I drove a 2001 version and a post 2002 version– didn’t feel any different.
Toyota’s woes have roots in 2002’s redesigned Camry sedan, which featured a new type of gas pedal. Instead of physically connecting to the engine with a mechanical cable, the new pedal used electronic sensors to send signals to a computer controlling the engine. The same technology migrated to cars including Toyota's luxury Lexus ES sedan. The main advantage is fuel efficiency.