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Toyota Halts Sales of Popular Models - Accelerator Stuck Problem Recall

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,317
    rm....it depends on the reports you're looking for. There's the one sensational one with the police officer driving an ES350 who made a 911 cell phone call which ended tragically in the deaths of his family when experiencing UA.

    I believe the NTSA has a comprehensive list of the Toyota reports of UA. I don't know if they list them by model year though. Wouldn't be a bad place to root around to see the exact numbers though, if you're interested. State Farm insurance reported some Toyotas that were involved in UA accidents, but I don't know if they stated exact numbers either. They only reported a "high rate" of claims based on Toyota UA accidents in the report I saw.

    As far as your 2nd point, a question I've asked before, how many deaths or accidents does it take for it to be a "big problem" for Toyota to be forced to make the recalls? What's acceptable? And, who gets to be the judge as to how many are acceptable?
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Funny comparison to the witches. But scarey too! And witch craft still seems to be present today. We had incidents here in our county where sacrificial rituals were occurring years ago. Police - arrests- convictions - prison.

    And yes, mass public and news media pressure with UA is present now. Attacks rampant. All can be good and bad. Who, what is Biased and who, what is nonbiased? And does present a challenge.

    As I have said before wish we would see other manufacturers that have issues mentioned more too. This is one example I personally feel could be considered a bad.

    As for floor mats route taken by NHTSA and Toyota - don't totally understand - but I can somehow see this as a possible corporate liability protection approach - Toyota has to protect self too. Still floor mats route appears to be only one of the causes.

    NHTSA - government watchdog agency - government at work is always interesting. My husband's involvement at state level sure helped me to understand some of the "behind the scene" interractions, etc.involving decisions, law, etc.

    Bottom line at I posted in past - I kind of predict - brake override will help decrease complaint issues - public & owners will be happy - Toyota will overcome . Guess we wait to see what happens.
  • "And I'm still pretty sure, pilots can shutoff most or all of the computers and manually fly a plane, as in the situation to land in the Hudson a few months ago. "

    you are mistaken.

    the airplane that crash landed in the hudson is a true fly-by-wire design in that sense that 1) it has zero mechanical back-up and 2) the computer can alpha-protect the pilot - if the computer thinks the pilot is pushing the airplane beyond the limits as designed into the software, the flight computer can disregard the pilot's input. for example, stalling an A322 (the one landed in Hudson) is practically impossible.

    so in that particular case, the pilots had full control of the airplane, short of that engine. APU and flight computers were fully functioning.

    if you can compare that with 777 which is also a flight-by-wire design, except that in a 777 there is no alpha protection and the pilot can push the airplane, via flight computers, out of its performance envelope. for example, you can stall a 777.

    the new dreamliner, also a fly-by-wire design, has another variant of the same basic design except that alpha protection exists in the software, in the form of limits.

    the systems above are so called "digital" flight-by-wire. there were also various "analog" flight control systems before that, or flight-by-cable set-ups that either use mechanical cables / hydronics or mechanical cables / sensors / electrical actuators.

    the last category is what is widely used in automotive "drive-by-wire" set-ups, especially with automatic transmissions.

    flight-by-wire is desired for aviation for a multitude of reasons, each different for a given market. But one important factor in their adaptation has been its superb reliability record. there are "suspected" cases of flight malfunction attributable to flight-by-wire but not a single confirmed incident.

    that's why you do NOT see mechanical back-up in modern flight-by-wire systems.

    the most expensive element in modern flight-by-wire design has been its control regiment (determining the principles under which each system works together) and testing (of scenarios where the computers don't go crazy if computer or sensory failures take place).

    if you want your Camry to achieve that kind of reliability, well, you wouldn't be able to drive your camry anymore.

    hope that helps.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Here is that section. Is interesting. As said in past I did find some faulty research analysis in DHTSA report. DHTSA did not list any question formats asked to owners. Most medical research I have reviewed and analyzed include formats, etc.. Statements vague. Did not list all questions owners who had all weather mats were asked. No official record how many had stuck pedals. What question format existed for these? Etc.

