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Afraid Camry Owner - Toyota found to keep tight lid on potential safety



  • There can be no doubt that Toyota has genuinely suffered a dramatic hit in its reputation for reliability.

    Also, from first hand experience, I can tell all of you that I'm shocked at the extent of the cheapening taking place inside of Toyota vehicles, from misaligned trim, to absolutely horrid textures and quality of materials being used; this ranges from the Corolla to the Avalon, and everywhere in between.

    Toyoda, the grandson of the founder of the company, recently gave a speech of remorse about these issues, yet the crappy materials, squeaks and rattles, peeling trim pieces, and now, safety issues, continue to worsen.

    Akio Toyoda says "Toyota is grasping for salvation" in recent speech:ARTICLE
  • gtgtcobragtgtcobra Posts: 259
    "Toyoda, the grandson of the founder of the company, recently gave a speech of remorse about these issues, yet the crappy materials, squeaks and rattles, peeling trim pieces, and now, safety issues, continue to worsen."

    And things will stay this way and worsen even more as long as Toyota keeps building their cheaply made vehicles here in the USA and Canada. :)
    Build all Toyotas 100% in Japan with 100% Japanese built parts and the problem is solved. :)
    It's easy as that.
  • You should not have to "slam" on brakes or "shift" to neutral to control your Camry. My wife and I wanted a safe car,(We are both in our 60's) We traded in a 98 Avalon(bought new), wonderful car. We wanted something smaller,bought a 2010 Camry, 4 cyl. Jan 12 2010. I asked if the recall issues were taken care of this 2010 Camry we were purchasing. "Oh Yes" the salesman said.Then last week I called about the new round of recalls.He said "I just found out" your Camry is on the recall list. A saleman would LIE to his Mother to sell a car.

    Pretty much the same story for my wife and I. We purchased a new Camry SE on Jan 8 primarily for her to drive to work. Now she is afraid to drive the car!!!
  • Build all Toyotas 100% in Japan with 100% Japanese built parts and the problem is solved.
    It's easy as that.

    I don't see that ever happening. We are now living in a global economy with parts being sourced from all over the world.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You're neglecting a few points, VERY important points IMMHO.

    70-80% of braking HP is expended on the front wheels/tires, matter of physics, that. Just look at the beefiness, robustness of the front brake system vs the rear if you need verification.

    These are primarily, if not altogether, FWD or F/awd vehicles....The engine is DIRECTLY driving the very wheels most needed for braking HP. With a RWD you could LOCK (absent ABS) the front wheels with braking HP while the rears might remain spinning due to run-away engine. BIG difference in braking dynamics.

    Say you going at hwy speeds, 65MPH, and decide you need to slow down, not quickly, just slow down..?? How long, for what period, would you moderately apply the brakes before you realized they were not having the "proper" effect...??

    So now you have just begun the run-a-way engine sequence with the brake pads/rotor "pre-heated". But now you come to the realization that something serious has gone wrong...

    With the engine at WOT there is NO manifold vacuum for replenishing the brake vacuum motor. How many times do you think the average driver would release and reapply, thinking pump up the master cylinder, the brakes in this case and end up with NO brake assist...?

    "..otherwise the story is vey hard to comprehend.."

    Not for someone involved in managing a software development team for more than 40 years. You cannot imagine how much time and effort is spent finding field reported software bugs once product is shipping. Factory lab testing of software, no matter how comprehensive, will NEVER equal field, actual customer use/testing.

    Look at the screw up Lexus did with the new transaxle design for the early production RX300. It appears that NO ONE thought about, considered certain aspects of actual driver use, utilization of the transaxle. So the Camry's A140E was redesigned, made much more robust, seriously so, for use in the 1999 RX300 with F/awd.

    The primary reason for the "abolition" (Toyota's term) of key components of the old design, components in use for tens of years, was to provide room for a more robust design. But a side benefit was a serious improvement level in FE. So now Toyota was trapped, they could not go back to the old design absent sacrificing that FE improvement.

    They could have, of course, followed Ford's lead(***), but that isn't the Japanese, HEADS DOWN, cultural approach

    So Toyota and Lexus are still, TODAY, struggling with the unforeseen results of the design flaw inadvertently incorporated into these transaxles, adopted across the fleet by 2002.

    *** Ford adopted a variable displacement ATF pump to solve the inherent flaw in the new design and still get improved FE. ATF pumping volume can be maximized at idle but then incrementally minimized as engine RPM rises.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..What's Next.."

    Good question.

    In late 1991, November, I bought a new 1992 LS400. Within weeks I had discovered that the LS had a terrible propensity for quickly fogging up the front windshield interior surface. I worked with Bellevue Lexus and Lexus factory representatives throughout the following months, into the spring of '92, to resolve this problem but with NO success.

    In the summer I decided for safety reasons to park the LS400 until/unless the issue could be resolved. I also filed a lemon law case to return the LS400.

    Lexus did several things over the following year but the most important of those was flying an engineer in from Japan to check my HVAC control module for proper operation, including the correct firmware version.

