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Toyota Sienna Uncontrolled Acceleration

jul333jul333 Posts: 13
Today while parking my van infront of a building, with my foot lightly on the brake- my van accelerated uncontrollably and smasjed into the building. Luckily I was only 2-3' away from the building- and no one was infront of me. The reving noise and speed at which I hit the building was shocking. I was afraid to drive it, suffered some whip lash and had it towed to a dealer. They have said they can't find anything wrong thru the diagnostic testing. I'm afraid to drive it again- Has this happened to anyone else? Searching the web I found that it has happened to other toyota models..


  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    jul333, if you haven't done so already, you might want to file a report with the NHTSA, and check to see if others have filed similar issues.


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  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    Thanks- I haven't done so yet- I've been forcing Toyota to send engineers out to look at the van. I will file a report- Thanks for the link.
  • There have incidents with reverse. See the below. Tanker:
    NHTSA Investigates Uncontrolled Acceleration in Toyotas
    August 11, 2005
    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched an investigation of several Toyota models because of uncontrollable and unintended acceleration while the vehicle is in reverse.

    The agency has received 13 reports of accidents because of the uncontrollable acceleration.

    NHTSA has received complaints involving the Camry, Solara, Lexus, ES, ES 300, ES 330 losing throttle control while the vehicle is reversing out of a driveway. The vehicles were all manufactured between 2000 and 1005.
    There have so far been no fatalities associated with the problem.
    A defect investigation often but not always leads to a vehicle recall.
  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    Yes- I did read that on the internet. I'd like to find out what was detected to be the problem and how it was fixed. Any ideas on how to research that?
  • You'll have to either contact Toyota at their site, or or phone 888-327-4236. An experienced mechanic will be able to relate some possible solutions. Uncontrolled acceleration with computer chip and processor controls isnot a new problem. I has occur with previous cars when you start up and shift it immediately into gear when rpms are still rising and dials adjusting. Electrons do funny things if you don't let the processors do their thing before providing new inputs.
    Regards, tanker
  • On 1/31/07 while slowly reversing up a sloped driveway, my 1992 Lexus 400SC suddenly accelerated rapidly and uncontrollably. It felt as if I was in a rocket ship! Although I slammed on the brakes, I could not stop in time to avoid a car parked in the driveway. Luckily, there were no injuries (grandson was in car). This is my first accident in 42 years. While I hear that some conclude that I mistook the accelerator for the brake, I KNOW that's not true. My foot was on the accelerator to begin with since I was slowing giving the car gas to climb the incline. Weather conditions were clear, no obstacles on the floor, and I was wearing normal shoes... no boots or heels. This accident was NOT my fault, but I don't know how to prove this since the problem is intermittent. I have filed an incident report with both the police department and NHTSA and have sent a certified letter to Lexus in CA. However, there is strength in numbers and need to hear from others who have experienced this frightening experience.
  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    Hi- I know exactly what you mean...Many people asked me the same questions re my Sienna van..I knew what I did and I refused to acknowledge anything else. Toyota sent out engineers to review the van...I'd make sure this happens..I had my van towed form the scene and refused to take it back until something was done. The engineers couldn't find I asked the 'male' managers, since the van is so 'safe' how would they like their wives to switch cars with me- so their family could drive around in the van- I kept telling them I didn't feel safe driving the van..Luckily they worked with me and I traded into a new Sienna van...

    The police dept in Beverly Ma is currently investigating a horrific incident where a new cruiser (with documented uncontrollable acceleratin problems) took off on an officer and drove thru another car- killing the woman driver...

    Demand attention to this problem...Good luck!
  • Thank you for your update and words of encourgement. I feel as though I'm just at the beginning of an uphill battle to prove my innocence and learn the truth. I plan to inquire of the Beverly, MA accident, but, by any chance, do you know the make of the cruiser involved? Thanks again!
  • jul333:

