GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Less than two hours after reporting on Toyota's $1 billion settlement over sudden acceleration, Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland got a tip about a new case out of Gwinnett County.
"It was probably the most devastating and terrifying thing that's ever happened to me," said cardiology nurse Kim Walker.
She arrived for her interview with Strickland in a rented Chrysler. Her Lexus IS 250 had a crushed front end. Walker's lawyer told her to leave it in the garage, where it crashed last Saturday.
"That car had a mind of its own, and it was going to do its thing. I mean I was standing practically on that brake," said Walker, who crashed into the stairs leading from the garage into the kitchen.
"I knew she was hitting the brakes as hard as she could and it just kept going faster and faster. I thought we were going to be in the kitchen," said Katharine Bryant, Walker's daughter and a passenger in the car.
David Walker showed Strickland records that the 2009 recall to prevent sudden acceleration was already done on the car.
He also showed Strickland the electronic module that controls the throttle.
Walker, the driver's husband, is an ASE certified master mechanic with 30-years experience. He works at a Chevrolet dealership.
"It could have been electronic interference from somewhere that fooled the module into thinking the driver wanted that throttle open," he explained.
"No evidence of electronic defect has been found in Toyota and Lexus throttle control systems," said spokesman Mike Michel via email.
"I'm not getting back in that car. So if Lexus is going to follow up and tow the car somewhere, that's going to be up to them," said Kim Walker.
Michel said they would investigate.