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96 Camry CollectorEd
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Discussion Starter #1
A little background: I own a 300,000+ Mile Toyota Corolla (1996) and a 19,000 Mile Toyota Corolla S (2009) - but this story isn't about me. My GF's sister owns a 2009 Toyota Corolla LE (60,000km - She's Canadian).

The other day (August 30th 2010), at a stop light. She came to a complete stop, with her foot on the brake. Sitting at the stop-light she noticed the rpms were creeping upwards in the vacinity of +800rpms (from standard idle RPMs). Normally that wouldn't get my attention, but what she told me next got me a little uneasy. She said with her foot fully on the brake, the car tried to lurch forward into the intersection. She had to turn off her car, call toyota, and it was towed to the nearest dealership. They gave her a replacement Matrix and will let her know when the problem is resolved.

Anyone ever heard of this? I know my Corolla S "hunts" for RPMs at stop signs/lights. But it ususally only fluxuates about 300RPMs (from about 600 to 900) and cycles about every 6 seconds. But I have NEVER had my car lurch forward or attempt to move with my foot on the brake.

I asked if she was fully depressing the pedals and she assured me that she was, I probably asked twice (or maybe lots of people asked her that day) but she kinda sounded annoyed that I would ask that question.

Anyone ever experience this? Did she experience UA? She has gone in for other Corolla recalls, namely the cold-weather brakes and the sticky-pedal, and perhaps one other recall.

Any advice/similar stories/hep/concerns/ please post! I'm confused!
 

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Ask your Mother
2009 Corolla XRS
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2,035 Posts
I don't want to sound like a dick... but 99.99% of SUA cases are human error.

Unless you were there in the car watching what was being done, I don't believe it. Stories about Toyota and SUA has been exaggerated lately.

Did she by chance have the car in Cruise Control, and then by accident hit the "Resume" switch?

Just my opinion. Also, would it be sexist to say "This is a woman driver you are talking about":lol:
 

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2009 Corolla S
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1,384 Posts
Another mistake people usually made....foot press on the brake but the side of the foot touch the gas pedal as well.

If her foot was fully depress on the brake. 800rpm is not enough to override the brake and move the car forward.
 

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Official TX TN User
2010 Corolla S
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161 Posts
Did she by chance have the car in Cruise Control, and then by accident hit the "Resume" switch?
Even if she did...with being at a stop with her foot on the brake, the cruise won't activate (at least it shouldn't).
 

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2010 Corolla S
2010 Corolla S
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365 Posts
Could be an issue, but human error is always a factor. Was the AC on? That causes varied RPMs, and then fear could make it seem like a lurch instead of the usual :)
 

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96 Camry CollectorEd
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Discussion Starter #6
I completely understand where you are coming from. As I follow most automotive blogs (LLN, Jalopnik, etc.) The whole runaway car stories got all hyped and way out of hand, to the point of even consipracy theory. I am a disbeliever myself, I actually bought my 2009 corolla, used, AFTER all that UA crap came out - it actually let me get a pretty good chunk o'change off the car's price. But that's not the point.

To me, it's all been driver error, people wearing sandals or strange shoes, first time car owners, etc. But it's a LOT stranger when something like this happens to somebody you know.

1. I was not in the car, she was by herself.
1. counterpoint - she's a reasonable driver. Not the best, but certainly not the worst. She can drive a manual and has driven a variety of cars such as Ford Ranger, Nissan Altima, Corolla, Camry, and Lancer (and probably more, but those come to mind).

2. She's telling to gain attention or fabricating it.
2. Counterpoint. She has nothing to gain from this story, she didn't get into an accident, it doesn't seem like she is fishing for fame/fortune (IE, she wasn't instructed by a police officer in LA to use the e-brake or anything). Plus I am posting this unbeknownst to her.

3. Cruise control?
3. I doubt she was using cruise since she was just commuting back from work. I can ask today to find out any more details.

4. Touching both pedals?
4. counterpoint. She had just come to a complete stop using the brakes. Plus - honestly, how often does the average driver span pedals? It's like 3-4 inches apart.

5. It wasn't 800rpm (I admit I wrote that up funny) it was an 800rpm spkie plus idle putting it somewhere in the ~1500-1600RPM. And yes I agree (even still) that isnt enough to get the car moving if the brakes are applied, which is what makes me wonder if something is *wrong* with either the brakes or the over-ride or the torque converter or the idle-management. It's just bizarre.

I'll try to keep everyone informed, this isn't some witch hunt. Like I said above - it's a little more perplexing when strange things happen to people you know.
 

