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Toyota Halts Sales of Popular Models - Accelerator Stuck Problem Recall

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  • This supposed "fix" by Toyota may not be the answer. Could Toyota be hiding a much larger problem which it is afraid to admit?

    Recent article in the LA Times.

    By Ralph Vartabedian and Ken Bensinger LOS ANGELES TIMES 1/30/10

    The pedal maker denies that its products are at fault. Some independent safety experts also are skeptical of Toyota's explanations. 'We know this recall is a red herring,' one says.

    Toyota Motor Corp.'s decision to blame its widening sudden-acceleration problem on a gas pedal defect came under attack Friday, with the pedal manufacturer flatly denying that its products were at fault.

    Federal vehicle safety records reviewed by The Times also cast doubt on Toyota's claims that sticky gas pedals were a significant factor in the growing reports of runaway vehicles. Of more than 2,000 motorist complaints of sudden acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles over the last decade, just 5% blamed a sticking gas pedal, the analysis found.

    What's more, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has conducted eight investigations into sudden-acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles over the last seven years, none of which identified a sticking pedal as a potential cause.

    Independent auto safety experts have been skeptical of Toyota's explanations, saying floor mats and sticky gas pedals can't fully explain the large number of complaints that have been mounting for the last decade, covering some of the most popular models in the company's lineup, including the Camry.

    That argument was given more weight Friday when the manufacturer of the suspect pedals insisted its products had been unfairly blamed.

    CTS Corp. of Elkhart, Ind., said in a statement that it had "deep concern that there is widespread confusion and incorrect information" about its products linked to the sudden-acceleration issue.

    "The problem of sudden unintended acceleration has been reported to have existed in some Lexus vehicles and Toyota vehicles going back to 1999, when CTS did not even make this product for any customer," the company said.

    Toyota began using CTS-made pedals in the 2005 model year.
  • Whether the problem is what Toyota claims it is or not, it would make a whole lot more sense to design a retrofit kit to allow hitting the brake to override the throttle. That would guarantee that no matter what is wrong with the throttle that the braking system will stop the car. I know they say that feature will be introduced on the 2011 models but all their cars electronic throttles should have this feature. That would guarantee safety. If any of the cars with the shim kit continue to have this problem Toyota will be up [non-permissible content removed] creek. They need to do it right the first time if they want to rescue their reputation.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This brake override system is already being installed in all possible vehicles as they're being brought in.

    If an owner is involved in either of the two recalls then the brake override function will be added to that vehicle. New models are getting it installed in the factories.
  • In addition to fix Toyota should update their engine computer software so that it would produce and store error information regarding engine RPM's and throttle position maintaining or increasing at any time while the brake is applied and the car is in gear. That way if a customer complains of unintended acceleration the dealership can simply check the computer to see if an error of that nature is stored. That would prove any unintended acceleration and also help isolate the cause.
  • 20, do you really think that Toyota (or any other automotive manufacturer) would agree to letting the dealer/customer see data that proves their software is causing accidents or killing people. This is information that car owners (or lawyers) will never be able to get their hands on!

    I do think that the current "unintended acceleration" problem is somehow tied to the Toyota software, and maybe will finally be corrected with a software change, but we as owners, will never know the exact scope of the fix.
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    we as owners, will never know the exact scope of the fix.

    More like we as owners, will never know the exact scope of the true underlining problem.
  • There is no over ride software being installed when your recalled Toyota is serviced.

    The new models getting that software won't get it until start of next year production.

    The "fix" involves a spacer being installed in the existing pedal.
  • If this feature is in addition to installing the throttle override system then the risk of accidents in unintended acceleration situations is down to basically nothing so therefore it job would be just like any other error code such as low oil pressure. The dealer can identify a problem and fix it. It would not only avoid accidents caused by the problem but would be able confirm a problem. Obviously since adding a feature like this to Toyotas after the fact would certainly be used as ammo in lawsuits I can understand your remark but if the accidents and injuries are avoided because of these safety additions then there is nothing to sue for so Toyota has nothing to worry about.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    You're wrong. The brake override is being installed already, it began in December. Get your facts straight before posting.
  • 774774 Posts: 101
    I hope you are right on the brake override being installed on vehicles since Dec.
    I have one ready to be delivered which was assembled in Jan sitting on the dealers lot. I was supposed to pick it up Jan 30 but the recall stopped delivery.
  • K, if you are talking about brake overrides being installed on new Toyota vehicles coming down the assembly lines since Dec., maybe it's true but I doubt it.

