I will side with the motorists and suggest that Toyota does have a problem with the electronics of some of their cars, not particularly in Aus that I know of.
My 1986 Mazda 626 had cruise control and it seems Mazda has not worked on them much over the years even until R bought his Mazda 3 barely a year ago. I was driving his car up a steep hill with cruise control on at 100 kmh. The car was struggling to get enough power to maintain the speed. The throttle was probably fully open (do cars still have throttles?) When I crested the hill, away she went, up to 120 kmh. Defective technology. There was no danger and so I took no action and soon enough the system picked up that the car was going to fast and backed off.
I don't doubt there is a problem BUT, please this testimony before the American parliament is absurd nonsense.
Smith was at the wheel of her new Lexus ES 350 and had just merged with traffic when her car suddenly and inexplicably surged from 70 to 160km/h.
Despite Smith frantically slamming on the emergency brake and even putting the car in reverse, the vehicle continued to speed down the freeway.
Emergency brake? Does she mean handbrake/parking brake? That is what it is, a parking brake. It will retard you but not at full throttle. Putting an automatic into reverse is futile. Reverse is locked out, but neutral is not.
"I figured the car was going to go its maximum speed, and I was going to have to put the car into the upcoming guardrail in order to prevent killing anyone else and I prayed for God to help me," Smith said.
She must be one hell of a skillfull driver to imagine herself slowing her car by putting it into a guard rail.
"I called my husband on the Bluetooth phone system," Smith said, wiping away tears.
"I knew - I'm sorry. I knew he could not help me, but I wanted to hear his voice one more time."
Fair enough to want to talk to your husband when you think your life is in peril, but hey, it is an emergency situation and you can make a telephone call?
But at that moment, Smith said "God intervened" and the car came very slowly to a stop and her ordeal was over.
If god intervened and slowed your car, then it must have been the same god who made it speed up. Lawyers for Toyota's defence, I would be picking up on this one. Witnesses like her will see Toyota get off very lightly.