The US government is investigating reports that some Toyota Camry, Camry Solara and Lexus ES300 vehicles have surged forward without apparent reason, injuring at least five people.
According to Associated Press (AP), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it has received reports of 30 crashes due to the alleged defect – in one case, a pedestrian was seriously injured when a vehicle suddenly accelerated.
AP said that vehicles from the 2002 and 2003 model years are included in the investigation and an estimated 1,010,000 vehicles could be affected.
Toyota spokesman John Hanson told AP the company has received similar complaints and is reviewing its internal records. Drivers reported sudden acceleration as they depressed the brake pedal, shifted the transmission or drove at higher speeds using cruise control.
According to AP, NHTSA is also investigating reports that the sliding door on 1999-2002 Ford Windstar minivans can slide open while the vehicle is moving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Associated Press it has received 56 complaints about the problem but no reports of injuries.
Ford spokesman Glenn Ray told the news agency the company is analyzing the problem and is cooperating with NHTSA – an estimated 761,368 Windstar minivans from those model years are on the road.
NHTSA investigations can lead to vehicle recalls, the report noted.