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Toyota Halts Sales of Popular Models - Accelerator Stuck Problem Recall

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,540
    >Machine vs. fool-proof designs.

    Is a safe brake activated stop for an auto one that uses the same computer that may be problematic itself to active to the failure setting (idle)?

    Or does it require an additional computer and sensor(s) that are sovereign to the car's powertrain control module?
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,548
    kirstie....interesting post about Ford and Toyota. Ford really hunkered down, got their quality up, and put out some cars that people wanted to buy....some are very interesting (Mustang, SHO, Fusion (and its hybrid)...upcoming Focus....many others.

    You have to think they're taking market share away from GM and Chrysler. And now, with the Toyota fiasco, I'd have to think they're benefiting by that, too.

    This Toyota deal just keeps getting bigger and bigger, more widespread. First it was the floor mats. I really never thought that was remotely the cause of the UA issues. Then, they tried to place blame on CTS, which via dissection videos and 3rd party inspections, isn't the issue either. Now, it's entirely possible it's a firmware/software issue....maybe even electro-mechanical.

    First it was just a certain segment of their vehicles. According to Toyota the likes of Lexus and the Prius weren't involved. Yet, here comes evidence that Lexus and Prius should probably be recalled, too.

    Forget about repairing their reputation right now. In the public eye, that's already shot. Focus on finding the real root cause, get a true fix for it, and go about implementing the fix as quickly, and as widespread, as possible. Then, and only then should they worry about their tarnished image. That's going to take way longer (if ever) to repair.....years.

    Yes, they'll lose market share....a lot of it. Yes, they'll probably money, a lot of it. Yes, they've lost their reputation.....just about all of it at this juncture.

    But, do what's right, not fiddle faddle around, trying to save face (when there's none to be saved), and move to be honest with their customers, they'll come back. Probably not quickly, and at great cost to Toyota, but they will come back.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,275
    Toyota has an issue here, but it may be a bit overblown. The reported incidence of SUA is 1/50,000 and most Toyota's still have pretty good reliability stats. In fact, I just looked at CR and didn't see black dots in areas like engine or brakes, etc. which seems to be in line with the relatively low number above of reported actual UA. What Toyota needs to do quickly IMO is implement a brake override like VW has which would resolve these types of matters. Speaking of Ford, they were next I believe with a 1/65,000 UA reported incidents which leads me to believe even more that all manufacturers need to start installing brake override as a fail safe precaution over any potential electronic gremlin that might surface while driving.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Good questions on the brake and engine CPU's, that I myself hinted at earlier. I'm not sure.

    But consider this. If you have some bad software or hardware on that engine control computer-board, what's another fool-proof way to stop it? Physically pull/cut the power-cord to it right? I know I've used the OBDII analyzer on my carwhich is easily accessible under the dashboard. So now you extend the 1 powercord somewhere easily reached, and voila, you now have an easily way to deactivate the Toyota HAL. That would work, but the PR / Product Managers at Toyota could never allow that since other cars don't have that. That would be a major blow to image.

    So there are certainly things Toyota could easily do to put a kill-switch in their vehicles. BUT they will reject those that are "visible" and will hurt their image. So good luck to Toyota owners who need to wait for their electronic/software fix that may find the problem or cause a new set.
  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    With all the knowkage and history that has been copied and pasted and in heart you hate Toyota. Why on earth would even consider or purchase one in the first place. If he wants to get rid of it that bad maybe start at $0.0 lets get a bid going I wonder what color it is.

    MNF
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,980
    When you pull the plug at your factory, the machine stops.

    Pull the plug on the car, and what happens to your power steering and vacuum assisted brakes?

    I'd be fumbling for my Slurpee and accidentally hit the kill switch. :shades:

    You could fix that with a 3 second kill switch, so you'd only travel the length of a football field while you were trying to regain control of the car.

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

  • nothing would happen to you in a football field's length of travel as your car goes out-of-control, right? A entire world of trouble can happen in that distance. I must admit this Toyota news is really an eye-opening squabble of huge and wide proportions.

    Talk about a little presssure on the job. :P And the NHTSA is gonna be feeling a tad bit a heat, too, if they aren't overheating already.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Thought was good. Poor Toyota has their hands full. Crisis Management today.