    As an 2007 Avalon owner that would be involved in any recall work such as modified gas pedals, replacement of pedal assemblies, etc., I can assure you that NOTHING has happened at the dealers. I did get a letter telling me to put the floor mats in the trunk until further notice!

    Those are the facts!
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    I am a first time present owner of a Toyota, and this "out of control acceleration complaint" problem and now the recall has me researching and investigating the issues. First of all these vehiclles appear to have electronic throttle systems and appear to be connnected by a wire to the gas pedal. What complicates the problem, accleration is actually controlled by electronics. Yes, computers/computer sensors are assisting the gas pedal with acceleration. These computers/sensors actually tell what the throttle should do. We press on the pedal, and message relaye to computer sensors, etc. I am sure we are all familiar with electronics/computers/etc. today, and we do know undeniably failure can most certainly exist. So from what I have read and see in researching issue is complex, and am not sure this is all just a simple pedal issue. Many multiple unbiased experts have publicly stated same. Past history reveals many auto manufacturers installed many of these new electronic computer system features, and complaints & problems increased dramatically. And manufacturers had to perfect, take out, etc. And is to be expected. If problem is intermittant, and vehicle is running normal during test, any read outs Toyota does will not pick up anything is wrong. Only when a vehicle can be put into that problem state can computers pick problem up - MAYBE???? Toyotas do have little black recording boxes - same as airplanes do. Remember when there are airline crashes experts always want these plane's black boxes to help determine cause. Black boxes may not determine cause, but black box can tell what was happening at that time. 2001-2001 US government did pass a law on these little black boxes in autos for standards, etc.. Black boxes were to be readily available for public viewing, but an extension was given to 2012. NOW - so far only Ford, Chrysler, & ?(forget which other) have made these black boxes readily available. Toyota refuses to release information from their black boxes, even during this whole complaint process. Owners have taken vehicles in with these complaints and asked service center at Toyota to review the computer readouts. Service centers refused to allow owners to see(per reports). I am very confused here, I had an auto with a problem before where I was able to review.this data???? I asked as I was paying for the service, and I felt I was protecting myself, plus service center agreed as well. They were quite helpful, and was educational. During my research across many auto safety sites, consumer reports, etc have found Toyota has only one place here in US that can read these black boxes. My assumption is possibly Toyota service centers log into this site for readouts, etc??? Toyota acceleration complaints amount to 40% of all manufacturer complaints. Ford also has high number as well, but lower than Toyota.
    FACT:
    (1)Complaints are small compared to the number of vehicles sold.
    (2)Problems for complaints of accleration have existed for about 10 years for Toyota, with increase of complaints since electronic throttle systems installed..
    (2)Increased out of control acceleration problem HIGH RISK EXPOSURE for public- quite high for accidents which may cause great bodily harm or even death. Most brake systems cannot stop an out of control racing vehicle. But sometimes can. Let's forget well drivers should know what to do excuse. My concern is safety for owners/consumer/public. Fact is most drivers will hit brakes in emergency. Facts demontrate brakes don't always stop these problem vehicles. The value of a human life should always be everyone's main concern .
    (3)Emergency situation - yes human error may be present when dealing with this emergency - but why should they be put in this emergency situation where brakes do not work? Isn't this a nautural instinct to apply brakes? Sure it is! But wait, brakes dont' work here many times!!! Consumer Reports auto engineer auto comparison demonstration between Toyota and VW undeniably reveals to public if you only pump brakes 3-4 times whole brake system fails. Result is car continues racing out of control. Engineer also states braking system on tested Toyota vehicle does not have strong enough braking system to stop an uncontrolled increase acceleration problem vehicle.. Many people also forget old teachings put car in neutral. This mistake is only a human reaction to a difficult emergency situation. Maybe they forgot. But they do remember to brake - but brakes don't always work. Big problem!!! These all all small human errors. Why human errors were not factored into safety devices or these issues is big question I have..
    (4)Toyota presently has no brake override system installed in their vehicles. Many European, some American auto Manufacturers already have this feature for consumer safety & good PR. This is a protective mechanism system to prevent run away cars. When brake applied brakes override any computer acceleration messages.
    (5)NOW - after 10 years - November 25, 2009 Toyota announces they will install brake override sytems on all of their 2001 vehicles. Then have seen in recent announcement Toyota will install these system on some of recalled models, but not all. I have not verified this last statement, but have seen this multiple places.
    (6)Biggest issues I have had researching - Toyota has always seemed to blame it on the owners way too many times, blamed it on floor mats and then gas pedal and denied any computer problems when they have sole control of their technology printouts so no one can check validity of their claims, seem to play low profile with no immediate public announcements for reassurance to, no announcement in San Francisco Chronicle today from Toyota as they said they were going to publish information today in major newspapers(maybe I misunderstood?). Toyota has had long standing reputation for reliabily and they are presently number one auto dealer in US. I was truly hoping to see a more proactive honorable PR approach displayed by Toyota. This would have been well received and they would have been praised by news media. Public/consumers would have admired them. . .
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Since December the older vehicles that were being brought in for the original mat recall were getting the brake override added, where possible.

