really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
2 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,796 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.

1998 Toyota Avalon engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Toyota Avalon Owner Comments

problem #10

Sep 092009


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Toyota Avalon. The contact drove onto the emergency lane and put the vehicle in the park position. When the contact proceeded to drive, the vehicle's speed suddenly and independently increased up to 45 mph causing the vehicle to hit the curb and flip over. The contact suffered a broken arm and a shoulder and head injury as well as injuries to her knees. The contact was transported to the emergency room. The manufacturer was not notified. The contact was concerned that an investigation was not open on late model Toyota. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Tom Rivers, NJ, USA

problem #9

Sep 192005

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 34,961 miles
On or about September 19, 2005. I pulled into a parking spot aside of a shoe shop and applied my brake to stop. The 1998 Toyota Avalon which I was driving refused to stop and continued on into the side of the building at maybe 30 mph. I was sure that I had applied extreme pressure to the brake but could not stop the car. I was so distraught that I assumed that my foot slid off the brake onto the accelerator. As I think back I am sure that I was on the brake and not on the accelerator. If I was on the accelerator I would have had a jolt forward with extreme acceleration. It was like I was in a slow motion dream world and the Avalon was under its own control. I reported it to my insurance company as being my fault since I had no other reasonable explanation. I am now sure that the Avalon was under its own control and not mine. Updated 03/24/10

- Fullerton, CA, USA

problem #8

Aug 212007


  • miles
My daughter purchased a 1998 Toyota Avalon from a private individual. My daughter's friend drove the car home because she could not drive the standard vehicle my daughter used to get the Avalon. My daughter followed in the vehicle that had standard shift. Suddenly, the Avalon began accelerating to a speed of over 90 mph while on a secondary road. My daughter's friend put both feet on the brake and the emergency brake was used, but the car did not slow down. My daughter called her friend on her cell phone to ask her why she was driving so fast. Her friend was hysterical and said the car would not stop. My daughter immediately called 911. Just before a sharp curve where she was sure she would be killed, the car stopped. Her friend got out of the car and collapsed on the ground. The police called a tow truck and assured witnesses that she just had a little scare. The car was towed to a garage in sayre, Pennsylvania. Reluctant to believe that this happened as described, the mechanic decided to take the car for a drive himself. The same thing happened to him, however he used some method to get the car to stop. He told us that there was something wrong with the throttle. We contacted are local Toyota dealership about the problem; we were told that they had never heard of this happening with a Toyota. In January 2009, I was on the phone with my daughter, who now resides in Tennessee. Suddenly she yelled, "my god!" after a short silence that seemed like an eternity, she said she was at a stop light behind another car. Her foot was on the brake, but the motor started revving loudly. The car then lurched forward. Before hitting the car in front of her, she put the car in park while at the same time shutting the ignition off. She told me that this has happened a couple other times recently. We called our local Toyota dealership again to inquire about the problem. They would not admit to any problems of this nature.

- Chemung, NY, USA

problem #7

Jun 131998

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Toyota Avalon. Whenever the contact attempted to accelerate or reverse at a low speed the contact noticed that the vehicle suddenly surged forward without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealership where the contact was informed that the failure could not be reproduced. The contact has noticed the failure since the day he purchased the vehicle. The VIN was not available. The current and failure mileages were 27000. Updated 03/19/10. The consumer stated there was hesitation from the vehicle when she attempted to accelerate. Updated 09/27/10

- Louiville, KY, USA

problem #6

Sep 062006

Avalon 6-cyl

  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 1998 Toyota Avalon. The contact was driving approximately 25 mph on normal road conditions, proceeding to a traffic stop signal. The engine began to rev excessively high. The driver applied pressure to the brake pedal, followed by an unintended acceleration. The vehicle slowed down with excessive force to the brake system. The identical failures occurred on eighteen separate occasions. The failure occurred whenever coming from a complete stop. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic and transmission shop. The technicians were unable to duplicate the failure. The throttle and accelerator links were cleaned. The failures continued which there were no resolutions. The vehicle has not been repaired for the malfunctions. The failure mileage was 90,000. Updated 03/15/10 updated 04/29/10.

- Bayside , NY, USA

problem #5

Jan 312009


  • 100,000 miles
While accelerating merging onto the highway, car's accelerator stuck "to the floor", car continued to accelerate to 80mph until the driver was able to physically lift the pedal with the side of her foot. Brought car to repair center where no cause was found. Problem has not occurred since initial incident.

- Coventry, RI, USA

problem #4

Sep 102009


  • 150,000 miles


The contact owns a 1998 Toyota Avalon. While driving between 15 to 30 mph she crashed into a curb. When attempting to reverse away from the curb the vehicle suddenly accelerated. She pulled the steering wheel to attempt to stop and the vehicle rolled over and landed on the right side. She broke her left arm and was transported to the hospital by ambulance. The vehicle was taken to the tow yard. The insurance company rendered the vehicle as completely destroyed. The police report information was not available. The failure and the current mileage was 150,000.

- Toms River , NJ, USA

problem #3

Sep 152002

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles
When driving at low speeds the vehicle surged forward.

- Flagstaff, AZ, USA

problem #2

Nov 282000

Avalon 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles
When applying brakes, the vehicle accelerated without warning. Dealer stated they were unable to duplicate the problem. Three times when almost completely stopped, the car suddenly lunged forward. The vehicle went over the cement and scrapped the bottom of the car, the tires had to be replaced. The consumer has a very dangerous uncontrollable vehicle.

- Pine Grove, CA, USA

problem #1

Mar 211999


  • miles
On March 21,1999 owner was driving vehicle when it began to involutarily accelerate. The engine was surging rapidly. The tacometer reached 7,000rpm and vehicle accelerated to 90mph. Driver was applying normal pressure to the gas pedal when the acceleration began. He attempted to stop the car by using the brakes with no success. The car was almost out of control, so the owner turned the engine off and pulled to the shoulder of the freeway. The car was towed to the dealer in which it was purchased from and no repeat of the incident could be preformed. Dealer investigated accelertor cable, scanned check for codes, throttle body and gas pedal, no diagnosis could be made. Owner's express life threatening and safety concerns pertaining to this vehicle. We would like to participate in the study to determine the condition of this vehicle.

- Grass Valley, CA, USA

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