Toyota owner hits long delay on pedal problem

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Regarding the Feb. 2 news story "Toyota apologizes, details plan to fix pedals":

Toyota, I'm mad as hell! I blame you -- not only for a faulty product but for the cover-up: a slow, secretive roll-out revealing too little, way too late.

In September, driving a 2009 Camry on a clear day, I had a terrible accident. Despite strenuous braking efforts, I was unable to decelerate. I hit two other cars and rolled and destroyed my car. I was seriously injured. The cause, however, appeared not to be a faulty floor mat -- the only responsibility Toyota acknowledged at that time.

I replaced my totaled car with a 2010 Camry. On Jan. 21, the gas pedal on that car stuck and the car uncontrollably gained speed. Now Toyota announces a massive recall attributed to previously unacknowledged accelerator problems.

Toyota's advice from its official hotline: I should apply my brakes. Thanks! Despite my calls and letters, I'm left solely dependent on news accounts for the possible causes and for driving advice. I hear causes that range from the floor mats to design flaws to condensation to computer defects. I'm advised to do everything but pray -- put on the brakes, kick the accelerator, put the car in neutral -- then contact my dealer, who at this point has no guidance from Toyota and not a clue.

Why did it take more than six months for Toyota to come clean? When will my car -- and my wife's, also a 2010 Camry -- be safe to drive? Who gets the first fix -- the cars on the road or the new ones Toyota needs to sell?

I'm waiting. I'm not the only one.

Perry L. Weed, Annapolis

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