    If you have a new one ready to go I'd simply ask the service manager if the override was added or not. If not have it done.
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    So can anyone answer the most important question...What is causing the sudden acceleration in Toyota where the pedals are not involved?

    Toyota Sudden Acceleration Recall Lawsuit

    I also found this time-line quite helpful from the same website link above...thanks to Ennis & Ennis, a law firm that seems to really know their stuff and helpful information.

    image
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    A good part of this rant is false. It too is based on the falsifications in the LA Times story. This is just another case of another brand new poster suddenly pretending to be a first time owner and ready to bash Toyota to death based on a false story and incorrect interpretation of the facts. To me it's more of a coordinated attack on the internet forums. Edmunds isn't the only site where these new posters have suddenly appeared

    Some of the statements above are factual but many are erroneous.

    This is Toyota's response to the spurious article in the LAT back in December as reported here at Edmunds.
    Toyota has a long history of building safe, reliable and high quality
    vehicles, and we are committed to the highest levels of consumer safety
    and satisfaction with our products. Toyota vehicles are carefully and
    rigorously tested, and are all engineered to meet or exceed the high
    standards set by Federal regulators.
    We cooperate fully with all investigating and regulatory agencies who
    request information and data about Toyota vehicles involved in
    accidents. Further, we always strive to provide complete and accurate
    information to our product safety regulators.
    Communications with consumers about safety recalls are strictly regulated and
    Toyota adheres to these regulations. Toyota has absolutely not minimized public
    awareness of any defect or issue with respect to its vehicles. Any suggestion to
    the contrary is wrong and borders on irresponsibility.
    We are confident that the measures we are taking
    address the root cause and will reduce the risk of pedal entrapment.
    Nonetheless, Toyota will remain vigilant in thoroughly investigating and
    taking appropriate measures to address any defect trends that are
    identified.
    With respect to the questions you have raised, here are some key facts that
    should set the record straight.
    QUESTIONS
    Q1: In 2003, Toyota engineers discovered a defect in Sienna minivans that could cause them to accelerate without driver input. The problem was corrected on the assembly line, but at least 26,000 vans had already been manufactured, according to NHTSA documents. If this is correct, why did Toyota not move to correct the problem in those vehicles immediately, and why did it wait until 2008 to inform NHTSA of the defect and until this year to recall those vehicles? Also, it appears that only around 1/6th of those 25,000 vehicles have been repaired in the recall. Why so few?
    Toyota does not agree that its engineers discovered a defect in Sienna minivans
    that could cause them to accelerate without driver input. Here are the facts: in
    April 2003, during dynamometer testing inside the Toyota factory, a hard plastic
    trim panel attached to the center console trapped the accelerator pedal. The root
    cause was a missing attachment clip.
    A safety recall was not deemed necessary because immediately following the
    incident, Toyota conducted an investigation, including checking more than 200
    vehicles in the plant and the shipping yard. No vehicle was found with a missing
    clip. In addition, there were no warranty claims or reports of a missing clip at that
    time. Toyota determined that the missing clip was an isolated incident.
    After evaluation and redesign, in June 2003, a hard plastic trim panel of a
    different shape was implemented as an additional safety measure. Based upon
    the trim panel’s design, if the attachment clip were to be missing, the trim panel’s
    increased resistance would make pedal entrapment very unlikely. The only way
    the clip will ever be missing is if the clip is not properly replaced after performing