    He arrived with what was clearly a make-shift, one-off, unpainted, no labelling aluminum testing box. He removed my HVAC control module and plugged the testing box connections in, completed his testing, and informed me that my HVAC was operating according to factory specifications and had the correct firmware version.

    It is my firm belief today that what he actually did was reprogram (" reflash")(***) the module so that the design flaw inadvertently incorporated at the factory was eliminated. Throughout the early trouble-shooting, '91-92, Lexus had focussed on my supposed improper use of recirculate, telling me again and again, to NEVER use the recirculate mode during the winter months.

    Intentionally using recirculate mode in winter time NEVER entered my mind.

    Then in the spring the instructions about not using the recirculate mode changed, "subtly" changed. Changed so subtly that I don't at first note the change. In retrospect I suspect the Lexus Bellevue technicians (Chuck Smiley, service manager at that time) charged with dispensing the new information were told not to "accentuate" this new change in the HVAC operational directions, or were simply not told at all.

    The new directions were to manually depress, when initially starting the car, or putting the HVAC system in "auto" mode, the fresh mode PB even if/when the light was already on indicating the system was already in fresh mode.

    There was a second anomaly involved this PB function which Lexus freely admitted but viewed as not important. When you manually over-ride, manually select, some functional aspect not already selected via auto mode, the auto mode will/would extinguish. Not so with regards the fresh/recirculate "rocker" type PB switch.

    The 1993 LS400 HVAC system does not exhibit this anomaly.

    *** At trial the Lexus attorney went beyond the boundary, too repetitively in asking me if the fogging had recently re-occurred. Since I had parked the car for almost a year at that point that was all I could tell him in response.

    But that questioning, line of questioning got me suspicious.

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It was easy enough to discover the change in the HVAC operation for the '92 vs the '93 LS400. In the '93 if you manually depressed the fresh or recirculate PB the "auto" mode light would extinguish.

    So, how do I know the HVAC firmware in my '92 was "reflashed".

    I have purchased no fewer than three used '92 HVAC control modules from EBAY over the past few years. The first of these, admittedly was due to the need to replace the failed LCD display on my '92. But since I had a "new", different, '92 HVAC control module to experiment with that's what I did.

    Turns out that there is a major difference in the operation of my original "reflashed" 1992 HVAC control module and other '92 HVAC control modules.

    What Lexus didn't tell me early on about the detailed operation of my '92 LS400 HVAC control mode. Didn't DARE tell me absent letting the "cat out of the bag".

    When in "auto" mode, the "auto" indicator light ON, AND the FRESH indicator ON, the 1992 HVAC system will operate the system at least partially in RECIRCULATE mode even in the DEAD of winter.

    It turns out that Lexus was trying to tell me how to properly operate fresh/recirculate functionality but WITHOUT pointing out the anomaly, seriously UNSAFE anomaly in that operation.

    Bottom line. Lexus' attorneys actually committed fraud, knowingly so, on the court, legal system, in order to prevent the design flaw in the '92 LS400's HVAC system from becoming well known.

    So, good luck with the run-a-way engine episode.
  • WTF?
    I can only agree that if the Both of US did not exist, we would not have
    any comments to make.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    To help combat the windshield fogging problem in my 1992 LS400 I learned to leave the windows down, religiously so, each and every night in the garage. That allows the condensation on the evaporator vanes to dissipate outside the cabin.

    I also installed a switch under the dash that I could easily actuate if the windshield began to fog over and I needed to use the defrost/defog/demist mode. The switch would add resistance to the cabin's IAT, Internal Temperature Sensor making the HVAC system think the cabin was COLD. The new effect was that when I then actuated the defrost/defog/demist mode I would get LOTS of HEATED airflow to the interior surface of the windshield.

    I prevented the A/C compressor from operation in the winter time by adding, switching in, a resistance to the OAT, Outside Air Temperature sensor circuit, making it seem to be always below freezing outside.

    Just weeks ago I developed a new modification for the '92 HVAC control module that automatically adds the "resistance" to the IAT circuit whenever the defrost/defog/demist mode is entered.
  • millwood0millwood0 Posts: 451
    "With the engine at WOT there is NO manifold vacuum for replenishing the brake vacuum motor."

    are you sure about that? :)

    take some highschool physics classes or ask your mechanics.

    better yet, take out your car and step on the gas / brake at the same time and see if you can lunch your car.

    don't worry, you can safely do that in your garage, as long as you have norm strength in your leg.
  • millwood0millwood0 Posts: 451
    "Now she is afraid to drive the car!!! "

    the only thing a reasonable husband would do is to get her another vehicle RIGHT AWAY.

    what are you waiting for?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Further to this CR did a video on this issue. It's very informative. Shift to Neutral. Stomp on the brakes and DO NOT let up. As soon as you let up at WOT you loose the vacuum boost and then your accelerating with essentially no brakes.

    Along this line Toyota has an FAQ on the subject on its website.

    Stomp on the brake and do not let off the pedal.
    Do not pump the brakes.
    Do not brake slowly...STOMP!

    Shift to Neutral.