    This is particular section:
    3.2 Owner Surveys
    To comprehend the statistical significance of the probability for this event to occur, a survey was sent to a sample size of 1986 registered owners of a 2007 Lexus ES-350 requesting information regarding episodes of unintended acceleration. NHTSA received 600 responses for an overall response rate of 30.2%. Fifty-nine owners stated they experienced unintended acceleration. Thirty-five of those responding also reported that their vehicles were equipped with rubber Lexus all-weather floor mats and several commented that the incident occurred when the accelerator had become trapped in a groove in the floor mat. Interviews with owners revealed
    that many had unsecured rubber floor mats in place at the time of the unintended acceleration event, which included in some cases unsecured rubber floor mats placed over existing Lexus
    carpeted mats.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You are somewhat mistaken regarding the AirBus series. After that FAMOUS crash of an Airbus prototype many years ago the fly-by-wire firmware specifications were modified to a "bend, but do not break" standard. For instance the new firmware allows the pilot to intentionally fly the airplane, not in a landing configuration, with the stall warning sounding LOUDLY.

    Post-crash analysis of that early prototype indicated that had the pilot had FULL-AUTHORITY over the control surfaces the airplane would have not stalled and crashed, airframe "BENT severely, but no deaths.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I don't know if anyone posted this yet, so here goes:

    Target Toyota: Why the Recall Backlash Is Overblown

    To judge by press accounts and statements from government officials, those innocuous-looking Toyota sedans and SUVs in millions of American driveways are somehow kin to the homicidal '58 Plymouth Fury in the Stephen King novel "Christine"—haunted by technological poltergeists and prone to fits of mechanical mayhem. In the midst of three major recalls, Toyota has been hammered by daily newspaper and TV pieces suggesting it has been slow to address safety problems. U.S. transportation secretary Ray LaHood announced that anyone who owns one of the recalled vehicles should "stop driving it." (He quickly backpedaled on that pronouncement, but warned, "We're not finished with Toyota.") Displaying a previously undisclosed concern for the safety of American owners of foreign-badged automobiles, the UAW quickly piled on. And now, Toyota's North American president Yoshi Inaba must submit to ritual humiliation at the hands of the U.S. Congress in a hearing on Wednesday.

    Does Toyota—or any car company—deserve this? Well, if they are knowingly selling an unsafe car, yes. But is that what's going on here? Not so fast. There's no question that unintended acceleration is a serious problem that needs to be fixed. But a little perspective is in order. As Popular Mechanics automotive editor Larry Webster has pointed out, every major carmaker receives occasional reports of sudden unintended acceleration (SUA). In the last decade, the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency logged some 24,000 SUA complaints. Less than 50 of these red flags were investigated. Why so few? The main reason is the nebulous nature of SUA. Often the problem occurs once, never to happen again. It's tough to fix a defect that can't be replicated. And then there's the driver variable. As awful as this is to think about, it's been shown that sometimes drivers simply mix up which pedal they're pushing. In the late 1980s, the Audi 5000 was the target of a barrage of SUA allegations, lawsuits and press reports (including a notorious "60 Minutes" episode that was later discredited). Then, as now, there were accusations that mysterious electronic gremlins somehow took over the car. In the end, NHTSA concluded that driver error was the only likely explanation for the incidents.

    But many safety concerns do have validity, and every carmaker has conducted numerous recalls involving critical safety features of their vehicles—brakes, steering, airbags, seat belts, and more. Still, the fact that some safety problems don't emerge until cars have been on the road for months or years is not a sign that automakers are criminally cavalier about safety. Quite the opposite. The safety issues that lead to recalls generally occur in very small numbers, often barely rising above statistical noise. Toyota's unintended acceleration problem, for instance, involved a handful of cases in literally billions of miles of driving.