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The random one
2010 Corolla CE
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523 Posts
Is she the construction type of girl wearing safety boot/shoes? I never wear mines to work because pedals are too close, and I've hit them both once...not in the corolla but in a ford focus! I found the garage door coming faster than I thought at work. This could happen with any car: driver error. But why the corolla? Some says toyota pedals are closer together and smaller, thus increasing the risk on depressing 2 pedals at once.
 

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96 Camry CollectorEd
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Discussion Starter #8
Definitely not construction boots. She's a software engineer... pretty much all desk-work. But that doesn't mean she wasn't wearing any other type of hazardous shoes like heels, pumps, flats, etc. She has those in her collection. But, I think she actually wears sneakers to work - again. I didn't ask, but I'll sign into gmail and pry some more.
 

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96 Camry CollectorEd
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Discussion Starter #9
Okay I spoke with her on gmail. She said:

"No word from toyota yet. They said they will run some tests. The dealership guy thinks it could be the AC causing it. But I don't see how that would cause the car to lurch forward. I stopped at a light and then the speedometer kept vibrating and then the car was like contrantly lurching."

Then I asked "Lurching as in moving forward? or bogging down?"

And she replied, "like u know when guys at lights make their car move to the beat? Like rocking the car and i had my foot pressed so hard on the brake i thought it would go through the floor. And i was at a major intersection (near the erin mills mall) and i was so freaked that it would just take off or something with the accelerator pedal. yeah it kept lurching. then i put it in Park and it stopped"

She also says that her tachometer needle was vibrating wildly.

That's my gmail conversation update.
 

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Ask your Mother
2009 Corolla XRS
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Interesting...

Can't say i've ever heard of that before...

But she is in my area. I will have to keep an eye out for a strange lady in a crazy corolla
 

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The random one
2010 Corolla CE
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523 Posts
another thing that comes to my mind; sometimes when the alternator is defective, the computer tries to make up for the drop in voltage and speeds up the motor to try recharging.
 

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09 Toyota Corolla S
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Another mistake people usually made....foot press on the brake but the side of the foot touch the gas pedal as well.

If her foot was fully depress on the brake. 800rpm is not enough to override the brake and move the car forward.
I know I have done that a few times:ugh3:

Even if she did...with being at a stop with her foot on the brake, the cruise won't activate (at least it shouldn't).
It shouldn't cruise control shouldn't activate until 25mph

Interesting...

Can't say i've ever heard of that before...

But she is in my area. I will have to keep an eye out for a strange lady in a crazy corolla
:lol::lol:
 

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mmm ... driver error to me. Brakes pretty much override everything now, especially post-Toyota media hype.

And yeah CC doesnt even engage until >25mph
 

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09 Toyota Corolla S
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To make sure that I didn't need to get the brake override thing a long time ago. So I floored it and then hit the brakes hard and man I have to say that our brakes are good lol:lol:
 

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09 Corolla S!
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508 Posts
Actually, could it be that by jamming the brakes in like she did she managed to freak out the ECU and cause the ABS to turn on? That's the only thing I could think of that would cause a stuttering lurch like that. Think about it, if you depress the brakes hard enough to activate the ABS, the car vibrates from the ECU varying the brake's power. If the computer had a malfunction and did this while sitting still, it could do something to this effect.
 

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Diehard Rams Fan
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Another mistake people usually made....foot press on the brake but the side of the foot touch the gas pedal as well.

If her foot was fully depress on the brake. 800rpm is not enough to override the brake and move the car forward.
I'll bet 99% that this is what happened, I've had it happen to me several times before realizing what was going on. It sure sounds like she over reacted. :facepalm:
 

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350whp grocery getter
2010 Corolla S
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Both our cars do the same thing if the brakes are not fully depressed. RPM goes up and the cars roll forward. Could happen in any car, but it seems our new Toyotas both do it more than anything else we have had.
 

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96 Camry CollectorEd
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Discussion Starter #18
She's getting her car back today... update from Toyota mo co:

"So i called the service tech and he said they didnt find anything
wrong with the vehicle and that when i took it in last week for the
recall and oil change, they did an engine/battery clean and they think
that some carbon from that cleaning got into the engine/throttle or
something like that and caused the car to hiccup like that.
Im picking it up today so lets see."

Supposidly a Toyota rep was present as well and he also looked at her car. I don't know any of those details.

Skeptical about the engine-clean causing problems with RPMs/surging forward. Any insight?
 

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did she push the break all the way down....as i was driving today i just engaged the break enough to stop/hold the car but during the light (as i was tired) i moved my leg a little bit so the car jerked forward a little bit at around 800 rpm as the break was barley engaged anymore
 
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