Tanya Spotts, a real estate agent from Hamilton, Virginia, bought a new Lexus E350 in 2011. This is her story.
“I had been driving it six months and it was near Christmas and my 22-year-old daughter was with me. I was parking in a second-level garage, my foot lightly on the brake, when the car suddenly lurched forward and hit the wall.
We were not far from the wall so it didn’t do much damage, just the fender and lights. But if there wasn’t a wall in front of me, who knows what would have happened? I said to my daughter, ‘I can’t drive this car,’ so she drove it home.
We called Toyota and I got a call back from someone who wanted to analyze the car, but we waited and waited and it remained parked through January. I started researching and found out that this has occurred many times and it sounded like the same kind of incident.
I wanted the consumer to know, so that nobody would get hurt, so CNN interviewed me in January. They said they were going to contact Toyota, and then Toyota responded. They were very nice. They said it must have been my fault. I said, I’ve been driving for 30 years and I’ve nothing on my driving record.
They did their report and they still said it was driver error. But I’ve never once doubted that it was computers or electric — it was not a mechanical problem.
I notice that the car does little things — I feel it wanting to go forward. I love the Lexus brand but I don’t have the confidence I once did. It’s just the cost — I’m hesitant to lose that much money to get another car.”
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5