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    The 2002 Camry has been at the center of a new controversy (Toyota).

    by: by Reilly Brennan, AOL Autos
     

    As early as 2002, Toyota warned its dealers through a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) that certain models of its cars could experience engine surging and that an electronic recalibration was necessary to fix the problem. The document appears to fly in the face of recent testimony from Toyota that the company has never found a defect in its electronic throttle control system that has caused unintended acceleration.



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    The TSB, issued on August 30, 2002, entitled "ECM Calibration Update: 1 MZ-FE Engine Surging" stated that "Some 2002 model year Camry vehicles equipped with the 1MZ-FE engine may exhibit a surging during light throttle input at speeds between 38-42 MPH with lock-up (l/U) 'ON.' The engine control module (ECM) calibration has been revised to correct this condition."

    While the report was brought to light by Congressman Bart Stupak, D-Mich., prior to the U.S. House Energy Subcommittee on Oversight in late February and first reported on by Automotive News, the actual document had not circulated until this week. CNN began circulating the TSB on its website and through a new report which aired on the channel last night.


    The document is important as it is one of few -- if any -- official documents from Toyota where the company has acknowledged a known link between engine surging and vehicle electronics, something that has become the subject of much discussion over the last few months.

    In fact, company officials publicly denied that their electronic systems were at fault for recent claims of unintended acceleration.

    Poll
    Do these documents show Toyota knew about electronic problems?

    "We have commissioned a comprehensive, independent evaluation of our electronic throttle control system by a world?class engineering and scientific consulting firm," Toyota's Yoshimi Inaba said to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on March 2, 2010. "In our own extensive testing, we have never found a defect that has caused unintended acceleration."

    The link between the surging Toyotas and its electronic systems is unfounded, says Toyota. They maintain that the issues surrounding unintended acceleration are limited to issues with floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals which have a mechanical problem, not an electronic one.

    Congressman Stupak, speaking before his hearings weeks back, did not believe the company's line.

    "We still feel there’s an electronic problem here that’s not been addressed," Stupak said. "As someone said, there’s a gremlin in this electronic system which are making these cars accelerate unexpectedly, and unfortunately, it’s resulted in some serious accidents and deaths."

    Toyota stands by its recent announcements and internal investigations.

    "Toyota is confident that no defect exists in the ECU," said the company in a prepared document on its recall website.

    To date, more than 6 million cars have been recalled by the company in the last few months. More information on the specific recalls, including how the fixes are being made, can be found on our complete Toyota Recall hub.

    2002 Camry Was All-New

    The number of complaints for Toyota owners experiencing unintended acceleration began in the early part of the decade, when Toyota moved a lot of its primary throttle components to electronic controls (as opposed to mechanical controls). The all-new-for-2002 Camry was a breakthrough model in this regard, using an accelerator pedal sensor, a throttle control motor, a throttle position sensor and the engine control module (ECM). The components were seen as an overall improvement in vehicle safety, efficiency and reliability.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Office of Defects Investigation has numerous complaints from Camry owners about problems with unintended acceleration. A complaint filed on July 1, 2005 indicated a problem with unintended acceleration on a 2002 Camry model.

    "THE CONSUMER HAD AN ACCIDENT AS RESULT OF SUDDEN ACCELERATION. WHEN THE CONSUMER PUT THE GEAR INTO REVERSE, WHILE ON A RESIDENTIAL DRIVEWAY WITH HIS FOOT ON THE BRAKE, THE VEHICLE THEN ACCELERATED AT AN EXTRAORDINARY AND INCREASED RATE, TURNED AROUND AND ENDED UP ON AN ADJACENT DRIVEWAY CRASHING INTO A UTILITY BOX. THE SEAT BELT PREVENTED THE CONSUMER FROM BEING INJURED."


    Toyota says that its investigations continue.

    Today in Washington, a plaintiff attorney and various electronic experts will continue the case against the company with new findings that the company is "deficient" because it does not detect problems that lead to unintended acceleration.

