Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
12 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
4 / 0
Average Mileage:
71,218 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Toyota Avalon engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Toyota Avalon Owner Comments

problem #16

Jun 052015


  • 155,000 miles


My 2002 Toyota Avalon continued to accelerate when I took my foot off the gas peddle and depressed the brake. I tried using the brake and emergency brake to stop the car, but I could not stop the car's acceleration. My car ended up slamming into a house. It was investigated by shelby township Michigan police and confirmed the accelerated was stuck. I received severe injuries in this accident including a head injury, and neck & back injuries. I am concerned about the safety of other people driving a similar car. Please investigate.

- Sterling Heights , MI, USA

problem #15

Apr 272013


  • 75,655 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that while driving 1 mph and going through a car wash, the vehicle accelerated independently and crashed into a vehicle directly in front of it. The contact put the vehicle in reverse and again the vehicle accelerated independently and crashed into the vehicle directly behind it. The contact suffered injuries to her neck and back. The vehicle had not been repaired. The failure and current mileage was 75,655.

- Burke, VA, USA

problem #14

Oct 052011


  • 101,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Avalon. The contact was driving 30 mph during inclement weather when the vehicle suddenly accelerated and crashed into an embankment. The air bags did not deploy and the vehicle was destroyed. The contact was not injured during the crash. The contact called the manufacturer and filed a complaint. The manufacturer also stated that an engineer would be sent to inspect the vehicle. The manufacturer inspected the vehicle but did not give any details of what caused the crash. The failure mileage was 101,000.

- Boston, MA, USA

problem #13

Jun 012010


  • 118,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that she experienced sudden acceleration while her foot was on the accelerator pedal. As she turned into a parking space, the vehicle lurched forward and crashed into another vehicle next to her. There were no injuries but a police report was filed. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealership where the dealer inspected the brake and ran a diagnostic test but could not find the cause for failure. The contact called the manufacturer and filed a complaint. The failure and current mileages were approximately 118,000.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #12

Apr 252010


  • 62,000 miles
I was approaching a parking space at a restaurant. I had my foot on the brake pedal as I turned into the space. As I came to the end of the space, the car lunged over the curb and hit the building. Because things happened so quickly, I cannot say whether my foot slipped off the brake but I do know that I didn't have control of my car. There was damage to the corner of the building and to my car as well. I have not had any problems with this car in the past and can't say that any equipment was deficient.

- Overland Park, KS, USA

problem #11

Mar 022010


  • 100,000 miles
The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Avalon. The contact stated that when she engage the accelerator pedal, to drive the vehicle in reverse, the vehicle accelerated backwards. The contact stated that she put the vehicle in drive to avoid hitting the light pole. The vehicle accelerated over a curb and crashed into a fence. The contact didn't state if a police report was filed or not. The contact was injured. The driver was able to apply pressure to the brakes in order to stop the vehicle. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing. The insurance company authorized had the vehicle towed to an auto body shop to be repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 100,000. The approximate current mileage was 100,000.

- Alston, TX, USA

problem #10

Oct 102007


  • 77,109 miles


In 2007 my 2002 Toyota Avalon had a serious accident due to sudden acceleration. I was parallel parking, heading slowly forward at no more than 1 or 2 mph when the car suddenly took off. My car struck the car in front of me, careened across the road and sidewalk, and crashed into a truck parked in a driveway across the street. Fortunately no body was hurt but people could have been killed especially if there had been pedestrians in the way. As you might expect, I was very shaken. My car was "totaled" and my insurance company said it had to hold me at fault because Toyota refused to take responsibility. I am convinced this was a problem of sudden acceleration not having anything to do with a sticking gas pedal as I was barely going forward. I believe that the sudden acceleration problem in Toyota vehicles should be further investigated and not confined to the recalled models. I would appreciate a response to this email.

- Seattle, WA, USA

problem #9

Oct 152007


  • miles
2002 Toyota Avalon experienced unintended acceleration as it was in the process of being parked in residential garage resulting in damage to the vehicle and garage. Stomping brake resulted in stopping against the concrete step up from the garage floor. Local Toyota service department was called. Responder indicated they had never heard of any kind of issue with the vehicle that could have caused this. Insurance company rep indicated no history of such an occurrence when claim was filed. Still paying surcharge on insurance coverage for accident. Three year old granddaughter in back seat at the time. Occasional surging feeling when stopped in traffic with foot on brake led to habit of keeping further back from vehicle in front as a precaution.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #8

Jan 152010


  • 102,006 miles
Gas pedal stuck. While pulling into work space taking my foot off the accelerator I anticipated the gradual slowdown of my 2002 Avalon. The car did not, and actually seemed to accelerate over the cement stopper, and did not slow or stop until I jammed on the break. This happened approximately 2 months ago. At the time had no explanation for it. After hearing about this exact problem with the 2005-2010 models I began to feel there may be a connection. Toyota began using this "accelerator mechanism" in the 2002 Avalon. I would like to have my accelerator corrected by Toyota. Upon calling the local dealer (vero beach fl) I was told that it is not a recalled vehicle, therefore unless the "uncontrolled acceleration" or "stuck gas pedal incident" can be "reproduced, they can do nothing.

