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I sent an e-mail to NHTSA regarding this matter. I read the June 22 report of NHTSA's inept performance and am disheartened. I will contacting AAA and Car Safety Council as well. Something must be done or people may be killed.
The back story to what happened is that on a clear, sunny, Saturday morning at 11AM I drove into a small parking lot in the village of Margaretville, New York. The parking lot is behind commercial buildings. The lot holds about 40 cars. The lot is "U" shaped, in that you drive in one side from Walnut Street and come out the other onto Walnut Street. Down the center of the lot there are about 4 heavy guardrail sections, each section is anchored with I-beams. Cars park on opposite sides of the guardrail and around the outside perimeter
As I made right into this parking lot, the car suddenly accelereated, racing forward like a rocket. The engine was screaming. I put my foot on the brake - hard. The car neither slowed or stopped. 40-50 feet ahead were oil and propane tanks. To the left and right of the fuel tanks were buildings, utility pole, a big tree.
My brain went into calm, knowing this car was going to crash and that my only option was to crash the car where it would do the least harm. I steered the car, still accelerating, into a hard left turn around the end of the parking lot. Ahead, where I would be exiting the lot, I could see cars going up and down Walnut Street. Beyond, people were walking about the NBT bank parking area from their cars.
On my left, I caught a glimpse of an empty parking spot in the center row with the guardrail barrier. I crashed into two cars on the perimeter as I was coming around the turn. Still turning hard left, I made it to the empty space and slammed into the center guardrail at full throttle in a front end collision, taking out yet a 3rd car parked in the space on the left. From the force of the crash, the center guardrail was folded into a "V" into the opposite spot. The I-beams were folded. The air bags did not deploy. No one was killed. I have a sprained left hand.
This car has had the best care and maintenance, good tires, oil changes, alignments. I found no relevant recalls for the 2005 Toyota Corolla. This has been a great car. I was planning on giving this car to a family member for their first car. What caused the unexpected acceleration? Why didn't the car brake? Why didn't the air bags deploy?
I am anxious that anyone driving, planning to sell, or planning to buy this car know that this otherwise reliable car may not be safe!
2005 Toyota Corolla CE/LE
Sedan 4 Dr
1.8L F1 DOHC 16 V
Front Wheel Drive
166,000 miles (aprox)
Ridgefield, CT, US
while driving at about 35 miles, the car suddenly speed up and hit road side concret barrel. The car was total loss.
- Jianhe S.,
Houston, TX, US