    a repair operation which involves removal of the trim panel.
    In 2006, a sole customer complained about a pre-June 2003 trim panel
    interfering with the accelerator pedal. The report to Federal regulators of the
    complaint indicated that the owner had repairs done that involved removing the
    trim panel to access HVAC components.
    In August, 2008, Federal regulators opened an investigation. On January 14,
    2009, Toyota advised regulators that “Toyota has not determined that the
    condition is a ‘safety related defect’. Toyota agreed, however, to voluntarily
    undertake a campaign to provide owners of the older vehicles with newly
    designed trim panels. In response to Toyota’s voluntary campaign, regulators
    closed the investigation.
    As for the number of vehicles repaired, Toyota’s activities to encourage
    customers to bring their vehicles in are consistent with industry practice and
    Federal regulations. Typically, the rate of recall completion is affected by the age
    of the vehicle.
    Q2: Toyota has conducted numerous recalls related to sudden acceleration over the past decade in the U.S. and Canada, including two previous floor mat recalls. But the problem has continued. Does this mean that the previous recalls were not successful in eliminating the problems and if so, why not? In particular, why wasn’t the 2007 recall of Lexus ES and Camry floor mats effective in preventing catastrophic accidents such as the Saylor case?
    Toyota has conducted two all-weather floor mat (AWFM) recalls after receiving
    reports that if the floor mat (either by itself, or if it is placed on top of an existing
    carpeted floor mat) is not secured by the retaining hooks, the mat can move
    forward and interfere with the accelerator pedal returning to the idle position. If
    the mat is properly secured, it will not interfere with the accelerator pedal.
    As reported in the law enforcement investigation, the floor mat in the Saylor
    accident was not only improperly secured, it was incompatible and incorrect for
    the vehicle. The recall recently announced addresses the fact that incompatible
    floor mats, or multiple floor mats could be installed and that the remedy must
    address that possibility.
    Toyota has a long history of building safe, reliable and high quality
    vehicles, and we are committed to the highest levels of consumer safety
    and satisfaction with our products. Toyota vehicles are carefully and
    rigorously tested, and are all engineered to meet or exceed the high
    standards set by Federal regulators.
    We cooperate fully with all investigating and regulatory agencies who
    request information and data about Toyota vehicles involved in
    accidents. Further, we always strive to provide complete and accurate
    information to our product safety regulators.
    Communications with consumers about safety recalls are strictly regulated and
    Toyota adheres to these regulations. Toyota has absolutely not minimized public
    awareness of any defect or issue with respect to its vehicles. Any suggestion to
    the contrary is wrong and borders on irresponsibility.
    We are confident that the measures we are taking
    address the root cause and will reduce the risk of pedal entrapment.
    Nonetheless, Toyota will remain vigilant in thoroughly investigating and
    taking appropriate measures to address any defect trends that are
    identified.
    With respe
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    I am sorry you feel that way. Each of us are entitle to our own opinion. Personally, I thank the LATs for breaking this story and pushing more into the mainstream media...something Toyota was trying to avoid. In addition, the LATs isn't the only one to make these "claims". Go to google and conduct some searches...there is plenty of information out there that supports the findings from the LATs.

    By they way, you seem to have an inside scoop are what is going on with Toyota by continuing to claim Toyota as being innocent and the problem is everyone else. Or you don't happen to work for Toyota do you or are in some way associated with their PR? :shades:
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    No such statements were made by me. BTW how did you end up responding to the prior poster? Are you coordinating this campaign?

