In what must seem like cruel irony to owners who have had issues with unintended acceleration, Toyota’s collision avoidance system is getting confused and randomly activating:
“The pre-collision system can interpret a steel joint or plate as an object in the road. The steel object will activate the collision avoidance system and identify the steel as a car driving in front of the Toyota or Lexus vehicle.”
About 31,000 cars are at risk of a sudden slam of the brakes. This includes the 2013-2015 Avalon and Avalon Hybrid as well as the Lexus ES 350 and ES 300h.
Toyota doesn’t have a solution other than to deactivate the system for now. A more permanent solution will likely involve a software patch. I’m sure Toyota dropped off a case of Red Bull, locked the door, and limited bathroom breaks for it’s software development team until this is figured out.