    As those cases come to light, it is necessary for carmakers to take action, and it is natural for consumers to be concerned. But the intensity of the backlash against Toyota is almost unprecedented. Here's what is being missed in most of the coverage of the issue: All cars are inherently dangerous. They propel their fragile human cargo at high speeds over unpredictable terrain. They combine thousands of parts that need to interact flawlessly—in environments ranging from Death Valley heat to Fairbanks cold—in order to maintain safe operation. Their radiators contain scalding fluids; their batteries are full of toxic acid; and their gas tanks hold explosive power equivalent to more than 100 sticks of TNT. And, by all accounts, Americans drive those cars faster than ever, on increasingly congested roadways.

    Nonetheless, driving gets safer every year. Fatalities per mile driven have fallen more than 25 percent since 1994, in part because cars themselves are safer. Compared to those of 20 years ago, the typical vehicle today has better brakes, better steering and more (not to mention smarter) airbags. Electronic stability-control systems have helped prevent countless accidents. Still, even the best cars are far from perfect. And much of the outrage over Toyota's troubles seems based on the unrealistic expectation that cars should be infallible. That's an unattainable goal; even well-designed components can wear out and fail in unexpected ways. Recalls are not a sign that carmakers are indifferent to the safety of their customers. On the contrary, recalls are part of the process by which automakers address safety or reliability issues that are often fairly subtle.
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    Article by Brett Emison

    Will Toyota Guarantee Safety? Umm... no.

    Mr. Lentz made some pretty remarkable comments. For example, Lauer's very first question asked if Toyota would guarantee that its fix would make Toyota vehicles safe. Lentz refused to guarantee the safety of Toyota vehicles following the "sticky" pedal fix.

    When Did Toyota Learn About This Problem?

    Lentz also said that Toyota first learned about the sudden acceleration problem in October 2009. However, Bloomberg News reported yesterday that Toyota knew about the exact same "sticky" pedal acceleration problems in Europe since August 2008.

    I have documented here for months how Toyota ignored the sudden acceleration problem for more than five years.

    What Causes Toyota's Sudden Acceleration?

    Notably, Lentz also admitted that there are lots of issues and many facets surrounding the sudden acceleration problem. At one point, Lentz even began listing several ways in which sudden acceleration may occur. However, Toyota still is addressing only two of the many, many sources of sudden acceleration.

    Toyota continues to deny and ignore the possibility that the problem lies within Toyota's computers and electronics. Since 2004, independent safety experts have pointed to problems with Toyota's electronic throttle controls as a source for Toyota's sudden acceleration problem.

    Safety experts agree that this could be the tip of the iceberg and even more needs to be done. In fact, Toyota has not yet recalled some models or model-years with the highest rate of unintended acceleration complaints, such as the 2002-06 Toyota Camry. Toyota's failure to include these vehicles gives its customers and the public a false sense of security.

    What Has Toyota Done In The Past?

    As I have documented here for the last several months, Toyota has known about -- and ignored -- its sudden acceleration problem for more than five years. Instead of acknowledging and repairing this widespread defect, Toyota waited years to acknowledge the defect and instead blamed its own customers. This conduct is just more of the same for a company with a documented history of safety-problem cover-ups.

    You Decide

    Toyota's new ad campaign says it puts you first. Well, now "You" get to decide: Was Toyota's president being honest with the American public?
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Whatever the reason for UA, Toyota will be bogged down in lawsuits for years to come.

    Toyota Seeks to Dismiss U.S. Lawsuit Over Electronic Throttles

    By Edvard Pettersson

    Feb. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp., facing at least 41 class-action lawsuits over sudden acceleration problems, asked a court to throw out the first of those cases, saying the plaintiffs have no basis to sue.

    Four of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit suffered no “legally cognizable injuries in connection with the alleged defects,” Toyota said in its dismissal request filed Feb. 8 in federal court in Los Angeles. Two others who claim property damage from sudden unintended acceleration aren’t representative of millions of Toyota owners, the company said.