    If there is a problem then it will be identified and fixed, the CTS pedals are case in point. That's all that can be stated. My personal experience after 20 yrs of driving Toyota's without a single glitch over 700,000 miles makes me more of an expert on actual fact than a biased desk-jockey at a failing rag looking to generate readership and searching spurious reports like the one you posted just above.

    You copied that from an ambulance chaser's site of all places. Is there anything lower on the face of this earth? They and you by inclusion omitted all the facts which is typical of their ilk and now it appears the LAT too.
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    I came across the following website and found it very helpful:

    Toyota Consumer Affairs

    It offers alot of actual experiences from other Toyota owners with links for problem prone areas.

    Here is another for those that don't remember the Toyota Oil Days with actual stories from actual people:

    Toyota engine seizure due to oil gel/sludge

    Here is some good information of actual experiences with the sudden accelerations:

    100 Toyota drivers filed complaints before recall

    I cannot begin to imagine how some of those drivers must have felt. Maybe Toyota needs to talk with them directly to fully understand how this impacts consumers and why they have lost confidence in Toyota.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Revit,

    Many thanks for passing along this information. I appreciate any information I can find. This has been quite a project to research for nonbiased information. My son does engineering development for street/race cars, so he too has been quite helpful. Unfortunately most of his work involves Porsche, BMW, Audi, VW, Bentley
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This is one of the best known of the ambulance chasers.

    Actually it's sole purpose is to gather 'reports' without facts and then determine if class action suits are suitable by its scum-sucking lawyer owners. Here is the 'fine print on that website....

    Are you hooked up with lawyers in some way?
    Yes, lawyers read the complaints submitted to us by consumers. On occasion, the lawyers will find something they believe could form the basis of a class action suit on behalf of consumers. If a consumer has indicated on their complaint form that they want to be contacted by a lawyer, they then research the issue and, now and then, contact the consumer and file suit on his behalf. Since our founding, hundreds of class action suits have been filed on behalf of consumers. We are not a party to those actions and do not profit from them. Nor do we keep track of each individual suit, so we're not able to provide updates.


    It's a fishnet for dissatisfied people founded by lawyers for their own profit. If you're using them as a source you're 10 yrs behind the times. They are universally villified for biased presentations in order to draw more fish into the nets.

    As an example here's what it says about GM.

    When you make as many cars as GM, you're bound to make some clunkers, as this ever-growing collection shows. Hoping to improve its image, GM has extended the warranty on its 2007 models.

    Cars

    Buick
    Chevy Cavalier
    Chevy Cobalt
    Chevy Impala
    Chevy Malibu
    Pontiac
    Trucks

    Chevy 1500 Pickup
    Chevy Blazer
    GMC Sierra
    Extreem
    GMC Yukon
    Silverado
    Suburban
    Tahoe
    General Problems

    Airbags
    Plastic Intake Manifold
    DexCool
    OnStar
    Tailgates
    Transmissions
    Windshield wipers
    Window motors
    GM Truck Spare Tire Holders



    Like other manufacturers, GM is often reluctant to publicly admit problems. Instead, it describes such things as banging engines in brand-new trucks as "perfectly normal," while secretly buying back vehicles from consumers who are assertive to retain a lawyer. It's been playing this little game lately with its full-sized pickups and SUVs.

    Then there's DexCool, the standard coolant on many new GM vehicles. The owner's manual states that this stuff lasts up to 100,000 miles. In fact, in all too many cases, the coolant turns to gunk long before then, causing serious problems that include overheating and subsequent engine failure. GM knows about the problem but so far has refused to take responsibility.


    One example:
    GM likes to portray the Chevrolet Silverado as a big, tough truck that's ready to do a day's work and then go out rock-climbing. Maybe so, but some purchasers find it's a little more delicate than that, as the complaints in this section illustrate.

    Silverado
    • Brakes
    • Engine noise
    • Fire
    • Transmission
    • Misc. complaints
    ---
    News
    • Brake Problems Plague Silverado Owners
    • GM Buys Back Some Models With Noisy Engines
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