    NEWSWEEK's Matthew Philips spoke with Gene Grabowski, chair of crisis and litigation practice at Levick Strategic Communications, the same firm that represented pet-food makers and toy manufacturers during 2007 recalls. Excerpts:

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/232962
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Many thanks for providing the link for Toyota letter. Appears to just be a general letter. But is good. Personally feel they have been a little slow for US modern day technology. Too bad they did not position themselves in/on popular large Toyota chat rooms, etc.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Are you an engineer? Your knowledge and expertise is noted.

    I was very impressed with your logical approach to E-Stop.

    My nonprofessional opinion is I agree. Computer technology is great. But bugs do occur. Your emergency shut down system must be fail proof.

    I worked for Kaiser and we had computerized medical system. Most likely would be considered one of better systems within US medical system. And bugs occured. My own computer has occasional bugs. Of course they revert back to normal most times.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Toyota announced Nov, 2009 they will be installing brake override system all models 2011. This is great. Statistics will decrease from 40% of all manufacturers to much less. Yes, I too hope Ford takes notice -they are in second place. And no brake override. GM had bad stats, but then installed many modeld - now stats down.

    How this announcement fits in with whole sequence of events, and statements - guess will see as all unravels.

    Bottom line - any possible intermittant computer bugs which might cause UA will be overcome. Will be a win-win for Toyota and owners/consumers too.

    UA in and of itself is a high human safety risk exposure.
  • Here is a recent comparison.... how about the Ford F-150 trucks that burst into flames even if they are parked and not operating? The cruise control is to blame and some customers have lost their homes when their truck started a fire in their attached garage. Before you go all "googly eyed", I own a 2008 F150 and I love it. I also own Toyotas and I love them too. They may have stumbled here, but they will come back. Remember, they come from the only country on earth that has been nuked and come back with a vengeance. I will continue to drive my vehicles and not worry.
  • Toyota should do something about this as soon as possible. If not, consumers will have the second thought of buying a Toyota after this large recall on their top car models.
  • jdm9jdm9 Posts: 38
    Sharon , kernick there is already a kill switch, Im almost getting tired of saying this, but turning back the key one notch. You still then have enough steering and brakes in a potentially catatroshic event. Yes no.
  • jdm9jdm9 Posts: 38
    Millwood I think you finally got it, but it should concern anyone that rides with you that you would have to fumble to turn a vehicle off.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Pull the plug on the car, and what happens to your power steering and vacuum assisted brakes?

    The battery is still there. One wouldn't need to cutoff all electrical power to systems. Do you shutdown the electricity in your whole house, if you're just renovating the kitchen?

    Even at work if we hit a master room E-Stop to shutoff "everything" in the area, there may still be a critical system running like ventilation, which was determined to be critical at ALL times.

    That's what engineers get paid to do - work thru scenarios and determine what happens and how to make it function. Toyota's engineers have many "E-Stop solutions" to safely let you stop a runaway car.
  • "This is great. "

    wait until you have a sensor malfunctioning in that brake override system.

    Imagine you are traveling 65mph on the interstate during rush hours and suddenly your brake sensor incorrectly tells your computer that you wanted to brake when you don't. the computer cuts off the fuel to your engine and puts it in idle.

    Bam! you got vehicles coming up left and right of you and your vehicles is losing speed fast. and that semi is approaching your rear end fast....

    will you sign a rider that indemnify Toyota for ensuring liabilities?

    probably not, because you want to have your cake and eat it at the same time.
  • "They know they have some bugs in their control firmware. "

    just how do YOU know that they know that?

    are you guys so used to producing baseless allegations that it is impossible to stop?
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Yes I am an engineer, for the last 25 years. I also have an MS in Project Management. I design relatively small chemical manufacturing processes. I've also briefly worked on nuclear submarine systems, and understand the need for reliable, backup systems.

    And bugs occured. My own computer has occasional bugs. Of course they revert back to normal most times.

    Yes, and I'm sure some mathematician out there could tell us that as you make systems more intricate, with more devices and more software you increase the probability of bugs, and things that can fail. There's probably not one of us here, who hasn't had something inexplicably lockup on them, and the only solution was to unplug it, wait a minute, restart it and hope that the device started up right. But then you're not sure what the bug was, and if it is going to come back again.

    Well guess what? Electrical engineers love to automate the functions of your car similarly because they are "Better". And I agree they are better in many ways of efficiency and convenience. But when they have a problem, which they will have, the operator needs to have a foolproof method to shut it down, and that is not a switch tied to a computer-board, "talking" to the computer-board that is malfunctioning.