    Two California residents sued Toyota in November, claiming their vehicles, a 2004 Toyota Camry and a 2008 FJ Cruiser, experienced sudden acceleration because of the electronic throttle system. Four more plaintiffs were added to the complaint last month, and they seek to represent other Toyota owners nationwide in a class-action case.

    Dismissal is also proper because the plaintiffs don’t say that Toyota failed to honor its warranty or to repair any allegedly defective components, Toyota said in the Feb. 8 filing. In addition, one of the plaintiffs hasn’t even claimed she experienced sudden unintended acceleration, according to the carmaker.

    Toyota rose 0.3 percent to 3,385 yen at the 11 a.m. Tokyo trading break. It has fallen 19 percent since Jan. 21, when it began a recall of about 8 million vehicles on five continents to repair defects linked to unintended acceleration.

    Brake-Override Systems

    The plaintiffs in the Los Angeles case on Feb. 3 asked the court to order Toyota to broaden the recall to all models with an electronic throttle-control system and to install brake- override systems.

    Toyota said in the Feb. 8 filing that a court order to prevent it from selling any vehicles with its current ETCS-i electronic throttle system is preempted by federal law. Such an order would usurp the role of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is involved in investigation the issue, the carmaker said.

    David Wright, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said he was still reviewing Toyota’s filing and declined to comment.

    The case is Seong Bae Choi v. Toyota Motor Corp., 09-8143, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Los Angeles).

    To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net.
  • neil5neil5 Posts: 118
    Avalon did pedal repair a little stiffer but same otherwise, they also did the oil supply line repair (TSB)..already had it done elseware but they did it anyways. I really believe it is the admin (NTSB) trying to lower the brand reputation to help GM and the big 3...now after Honda. Many other cars have had pedal issues (eg Ford explorer) we heard nada....on CNN and the major networks....
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Yes, lawsuits are present already, more will come. I check market every day, and yesterday accessed Toyota here US - some listed. Not sure if what I saw were same as yours. I also saw report where there were cases where Toyota & owner c/o UA, etc. settled w nondisclosure terms. Not sure if I saved or not.
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    Avalon did pedal repair a little stiffer but same otherwise

    Yeah, as you probably have heard now, the pedal really isn't the issue. Up next, Electronics...stay tuned for the next recall and its going to be a BIGGIE :(
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Seems like your vehicle is not one of those getting brake override during recall. They will be applying to 2010 models according to Toyota Newsroom announcements. How soon they get to I have no idea. This was in Nov 25, 2009 announcement.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks for introducing some inconvenient fact into the discussion.

    The witch reference in an earlier post, as in "witch hunt", seems appropriate. Now we've got the congress involved, the slip and fall lawyers piling on, and of course the hysterical media (who are treating the east coast snowstorm like a snowy Katrina) in full shriek.

    One is reminded of the Audi 5000 case where, if my memory serves me, was started by an elderly gentleman who ran over something or someone and turns out he stepped on the wrong pedal. Almost finished Audi in the US.

    IMHO the flawed creature behind the wheel, not Toyota, is the primary culprit in this case as he is in 99% of all auto crashes.

    Regards, DQ (a flawed creature who owns a Toyota 4R and is able to move the shift lever from D to N in the blink of an eye)
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Without ruling out the possibility of a gremlin or two in the software, I enthusiastically associate myself with everything you've said.

    Ignorance, fear and hysteria are not pleasant things to watch in action.

    Even allowing for some rare electronic malfunction, cars today are remarkably safe and reliable. We should celebrate the progress. What's going on today is a feeding frenzy by those who profit by destroying.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Thanks for sending along latest Toyota Camry Recall re: steering. I had heard it was coming. I just checked Toyota Newsroom announcements and did not find it. Maybe will be coming out soon.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    As an owner who has gone with a "Power Button" car since 2006, I can tell you I DO NOT MISS having a key.