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    1 - 20 of 269 Comments
    denismcgrane Apr 22, 2010 8:13 AM
    I live in the great south land of Oz (Australia). I have a 2001 model Toyota Prado Landcruiser with the 3 litre turbo diesel engine. I had some problems with the electronic throttle control because when driving I had experienced a noticeable lack of power from the engine for no reason at all. It would simply lose power and fail to respond to the accelerator. After notifying the dealer on a number of occasions and getting no satisfaction, I wrote direct to the CEO of Toyota Australia. Immediately one of their chief engineers came to my house, offered me the loan of a Toyota sedan while they took my Landcruiser for a week to test it. The engineer in passing admitted to me that there had been a problem with this electronic control. After a week had passed they returned my car and said they had been unable to duplicate the problem I had complained about. Instead they arranged for a nearby dealer to replace the electronic accelerator pedal with a new unit. The problem continued to occur but gradually phased out.
    Report This
    aphampers Apr 20, 2010 12:10 AM
    I'd give these comments a lot more credibility if there weren't so many spelling errors. Good grief. Is this where education has come in this country?
    Report This
    gregmotorhead427 Apr 13, 2010 10:35 AM
    remember pearle harbor tis is worse all the people that bought these jap made junk are getting what they deserve there cars are worthless they have lost there resale value but there is a good joke about this the most scariest thing to american is a toyota in your rear view mirrior ha ha
    Report This
    hiredshoe Apr 11, 2010 6:12 PM
    WHY DO iNEED A DRIVE BY WIRE THROTTLE??
    Report This
    wmathess Apr 10, 2010 9:11 AM
    This is very unacceptable to us Americans. People are out here dying because of their junky car and Toyota knows it but they hide it. I've owned various Fords, but never will I own a Toyota. After the recall was over in March, Toyota sales were up 40%. This don't make since to me why anyone would want to buy one after electronic sticking gas pedals have been a problem for 8 to 12 years! Here's my reply to "kingfa39." I understand. Chevy vehicles are SO cheap. You should've bought a Ford.
    Report This
    kingfa39 Apr 09, 2010 9:34 AM
    we have a chevy pickup, it has been a pain in the ass, leaks water inside interior sucks, too much junk on it , and nearly every part is made outside the u.s, so how the hell do you define american cars?? all ive seen is tha same ole cheap made junk.
    Report This
    chvy70camaro Apr 07, 2010 8:21 PM
    oh sure dinotheMORON, and those 62 people really aren't dead either!! tell that to that family of 4 in San Diego, the driver was a highly trained CHP officer!!
    Report This
    dinothegreat Apr 06, 2010 1:00 PM
    Sounds like a big scam to me. The American car companies would love to see Toyota fall, and are undoubtedly behind this...
    Report This
    acicenasf Apr 06, 2010 6:46 AM
    all the posts are great but all cars and trucks have most have the fly by wire system and if you do your home work most of the parts being used on the toyota models sold in the USA use PARTS made here now the cars are exported from japan use only parts made in japan and i have not heard of those having any problems oh and take a close look at the name printed on the parts under the hood of your US made toy check the door see were it says county made in i feel that there is faault but they are fixing it and are taking the beating and not going HELP LIKE BIG 3 MISTAKES WERE MADE IF GM OR FORD OR DODGE DID THIS WOULD WE EVEN BE MAKING A COMMENT
    Report This
    marinarayla Apr 02, 2010 10:32 PM
    Toyota’s are trash, as are the people that drive them. Pay attention sometime, my friend calls them “mefirs&*****************; for ME FIRST! They can&******************* wait their turn. If you see an idiot cutting in where there is no place to go, changing lanes in traffic and getting nowhere, 99% of the time it is a foreign car. “ME FIRST, OH, PLEASE I HAVE TO GO FIRST! What is even funnier are the idiots with the “I SUPPORT OUR TROOPS&*****************; or the American flag on their foreign car. How you supporting our troops, by sending the profits to japan? Are you just stupid or what? Or the old f*rts complaining about no social security increase and their kids don&******************* have a job and want to move back in with them. COMPLETE IDIOTS…………… Hey foreign car driver, which group do you fall into?
    Report This
    jtabor1976 Mar 27, 2010 11:32 AM
    YEAH THEY NOTIFIED THE DEALERSHIPS IN 2002 BUT SERRIOUSLY HOW MANY PEOPLE STILL WORK AT THE SAME DEALERSHIP? 3 MAYBE AT THE MOST AFTER ALL THESE YEARS. I DON'T GO GO TO THEM ALL THE TIME BUT I KNOW THAT CAR DEALERSHIPS GO THREW PEOPLE PRETTY QUICKLY, ESPECIALLY CAR SALESMEN.
    Report This
    basilio68 Mar 27, 2010 4:32 AM
    Surging is totally different from sudden accelaration.
    Report This
    chvy70camaro Mar 26, 2010 4:51 AM
    chvy70camaro@aim.com
    Report This
    papachuck63 Mar 25, 2010 7:54 PM
    chvy70camaro, send me your email address and I will send some pics of my projects. papachuck63@aol.com
    Report This
    chvy70camaro Mar 25, 2010 4:27 AM
    not too bad, the ZZ3 has 350hp i believe and the ZZ4 has 375 or 400hp?! and it will still probably get 23-25 MPG highway!
    Report This
    papachuck63 Mar 24, 2010 7:27 PM
    A ZZ3 is going in the vette. It should be more then enough for it. My friend has a ZZ3 that was converted to run on propane and it's in a 1980 Malibu. It runs like a bat out of hell without having to pay the high gas taxes. I like the idea but the vette doesn't have room for the propane tank.
    Report This
    chvy70camaro Mar 24, 2010 6:54 PM
    pretty killer, 1 out of 80!! Just saw an Edsel on the road last weekend, couldn't believe it! Now i need to see a Tucker!
    Report This
    chvy70camaro Mar 24, 2010 6:53 PM
    Like a ZZ3 or ZZ4 350 crate motor?! do they have a crate now that comes with a 400 crank and pistons?! nope, not Kenny Bell! This Kenny i believe still has the record for hp from a V6 door slammer, 1600hp!! conservatively!
    Report This
    papachuck63 Mar 24, 2010 6:47 PM
    I have used Kenny Bell parts for years on my GS's and my V6 Skyhawks. The GT 350-H is one of 80 that were white and gold. It is numbers matching and was found sitting in a field in west TX in 1979. We bought it for next to nothing and put it in storage until three yrs ago when we started restoring it. I never said that I hated GM, I just don't like what they did to the tax payers and the share holders. The 58 corvette is the only GM that I owned at the moment. I almost have it down to the frame. I am putting a GM 350 crate motor in it.
    Report This
    chvy70camaro Mar 24, 2010 5:08 PM
    'about it'
    Report This
    1 - 20 of 269 Comments
     
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    Toyota's Technical Service Bulletin in 2002 shows that the company knew of unintended acceleration issues linked to electronics problems with its electronic control module.
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