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Toyota Halts Sales of Popular Models - Accelerator Stuck Problem Recall

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Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    It is about time for the NHTSA to be proactive on this issue. From the article I would say they spend more time worried about people grabbing a hot tail pipe on a Mini Cooper S, than people dying from SUA. An easier target to hit for that bunch of tax wasting bureaucrats.
  • "Each and every one of those 737 hydraulic servo valves, rudder control valves, was of flawed design. It was only after the third incident/crash, out of how many flights, that Boeing had enough evidence to know where to begin looking."

    Which sort of supports my conclusion that there isn't one simple flaw with Toyotas or they would have found it after the 3rd crash or so as in your example. They do have some really good engineers at Toyota you know. Since they aren't finding one single source of the problem I keep returning to driver error in addition to a stuck mat here, a stuck pedal there and even one or more electronics glitches. Next we'll have people (me?) using UA as an excuse to have a speeding ticket dismissed. ":Your Honor, Toyota did it, not me." :)

    A driver must be prepared for the unexpected because motor vehicles have always had malfunctions/breakages, etc.

    I don't want a brake override, I know where the shifter is. There are places I need to hold the vehicle on a steep hill while reving the engine a little before moving the boat trailer.

    And I don't think I want Toyota messing with my '06 Avalon. The pedal clears the mat and the gas pedal has worked just fine for 46,000 miles.

    John
  • people have been driving vehicles without brake override, SAFELY, for decades.

    I don't know what the root cause is but I have to imagine that incompetent drivers is one of them. Installing zillions of gizmos in a car without focusing also on driver education will only result more problems for the driving public down the road.
  • I'm not close enough to understand the various arguments and timetable, but Jalopnik outlines that Jim Lentz "lied" in his interview.

    http://jalopnik.com/5461734/how-toyotas-president-lied-to-matt-lauer
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,548
    >NHTSA to be proactive on this issue

    Remember that in one of the news articles earlier in the forum, toyota had employed someone who, conveniently, was a part muckity-muck at NHSTA, so he knew how to dribble information, how to arrange the grouping for reporting, etc., to avoid raising big flags at NHSTA. He also served as a good lobbyist. Name was Sacutti or something similar.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,941
    millwood0, who has been driving which cars without brake-override, other than the recent toyotas?
    in my experience, 100% of non-toyota cars from 1970s until today all have "brake override" functionality in that the brakes were always stronger than the engine/drivetrain even with accelerator floored.
  • Can someone tell me? I understand Germany premium cars have it and Toyota, GM, Ford, etc. do not.

    What is it? Software, mechanical?
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    The news that Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling eight models on top of an earlier recall it expanded last week to more than 5 million vehicles over concerns about sudden acceleration has some people putting the brakes on plans to sell or trade their used Toyotas.

    Even James Bell, an executive market analyst with Kelley Blue Book, the outfit that sets prices for new and used cars, is having trouble moving his used Prius hybrid, normally a very popular model. "It just has the floor mat issue, but I'm not getting a lot of bites on it," Bell said.

    If you're trying to move out of one of the troubled Toyotas, you may not have any choice: Some dealers just flat won't take the cars in trade until the problems are cleared up. For those trying to trade or sell, the best bet may be just to wait as little as another week or two to see how quickly the recall issues can be fixed.

    Planning to buy or sell a Toyota? Be prepared
  • As I understand it, when I take my 2007 Avalon in for the "shim fix",it will involve pedal disassembly and adding a shim somewhere.
    Then the pedal will be put in a VISE, and the corners of the pedal will be GROUND OFF for the "floor mat fix" (Which doesn't exist in my vehicle with properly secured factory carpet mats).
    Then the carpet will be PULLED UP and some piece of insulation will be removed to make the carpet lower in the area of the accelerator.

    I have no floor mat or accelerator pedal issues with my vehicle, and I'm not sure I want to subject it to exploratory surgery at the dealership!.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    (AP) — c ()-2010, The Washington Post
    The brake override systems allow a driver to stop a car with the footbrake even if the accelerator is depressed and the vehicle is running at full throttle. The systems are an outgrowth of new electronics in cars, specifically in engine control.

    "If the brake and the accelerator are in an argument, the brake wins," a spokesman at Chrysler said in describing the systems, which it began installing in 2003.

    Volkswagen, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz also install such systems in at least some of their cars, the companies and industry experts said, some as far back as 10 years ago. General Motors installs brake override in all of its cars in which it is possible for the engine at full throttle to overwhelm the brakes.

    "Most other automakers have adopted this technology," said Sean Kane, a former researcher at the Center for Auto Safety who now works at Safety Research and Strategies. Not adding the systems "is one of the mistakes that created this perfect storm for Toyota."


