In Europe I have towed thousands of kilometers with a 1983 Toyota Camry, 1.8 L engine, 90 hp and with a 5 speed manual. Pulling a 2000 pound trailer was no problem at all. 95% of vehicles sold in Europe have manual transmission and therefore just about everybody is towing with manual transmissions. I know we can discuss this forever, but based previous experience and all the input gained from this discussion, I still personally maintain a belief that my accord would be a perfectly capable and safe towing vehicle, but the issue with insurance coverage was the thing that made me decide not to do it.
Johan, there is no doubt that manufacturers in the U.S. market are more conservative about their tow ratings for the same vehicles than what they rate them in other parts of the world. And, it's interesting that folks successfully tow much heavier loads in those locations without apparent ill effect. I still find it interesting, however, that manufacturers rate the same vehicle much differently depending on equipment; the Ford Ranger, for example, rates in the U.S. from 2000 lbs to 6000 lbs depending on year and drivetrain. My Bronco had a difference of 3,000 lbs just by switching transmissions. So, there must be something
engineering-related in the tow ratings, although we laymen will never know for certain how those ratings are arrived at.