    I totally agree with ya.
  • "Ignorance, fear and hysteria are not pleasant things to watch in action. "

    and they are deadly to a people without leadership who can tell right from wrong.

    like what we have now.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    Whatever the reason for UA, Toyota will be bogged down in lawsuits for years to come.

    The original Audi lawsuit is back in trial court in Cook County Ill. 22 or so years after it was initially filed. :)

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

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,317
    On the other hand, who's profiting by Toyota's missteps and failures? Those who have been killed or injured? Those who will suffer diminished resale on their cars? Dealerships who have watched their customer base plummet?

    Maybe the lawyers, but that's not a given, either. Lawsuits are one thing. Successfull lawsuits are something else entirely.

    To reduce this to it's simplest form, Toyota's got safety issues. They've got quality control issues. They've certainly got communications issues. Don't hide from them. Don't sweep them under the rug and look for a patsy. Fix them! Don't whine about them. Just fix them.

    Reflash all your cars' electronics....not just those which are simple to do (as in future models). Do all of them, no matter how long it takes, nor what it costs. You owe that much to your employees, your customers, your dealerships, those who had faith in you.

    Then, tackle the declining quality in your vehicles for this point forward. People will forgive. it'll take awhile. But do all that right, and you'll be back in the saddle again.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    you are mistaken.

    You will note it's one of the few times I say "pretty sure" which means should be, but someone who knows to speakup. If you are looking to "win" this discussion, then try and claim victory on something on the 98% of things I state as definitive. :P

    Nonetheless the top concern for computerized, digital fly-by-wire systems is reliability, even more so than for analog systems. This is because a computer running software is often the only control path between the pilot and control surfaces. If the computer software crashes, the pilot may not be able to control the aircraft. Therefore virtually all fly-by-wire systems are triply or quadruply redundant: they have three or four computers in parallel, and three or four separate wires to each control surface. If one or two computers crash, the others continue working. In addition most early digital fly-by-wire aircraft also had an analog electric, mechanical or hydraulic backup control system. The Space Shuttle has, in addition to the redundant set of computers running the primary software, a backup computer running a separately developed, reduced function system that can take over in the event of a fault that affects all of the computers in the redundant set. This is intended to reduce the risk of total failure due to a generic software fault.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_flight_control_systems

    How many redundant systems does the typical Toyota car have? And the reason I read in that article that large airliners don't have the mechanical backups is the weight. That is not an issue with a vehicle. So a vehicle that does not have redundant independent control systems, and that is the size of our everyday vehicles, should therefore have some mechanical backups.

    THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON that a vehicle can not be designed with a button that the driver can reach, that will close a valve in the fuel-line, to starve the engine of fuel in a few seconds. It is technological arrogance of engineers and I bet marketing people that they regard their work so error free, that a driver can not easily shut that computer controlled engine down.
  • I am not sure why part of your original arguments that you are asserting now to have been supported by factual information.

    if you can take your original arguments, any of them, and list out corresponding factual pieces of information, I am happy to have a discussion with you.

    just inserting a generic link as a basis for support of one's arguments is typically not a good way to have an in-depth discussion.

    but then maybe that's why you did it?
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Who's profiting from this, well, the media comes first to mind. Lawyers come later. They won't have to win the suit to profit. Toyota will settle just to make the bad press go away. People who need to sell their Toyota cars in the near term will take a loss. But we probably differ about who's to blame for that loss, however.

    As to Toyota's safety issues, I'd feel more confident about your assertion if there were data to back it up. What they have are perceived safety issues. There's a difference.

    Reflash all the electronics? Well, OK. But first shouldn't they identify the problem that needs reflashing? Toyota denies an electronics problem, which is not to say there isn't one. But it suggests they haven't identified it if it exists. Are they lying? If so, this is one expensive lie.
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    "The original Audi lawsuit is back in trial court in Cook County Ill. 22 or so years after it was initially filed."

