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Toyota Halts Sales of Popular Models - Accelerator Stuck Problem Recall

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  • you don't need anyone to digest the complaints data for you. here is the raw data, in all its glories.

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/downloads/index.cfm

    you can slice an dice it all you can.

    assuming that you are capable of slicing and dicing it, :)
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,184
    Audi has been cleared by NHTSA that found all of UA due to driver's error, after tons of in depth investigations

    "While NHTSA closed its Audi investigation in 1989, the class action in that case is still pending in Cook County, Illinois."

    It went to appeal after appeal - looks like it's going to take longer to get over than the Exxon Valdez suit.

    Toyota Pedal Recall May Spur U.S. to Require New Brake Systems. (Business Week).

    "A class-action lawsuit filed in 1987 by Audi 5000-model owners seeking compensation is being contested in county court in Chicago after appeals at the Illinois state and U.S. federal levels. About 7,500 plaintiffs are involved, Robert Lisco, a Chicago-based lawyer representing the car buyers, said."

    Audi 1980s Scare May Mean Lost Generation for Toyota Sales (Business Week).

    Edmunds Answers expert, Karjunkie, pointed out that while the US, Canada and Japan blamed operator error for the Audi UA problems, Swedish regulators blamed the cruise control. (link)

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  • some of the complaints are quite "interesting" to read, to say the least.

    here is one complaint about CTS' "vehicle speed control":

    hopefully it will get you some sense about those 'complaints', :)

    =======from nhtsa database============
    Make: CADILLAC
    Model: CTS
    Year: 2008
    Complaint Number: 10248074
    Summary:
    TWICE ,WHILE DRIVING MY WIFE'S 2008 CADILLAC CTS, MY FOOT HAS WEDGED BOTH ON THE ACCELERATOR AND THE BRAKE PEDAL CAUSING ME TO PROCEED FORWARD WHILE ATTEMPTING TO BRAKE. THE FIRST @, 6 MOS AGO ,CAUSED ME TO PROCEED INTO AN INTERSECTION NARROWLY BEING MISSED BY A VEHICLE COMING FROM MY LEFT. THE 2ND OCCURRED @ 1 WEEK AGO CAUSING ME TO JUST MISS HITTING A CAR PARKED IN FRONT . MY WIFE HAD A SIMILAR INCIDENT @ 6 MOS AGO WHILE BACKING OUT OF A DRIVEWAY. I HAVE REPORTED BOTH INCIDENTS TO CADILLAC WITH NO FURTHER COMMUNICATION FROM THEM. THEY GAVE ME THIS SITE WHEN I REQUESTED AN AGENCY TO REPORT THIS PROBLEM SO I MIGHT HELP OTHERS AVOID BEING INJURED. I WILL NOT DRIVE MY WIFE'S CAR IN THE FUTURE DUE TO THE ABOVE INCIDENTS AND THE FEAR OF A MORE ONEROUS OUTCOME WHEN IT HAPPENS AGAIN. *TR
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,900
    Wasn't that similar to the Audi findings. The accelerator and brake pedal were too close together for many drivers. I think that is what this report is saying. Something he could have checked out before buying the car.

    I just find it hard to believe that people would write up a complaint stating the car took off without touching the accelerator when no accident was involved. Unless they just hated the car and wanted the dealer to take it back. In which case the automaker is not satisfying the customer.

    Look at the reviews here on Edmund's. The ones for Toyota have been going down the last few years. Are you saying that people are that much different than they were say in the 1990s when Toyota peaked out on quality and customer satisfaction? I think the most complaints are coming from long time Toyota fans that are not happy with the direction their beloved car company is taking.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,159
    I've seen various numbers on Toyota UA, but they have all been a small fraction of a percentage point probability. Statistically, you're more likely to have someone run into you than experience UA. However, if feasible I think Toyota should install brake override on affected vehicles. It will not only give drivers some peace of mind, but legally it will put more onus on plaintiffs who sue after UA on a brake override vehicle.

    Having said that, I think people begin to lose focus on why Toyota and Honda became popular. Its consistently been my experience at least that over the years these brand vehicles tend to give less nickle and dime trouble after warranty then many competitors. I guess that's why they commanded premium pricing. Personally, I hope companies like Ford start achieving the same longer term reliability and repair after warranty experience because I've consistently found that Ford tends to have the most comfortable seating (of popular priced vehicles) for long trips. Toyota and Honda have too many short cushions IMO that you don't really notice until you have been driving for several hours.

    Now if I was in the market, I'd start looking for some Toyota bargains and grab one when if it happens. I think the odds are still strongly in your favor.
  • this is actually quite interesting.

    "The only study to pinpoint a specific defect within the vehicle, "Risk Assessment of Cruise Control," by Mats Gunnerhed, was conducted by the Swedish Defense Research Establishment of the Department of Information Technology."

    so somehow the IT department has an office that does defense research and that office has the requisite expertise and the mandate to investigate automotive accidents there?

    "The specific fault pointed out by the Swedish agency was a "bad solder joint" in the Hella cruise control used on 1981-83 Audis. All of the Audis experiencing sudden acceleration which are the subject of the class action were with cruise control systems."

    two questions concerning the last sentence that attempted to link the swedish report to the faulty cruise control.

