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View Full Version : Unusual consequence of Toyota sudden accelleration


Red_Chili
02-25-2010, 09:03 AM
http://enews.earthlink.net/article/us?guid=20100225/f27c66c4-a670-4332-a698-4a4fc4c9e0ba

Wow. Can you imagine being put in jail for years for killing people because, as it may turn out, your car has a manufacturing defect?

Bikeman
02-25-2010, 09:12 AM
Not drive-by-wire back then?

Red_Chili
02-25-2010, 09:24 AM
I saw mention of a cruise control issue that caused the same issue. Not sure.

DaveInDenver
02-25-2010, 09:52 AM
Give me a break. Now anytime someone is in a wreck, it's because my Buick steering is too vague, my Honda brakes are insufficient, my Chevy power steering is too weak. Blah, blah, blah, if you can't control your vehicle then you have no business driving it and it's time to buy a bus pass. For a car to gain enough speed differential to kill someone it has to accelerate for a while, enough time for you, the responsible operator, to probably turn off the engine, put it in neutral, yank the e-brake, something to avoid the accident.

thefatkid
02-25-2010, 10:43 AM
http://enews.earthlink.net/article/us?guid=20100225/f27c66c4-a670-4332-a698-4a4fc4c9e0ba

Wow. Can you imagine being put in jail for years for killing people because, as it may turn out, your car has a manufacturing defect?

Your thinking of SSC 10A, it only covers 1998-2001 TMMK Camrys. That is 2 years after this guy killed 3 people.

I've got an order in for my new bumper sticker.................

"I'm not speeding officer, my gas pedal is stuck"

Red_Chili
02-25-2010, 10:51 AM
If this was GM, I cannot help but think you guys would be all over the other side.

There was a recall on 1996 Camrys according to the article? I agree, it is a theory in the case that would have to be proven, but it has merit if the guy was standing on the brake the whole time and the motor was floored. IF in fact, he was.

On a side note... Dr. Toyoda said to Congress there was no electrical malfunction. Technically correct... but Toyota's design does not cut the accellerator upon activation of the brakes, while their competition DOES. Not an electrical malfunction, but IMHO at least, a very bad design decision.

DaveInDenver
02-25-2010, 11:02 AM
If this was GM, I cannot help but think you guys would be all over the other side.

There was a recall on 1996 Camrys according to the article? I agree, it is a theory in the case that would have to be proven, but it has merit if the guy was standing on the brake the whole time and the motor was floored. IF in fact, he was.

On a side note... Dr. Toyoda said to Congress there was no electrical malfunction. Technically correct... but Toyota's design does not cut the accellerator upon activation of the brakes, while their competition DOES. Not an electrical malfunction, but IMHO at least, a very bad design decision.
First, Ford recalled 4.5 million vehicles in 2009 for their cruise control fire issue. I have not once mentioned it until now. Ford's problems with cruise controls and tire inflation have led to a few deaths, too. They are still dealing with 10 year old vehicles and not owning up to it. Whether it was Toyota's arrogance or getting caught with their hands in the jar they are dealing with cars much newer than Ford did. Ford dragged their heels a very long time hoping just like Toyota that it would not balloon. The difference is that one has a whole lot of Congressmen on it's dole and the other not as much. Also now the government owns two of the Big 3 and they hate successful competition, what a good way to put the screws to Toyota.

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/10/14/ford-recall-cruise-control-4.5/

For the past ten years, Ford has been doing a dance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and consumers over the issue of leaking cruise control switches in certain company vehicles. As of 2008, it had recalled some 9.6 million vehicles to repair a faulty Texas Instruments cruise-control deactivation switch, and now after a NHTSA investigation, the Blue Oval has added 4.5 million more Ford and Mercury vehicles to the recall.

The latest action covers these vehicles:

1992-2003 Ford Econoline
2000-2003 Ford Excursion
1995-2002 Ford Explorer
1993-1997, 1999-2003 Ford F-Series Super Duty
1994 Ford F-53 chassis
1995-1997, 2001-2003 Ford Ranger
1995-2003 Ford Windstar
1995-2002 Mercury Mountaineer

According to NHTSA, the switch can leak and overheat, which can lead to smoking and, in some cases, fire. In fact, The Detroit News notes that the switches have been faulted in more than 550 fires – some of which led to fatalities – many of which have led to lawsuits. A Ford statement declared, "Aside from the Windstar, the additional vehicles addressed in this action have different system parameters and do not pose an unreasonable risk to safety. However, Ford is taking this action on all of these vehicles to address possible ongoing customer lack of confidence in vehicles with the affected switch."
http://www.usrecallnews.com/2010/02/ford-recall-history-puts-toyota-recalls-in-perspective.html

While 5 million units for the Japanese automaker may seem like a sea of cars, there’s another car manufacturer that trumps Toyota in total recalls over time:

Since the NHTSA started keeping records, Ford Motors has recalled over 20 million vehicles, the highest recall year being 1996 with over 7.6 million units. Thus, while the current recall hype might be news to the US consumer who favors Japanese models over their American counterpart, the news of Toyota’s 5 million units recalled could be overshadowed by Ford’s recall history.

It began back in 1972 when Ford issued a recall for over 4 million cars with faulty seatbelt buckles. With indications that the buckles could release in a crash situation, the auto manufacturer recalled cars from its Ford, Mercury and Lincoln brands – every single one of them made during models years 1970-71.