    Seriously??? :mad: Unbelievable, on what basis? Audi has been cleared by NHTSA that found all of UA due to driver's error, after tons of in depth investigations,
  • "And the reason I read in that article that large airliners don't have the mechanical backups is the weight. "

    in general, you should take multiple sources of information and digest them (that means understanding them) before you believe in them.

    weight saving is clearly a big reason for the adaptation of flight-by-wire systems, but not the only reason or the most important reason. for high performance aircraft (military for example), fly-by-wire also allows innovative aerodynamics - you have to design an aerodynamically neutral or slightly negative airplane for manned control, so not to stress the pilot. With flight-by-wire, you can expand that envelope and fly airplanes that are inherently unstable - many of the modern airplanes fit into that category.

    you also have lay-out concerns: electric wires are a lot more easier to route than rigid rods, hydrolic lines, or even cables.

    your tech ops and FBOs love flight-by-wire systems and so do your accountants.

    your structural engineers too.

    to list just a few.

    "That is not an issue with a vehicle."

    weight is NOT an issue with a vehicle? are you for real?
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    I began looking further at this report. Edmunds statistics complaints UA report is great.

    Would have loved individual years done as well to compare for further analysis. Some manufacturers may have actually decreased their complaints in last few years, or may have had higher in earlier years, etc. If each year done, then can factor in what is actually going on with each/all the manufactors as you review the years.. Can look at each manufacturer's final %, and see if the % actually is indicative that manufacturer has problem or not. Or if you see increase.

    The Consumer Report study did only 2008 all model complaints for Jan, 2009 - Aug, 2009. That report said Toyota had most. Still did not see all manufcturers listed.

    Would be great to factor in this additional information.
  • lzclzc Posts: 483
    Did Consumer Reports say Toyota had the most complaints for the model year 2008 or the most complaints for UA? I believe the latter, but I'm not sure. As I recall, there were almost 6,000 total complaints, with only 166 being for UA.
  • "THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON that a vehicle can not be designed with a button that the driver can reach, that will close a valve in the fuel-line, to starve the engine of fuel in a few seconds. "

    there is absolutely no reason that a vehicle cannot be designed that way.

    That doesn't mean there is absolute every reason for a vehicle to be designed that way.

    "It is technological arrogance of engineers and I bet marketing people that they regard their work so error free, that a driver can not easily shut that computer controlled engine down."

    I agree with the 1st half of the sentence. I am not sure about the 2nd one. Every addition of a system, back-up or otherwise, introduces additional issues of its own: reliability, dependability, cost, maintenance, etc.

    for example, let's say that the primary system is problematic 50% of the time, and your back-up system is perfect in preventing it and it will cost you $100 per vehicle to add that back-up system. Will you add that back-up system?

    probably, right?

    what if the primary system is problematic 0.0000005% of the time, and everything else is the same. Will you add that back-up system?

    not sure?

    what if the primary system is problematic 0.000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000- 000000000000000000000000005% of the time, and everything else is the same. will you add that back-up system?

    probably no, right?

    that example is just academic and real life examples would be much harder than that.

    the point is that there is a lot of grades of shade in there. As such, different people will make different decisions, and we may or may not agree with those decisions.

    But that doesn't mean their decisions are wrong because we disagree with them. we may not agree with them but we should be able to appreciate those decisions.
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    There is no such thing a 100% failsafe car in US. It's always the car fault, not the driver. Remember Honda case for failing to provide an airbag on all of its cars that it went all the way to US Supreme Court. The plantiff won :sick: .
    I bet sooner or later, all cars equip with a black box that captures all information that the driver does prior an accident.
  • "It's always the car fault, not the driver."

    absolutely. as long as we have a culture that refuses to take responsibilities for our own actions, we are on the way down.

    I don't know if there are inherent issues with Toyota vehicles, and I am certainly unqualified to say which issues there are. However, I am sure of one thing: if we don't look at all the possible reasons contributing to the accidents, including the vehicles as well as the drivers, those same accidents will happen again and more people will get injured or die because of inability to face up to the facts.
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