    My understanding is Nissan also has brake over-ride. It looks like Toyota and Ford are the late adopters. And they got the worst press from CR as a result.
  • We ordered a 2010 Prius and the day before we were to pick it up the recall announcement was made. We were so relieved that the Prius was not on the list. But the morning we were to pick it up we saw a report of a Prius owner experiencing the unintended acceleration problem in 2006 and of course that caused us serious concern. We began researching right away.

    We learned that there have been 21 vehicle acceleration complaints about the 2010 Prius that have been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. We think most may have to do with the dual brake systems and the weird felling that occurs when you hit a pothole or man hole cover and the brake shifts to the ABS system. But other reports are not that easily explained. We read the FAQ page on Toyota's website and called the Toyota Customer Service number to ask a specific question -- Why did Toyota conclude that the Prius does not have an acceleration problem and should not be included on the recall or sales/manufacturing freeze? We did not get a direct answer, but rather the person just reiterated what was on the FAQ page, i.e. that Toyota is confident that all affected models have been identified and other models are not affected. I also spoke with someone at the NHTSA, but the person could not answer my question directly either. That really didn't reassure us.

    From our research it appears there have been three separate possible causes identified concerning the unwanted acceleration problem -- 1) pedal entrapment caused by floor mats; a sticking pedal caused by mechanical problems with the pedal itself; and 3) electronic or computer program malfunctions. We are not concerned about the floor mat issue. With respect to the pedal, it is our understanding that the Prius does not have the same pedal as the models Toyota has identified as having the problem. We think this is probably why Toyota decided not to include the Prius among the affected models.

    This would have alleviated our concerns, except for the fact that the problem has been reported by Prius owners. When I asked the Toyota person about the possibility of an electronic or computer problem, she offered no response. When I asked the person at NHTSA, he said both the pedal and the electronic/computer systems are being investigated. When I asked him when they might have an answer, his response was that they would know when they got a report from Toyota. However, from my call with Toyota it appears that Toyota has concluded that the problem is caused by the pedal and is not investigating the electronic/computer issue.

    In a nutshell, our concern is that there may, in fact, be a problem with the electronic or computer system that affects the Prius. From what we've read/seen, it sounds like the fix for such a problem is an override whereby applying the brake cuts off the accelerator. We have been told by the dealer that the 2010 Prius has such an override, but it is not referenced in any written materials the dealer can show us. But assuming it has the brake override, is that sufficient to make the car safe from unwanted acceleration problems? We're not engineers, so we can only rely on Toyota or others to help us evaluate this.

    The bottom line is that we really want to buy the car. When we picked the Prius after a month of research and shopping we really didn't have a second choice. And we got 3.65% financing that won't last indefinitely. The question is -- should we buy the Prius or would we be stupid to do so in light of the uncertainty about the electronic/computer system? We need to make our decision and every time we decide to go ahead with our purchase, another anecdotal report comes out. This morning it was that the owner of a Sienna, another model not included, was killed in an unintended acceleration crash.

    Help -- any thoughts are appreciated.
  • "millwood0, who has been driving which cars without brake-override, other than the recent toyotas?"

    the driving public? hundreds of millions of them?

    "in my experience, 100% of non-toyota cars from 1970s until today all have "brake override" functionality in that the brakes were always stronger than the engine/drivetrain even with accelerator floored. "

    yeah, if you define brake override that way (aka a brake strong enough to stop a car even if the accelerator is floored), any car will have it.

    if you define brake override as a mechanism that will deactivate the accelerator if the brake is tap, I can tell you from my personal experience that many of the cars I have had, including a BMW 330, a MB C55 AMG as well, do NOT have it. I routinely braked and accelerated in that BMW and I know that to be a fact.
  • a brake override would be a terrible thing to have in a rwd performance sedan (not that the BMW is one). one of the advantages of a rwd car is that you can steer with your accelerator and applying the brake during a turn helps that process. a brake override would instantly kill that ability.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    We have some good friends that just traded their 2008 RAV4 on a 2007 Tacoma double cab. They never felt safe in the little RAV4. I thought it was ok the couple times I rode in it. They did not know about the Tacoma recall from last year. I made sure they did not have double mats to interfere with the accelerator. Nice truck and they love it. I think they could have played hard ball if they had known about the recall. They are happy and that is the main thing.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    When I asked the Toyota person about the possibility of an electronic or computer problem, she offered no response. When I asked the person at NHTSA, he said both the pedal and the electronic/computer systems are being investigated.

    My advice until you get answers, not the run around, just keep looking. One of the posters claims the 2010 Prius has over-ride installed at the factory. If Toyota reps cannot confirm this, I would be skeptical. Or you could ask the salesman to take you out in a demo model and hold the throttle wide open, then hit the brakes with the throttle held open. If the over ride works, I would feel safe buying the Prius.
  • flxmomflxmom Posts: 24
    What model do you have? I have a Sienna and have read about quite a few of the acceleration issues , with crashes, involved in this van..there are also complaints on the Nhtsa site ! So even tho it hasnt been on the recall list it should be and we should be able to get the " override fix" as well !
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    So even tho it hasnt been on the recall list it should be and we should be able to get the " override fix" as well !

