Skip to main content

Toyota Camry accelerates through the front of a Detroit area Lotus dealership

Just when Toyota’s problems centering around “unintended acceleration” seemed to be fading, a Birmingham, Michigan car dealership specializing in European exotics had a late model Toyota Camry slam through their front windows – damaging a limited edition Lotus and doing extensive damage to the business.

The driver of the Toyota Camry, who to this point has remained nameless, told WXYZ reported Frank Holland that her “accelerator got stuck”; slamming her Toyota sedan through the front of Birmingham, Michigan’s Auto Europe. The driver of the Camry and all of the dealership employees came away without any injuries but the runaway Toyota did hit a limited edition Lotus Exige – 1 of just 50 examples of the compact British sports cars in the United States.

While Toyota may contend once again that their vehicle was not at fault in this latest bout of unintended acceleration, comments from the manager of Auto Europe may prove to the contrary. Auto Europe’s manager told WXYZ that the accelerator may have been stuck, as after the Toyota slammed through the large glass storefront and into the Lotus Exige, the front tires of the Camry “kept spinning and spinning”.

This means that after crashing through the front of the dealership and into a Lotus Exige, the driver of the Toyota Camry either sat there with her foot buried to the floor or the accelerator of the Camry was hung up. There has been no indication as to whether or not the driver had the dreaded “wrong floormats” or if this is another one of Toyota’s phantom acceleration issues but in any case, it appears that Toyota’s unintended acceleration problems are alive in well.

This could come as a damaging blow to Toyota as the Japanese automaker prepares its case against a massive number of Toyota owners who are suing the company for injuries and economic loss due to the unintended acceleration issues across nearly every vehicle they’ve sold in the past 15 years. On top of that, this is another black eye for the Toyota Camry – a vehicle which held the distinction of being the bestselling car in American but with yet another “out of control” Camry, you have to wonder how long Toyota will be able to uphold their now-questionable reputation for quality.

Click here for a look at the video after the accident from Detroit’s WXYZ and stay tuned to as we continue covering this story; bringing you more information as it becomes available.

Image provided by Auto Europe, captured from the WXYZ video.

A big thanks to Amanda for the tip!!

Other Toyota News:
Judge rules Toyota must face economic loss lawsuits
Toyota’s first unintended acceleration settlement approved
Toyota recalling Tundra pickups for tire pressure monitor problems, again
Toyota recalls 22000 trucks and SUVs over tire pressure risks
Toyota recalls 51,000 Tundra pickups for driveshaft failure risks


Anonymous (not verified)    June 1, 2011 - 10:11AM

Is the reporter serious? For more than two decades, the overwhelming majority of the cause of such incidents are Driver Error. Sure, the lady driver of this Camry will not admit fearing damage claims from the Lotus dealership, but for everyone else, this is blatantly clear that another "pedal misapplication" has been done.

Check the age of the driver. Either she is a young novice driver or someone living on pension and starting to have difficulty walking.

Chase (not verified)    June 1, 2011 - 10:53AM

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Hmm, yes, I believe the reporter is serious. Toyota is now known worldwide for their unreliability, after numerous recalls over and over and over. Have you not been reading the news on Toyota in the past year.

Did you not read the whole article, before you decided to jump on Toyota's nuts? The MANAGER of the dealership stated that "the front tires of the Camry “kept spinning and spinning”. Do you really think that the driver sat there with their foot pegged on the gas? Get out of here. This presented argument is a joke. It was most likely a mat, and the driver never heard about the recall or it's something new, because Toyota quality is crap and they're been lying and PAYING for good reviews for decades.

You seem like a Toyota or Asian car fan boy that is in denial.

Eric (not verified)    June 1, 2011 - 11:02AM

Come on "Anonymous." "Pedal misaplication?" Give me a break. Millions of vehicles have been recalled. Were they recalled because every one of their drivers didn't know how to stop a vehicle? No. Toyota was killing their customers for years and saying the same thing you are.

But I am sure toyota's loyal faithful, will quickly toss one of their own under the bus, and say this was driver error. Even though anyone who has witnessed these cars go roaring off with the driver slamming on the brakes will see it for what it is... "unintended acceleration."

