Haggerty told ABC News he started having trouble with occasional episodes of random acceleration in his car in mid-2009.
Haggerty took the car to his Toyota dealership in November. The mechanics there "went through the car thoroughly and did all the diagnostic tests," said Haggerty, "and they couldn't determine why it was happening." On Monday morning, December 28, Haggerty was traveling east on Interstate 78 when he says the car started accelerating again. Soon the car had revved up to 65 miles per hour.
"I had my foot on the brake," recalled Haggerty. "It seemed like the accelerator was overpowering the brake." Haggerty says he got the car under control by using the brake and putting the car into neutral. Realizing he was close to the exit that would take him to his Toyota dealership, Haggerty called the dealership on his cellphone. The service manager told him to bring the car in.
When he reached the dealership, the brakes and the tires were smoking. Haggerty put the car in neutral. The engine was still revving.
The first thing the service manager did, said Haggerty, was check the floor mat. The mat was still in place, attached to the floor with factory-installed brackets. "He even confirmed to me," said Haggerty, "that it's not the floor mat that's the problem. It was accelerating and he witnessed it. He sat in the seat and he witnessed it accelerate."
The service manager called a Toyota representative. According to Haggerty, the Toyota representative told the service manager to replace the gas pedal and the throttle and their sensors.
Toyota determined that it believed the cause of acceleration in Haggerty's vehicle was a sticky gas pedal, and that it would be covered by the Jan. 21 recall. Haggerty told ABC News, however, that he does not believe the cause of sudden acceleration was a sticky gas pedal.