The Los Angeles Times has done a series of investigative reports on unintended sudden acceleration events happening in Toyota and Lexus cars and trucks that should be required reading for all owners of the affected models:

2004-2009 Prius
2007-2010 Camry
2005-2010 Avalon
2005-2010 Tacoma
2007-2010 Tundra
2007-2010 Lexus ES 350
2006-2010 Lexus IS 250 & IS 350

As one such owner, I found the information in the articles vital to understanding the true scope of the problem. In particular they helped reinforce the steps to take should I experience sudden acceleration prior to the implementation of Toyota’s just-announced fix in 2010.

A tragic crash in San Diego County in August that took the lives of a CHP officer and his family has garnered headlines implicating improperly installed floor mats, however the L.A. Times articles point to increasing evidence of a problem in the electronic throttle system itself. As part of the 2010 fix, Toyota will be installing:

"…a so-called smart pedal, software that cuts engine power any time both the accelerator pedal and brake pedal are depressed at the same time."

Toyota has sent out its first recall letter covering the floor mat issue and steps to take to counter sudden acceleration. A second letter will be going out with information on the 2010 fix the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just signed off on.

I urge owners of the affected models to carefully read the recall letters (my friend threw hers away unread thinking the recall didn’t include the Prius), in companion with the L.A. Times investigative reports.

"Data Point To Toyota’s Throttles, Not Floor Mats"
"Toyota To Fix ‘Very Dangerous’ Gas Pedal Defects"
"Runaway Toyota Cases Ignored"
"Regulators Slam Toyota Over ‘No Defect’ Claim"
"Toyota’s Runaway-Car Worries May Not Stop At Floor Mats"