What to Do if your Toyota, Lexus, or Scion Accelerator Sticks

Lexus Recall

prius stuck acceleratorToyota (NYSE:TM) typically blames faulty floor mats and poorly designed gas pedals. It's important to recognize that generally it is luxury vehicles, such as BMWs and Mercedes, that feature override systems. But others, such as Hondas, do not. 
Great right, so what should you do if your car accelerates wildly?

What do you do if an accelerator sticks?

Consumer Reports magazine (consumerreports.org/safety) suggests braking hard, putting the car in neutral and, once it stops, turn off the engine. Don't shut if off before you stop because that will make your car lose power-assisted steering and braking. And never pump your brakes.

Wiki.Answers.com suggests If you cannot get the accelerator unstuck quickly and you feel you are endangered,  SIMPLY PUT YOUR CAR IN NEUTRAL (N) . It's not a good idea to turn off the key. Some cars will lose power steering or even lock the steering wheel.

oh what a feelingAnswers.Yahoo.com has the following recommendations:

1. Go to neutral on the selector. It is better to lose an engine than have a crash. Break while turning off the ignition. Get out of traffic. 

2. Switch the ignition off Put the clutch down apply brakes.

3. Get a toe under the pedal to lift it. If possible, avoid shutting off the engine, as that would eliminate the power brakes & power steering.

4. Put car in netural and coast to a stop 

They also say -- Open Window. Jump out. Screaming optional. Check Underwear.  Gotta love your Toyota right now, oh what a feeling.


Not all readers agree, however some other responses from NorthJersey.com:

Q. Shouldn't I shift into neutral and gently coast to safety? By hitting the brakes hard, isn't the guy behind me, who's going 70, likely to hit me? Ken Stern, Passaic

No, there's not much room for gentleness here because sudden acceleration means your car continues to speed up, probably well past 70 mph. The best way to quickly bring a runaway car under control is to brake hard and fast, then shift to neutral.

Q. Why not pump the brakes? Sam S., Parsippany.

Antilock braking systems have removed the necessity of pumping in most cases. Toyota says pumping will deplete the vacuum assist that improves engine braking force, meaning you'll have to brake even harder.

Q. Can you please warn drivers that it's easy to cause unintended acceleration on a 2009 Toyota Camry because the distance between brake and accelerator is narrower than many men's shoes? James L. Doyle, Paramus

It's true of many cars. A driver should take care to center the right foot on the brake, and never use the left foot to brake.

Best of luck Toyota owners.