I know many of the readers and contributors to this blog have Toyotas. They are great, reliable cars. However, better be careful in your Avalon, Matrix, Highlander, and Sequoia. I think they're all guilty models.
This article has some useful advice about what to do if this happens to you:
- First, try to hit the pedal or agitate it to make sure nothing is forcing it down.
- Next, PUT THE CAR IN NEUTRAL IMMEDIATELY, and gently start to brake, being aware of the traffic around you, and pull the car to the side of the street or road as soon as possible.
- The last resort is turning off the ignition, but you have to make sure that you do not lock the steering wheel. You will lose your power in the brakes and steering. DO NOT try to drive the vehicle, as it will rev the engine to a dangerous level.
It would take a series of malfunctions to prevent the car from going into neutral and still have this problem, but, I suppose it's possible that a stuck accelerator, coupled with a transmission problem, coupled with a car that has one of those pushbutton starters that fails, could make all these ineffective. Then, what do you do?
My suggestion would be to use all the brakes the car can muster. Try anything you can to get the car out of gear. Neutral obviously preferred. But, lower gears will slow the car, perhaps enough to allow you to safely use the brakes without burning them out. Use the parking brake.
Here's the deal on that California accident that started this whole mania with Toyota. I don't believe it, because the driver was a state trooper, who should have known how to stop the car. My theory is it was suicide.