Frank Sherosky    June 1, 2011 - 11:23AM

Has anyone noticed that this has happened over the years more with Toyotas than any other brand? Looking at the bell curve, this makes a disproportionate amount of the population of Toyota drivers A) Incapable Drivers in need of education; B) Careless drivers more than any other; C) Victims of a cover-up; D) Subject to multiple Black Swan events more than any other group of drivers.

Even IF the woman hit the gas pedal, there has to be some feature of the Toyota design that mimics the feeling of inducing some drivers having to stop the feeling of acceleration. Even in that case, it's a design integration issue to say the least, because nobody else is having that DEGREE of problems.

lxman1 aka. Jimmy (not verified)    June 1, 2011 - 12:14PM

anonomous must live under a rock. Toyota has been covering this issue up on Tundra trucks since at least 2007. They just finally got caught.

Keith Griffin    June 1, 2011 - 1:33PM

Wait a minute. Toyota pays for good reviews? I have been reviewing Toyotas for almost a decade and have not once received a check. Then again, not all of my reviews have been friendly. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Eric (not verified)    June 1, 2011 - 2:15PM

In reply to by Keith Griffin

there was a story a while back from a scorn car and driver reporter (I think it was?) that said Toyota would fly their editors and writers all over for special track days and test drives. Putting them up in very expensive hotels and feeding them very expensive meals. Above and beyond what other manufacturers would do. I will dig around and see if I can it.

FRANKOK (not verified)    June 2, 2011 - 7:10AM

Another recent one -

One would think that the first check would be to look at the floor mat - the reporters don't even ask if that was done. Doesn't say what year Camry and whether it had brake override that Toyota is putting in all new models and did on recalls - saw a report that they would install it on non-recalled vehicles if the computer has enough memory for the quick fix. Ask your dealer Toyota owners.
There is another government panel investigating UA for all vehicles. At last meeting NASA's Kirsch did summarize the redacted NASA reports - from last page in:
"NASA detailed analysis and testing did not find evidence that malfunctions in electronic throttle control caused large unintended accelerations, as described by some consumer reports.
NASA found a way that the electronic throttle control can fail, that combined with driver input, can cause the throttle to jump to 15 degrees open, but consumer reports of this condition is very low and it leaves evidence of occurrence.
NASA found ways that the electronic throttle control can fail that results in small throttle openings up to 5 degrees."
I cannot understand why Kirsch's report received so little press. No proof of high speed UA by NASA but those smaller ones could explain many of the low crash incidents in parking lots etc. such as this report. There is no reason why drivers are misapplying pedals in Toyotas, but not in many others such as GM's that have had very very low numbers of cases per vehicle sold. I would bet there still is an electronics / computer error.
Brake pedal override will help overcome them but one has to still "hit" the brakes.

Anonymous (not verified)    June 9, 2011 - 4:55PM

Really are all of you UAW workers??? NHSTA has proven no problems with Toyota's. Even NASA (they are rocket scientist for those of you that are UAW) has proven no fault. Thousands of investigations completed that found no problem with the car! Now you may say floor mat issues, and yes people who stack floor mats may been an issue but that isn't Toyota's fault.. Get a grip America, take responsibility for your actions, and quit blaming others!

Anonymous (not verified)    June 21, 2011 - 2:40PM

For what it's worth. The people who have actually lived through a runaway acceleration in a Toyota Camry, have no doubt that there is an electronic fault somewhere in the system.

Many of them also know the brakes did little to nothing when applied. Shared vaccum system with EFI.

They also know that the NHTSA officials that made the conclusion will never see it from their perspective, because the NHTSA inspectors were not sitting beside them when the problem occurred.

Until the specific models are taken off the road, these runaways are sure to occured, because Toyota has probably succeeded, at least for now, in one of the biggest cover ups in the industry.

"Survivor of a 2005 Runaway Camry incident that was reported to Toyota (twice) and the NHTSA". "Not old young, or lead footed, just wiser"!