A new incident involving a 2008 Toyota Camry is raising concerns about unintended acceleration once again. On November 5, 66-year-old Paul Vanalfen was exiting Interstate 80 in Utah when his vehicle drove through a stop sign and struck a rock embankment, killing Vanalfen and his son's 38 year-old fiance Charlene Lloyd at the same time. Vanalfen's son and wife were also injured in the accident. Early reports indicate that the Camry may have continued to accelerate, even as Vanalfen did his best to stop the vehicle. Skid marks at the scene indicate that this isn't a case of pedal misapplication, leaving investigators to conclude that a malfunction may have caused the incident.
Vanalfen's Camry was the subject of a total of three recalls, and at this point, it's unclear whether or not the Toyota had undergone the repairs.
Toyota, meanwhile, says that it's too early to draw any conclusions about the cause of the incident, and that it's assisting Utah Highway Patrol investigators any way it can. Click past the jump to read the company's statement.
[Sources: AP via MSNBC, Toyota | Image: AP/Utah Highway Patrol]
Several recent news reports have speculated on the causes of a fatal crash in Wendover, Utah that remains under investigation by local authorities. Toyota sympathizes with the friends and family of Paul VanAlfen and Charlene Lloyd, who were killed in the crash, and is working closely to support the Utah Highway Patrol with its accident investigation.
As with any such a case, it is important to allow the investigation to proceed before drawing any conclusions. Over the past year, on multiple occasions the initial reports on incidents involving Toyota vehicles have involved speculation and premature conclusions that proved to be inaccurate following a review of the facts.
It is in the best interests of all those involved in this case to ensure a thorough and complete review of the incident. Toyota remains committed to investigating reported incidents of unintended acceleration in our vehicles quickly, and will continue to work in close partnership with law enforcement agencies and federal regulators with jurisdiction over accident scenes whenever requested.