2007 Toyota Tacoma Under Investigation

There have been a number of cases where there has been unexplained acceleration when the drivers have said they had hit the brakes.  
A nationwide investigation by the Channel 4 I-team found complaints about the 2007 Toyota Tacoma that included mysterious acceleration even when drivers said they hit the brakes.

Channel 4 found a growing number of drivers who have had problems with the vehicle, which has prompted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to start conducting tests on the model.
Of course the initial  reaction  on the car company's  part would be want to  blame it on driver error.  But of important  note :
But even Toyota found a problem unrelated to driver error in other models. During the course of this Channel 4 investigation, Toyota announced an equipment recall for "all weather floor mats" in the 2007 and 2008 Camry and Lexus 350 automobiles. Toyota said that those floor mats could come loose and slip onto the gas pedal.
As this story says, many drivers will never even report the problem, and simply get rid of the truck.  It is important  that if  there is an issue with the  vehicle, it be reported, not just forgotten. The reports are necessary to ensure a thorough investigation occurs in order to remedy the situation if there truly is a product defect.
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John Owens - July 11, 2009 12:50 AM

I own a 2007 Tacoma quad cab. I just had one of the most harrowing driving experiences in my life.

I served 23 years as a fighter aircraft mechanic. I now repair the machines that make semiconductors. While in the Air Force, I had engine run licenses on F-4, F-15, and F-16 aircraft. I was the first guy that got to fire up aircraft after major maintenance. There was a pucker factor on almost every engine run. I learned very quickly that it's important to evaluate a problem before you just turn everything off.

Today, some of that paid off when I was driving my 07 Tacoma from Tucson AZ to Queen Creek AZ.

Speed limit - 65 and so I set my cruise control and enjoyed the ride. I cam around a bend, and there was a pickup pulling a trailer. I had to tap on the break to disengage the cruise control, and slow down to ~ 50 before I could pass due to oncoming traffic.

I then went around the pickup, and hit the resume button and the car started to accelerate. At around 70MPH, I thought that the automatic transmission should have shifted into overdrive by then, and the engine started to accelerate past 80. I then disengaged the cruise control, but the car kept accelerating. I took the truck out of gear into neutral, and the engine went straight to 6000 RPM. My breaks felt as though I had lost my power breaks, and I had to stand on them to get them to slow me down. At one point, I needed to speed up due to the traffic situation and the engine slammed into gear.

Once I felt it was a safe location, I put the car in Neutral and tried to coast to a stop. The truth is that I had to literally push with full force to get the truck to stop. I did not engage the emergency break as I thought I could loose total control.

Once stopped, the engine was still full throttle, and before I shut of the engine, I noticed that the accelerator pedal was flat against the floorboard as though you were flooring the gas but there was nothing obstructing the peddle. I was 20 miles from Florence AZ and its 110 out. I'm thinking to myself, that if I kill the engine, I might not get the engine started again and be stranded. As it turned out, I turned off the engine, checked for leaks under the hood, and frame, and then started it again. The engine went straight to idle, and so I decided to try and drive the car. I got my very shaken wife home, and I went straight to the dealer. While they had the car, I found numerous articles with similar situations.

My floor mats were not an issue here. But that's EXACTLY what the dealer said. I told them no way and explained how I spent a few harrowing minutes evaluating the issues. There was nothing blocking the gas pedal. I have contacted NHSA about this matter.

I can't help but wonder how many people have had a similar situation but hit something and try explain that the truck took off on its own, only to be scorned with a "yea, right" by the officer writing a ticket for loss of control of vehicle. I was lucky and kept my cool.

Tim Zecha - February 5, 2010 6:59 AM

On 1/31/10 I was driving my 2008 Toyota Tacoma and went to park at a McDonald’s in Madison VA. My rate of speed was very slow as you might expect. I put my foot on the brake pedal and the vehicle continued to move forward. The vehicle jumped a 10 inch concrete parking slab, traveled several more feet and then climbed a 1ft curb. The truck continued to move forward over bushes and landscaping. At this point the engine was revving (RPM’s seemed to be increasing). My foot was pressing very hard on the brake pedal this whole time. At this point a passenger yelled, “we’re going through the glass!” at that moment I moved the shifter into “Park”. The truck stopped just as it slammed into the restaurant breaking two plate glass windows, bending the window frame and sending customers running. It was a VERY close call. I put the car in reverse and moved about 6 feet back away from the restaurant.

The police came and took multiple statements. One of the witnesses who was eating lunch with his family said to me (and this is also on the record) “your front wheels were not moving, but the truck kept coming towards the windows). I also took pictures of the wheel marks in the snow that showed the front wheels were actually skidding through the snow. So… my foot was on the brake, the front wheels had stopped but the back wheels were continuing to push my truck forward. This was a very, very scary situation.

The Truck was towed to Rosner Toyota Dealership in Fredericksburg VA and on Wednesday 2/3/10 “Toyota Regional” (i.e. corporate) came to the Rosner Dealership and inspected my truck. They found “nothing wrong”. They said that the floor mat and the accelerator pedal were in fine working condition and that the pedal was not part of the recall. They were done with me at that point.

I feel that Toyota is putting my life (and others) at risk by telling me that my car is safe to drive. I think that this information should be put on record.

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