    1) the Swedish report was published in 1988. Did that motivate audi owners with such a cruise control to join the class action lawsuits? ie is there a self-selection going on here?

    2) given that cruise control was quite common with audi then, is the linkage between the cuise control and sudden acceleration just because of the popularity of cruise control in the audi? in other words, did the cruise-control equip'd audi exhibit higher rate of sudden acceleration than the non-cruise-control equip'd audi?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,184
    Dunno, lots of people over the years have pointed to the cruise control as a source for unintended acceleration problems. We have reports of an NHTSA engineer supposedly limiting the scope of UA investigations, and then winding up working for Toyota. So maybe the Swedes are more reliable than our agencies.

    As far as the study being done by the Swedish Defense Research Establishment, I don't see any problem there. After all, our own Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency essentially gave us the internet, via ARPANET, not to mention the driverless car competition in the aughts.

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,159
    in other words, did the cruise-control equip'd audi exhibit higher rate of sudden acceleration than the non-cruise-control equip'd audi?

    Don't know if that info is available, but I do know several people back in the 70/80's that had funky things happen with cruise control back then on other vehicles than Audi.

    If I'm not mistaken, I think at least here in the US they ended up attributing Audi 5000 UA to the accerator and brake being too close together. Face it, Americans tend not to be heal and toe type drivers!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,900
    The Cruise control on my 1978 Honda Accord was all but useless. Then the Accord was third most problematic car I ever owned. Only outdone by a 1964 Land Cruiser and a 1973 Subaru. UA was never a problem with any of them. I never thought to complain to anyone but the dealers. They all were worthless. The Honda guy was really a motorcycle dealer so I cut him slack. I bought the first car he ever sold. He was clueless on fixing the myriad of problems.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,159
    The Cruise control on my 1978 Honda Accord was all but useless. Then the Accord was third most problematic car I ever owned

    But your problems were probably soon washed away in a bucket of rust!
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    I pulled both reports up. Good for you. Thanks for asking. You are quick I hadn't gotten to comparing both reports yet. Was my next thing to do. Will not analyze much - just sending

    Consumers Report study was for only all 2008 models conducted Jan, 2009 - Aug, 2009, and stated they wanted to omit inclusion of complaints after San Diego accident due to publicity and effect. Consumer Report would be the most recent year statistics available.

    Here are both links again:

    http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2009/12/sudden-unintended-acceleration-sua- -analysis-2008-toyota-lexus-ford-gm.html

    http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&news- Id=20100210005994&newsLang=en
    ___________

    Consumer Report Data Graph (cannot copy as graph)
    Sudden, Unintended Acceleration DataFor 2008 models only
    8 months records Jan, 2009-Aug 28, 2009 -

    "To put the figures into proper perspective, we compared the number of complaints against overall market share"
    Each line - Automaker - 2008 model-yr complaints - Share Complaint 2007-2008 average market share
    Toyota 52 - 41% - 16%
    Ford 36 - 28% - 16%
    Chrysler 11 - 9% - 12%
    General Motors 7 - 5% -23%
    Honda 5 - 4% - 10%
    Nissan 4 - 3% - 6%
    *Reflects complaints submitted prior to August 28th, 2009.

    (GRAPH -I note 83% of auto manufacturers market accounted for in above graph -Per centages of problem account for 90% - 17% of remaining auto market account for remaining 10% of complaints - Note - each listed manufacturer's per centage (Share Complaint %)
    of problems does not come from total number of listed complaints in this graph - so assume Share Complaint % comes from total number of all manufacturers & includes remaining 17% of the auto manufacturers - info not provided)

    FOLLOWUP - copied from CR article regarding statistical data
    "In analyzing all 5,916 reports on 2008 models, Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center and Statistics Department identified 166 cases in which the complaint described sustained unintended acceleration that the driver found difficult or impossible to control. Such incidents prompted a related safety advisory focused on floor-mat entrapment issued by both NHTSA and Toyota in September, 2009.

    We used 2008 models to provide a snapshot across all automakers and identify possible issues. The scope was further narrowed to complaints submitted before Aug. 28, 2009, when a California family was killed in a Lexus sedan experiencing uncontrollable acceleration, to eliminate the impact media coverage had in drawing more submissions.

    The sudden-acceleration incidents were distributed over 22 brands, but they were not spread evenly. Forty-seven complaints were about Toyota models and five were for Lexus vehicles. Between them, Toyota and Lexus accounted for more than a third of all the unintended-acceleration incidents we found among 2008-model vehicles. Seen another way, Toyota racked up more unintended-acceleration complaints than Chrysler, GM, Honda, and Nissan combined."

    ____________

    Edmunds Data Graph - 2001 through 2010 (through February 3).

