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Toyota Halts Sales of Popular Models - Accelerator Stuck Problem Recall

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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    [quote=]According to the wiring manual, there are 4 conditions that will cancel cruise control -

    1- the stop switch is activated (ie the brake lights come on by pressing the brake)

    2- the cruise CANCEL switch is pressed

    3- the cruise on/off is moved to OFF

    4- the shift selector is moved from D to any other position[/quote]

    There are at least 2 more.

    5- The road speed falling below ~35MPH.
    6- The road speed falling more than ~5MPH below the CC set speed.

    And maybe the following:

    7- The road speed rising more than ~5MPH above the set speed.
    8- TC activation.
    9- VSC activation.
    10- OAT below ~35F

    IMMHO 8, 9 and 10 should be REQUIRED.

    I wonder...

    In an airplane many of the functions that a pilot would not want to inadvertently or casually activate have "guards" over the control switches. The guard must be removed, flipped aside, in order to activate the function.

    Couldn't something like that approach be used to prevent unintentional SUA events..?? In this case if I wish to go WOT, or even dramatically increase the throttle opening, I must first move the "guard" aside..

    With a manual transmission the driver would almost always downshift before going WOT or even going to a higher acceleration rate. So why not have a simple PB, Push-Button, control that must be depressed just momentarily prior to applying a substantial level of additional pressure to the accelerator pedal.

    With these new sequential shifting automatic transmissions a quick, momentary downshift signal could be used to "arm" the WOT capability.

    Along those same lines, thoughts, why not prevent cruise control from accelerating beyond a sensible road speed, say 65-70MPH, without the driver having first released CC "accel" mode and then re-engage the "accel" mode.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Some of these do not apply to my 2007 Prius,but your suggestion seems so complicated.Why not a simple KILL switch?That is pretty unambiguous.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,968
    Why not a simple KILL switch?

    And what happens when you or your passenger accidentally bumps it as you are trying to merge into heavy traffic?

    There's a reason Toyota did the 3 second hold down option on their start/stop buttons.

    If you protect the switch ("in case of emergency, break glass"), that's going to take more time than trying to put the car in neutral.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2010
    On the other hand what if EVERY time you wanted to increase your acceleration rate, DRAMATICALLY increase your acceleration rate, you had to momentarily depress a PB first..?? that would put a complete STOP to claims of driver unintentionally/inadvertently inducing engine runaway conditions.

    Doing so, first depressing the PB, would soon become a learned trait, instinctive reaction, just as applying the clutch first before shifting gears is with a manual transmission.

    We would then be left with only manufacturer design flaws as a possible
    explanation for SUA.

    Personally I think the PB start/stop is a REALLY bad design idea. What would be wrong with having to insert a "credit card" type of device, say the current remote code enable device, into a slot to enable the PB start. Removing the "card", or pressing the PB, would stop the engine.

    "..why not a simple KILL switch..."

    Like:

    Have electrical contacts inside the slot so that the code device's internal battery must be present for initially "powering" the engine/tranaxle controller computer, or at least the BTO "segment". Once the engine is started a PWM (10/90 duty-cycle) recharge path could be provided for the code device's internal battery. No battery to recharge, no engine POWER.

    This would also solve the current problem of walking away from the car with the engine still running and the remote in your pocket/purse.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,968
    edited March 2010
    That would give the code cracker gangs something new to play with besides rewriting credit cards. :-)

    The stomp it button has possibilities. Someone will surely duck tape it in the on position. :D

    How about shaping the card to look like a key to avoid further confusion? And then, instead of a swipe gizmo you stick the card in, you could make a little hole for the "key". Call it, oh, I dunno, how about a "switch"? To make it even simpler, require the driver to turn the "key" in the "switch" to turn the car on and off.

    Nah, never fly. Too simple. :P
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,679
    edited March 2010
    I would say that MADD should be picketing the car companies that offer "Smart Keys". At least when a drunk tried to drive with regular keys they had to be able to get the key in the ignition. Now all they have to do is get in the car and push start. A real safety design failure IMO.

    The reason Toyota and the other auto companies would not want a kill switch, is it would be admitting their cars have some sort of electronic flaws that can cause UA. Toyota has done everything in their power to divert attention from an electronic failure to some kind of mechanical failure like the throttle or floor mats.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Most modern day ignition keys already have a code, garage door "rolling" code type, built into the key base. Each time you insert the key in the ignition it will read the code in order to bypass the engine immodilizer system. That's why you are instructed to not have a second one of these modern day "code" keys near the ignition switch.