- Vero Beach, FL, USA

problem #7

Feb 192008


  • 90,000 miles
(02/19/2008) was driving my 2002 Toyota Avalon just before 9 am SE in the L lane on rte.2 (ct) at 65 mph with the cruise control on. There was an obstruction in the L lane so I put on my signal, pushed on my brakes and proceeded into the R lane. Instead of slowing down, my vehicle continued to speed up. I lost control of the vehicle depits having both feet on the brakes and both hands on the steering wheel. I was swerving from lane to lane in rush hour traffic attempting to avoid the other vehicles. After about a mile, I was able to steer the vehicle into the R guardrail, enabling me to keep the car straight (and out of traffic) so I could use one hand to shift into neutral to stop the vehicle. The entire passenger side of my vehicle was ripped off and strewn along the R shoulder of the highway for about 1/4 mile. The vehicle was totaled and I was fortunate to not hit another car nor suffer any serious injury. Obviously, the failure occurred only once.

- Glastonbury, CT, USA

problem #6

Sep 092009


  • 2,000 miles


The contact owns a 2002 Toyota Avalon. While driving approximately 40 mph on normal road conditions the engine began to rev excessively high. Suddenly, there was an unintended increase of acceleration. The driver was able to slow the vehicle down; however, the failure occurred whenever the vehicle was in operation. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The failure was contributed to the throttle body and it was repaired. The failure mileage was 2,000. The VIN was unavailable.

- Clarksdale, MS, USA

problem #5

Jun 182007


  • 65,000 miles
My 2002 Toyota Avalon gas pedal accelerated at a fast speed on its own motion while I was exiting from the 405 freeway on to harbor boulevard located in costa mesa, ca, in 2007 on my way to my home. There was no way that I could stop the car with the brakes or the gas pedal. Only by the grace of god was I able to somehow swerve off the exit and into and iceplant field that slowed the vehicle down when I put the ignition in neutral. The car stopped when it plowed in to a mound of planting soil and the engine died. I took the car to orange coast auto repair who were unable to determine what caused this defect after extensive tests. Toyota has acknowledged that the 2002 has the same gas pedal and other equipment as the 2005-2010 Avalons but has not todate recalled any earlier Avalons than the 2005S. If not for the iceplant field, both me and the occupants of one of the other cars stopped at the stop sign in front of me would have been seriously injured or died. I want Toyota to recall my 2002 Avalon and make rectifying equipment changes so I can drive the car without fear of injuring or killing myself and others. In fact, Toyota for some unknown reason (probably economical ) is not recalling all Avalons with the same defective equipment.

- Costa Mesa, CA, USA

problem #4

Feb 032007


  • miles
I was driving on the high way with cruise control set to 65 mph. When I tapped on the brake to reset the cruise control, not only that the car did not slow down, it actually picked up the speed and started turning around all over the high way in a big 's shape. Neither the brake nor the steering wheel was functioning. The car was totally out of my control. The car eventually stopped after hitting the side rail on the road. The weather was good and the road was clear. As an engineer, I suspect the electronic sensor(s) of the car was the cause of the malfunctioning.

- Sandwich, MA, USA

problem #3

Oct 302009


  • 150,000 miles
Toyota Avalon '02 accelerated and had no brakes going down 35-40' driveway. Would knock parked car through house if I did not turn. Steered into railroad-tie holding berm. Bouncing off the tie slowed momentum of car. Was able to turn. Still crashed into parked car. Totaled my car and parked car.

- Yukon, OK, USA

problem #2

Dec 202006

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 41,719 miles
The care would accelerate without input from the driver.

- Walnut Creek, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 182005

(reported on)


  • miles
2002 Toyota Avalon experienced sudden acceleration after cruise control was disengaged.** answer required***. the first incident of sudden acceleration caused the vehicle to impact low trees branches which scratched the hood of the vehicle. The second incident resulted in no damage.

- Ithaca, NY, USA

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