, perfect size for her, etc. And I HATE shopping/looking for cars! Part of the problem is I don’t know who or what to believe with so much conflicting info out there. Any advice? Worried sick!

The NHTSA website lists one recall for 2005 Camrys and it’s for the seat belt. Use this link to search for recalls.

The recall is for 2007 and newer Camry’s and is listed on the website for those years. The power steering recall on my 2010 Cobalt is also listed, so I’m assuming the government website is up to date.

On my way back to work from lunch, I had an SUA episode in my 2000 Blazer. Once I realized the truck was stuck at full throttle it was just a matter of shifting to neutral and finding a safe place to pull over. I shut the engine off right after I put it in neutral. It’s probably safer to leave the engine running to keep the power steering though, but an old Chevy V6 bouncing off redline is very distracting. I still had enough braking left to slow down from 55-60 mph with no difficulty. I’ll be cleaning and lubing the throttle cable and linkages tonight. My daughter will be driving soon and until I figure out what’s going on she won’t be driving the Blazer.

Just curious, does the 2005 Camry have a throttle cable (mechanical) or the drive by wire throttle (electronic, subject to recall). If it’s a mechanical linkage I wouldn’t worry too much.

It might not be a bad idea to take your daughter out on an empty road and practicing putting the car in neutral and pulling over.

Good luck,

Ed B.

Thanks Ed for responding. How can I tell if it’s a throttle cable or drive by wire throttle? Sorry, you’re talking to a mom who doesn’t have a lot of mechanical knowledge! But, I’ve got the window sticker…does this tell anything? 2.4L 4CYL DOHC 16V VVT-i SFI Engine, 5-Speed ECT-i Automatic Transmission. That’s like talking Greek to me! But all the other stuff listed I can pretty much figure out. I also have the owners manual but haven’t the time tonight to see if I can find that info. Again, thanks for your help, and yes,I’ve practiced with my daughter putting it into neutral etc. just in case this were to occur. She thinks I’m being over worried about this…but at 18 I didn’t have a care in the world either and thought nothing could ever happen to me…ah to be a kid again and worry free! :wink:

on the top/back of the accelerator (gas) pedal (or anywhere on it’s arm), is there a cable that goes through the firewall into the engine bay, or does it just connect up to switches?

Your Camry is no more likely to accelerate out of control than any car from other manufacturers.

The media loves scaring you to death; that way you will stay tuned or keep buying newspapers.

I perform a lot of risk analysis, and the best way to make sure you 18 year old survves the streets and highways is for him or her to become a good and defensive driver. Both my children have taken this course, ususally give by auto clubs or community colleges. I trained in the army driving trucks and later worked for a gas utility which made me take the same driver training as the local police force!!

The next thing is to make sure the car’s maintenance and tires are up to date.

Then it’s necessary to instill care and courtesy in the young drivers.

If you analyze 100 highway deaths, you will find that:

  1. 85% are due to “driver error”; bad drivng plain and simple.

  2. About 10% are due to road conditions, and weather. Those are beyond the driver’s control, other than staying off the road.

  3. Only 5 % are due to the mechanical condition of the car, and the vast majority of that is lack of maintenance leaving the vehicle in a dagerous condition.

  4. A very tiny minority are due to bad car design, such as the gas pedal and other over the years by other manufacturers.

Hope that puts things in perspective. If you worked for any of the networks and publicly state what I just told you, you would be out of a job soon! You have to bash the big bad car companies and not ever mention the lack of driving skils in the general public. Americans by world standards are not very good drivers, and the driver ed course are really Mickey Mouse.

So, invest $150 or so and put your 18 year old into a defensive driving course. It’s the best investment you wiill ever make!

That does not mean there should be no pressure on the car companies to aim for no defects in design. The children of those congressmen bashing the car companies are probably very poor drivers themselves.