    Duct tape woudn't work if the system always required for a full switch cycle, open-closed-open.
  • ben66ben66 Posts: 243
    http://www.officer.com/online/article.j ... 1&id=51475

    Wis. Woman Claims Her Toyota Accelerated, Causing Crash

    Posted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010
    Updated: March 31st, 2010 03:08 AM EDT

    A Sheboygan Falls woman said her Toyota Camry accelerated on its own while she was trying to park, sending her crashing into a wall.

    Myrna Marseilles, 76, of Kohler said she was parking her 2009 Toyota Camry in the YMCA parking lot when it just took off.

    "All of a sudden, there was this very loud noise and the car shot forward and hit the wall," Marseilles said in a phone interview with 12 News.

    Marseilles fractured her sternum in the crash, and said it all happened faster than she could react.

    "There wasn't time to think what I might do because the car was zipping toward the building," Marseilles said.

    The crash happened just steps from the Sheboygan Falls police station. It was the kind of accident that Police Chief Steven Riffel hadn't seen before.

    "From that stop position to there, it was a pretty good impact. There was a pretty good amount of damage to the front end of the vehicle," Riffel said.

    There's little evidence at the scene, but noticeable cracks inside the YMCA -- where the morning crowd heard the crash.

    "They just heard a thud like weights hitting the floor and some of the members went outside to see what happened and called 911 and fire and rescue took over from there," said YMCA Manager Mike Gustafson.

    Marseilles' car had been recently repaired as part of the Toyota recall.

    Police are now reviewing surveillance video to see whether it sheds any light on what may have caused the crash.

    "At this point, it would be premature to even speculate if it was either driver error, a mistake was made, or if it was a vehicle malfunction or error," Riffel said.

    The investigation has moved just a few feet from where the accident took place -- across the parking lot to a police garage where the car is locked away out of sight.

    A Toyota spokesman told 12 News that the company has started an investigation.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will also review the case.

    Investigators said they hope to know more about the car's mechanics by the end of the week.
  • ben66ben66 Posts: 243
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/toyota-ceo-apologizes-deeply/story?id=9700622

    Toyota CEO Apologizes to His Customers: 'I Am Deeply Sorry' Akio Toyoda Apologizes for Safety Problems, Then Drives Away in a Black Audi.


    Jan. 29, 2010


    Akio Toyoda apologizes to customers for random acceleration problem."I am deeply sorry," said Akio Toyoda in a brief interview with the Japanese network NHK as he left his hotel in Davos, Switzerland. After the interview he was seen leaving in a black Audi.

    Toyoda had been attending the economic conference with other corporate and government leaders this week, while his deputies struggled to quell a consumer rebellion triggered by the recall of nine million cars worldwide.

    In the interview, Toyoda said he could not answer questions because the company "was still investigating." He said he hoped to provide an explanation to Toyota customers soon.

    "Truly we think of our customers as a priority and we guarantee their safety," he said, according to a translation. Referring to the near collapse of the company's once strong reputation for safety and quality, Toyoda said, "I would like for the people to trust us."

    Toyoda is the grandson of the car company's founder and has publicly criticized the company's drive for profits in the last decade.

    The Wall Street Journal reported Toyota would place full page newspaper ads in 25 cities Sunday and Monday to explain how it plans to fix the most-recent defect found in eight of its models involving a sticky gas pedal.

    The company is awaiting federal government approval of a redesigned accelerator pedal that is being produced by its supplier, CTS, and has already been shipped to some of its factories, according to CTS.

    The company ordered a halt to sales and production of the eight models with the flawed pedal on Tuesday, following a recall of millions of cars a few days earlier.

    The recall, which spread to Europe and China, is now estimated to involve at least nine million cars and trucks.
  • ben66ben66 Posts: 243
    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/RunawayToyotas/waxman-toyota-told-us-gas-pedals-pr- oblem/story?id=9730328

    Waxman: Toyota Told Us Gas Pedals Were Not the Problem

    In Strongly Worded Letter, Reps. Waxman and Stupak Suggest That in Private Toyota Execs Are Telling A Different Story About the Causes of Runaway Toyotas


    Two congressmen issued a strong statement Tuesday afternoon suggesting that recent statements by Toyota's top U.S. executive to the public about the causes of random acceleration were misleading, and that in private Toyota officials had said that sticky gas pedals were not the cause of the most serious acceleration incidents.

