Woman Claims Her RAV4 Accelerated Into a Brick Wall

EXCLUSIVE: Woman says she was pulling into a parking spot when the car sped up and crashed into a brick wall

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCPhiladelphia.com
    Elizabeth Bagnell's RAV4 crashed into a brick wall Tuesday. She says the car accelerated on it's own.

    Mere hours after two Toyota Prius owners said their cars sped out of control, a Montgomery County woman claims it happened to her.

    Elizabeth Bagnell and her brother Steve were pulling into a parking spot at a King of Prussia medical office complex Tuesday afternoon when she says her Toyota RAV4 accelerated on its own and into a brick wall.

    Woman Says Her Toyota Accelerated Out of Control

    [PHI] Woman Says Her Toyota Accelerated Out of Control
    Elizabeth Bagnell says she was just pulling into a parking spot when the car careened out of control and into a brick wall. (Published Wednesday, Mar 10, 2010)

    "I start to give it some gas pulling into the parking spot and I can hear the engine rev," Elizabeth said.

    The Hatfield, Pa. woman says the next thing she knew, the car was careening towards the wall.

    "It sounds almost like, if you're just, standing on top of the gas pedal," Steve recounted.

    Elizabeth said she slammed down on the brake pedal, but the car just wouldn't stop and even after hitting the wall, the wheels just kept spinning.

    "She had turned off the car, but I'm shoving my door open and the wheels are still spinning," Steve said. He says it took him putting the car into park to get the wheels to stop.

    The SUV's airbags did deploy during the accident, but the two weren't seriously injured. Upper Merion Township Police are calling Bagnell's accident minor and haven't confirmed an accelerator pedal issue, but the siblings say Elizabeth wasn't at fault.

    Bagnell's accident is just the latest in a series of new Toyota acceleration claims across the country this week.

    A California man says his 2008 Toyota Prius wouldn't slow down after he passed a car on a highway Monday. He spent 23 minutes hurling down the road and was forced to call 911 for help.

    State Troopers say they watched his brake lights come on as he tried to slow, but the car wound't stop.

    On Tuesday, a New York woman says she was backing out of her driveway when her 2005 Prius shot across the street and into a stonewall.

    And in eerily similar case in Southern Massachusetts, an elderly woman's 2010 RAV4 crashed into a medical building Tuesday. The 70-year-old driver told our Boston affiliate WHDH that her foot was still on the brake after the accident.

    Both Prius models were not included in Toyota's massive recall from earlier this year, but the 2010 RAV4 was listed. The elderly woman told WHDH she had brought her car into the dealership to have the gas pedal serviced. Officials are investigating all three cases.

    In the wake of these latest claims of car trouble, Toyota released this statement to CNBC's Phil LeBeau Wednesday night:

    We've launched a top-to-bottom review of all our operations, led by our President Akio Toyoda, to ensure that we not only meet but exceed the high safety standards that have defined our company.  Consistent with that review, we will ensure that our customers' voices are heard and acted upon in a timely manner.

     

    We are committed to investigate customer concerns more aggressively by deploying teams of technical specialists to conduct on-site inspections of verifiable unintended acceleration claims as quickly as possible.

    Elizabeth's 2008 RAV4 model has not been recalled. She says she called her dealer after the February recall was announced, but was told her car wasn't affected. She also says she's never had a problem with the SUV before.

    "I'm just wondering what they're going to do about everything," Steve said. "If they are gonna, you know, do a mass recall, obviously wasn't her year and it was."