Toyota Recall: New Reports of Runaway Toyotas as 2.3 Million Cars Recalled

By then, Haggerty had seen ABC News reports on uncontrolled acceleration, and had also watched a video on the Blotter about how to control an accelerating car.

As he started to panic, he thought back to the video. "I remembered the safest thing to do is to go into neutral and control the car, and that' s what I did."

After getting the car under control, Haggerty called the dealership on his cellphone. They told him to bring the car in.

The car kept trying to accelerate, but switching from neutral to drive and back again as needed allowed Haggerty to steer the car onto an off ramp and the three miles to the dealership.

When he reached the dealership, the brakes and the tires were smoking. Haggerty put the car in neutral. The engine was still revving.


The service manager called a Toyota representative. According to Haggerty, the representative told the service manager to replace the gas pedal and the throttle and their sensors.

Haggerty feels fortunate that he was alone in the car on December 28.

"After I got out of the car at the dealership, the first thing I thought about was my family," said Haggerty. "And if they were in the car, if my wife was driving -- you know, I'm not sure if she would have panicked and kept hitting the brake pedal and known enough to put it into neutral."

"We now have that evidence right in front of Toyota, they're witnessing it and they can't walk away from it," said Kane, who is with the private firm Safety Research & Strategies.

"The Haggerty case is a real breakthrough case," he said. "It's a real problem and it points to electronic defects in the vehicle."

Dozens of other Toyota owners had made similar claims about electronic problems with their cars, unconnected to floor mates, over the last few years, but they were routinely dismissed by Toyota as unfounded.


The latest recall, announced Thursday, affects the RAV4, Corolla, and Matrix models from 2009 and 2010, Avalons from model years 2005 to 2010, Camrys from 2007 to 2010, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007 to 2010 Tundra and the 2008 to 2010 Sequoias. About 1.7 million of the vehicles cited are also affected by the earlier recall.

The company says this action is separate from fall's recall of 4.2 million cars to replace floor mats and alter accelerator pedals. The company had blamed floor mats for many of the acceleration incidents. An ABC News investigation, however, found that many drivers and safety experts rejected this explanation, asking instead if there was an issue with the electronic components that control acceleration.

Toyota says the recall of the "sticking gas pedals" covers Haggerty's problem, but he says his gas pedal was never stuck.

In its statements, Toyota does not claim the "sticking gas pedal" recall is a complete fix and says it will continue to investigate other incidents of unwanted acceleration, including those cited by ABC News.

Toyota said its Thursday recall would cover Haggerty's Avalon. Haggerty, however, says he does not have a sticky gas pedal.

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