    More PhotosRep. Henry Waxman, D.-Calif., and Rep. Bart Stupak, D.-Mich., questioned public claims made earlier this week by James Lentz, Toyota's U.S. president, that sudden acceleration was due to "two different issues," sticky gas pedals and poorly fitting floor mats, and that the company was "confident" that fixing those two problems would stop runaway Toyota incidents. Waxman and Stupak demanded answers from Lentz by the end of the week.

    Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Stupak, chair of the Investigations Subcommittee, said that during a January 27, 2010 meeting with committee staff, Toyota executives said sticky gas pedals were probably not the cause of the more extreme incidents of acceleration, and that the actual causes of random acceleration were hard to pinpoint.

    "Your public statements are different than the representations that Toyota officials made on January 27, 2010," Waxman and Stupak wrote in their letter. "When Committee staff inquired whether Toyota could be certain that floor mat entrapment and sticking accelerator pedals fully explained reports of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles, the Toyota officials present responded that causes of unintended acceleration are 'very, very hard to identify."

    "Furthermore," continued the letter, "Toyota officials indicated that sticking accelerator pedals are unlikely to be responsible for the sensational stories of drivers losing control over acceleration as their cars race to 60 miles per hour or higher. The officials said that condensation build-up in a 'sticky pedal' can cause the accelerator to become lodged in a slightly depressed position, but they said that this would not lead to full-throttle acceleration.

    "The Toyota officials did tell the Committee staff that accelerator pedals entrapped by all-weather floor mats could cause high-speed acceleration. There are, however, well-publicized, high-speed unintended acceleration events in Toyota vehicles that do not appear to have been caused by all-weather floor mats."

    Waxman and Stupak requested that Lentz clarify his public statement about sticky gas pedals, and explain whether Toyota's position on the role of gas pedals had changed between January 27 and February 2. They also asked that Toyota provide evidence to their committee that sticky gas pedals were causing sudden high-speed acceleration, and for Lentz's public claims that electronics were not to blame for the acceleration problems.

    In addition, the congressmen questioned the timeline offered by Lentz in his public appearances this week. Lentz said in two different interviews that Toyota became aware of sticky pedals in October 2009. According to Stupak and Waxman, Toyota officials said last week that the company learned of the problem through reports of sticky pedals in England and Ireland in April or May 2009.

    Waxman and Stupak asked that Lentz provide documents and evidence to support his public claims by this Friday, February 5.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    76 year old woman = pressed gas instead of brake
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,914
    Why do these incidents seem to have a direct correlation to age? I know most younger people keep away from most of the impacted cars like the plague...but it's too much to ignore.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I don't know, but they DO.

    Research proves it.

    Something about the aging brain causes people to mix up the brake and gas pedals.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,286
    In addtion to just old age, as larsb correctly points out, I would add a multitude of side-effects from medications including anxiolytics, sedatives, and anti-depressants, as well as good old poly-prescriptions that many in the USA are currently on, coupled with poor driver training to begin with, steadily deteriorating over the years with no further evaluations. :)
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    Even if it's perpetuating a false stereotype, I haven't heard of any older people having SUA with their Buicks.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Well "kid" my 73 year old brain has no problem telling the two pedals apart.In the Prius they are not even that close together.
    I actually checked that out after reading how people were pressing the wrong pedal. They are well spaced...hardly an issue at all in my view.
    IMO if there is a problem, and there probably is,it's in the electronics,but having said that...that lady in NY evidently never touched her brake pedal.In her case ,your theory probably applies.I think she goofed and then just panicked.Many years ago,I saw my dad do that.He hit a parked car and instead of braking,he kept pushing the accelerator.Shortly thereafter,he stopped driving.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    Even if it's perpetuating a false stereotype, I haven't heard of any older people having SUA with their Buicks.

    Oh, we have Buicks that suddenly accelerate all the time over here. They are driven by retirement village folks, pull out a side street faster than the laws of physics should allow, pop right in front of you and proceed to do 15mph on a highway with a 55 speed limit.

    Oh, you mean unintentional sudden acceleration!

    mickeyrom - good move on your dad giving up driving after that.

    My dad got pulled over for speeding when he was 85. I was so proud of him!
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