Happened earlier today in the DYELC land:
On the return leg of a trip to about 160k/100mile from home, the dashboard of the family bus (2013 Toyota Verso 2.2 D-CAT, aka "cool dad" edition) lights up accompanied by alarm sounds that reach almost 50% of the volume of the familiarly ear-piercing "you tried to lock the car with one door open" alarm (that is apparently used in the Eastern Ukraine as a makeshift air raid siren replacement).
Having read carefully all the Internet horror stories related to the Toyota D-CAT engine (apparently you have less than 2.5 milliseconds to switch off the engine from the time the "check engine" light comes on, otherwise the engine block - made of the best Japanese chocolate available on shoestring budget - makes a spontaneous pinata impression), I know that a Real EVO Forum Member(TM) would have switched off the engine and parked the car on its nose on the hard shoulder of the motorway with brakes smoking. Nevertheless, I decide that limping to slightly safer location was preferable, already because I'm traveling with two kids who tend to get a bit hyperactive when tired, bored.
Having consulted the manual after limping to somewhat safer location and switching the engine off (over protestations that I interrupted the Famous Five story CD), I was - if possible - even less clued up. The error message explanation tells me that stability control doesn't work and car should immediately be checked by a "competent Toyota garage" (presumably for last rites and euthanasia, since the ca. 600 page manual doesn't offer any further troubleshooting information). Which logically means that there are two problems that are at best only tangentially related: in addition to the engine block having spontaneously combusted, something has destabilised the stability (and unintentional acceleration) control.
Having concluded that I haven't much to lose, I restart the (by now almost certainly irrevocably grenaded) engine and drive gingerly to nearest location that might offer nutrition that growing kids need (or failing that, chips and chocolate - although if you actually ask the kids themselves this is what they absolutely need. But I digress...). It is obviously going to be a long night, and I'm thinking about "hotel vs. train home".
Eventually (10-15 minutes before the time promised) the TCS (local RAC equivalent) fellow arrives. He reads the codes, notes blocked DPF error code. Takes a peek under the hood, notes the generous sprinkling of bread crumbs around the engine (courtesy of a neighbour who tries to feed the local birds whole loafs of bread. The birds ignore them, but the local rats are happy to take them to be enjoyed somewhere warm and dry - e.g. on top of a lukewarm engine block).
A bit more detective work reveals a loose airbox, test drive results in a successful DPF regeneration & judgement that it is safe to continue driving. The working theory was that the loose airbox caused engine management to get confused, and this may or may not have led to actual ill health of the DPF filter. In addition to this, the looseness of the airbox makes me reassess the degree of inherent oxymoronishness of the concept "competent Toyota garage"...
But the craziest thing I learned in all this: apparently more or less any engine-related error in a Toyota triggers the "stability control failed" error message. Which is probably accurate (I guess you don't have full control of the engine torque in limp mode) and completely useless.
In the end the worst case scenario would have been having to stay a night in a hotel (probably covered by the breakdown coverage). But have to admit that the whole experience made me look back at some of the more adventurous road trips (e.g. crossing Bosnian mountains when windchill factor was below -45) in a different light. Review of the packing list for the next winter roadtrip may result in some changes...