    This happened to our 2006 Sienna yesterday--my wife was about to stop the car while parking it, suddenly it accelerated (very fast!) and knocked down a tree and scratched a couple of parked cars. The bumper was damaged and the right side dented. My wife is a careful driver (with two toddlers inside!) and she is very sure she did nothing wrong. I am very concerned to drive it again if the repair shop cannot find defect with the van..... Ben
  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    I don't know the make of cruiser involved in the incident in Beverly- but when this happened to me I scanned the internet and found other Toyota cars with uncontrolled acceleration problems..I believe some lexus models and Camry's. The dealerships have their engineers check everything out- but they can't find anything..Its very frustrating, especially when you as the driver, know the car is accerlating out of your control.. Good luck..I hope it works out for you...
  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    I know how frustrating that is...I was doing the smae thing in my Sienna van..I was pulling slowly into a parking space--except it was infront of a building- when the van uncontrollably accelerated and smashed into the building. Luckily I was without my children and only 3 feet infront of the building..But I was too scared to drive it again..and refused to take it from the dealership..I traded into a new car...
  • The body shop is repairing the damage and both insurance company and police were notified. They will have the dealership check the problem once damage is repair. However, I am worried that they may not find any problem thus my wife would have to drive the van in fear. Any good suggestion as to how to convince Toyota about the problem? Thanks a lot!
  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    I had the same fear- and told the same to the dealership...I refused to take the car from the dealership..I told them I was too afraid to drive it again..the engineers/technicians checked out everyting and found nothing wrong..which seems to be typically the case..but I continually explained that I wouldn't feel safe driving it again....there was no other alternative than to trade into another car.which they did very easily for us..At the time no one else had complained about Sienna's..but now there are at tleast 3 other compliants since it happened to me..all on this Edmunds have a better case that I did....Good Luck
  • I did not have the van towed to my dealership as it was further away. But I will make sure the dealer check it out. About the trade-in, did you give you a replacement new van for no charge?? Mine is only 3 month, 3000 miles. About the 3 other complaints-- could you specify where they are (did you mean the complaints in this forum you initiated that were different models?) Thanks.
  • Jul133: Have you file a formal complaint at NHTSA? If not, would you? It would be nice that people can document their incidents to get the attention, and for subsequent event reference.
  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    The dealership loaned me a car while they serviced my van. I refused to pay for the loaner as well..and I spoke directly to the Director of Sales and then his boss- until I got them to agree to not charge me. I went directly to my dealership with the problem- so I think I had more leverage...
    They traded me into a new van..they bought back my sienna 2004 for what I owed on it and traded me into a new 2006 sienna..for basically the same payment. I lost on the equity I had on the 2004..but I had 45000 miles on it and I was happy to trade into a van which I hope doens't have the smae problem....
  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    I started to file a complaint- but at the time I didn't know what the situation was with the van..I will file one.
  • otlotl Posts: 1
    Ahh. It might be too late to answer your question, but your scenario was exactly same as what happened to me today. We drive a Toyota Sienna 2004, and its been 3 years we had this car. Somehow when we were getting ready to park, right at the moment when my driver was about to shift gear to park, the car decided to charge forward with tremendous speed. Ended up ramming to a shop owned by our friends.....
  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    Thats just what happened to me! I hope you have success getting the point across to Toyota- that this is a problem...
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    Could you please explain a little more.... when you were about to park, weren't your foot on brake pedal and applying the brake? If that's the case, even if the van accelerated, you would have been applying brake at the same time and the braking would stop it. Unless brakes failed OR the foot was on accelerator and thought to be on brake and pushed on accelerator instead :confuse:
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    OR the foot was on accelerator and thought to be on brake and pushed on accelerator instead

  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    There lies the problem...I had my foot on the brake, as I was pulling a little more into a parking space- and the van accelerrated-with my foot on the brake..the brake did nothing and I smashed the wall.
  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    Sounds like you're an expert on everything...
  • mnrep2mnrep2 Posts: 200
    I would sell the car immediately....
  • jul333jul333 Posts: 13
    You would
  • caravan2caravan2 Posts: 198
    Then two things happened... van accelerated and brakes failed. very strange... both these things are mechanical even some electronics is involved in gas mixtures and electrical firing of ignition...
  • mleonardomleonardo Posts: 45
    I hope you didn't trade in for another Toyota. All that tells them is that your a blind Toyota fan and they can pull that kind of "we cant find the problem" stuff on you any time. All that will result is you giving them more business. If this happens with my sienna, Toyota will never again be on my shopping list. I am already dissatisfied with my experiences with Toyota. I can't understand why a person would continue to patronize a car maker whos vehicle did this and was given no reason for it.
  • drbob1drbob1 Posts: 3
    I hate to pile on here, but this has been a problem since the early 80s Audi 5000. It was extensively analyzed including segments on 60 Minutes, and the testing rather conclusively proved that the problem was mis-application of the throttle instead of the brake. In fact, there's a lovely video of an Audi experiencing "unintended acceleration" showing that the brake lights did not, in fact, come on at the time the victim described pushing the brake pedal to the floor. It turns out that the problem is actually ergonomic-the brake and the accelerator are too close together. It's probably more dangerous than a purely mechanical problem because there's not really a fix for it (like there might be if it was computer or ABS related). It has been recorded by the NHTSA as a problem with small numbers of almost every vehicle ever built, but some are much more prone to it than others.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Modern brakes are 10 times more powerful than any engine. Note they're strong enough to lock up the tires at virtually any speed, while wheelspin under acceleration only happens in low gears.

    If you hit the brakes strong enough, any car will stop, doesn't matter if the throttle is stuck wide open.
  • I need to get in touch with anyone else who has had a similar problem with their Toyota Sienna. On 2/14/08, my 2006 Toyota Sienna was in park in my driveway with the ignition on. I had opened the garage door half-way to clean off the base of the door. While I was doing that, the van moved forward, pinning me between the van hood and the bottom edge of my half-open garage door. I was being compressed right across my hips and naval, so I was able to scream for help. Luckily, my neighbor was home and, after about five minutes, heard my screams for help. My neighbor had her husband call 911 and ran over to me and asked me what she should do. (She was afraid to back up the van, releasing the pressure on my abdominal area in case that action caused me further injury.) I screamed for her to back up the van. She is sure the van gear shift was still in park even though the van was still attempting to travel forward but could not because my body was in the way. My neighbor then put the gear shift into reverse (which worked, thank God) and backed the van away from the garage door, releasing me. 911 came and said I miraculously had no internal injuries, although my garage door and van hood are damaged. I went to the hospital and got a catscan, which also confirmed no internal injuries. I have put a claim in with Toyota Corporate and NHTSA. My husband also took the van to the Toyota Dealership where we purchased the vehicle. They said they could find nothing wrong with it and basically looked at my husband cross-eyed when he insisted that there had to be a problem. I am now afraid to drive this vehicle. From browsing this website, I see that there are other people who have had similar problems with their Toyota Siennas. Please respond to this message ASAP. Thank you.
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