    All of this is good info for all modern cars that don't yet have the brake override function installed yet...from every maker.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This is false. You continue to repeat the same false statements from the LAT as you did in Post #1. Get over it. Toyota showed where the LAT made up much of that article. The proof was printed here at Edmunds as well as many other places.

    This AutoBlog column is simply another restatement of the false article that the LAT printed. YOU continue to say how scandalized you are by that article, yet you won't sell your Camry to quiet your fears and presumably you are still driving it with no problems.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Do some research before slamming anyone.

    You bought your car on Jan 12th and you asked a question. The answer that you got was accurate because the new voluntary recall was not announced until this week. Cut the guy some slack, he told you the truth because he knew exactly what you knew on Jan 12th.

    From the letter from Toyota to NHTSA you should have no issues on a new vehicle. Read the letter and the comments by NHTSA. The situation might arise in very isolated cases when the piece becomes worn, not when it's new.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,045
    >Bottom line. Lexus' attorneys actually committed fraud, knowingly so, on the court, legal system, in order to prevent the design flaw in the '92 LS400's HVAC system from becoming well known.

    I applaud your analytical abilities and your candor. I infer that they didn't buy the Lexus back from the court case.

    Hard to believe they went to such lengths to prevent knowledge of a flaw in a vehicle.

    Not hard to believe they might be doing the same again with the unintended accelerationn problems.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Again you make an entire post based on false statements. This is truly horrendous that you'd use this family's tragedy to pursue your hatred of Toyota by making up non-facts. Specifically...

    Then the San Diego accident where a state patrolman could not get the shifter into neutral, couldn't turn off the motor, and couldn't stop. And the black box was "too damaged to be useful" was the interpretation from the only company that only had one reader able to decode the data in the box--Toyota said it had no info!!!! Hmmmm.

    This is false. You were not in the car. You were not on the scene. You have no facts about this accident except what you read on the internet. You are however fabricating issues with this family's tragedy -based only on your own speculations - in order to continue your campaign of hatred toward Toyota.

    Then the excuse that it's the rheostat that's inside the car that determines the setting of the accelerator pedal. The surface contact wears out quickly (the Lexus was a 2009???) and can stick because of water due to condensation from the heater blowing hot air on it? Hmmmmm. Doesn't compute with my knowledge of physics. That doesn't pass the smell test. My son's going to ask his AP Physics teacher about the possibility of that happening.

    This is solely your speculations based again on no facts and no expertise on your part. You are not an expert in this field; You have no knowledge of the structure of this mechanism; You have no knowledge of the structure of the vehicles; You in fact have no knowledge of anything pertaining to this subject. What you do have is an undying hatred for Toyota such that you will attack and fabricate at every opportunity. Am I right?

    You can't be serious about consulting a high school phyics teacher.
  • the only thing a reasonable husband would do is to get her another vehicle RIGHT AWAY.

    I think that I am a "reasonable husband", but I don't have deep enough pockets to buy a new car every few weeks. So, I will probably drive the new Camry and she will drive my 2000 Accord Coupe.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    wwest is right.

    Both CR and Toyota have specifically tested this issue. It doesn't have anything to do with sitting still and pressing both pedals. It's when the vehicle is moving at a high speed. That's the reason that the Germans have instatlled the brake override, why Toyota is now installing it and why all the rest of the industry will be installing it soon.

    When you're moving at a high speed and you brake - then you let off the pedal - you lose your ability to stop if the gas pedal is continued to be held down. The error is in letting off the pedal or not pushing on it hard enough in the beginning.

    The brake override functionality that the Germans are using cuts off the inputs to the throttle when the brake pedal is hit. So even if you have your 'gas' foot pinned to the floor you're not going to be getting any 'juice' to the engine.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,045
    >"With the engine at WOT there is NO manifold vacuum for replenishing the brake vacuum motor."

    If you are talking about being able to keep a car from starting from a dead stop, the test would be to find a long, open area. Then push the brake and press the accelerator halfway, then let up on the brake and press again, repeat a couple more times. You should find the reservoir of vacuum being depleted by the 3rd or 4th push.

    For a test to simulate the problem with a car at speed accelerating unwantedly, try 60 mph and use a long upslope on an open road. Press the brake pedal, then let up and try pushing the brake again, then let up and repeat the press. The brake reservoir holds a reserve of lack of air pressure (vacuum), but each press of the brake pedal vents air into the reservoir to help effect the press of the brake. The engine vacuum is not high enough due to the open butterfly to pull air back out of the reservoir in the brake booster.

    That loss of vacuum in the booster diaphragm is why it's important to step on the brake hard the first time and bring the car to a stop. It becomes harder each time if the driver lets up and then presses again.
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    Owners can deny the truth all they want, but at this point it is very clear what Toyota TRIED doing..hoping none of this would get to the mainstream media.

    I, along with others, expected more from Toyota. For a manufacturer who has continued to try to set itself apart from the rest and claim they focus on the consumer with superior quality, their bubble has been busted. This goes to prove they are just like any other auto manufacturer and now the quality of their cars continues to fall, while the competition is surpassing them.

    Very disappointing Toyota! TOyoTA(L) RECALL! :lemon:
This discussion has been closed.