There are, as they say, two sides to every story, so after we posted a video on Monday showing what an owner claimed to be a case of unintended acceleration causing her Toyota Highlander to crash into a house twice, Toyota reached out to us revealing some additional information about the incident.

Following this crash, which took place back in November, Toyota had this Highlander inspected and pulled data from its Event Data Recorder (EDR), or Black Box as we've come to call it. Not only was this the first time we've seen a claim of unintended acceleration like this caught on video, but now, also a first, we have actual data showing what the vehicle itself recorded during this frightening ordeal.

Brian Lyons, Toyota Communications Manager for Safety and Quality, first gave us some information about the Highlander in question, including the fact that it was a 2012 model. The 2012 Highlander came from the factory with a brake override system, meaning it was not part of the company's initiative in 2010 to add the system to all 2011 models. Also, after looking at the data from the EDR, he said – as many of you pointed out in the comments for the previous post – that the "brake pedal was never touched." In the video, you can see that the crossover's brake lights never come on, and the EDR's data backs this up.

The data pulled from the EDR – posted in the gallery below as two images – shows the two "events," which were recorded each time the vehicle impacted the house. In the first event, the data provided by Toyota shows that 3.6 seconds before the impact, the vehicle began to slow down before speeding up to almost 15 miles per hour as it slammed into the house. In the second event, which resulted in a more violent collision with the house, the Highlander reached speeds of almost 30 mph with the engine racing at 4,400 rpm. In both images, it shows that the brake switch was in the "OFF" position the entire time, indicating that the driver was not attempting to press the brake. We asked Toyota if a faulty brake switch would cause the data to show the brake switch "off" and not allow the brake override to operate properly, and Lyons said no. Plus, there is a hard physical connection from the brake pedal to the brakes themselves, so an electrical fault couldn't have kept them from functioning.

Here's a portion of the letter that Toyota sent to the vehicle's owner after the inspection:

Your vehicle's throttle, accelerator and related components were inspected and found operating as designed, within factory specifications. No binding or obstructions were found in the throttle components. The brake system was also inspected and no problems were found.

The video is reposted below for you to watch. We reached out to the owner of the Highlander for a comment, but have yet to receive a response.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 266 Comments
      antacid
      • 1 Year Ago
      pulling over and waiting for the other car to pass before going into you driveway wasnt suspicious at all or anything, everybody does that since it makes tons of sense
      ap
      • 1 Year Ago
      From D to R, then back to D and back to R and so on. There must be unintended gear shifting too. Don\'t blame car, bame stupidity.
        dci gene shunt
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ap
        After crash #1, you turn off the ignition. No more driving for the rest of the day. Don't touch the shifter, especially when it just might be accelerating unintended.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope Toyota ended their letter like this: LOL, Toyota
      Myself
      • 1 Year Ago
      Another moron driver trying to extract money on the cause that's been long exposed as a non-existing scam.
      tump
      • 1 Year Ago
      If the driver sues, time to subpoena household finances :D Also, should be required to retake driving tests after this kind of stupidity. You've just demonstrated you can't be trusted with a deadly weapon.
      Ridgie30
      • 1 Year Ago
      I agree with others that Toyota should SUE the people that scam the system with staged videos like this one...Not only does it fall under slander and libel but the lost business from the knuckleheads that buy the notion of unintended acceleration effects Toyota and it's employees (it costs some people their jobs due to production slow downs etc)...Put this public attitude together with the large percentage of the population that are nothing but zombies behind the wheel and we are ALL in real trouble.
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't understand people who try to scam the whole "unintended acceleration" thing with Toyota. Assuming you're an individual who wants to pull off such a scam, why wouldn't you at least research previous cases to see how Toyota determines the car isn't faulty, i.e., with the black box, which records pretty much everything? This woman was either too stupid and oblivious to do so, or she just spontaneously decided to go for it in that particular moment. Either way, it all just looks too fake.
        Wacko
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FIDTRO
        I don't think it's a scam, I think it's just that many morons drive Toyotas. The are just too stupid to drive. So if you don't have any passion to drive, you buy a car that offers no passion. That's why i stay far away from toyota drivers.
          clquake
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Wacko
          Actually, I figured out a real reason why Corollas drive slower (or at least my mom's). The speedo reads 10% higher that the actual speed (stock tires & wheels, no mods). I verified this with a police radar gun. Dealer said this is normal, so I asked them to extend the warranty miles 10% as the odometer is affected by this as well. They weren't very receptive to this idea, so I'm in a dispute with Toyota.
          carney373
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Wacko
          You had it right the first time, ironically.
          carguy1701
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Wacko
          Sad but true. I've been behind more than a few Corollas that were doing 5 mph UNDER the speed limit despite the weather being clear.
      Sergio526
      • 1 Year Ago
      As they're slowly rolling by the sidewalk towards the driveway you can almost hear them take a deep breath and say "OK, try to make this look real, papa needs a big pay day!"
      BL
      • 1 Year Ago
      She is clearly trying to pull some kind of scam here. It's pretty damn transparent. Every new Toyota is equipped with a system called "SmartStop." In simple terms, it's a brake overide system that will force the brake to trump the accelerator whenever both pedals are pushed at the same time. Aside from all the technical points, does anyone find it a bit suspicious that this "event" happened to occur directly in the line of sight of a conveniently placed security camera? C'mon lady...
      xspeedy
      • 1 Year Ago
      No wonder cars are beginning to drive us rather than the other way around. Manufacturers have to engineer solutions for stupid.
      trzjax
      • 1 Year Ago
      I think the car companies need to stop being all-forgiving and nice about it and start sueing these scam artist ******** for slander, reputation damage etc... and sue them for everything they have until they have nothing and go live on the street so that the next idiot think twice (if capable) before making another "unintended acceleration" claim.
        F150Soul
        • 1 Year Ago
        @trzjax
        True there are people out there that are trying to make a quick buck. i.e. the prius driver in SoCal but I don't think every "unintended acceleration" claim was false. I welcome a black box, covers their but and covers mine.
        seattle.marc
        • 1 Year Ago
        @trzjax
        ABSOLUTELY!!! This is the truest and most logical comment in here. A bunch of broke fools behind in all their payments who think it is perfectly alright to slander someone else to gain money (for their bills? for fancy vacations? for kids\' tuition? who knows........but IT HAS TO STOP!!) This one looks more like a p-o\'d ex to me, taking it out on the house of the latest person she had a fight with, especially since she put it in reverse and then rammed it AGAIN!!
      Chad Pelliccioni
      • 1 Year Ago
      Kind of funny the owner hid the comments on the video. Usually an admission of guilt, like conspiracy videos.
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