    Keep pushing your dealer in that direction. Remember it took a tragic accident for Toyota to do anything. You don't want to be the victim.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Help -- any thoughts are appreciated.

    It depends on what your major concerns are. If it is that you're concerned with the safety of the vehicle, then I would say go ahead with your purchase. Even if I had one of the affected vehicles, and even if it did its full blown throttle acceleration, it is still easy to stop the car. As articles have already mentioned, apply firm brake pressure, using 2 feet if needed, put the shifter in neutral, and pull over. I know that your 2010 Prius is not one of the vehicles mentioned, but that doesn't matter, still easy to stop.

    But if you have concerns about resale in general, then you may want to hold off, as that chapter is just starting. Obviously, one of the affected vehicles will take a hit, especially in the short term. But we still don't know about other Toyota vehicles. I have 3 Toyotas in my family in model years 2004-2006, and am concerned if their resale value will be affected by all this.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,941
    I've owned 5 or 6 rear wheel drive performance cars, all GM, from 1985 to 2005.
    (Z28s / GTO). With all of their furious power and torque, the brakes remained stronger than the engine, thus there is no need for an electronic brake-override - because the mechanical override works fine.
    People commonly "brake torque" these cars, sometimes for faster launch, sometimes to intentionally churn the rear tires while remaining stopped, to heat the tires or to impress bystanders :|

    seems like it is only in these modern vehicles where the mechanical-override is not as 'guaranteed' as before, that brake-override electronics would be helpful?
    fwiw, in any car *without* "electronic brake override" , the old-school "mechanical brake override" could fail if the brakes overheated.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    The fix is actually coming from a local company here in Grand Rapids, MI ;)

    http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2010/02/grand_rapids_sprin- g_stamping_s.html

    -Rocky
  • flxmomflxmom Posts: 24
    where was this crash with the Sienna? I own an 09! thanks
  • "the brakes remained stronger than the engine,"

    my point exactly. Not a single report on those accidents mentioned what the drivers were doing with their brakes.

    "seems like it is only in these modern vehicles where the mechanical-override is not as 'guaranteed' as before, that brake-override electronics would be helpful? "

    if you read Toyota's response, they clearly stated that with the accelerator fully pressed, you CAN stop the car using the brakes alone.

    There is NO engine that I am aware of that can overcome the torque from a functioning brake, those Toyota's included.

    If anyone can find a contrary example, I am all ears.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,990
    One or two pumps and your brakes are done. You have essential zero vacuum at WOT.

    dieselone, "Toyota on the mend for 2010?" #3873, 9 Dec 2009 4:26 pm

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,548
    >If anyone can find a contrary example, I am all ears

    Take your car. Find a long uphill slope or wide open area. Apply nearly full throttle in higher gear. Push brake pedal down. Then let up. Then push brake pedal down. Then let up. By the 3rd application you'll notice a big difference due to lack of low air pressure from the intake manifold of the motor when motor is wide open throttle. Each successive application of the pedal will have less assist from the low air pressure. Continue to hold throttle nearly wide open and continue to stop the car.

    Please report back about how it worked.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,941
    millwood0, plenty of the media/nhtsa/etc include reports of the driver pushing the brake pedal as hard as possible. Also I believe post-mortem indicated/surmised that the brakes were either overheated or that brake vacuum was absent, or both.

    your point is well taken about how properly-functioning-brakes can stop any car, essentially. it is in the improper-brake-function-case where the electronic override can apparently be a life-saver.
  • flxmomflxmom Posts: 24
    So what does Toyota say to do if the acceleration happens? Most people say they had no brakes , that they just didnt work...I have bee told to go into neutral then apply the brakes by non Toyota folk..
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,941
    yes, flxmom, i understand that your statements are accurate.

    also be ready to turn off the ignition, in case switching to neutral does not disengage the gears. if you do turn off the ignition, be ready to turn it back
    to "on" (without restarting) so that your steering doesn't lock.

    "trust but verify" .
  • oparroparr Posts: 65
    Having nothing better to do on my way to work this morning, I decide to count 2002 - 2010 Camrys I saw on a 26 mile south side stretch of the Garden State Parkway in NJ. I counted less than 10.

    Reached work at 9:30 AM (late) and parked on the 8th floor of the parking garage as usual. This is a fairly packed garage, however, I only counted 5 Camrys between 2002-2010 on the "up - side" of the garage.

    Guys, this is scary since I estimate this to be about a fifth of what is normally encountered.
  • flxmomflxmom Posts: 24
    I find myself looking for Toyotas as well, dont see too many...I have a Sienna.. :(
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