"Wish I had noticed all of this during the test drive."
You should have... especially when commenting on how the car drives! Plus, you stated that the pedal doesn't let you accelerate the way you want but are afraid to drive it. Is it sticking wide open or just not adjusted right for normal acceleration?
Try using the AC on warm for de-fogging the car and leave the vents in the open position and not recirculating. You should see a big difference. Did you consult the manual for this issue?
I'm so sorry you got taken in by Japanese ad hype. We've been down that road ourselves (we had to walk most of the way because our Japanese car only ran about every other week). We now drive reliable Ford and GM vehicles that have real warranties (and don't need them anyway). You should have driven a new Malibu, LaCrosse or Fusion. Any of those are far better built and much more reliable than Camry.
My family sold a Buick last year with over a quarter of a million trouble-free miles. That is real quality (and probably why Buick is J.D. Powers top ranked car in long-term reliability, beating out even Lexus).
Also, lots of luck getting Toyota to fix your car. A local Toyota dealer here has been in the news (and sued) for refusing to honor warranties and defrauding customers.
The title of your review says it all. A lot of disappointed buyers totally agree with you. Sorry the ad hype sucked you in.
"Wish I had noticed all of this during the test drive."
I'm certainly no defender of Toyota (who holds the record now for the biggest safety recall in history) but I have to say, people should test drive cars thoroughly. Any time I test drive a car, I spend a LOT of time putting it through acceleration, cornering and braking tests, as well as checking out all controls and engine service accessibility. I accelerate the cars flat out several times, pitch them into corners very fast and do several panic stops from high speed. In addition, I vary the seat settings, check the ease in reaching the dash controls, look at interior storage capability and evaluate the durability (as best I can) of the interior finishes (and guess what? PLASTIC is the MOST DURABLE!!). If I get surprised by something after buying a car, it's my own fault for a poor test drive evaluation.
I think these test drive comments are a little ridiculous. A test drive lasts at most 15 minutes. In 15 minutes, one cannot possibly make a thorough assessment about any car, especially considering there's usually a salesman sitting in the passenger seat feeding you all kinds of irrelevant information and watching your every move. It's a relatively useless measure of vehicle quality, unless you just want to know how quickly the car reacts when you step on the gas or something.
Also the only good vehicle Ford has made so far (in that it ACTUALLY COMPETES with the Japanese brands) is made in Mexico. I'll take the Camry.
I have no idea what kind of cars you test drive, but I NEVER have a salesman in the car with me. They just toss me the keys and a temporary tag and I'm allowed to keep the car as long as I want to. I've taken two home OVERNIGHT!! (one I bought, one I didn't). If a car company is so afraid that you'll find a problem, then maybe you need to test drive a different kind of car. I suspect you are probably test driving imports, so I can see why they wouldn't want you looking too closely at them. Both the cars I took home overnight were Chryslers, but I've had the very same offers from both Ford and GM dealers. I think they probably don't have as much to hide from prospective buyers as import dealers do.
The steering feel and throttle response problems stem from the fact that they're ELECTRIC. Why ELECTRIC steering and ELECTRIC gas pedal instead of the old tried-and-true cable mechanism, I've got no idea. I owned an OLDER (early 90's) Camry and it was GREAT! That's because that one was STILL made in Japan! These so called Japanese cars (the newer ones) aren't even built in Japan anymore, mostly plants in the US and Mexico. Which is fine in theory except quality-control seemed to go out the door at that point, I mean come on.. the Japanese make a complicated albeit reliable design which other places (US and Mexico?) may have trouble executing. If they kept building their cars there, and continued to hold them to the high standards they did before while making them, we wouldn't have a problem.
It takes me 30 minutes. I always test drive, listen to the car and check to make sure everything works... I look at new and older models and buy. I bring a mechanic, and 2 people are better than one, a floor jack and a flashlight. At dealerships I have it put on a lift and we inspect it. I test drive (turn off the radio) listen, inspect fluid colors.
I am buying a import Nissan 300 ZX car today with a rear going on out it and the offer reflects that. The salesman or private party are welcome to make comments. You learn a lot and take it all with a grain of salt. I also ask for receipts, check if it's been wrecked if it was reported, and a clean title.
Reading on here is good for research, but you have to test drive. I also once saw a car with over 20 cracks in the frame and the dealer would not take it back. It went in for a front end alignment and was too unsafe to even drive home. You have to be careful. I know of ones that buy on the internet sight unseen. I had a friend that bought a nice restored 66 Vette 427 and had 60 days to return it, but pay shipping one way back $600.00. He did not have to and it's a great car, but I like in person the best.
Well then why not buy the car on Ebay and have it shipped to you? If you are not getting enough info out of a test drive it is your own fault. Take the car for a long drive in ALL types of driving scenarios. If the salesman doesn't let you do this, then go to another dealer.
Trust me, if you tell them buying or not buying is hinging on a thorough test drive, they will toss you the keys and tell you to bring it back when you are done. A dealer would be crazy to let people walk out because they couldn't drive the car thoroughly enough to make a good decision about buying it. They have no problem giving their own cars to their sales people as demo's, so why should you suffer as a buyer when spending tens of thousands of dollars on something.
The original poster here should have noticed much more of the cars shortcomings on a thorough test drive, and only has themselves to blame for their poor purchase decision.