A newly uncovered document shows that Toyota alerted dealers to complaints from some drivers of 2002 Camrys about “surging during light throttle input at speeds between 38-42 mph” and that the resolution to the issue is an electronic, not mechanical issue.
According to the Technical Service Bulletin, sent to all Toyota dealers in Aug. 2002, the fix for Camrys experiencing the surges was to calibrate the Engine Control Module. No mention is made of any mechanical problem or accelerators trapped by floor mats.
The document was given to CNN by attorneys involved in a class-action lawsuit against Toyota. They claim that the car company hasn’t told the truth about the real cause of sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. And they say the document is proof that Toyota knew of the problem almost 8 years ago.
They also point to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation memorandum from Dec. 2003 titled “Unintended Acceleration on Model Year 2002-2003 Toyota Camry.” Under the heading of Issue Identification, NHTSA writes:
“Possibly the engine’s Electronic Control Module (ECM), or the drive-by-wire throttle system”
It should be noted that is possible that these instances of unintended acceleration are isolated to just those model years of Camry and unrelated to the current mass recall for the floor mat problem and so-called sticky pedals.
For their part, Toyota just issued this statement, calling the lawyers’ motives into question:
“Toyota strongly disputes these completely baseless allegations being driven by plaintiff’s attorneys… Toyota intends to fight against these unfounded claims vigorously.”