The next major car recall from Ford was the 1996 Ford Explorer recall. The malfunction in question gave it the less-than-favorable moniker “Ford Exploder” as the ignition switches were found to be defective and could catch fire, overheat or otherwise malfunction. Nearly 8 million cars were affected and Ford recalled nearly all its cars manufactured between 1988 and 1993.


So yes, I think responsibility falls with the user first and foremost. I'm not sure standing on the brakes of a Camry would not slow it down. If that was the case then every Toyota ever made would never stop because you point out that the fuel is not cut with the brakes. As would every automatic vehicle made since 1942 or whatever, so potentially every vehicle manufacturer is liable by trusting that the torque converter would decouple the engine and drivetrain and not overcome the brakes. I'm sure at some point in the 1970s or 1980s when EFI started to show up that fuel was cut with the brake pedal, but before that the engine just idled down and left you trusting the torque converter and brakes only. And mechanical throttle cables stuck a lot in those old cars. Had it happen in my 1956 Plymouth and I managed to survive it, hit the big 'N' (push button shifting was cool) and turn off the key. It ain't rocket science if you don't panic.

corsair23
02-25-2010, 11:28 AM
I for one am glad the throttle doesn't cut out on my LX when I apply the brakes...I couldn't power brake and use the brake to modulate speed offroad...In this case that design is a plus :)

I learned early on in my driving an automatic to only use ONE foot for brake and throttle in most cases after nearly driving my parent's station wagon through the garage door when I had one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas :eek:

IMO what we are seeing with Toyota is there is a fine line between holding the manufacturer responsible and having a media circus. Having two Congress Critters from Michigan berating Toyota seems to reek of "conflict of interest"...The media, the plaintiffs and their lawyers, and the politicians love this though...Hard to assume any of these people are unbiased participants in this whole thing when they have so much at stake...

Red_Chili
02-25-2010, 11:50 AM
Having two Congress Critters from Michigan berating Toyota seems to reek of "conflict of interest"...
Too true!

rover67
02-25-2010, 12:33 PM
You know Dave, I had forgotten about the Ford fires. One of my good friends has his Pickup go up in flames in the driveway after having sat for a long time. Just burned to the ground. I am still amazed that it just spontaneously combusted like that.

They noticed it was on fire waaaaaay too late.

jacdaw
02-25-2010, 01:20 PM
I asked the :Princess: what she'd do if her Pathfinder accelerator got stuck. She said she'd try the brake pedal. So I asked if that didn't stop her, what would she do? She has only driven automatic transmissions and is 37 this year. She had no idea that she could put the lever at N to disconnect the speeding engine from the wheels. No effing clue.

We simply require too little of people when we test them for a driver license. We care more about if they know what the legal limit for alcohol is than how to safely operate a motor vehicle.:rant:

jacdaw
02-25-2010, 01:22 PM
And in a completely different direction...I wish my Hilux had a little unintended acceleration sometimes.;)

Corbet
02-25-2010, 02:22 PM
So yes, I think responsibility falls with the user first and foremost. I'm not sure standing on the brakes of a Camry would not slow it down.

Would think it should. My throttle cable used to stick on my Z28 in high school. Only time it would ever do it was at wide open throttle. The brakes brought her back down every time. Sometimes from lets just say above posted limits. I never had to use neutral or the e-brake. But I knew I could. I'm all for safer cars but in the end the user has to be responsible too.

It seems more like a big witch hunt to me. Manufactures need to be held accountable, but so should a driver who has an opportunity to prevent an accident. Spontaneous combustion is a whole different issue. But there again a driver should remain calm and be able to avoid most accidents. I piloted my 40 to the side of the freeway while on fire. Its not that hard.

theboomboom
02-25-2010, 02:38 PM
FWIW

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/02/23/toyota-adds-more-models-to-list-getting-brake-override-systems/

ScaldedDog
02-26-2010, 07:37 PM
The whole "I was standing on the brake and it just kept going" dog just doesn't hunt (http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/how_to_deal_with_unintended_acceleration-tech_dept).

Mark

rover67
02-26-2010, 10:10 PM
try it...

floor it at 70MPH in a gear that has some meat (so you've got zero vacuum....) and pump the brakes a few times (realistic reaction from a non knowing individual).

It will get pretty hard to stop.

ScaldedDog
02-26-2010, 10:55 PM
try it...

floor it at 70MPH in a gear that has some meat (so you've got zero vacuum....) and pump the brakes a few times (realistic reaction from a non knowing individual).

It will get pretty hard to stop.

That's what they did in the test linked above:

Our tests were conducted at highway speeds, as the incident with the Lexus ES350 happened on an expressway, and in the lowest possible gear, as that's the worst-case scenario.

With the Camry’s throttle pinned while going 70 mph, the brakes easily overcame all 268 horsepower straining against them and stopped the car in 190 feet—that’s a foot shorter than the performance of a Ford Taurus without any gas-pedal problems and just 16 feet longer than with the Camry’s throttle closed. From 100 mph, the stopping-distance differential was 88 feet—noticeable to be sure, but the car still slowed enthusiastically enough to impart a feeling of confidence. We also tried one go-for-broke run at 120 mph, and, even then, the car quickly decelerated to about 10 mph before the brakes got excessively hot and the car refused to decelerate any further. So even in the most extreme case, it should be possible to get a car’s speed down to a point where a resulting accident should be a low-speed and relatively minor event.

Mark

rover67
02-26-2010, 11:30 PM
wasn't clear to me if they used up the vacuum by pumping the brakes..

sleeoffroad
02-27-2010, 06:33 AM
Most of the newer cars probably have electronic assist and not vacuum. On the LandCruisers this has been since 1998. Not sure on the sedans.