    If you're sitting in your seat in the car, and you have UA, there needs to be a fool-proof method to kill the power to the engine. Shutoff the gasoline, kill the power to the engine computer, kill the current to the spark-plugs, are some methods. All should be as full-proof as pulling the electrical cord from the wall in your house.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Sharon , kernick there is already a kill switch, Im almost getting tired of saying this, but turning back the key one notch. You still then have enough steering and brakes in a potentially catatroshic event. Yes no.

    I don't think there is a person here who knows that. That ignition switch is electronic. It is tied to a computer somewhere. I would assume that an igniton switch is tied into the engine computer board and thus it's software. You have an "Escape" key on your computer-keyboard. Does that necessarily work if you're computer freezes up? Does Alt-Ctl-Dlt always work? Or do you finally need to pull the plug?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    just how do YOU know that they know that?

    From the one live motorist that was able to get his UA vehicle into the dealership. This is well documented. The service manager witnessed the car at WOT without the gas pedal depressed. The resolution was changing several sensors and the throttle body controller. Was this a one off or a fluke? I don't know. But there are hundreds of reports to the NHTSA saying their Toyota accelerated and the throttle was in the idle position. Lentz kind of let the cat out of the bag in his interview saying something to the affect that they were looking into the electronics of the engine and transmission. I know that all the people that feel real strongly about the superiority of Toyota would like to blame all the UA on the drivers. Remember most of the complaints came from people that felt the same as you about Toyota, before they had their bad experience.
  • You are stirring the pot again! I know that this seem like fun to you as a non Toyota owner, but UA is deadly serious.
  • " I don't know. "

    so you knew that they knew it before you don't know that they knew it?

    is this some kind of "I approved it before before I disapproved it" thing?
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,208
    I dunno if Ford suffered as much as a result of the Explorer fiasco because they never really had a quality image like Toyota. Ford always was the butt of those jokes about "Found On Road Dead" or ""Fix or Repair Daily." Heck, Ford's image of cheapness goes all the way back to the days of the Model T.

    On the other hand, Toyota always had this image of superior quality, reliability, fuel economy, and resale value; they could do no wrong. Now, all that is being stripped away. They will recover, but they'll never have that image of invincibility again.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,540
    The Fords involved were SUVs and people realized they are more at risk of rollover or loss or control.
    And Ford was able to tell people to look at the company behind the tree--the tire people: it was the tire's fault, Ford said.

    In this case it's toyota and they stalled for years about determining a real problem's cause. In fact, it paralleled many people's perception of handling of the sludge problem. They blamed the customer and it's difficult to prove the engine design, or in this case the computer and system, was at fault.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    "I approved it before before I disapproved it" thing?

    I don't have to prove anything. It is the US Government that is holding Toyota's feet to the fire on proving there is not an electronic or software problem with the UA issue. The NHTSA got stung by Toyota last year with the "Floor Mat being the cause" story. When in fact Toyota knew that they had sticking throttle devices. I don't think Toyota will get to spin their way out of this mess with a kludged up fix with a shim.

    I don't think people see the parallels here. The Germans went through all this chasing electronic gremlins a decade ago. Now it is Toyota's turn in the hot seat. The more you depend on electronics the more places for bugs to creep in. Toyota is just late to the DBW game and are finding out it is far from the perfect solution.
  • Cnet has an interesting story on this issue today - "Toyota's latest woes may be hard-wired".
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,980
    Sharon , kernick there is already a kill switch, Im almost getting tired of saying this, but turning back the key one notch. You still then have enough steering and brakes in a potentially catatroshic event. Yes no.

    You'll get tired of hearing this too, but the Lexus that the Trooper was in out in California had a button, not an ignition switch. No key to turn.

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

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..some people are paid lots of money making those decisions and you aren't.."

    Actually those are EXACTLY the kind of decisions I get paid to make, just don't know about the relative pay scale.

    "...what if you want to induce..."

    Why would you want to introduce an issue that is unique to 0.000123% of the driving population into this discussion. On the other hand the PSM in my 911/996 seems to figure out that I know what I'm doing in those type of situations and remains inactive.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The last UA episode I had involved the floor mat.

    I was approaching a traffic light and moderately braking and realized that I had to use more brake in order to stop in time. The more I pressed on the brake pedal the more the engine RPM rose to counter my additional braking effort. The car, Mazda minivan, finally stopped, safely (my good luck), a good way out into the intersection.

    Travelled 100 feet, maybe, not enough time to even think about braking alternatives so a "failsafe" would have most definitely been of help.
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