    EACH LINE - MANUFACTURER - RANK (IN ORDER OF MOST COMPLAINTS PER MARKET SHARE) - PERCENT OF COMPLAINTS IN NHTSA DATABASE - PERCENT OF SALES IN US MARKET

    LAND ROVER 1 - 0.6% - 0.1%
    AMERICAN SUZUKI MOTOR CORP. 2 - 0.9% - 0.4%
    ISUZU MFG SERVICES OF AMERICA 3 - 0.3% - 0.2%
    VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA, INC 4 - 4.1% - 2.4%
    JAGUAR CARS LTD - 5 - 0.4% - 0.2%
    VOLVO CARS OF N.A. LLC. 6 - 1.1% - 0.7%
    CHRYSLER LLC 7 - 16.3% -13.0%
    MAZDA NORTH AMERICAN OPERATIONS 8 -1.7% - 1.5%
    MITSUBISHI MOTORS NORTH AMERICA, INC. 9 - 1.3% - 1.2%
    FORD MOTOR COMPANY 10 - 18.3% - 17.6%
    GENERAL MOTORS CORP. 11 - 25.3% - 24.5%
    NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC. 12 - 5.8% - 5.9%
    HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY 13 - 4.2% - 4.4
    BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC 14 -1.7% -1.9%
    SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. 15 - 1.1% - 1.3%
    AMERICAN HONDA MOTOR CO. 16 - 6.8% - 9.4%
    TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION 17 - 9.1% -13.5%
    MERCEDES-BENZ USA, LLC. 18 -1.0% - 1.5%
    PORSCHE CARS NORTH AMERICA, INC. 19 - 0.1% - 0.2%
    SMART USA DISTRIBUTOR LLC 20 - 0.0% - 0.0%

    FOLLOWUP - COPIED FROM EDMUNDS REPORT
    "according to the database, which consists of complaints filed by individuals and is not checked for accuracy by NHTSA, Toyota was the subject of 9.1 percent of the complaints from 2001 through 2010 (through February 3). During this period, the company sold 13.5 percent of all new cars in the United States.

    A key finding: despite being the subject of intense scrutiny of the company, Toyota ranks 17th among automakers in the overall number of complaints per vehicle sold."

    NOTE:
    Regarding Edmunds - work well done - still would have loved to see a breakdown for each year, since some manufacturers may have decreased complaints over past few years. This information would have been so very helpful to actually see and compare if that manufacturer is stilll having problems. Ex - one auto manufacturer may have been quite high 2001, etc. but have excellent stats recently.
    Multiple year total would not indicate if good progress achieved and statistical data would not reflect progress.

    Problem I may have noticed but not sure. Does Ford own Land Rover and Volvo??? These manufacturers are high in Edmunds graph I see. Must check further who owns who?????

    Note - CR data narrowed down number complaints included. Appears Edmunds has used all UA incident complaints. Problems do exist attempting to compare two,

    Don't forget there are more complaints at dealers that are not included on DHTSA data base many times. Dealers are not required to submit to DHTSA. DHTSA complaints filed by owners voluntarily. - into data base. Accuracy???.

    I will let everyone attempt to analyze further themselves.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Would it be possible to get some of your feelings about this report?? They are quoted frequently in news reports, and just were on CNN yesterday or little earlier. Can google their website for more info on who they are. It appears to me they are pushing resolution of the UA problems. Haven't figured out exactly the in's and outs of this group.

    http://www.safetyresearch.net/Library/ToyotaSUA020510FINAL.pdf
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,900
    Sean Kane is the Nemesis of the "Toyota can do no wrong" crowd. So the report will be discounted as garbage by those folks. It would seem he has the ear of Congress. And that will be tougher for Toyota to over come.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    I do take exception to your stattement-

    I have have a few intermittant minor incidents of sudden increased acceleration over past six-eight months, long before I even became aware of all the problems in December. I won't get into much, But mine were not human error, no floor mat, sticky accelerator, etc. I was told by dealer vehicle fine. Incidents may be unrelated to current problems though. But you don't push on brake when parking, and have engine increase acceleration & stay higher for few more seconds even after completely stopped. Plus another slightly different scenerio.

    Did they happen? They sure did. You can believe or chose not to. I know incidents happened. All that matters to me is that I know they did. Have I lodged any complaints? No. I spoke with my son, and trust him. He does auto development/engineering. We are addressing my vehicles issues.

    I feel some/maybe many people may have had real problems also. I would hate to blame people for the incidents, when the experts are still debating.and no decision has been reached. I would personally prefer to be respectful of everyone, These people had to be quite scared. I think and do hope alot of you feel the same way.

    None of us know for sure what the cause is, and so we are all speculationg at this stage. If cause is finally determined to be owners. Then so it is. And I would still feel sorry for these people who went through scarey incidents. Claims made falsely or with litigious intent for monetary gain can be addressed appropriately. We are all human and we all make mistakes.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    I noticed he has been jumping on this. But he seems to have gotten on others too. Detail on subject matter appears good. Document format better than most I have found. Have verified several of facts - proven ok. Can't address any engineering aspects.

    So he has DHTSA and lawmaker's attention. Thanks for letting me know. Is he testifying??
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,900
    I have have a few intermittant minor incidents of sudden increased acceleration

    I have no doubt your observations are correct. I have those surges with my 2007 Sequoia. It was discounted as raising the idle to compensate for the AC kicking in. That may be. I do keep a firm press on the brake pedal when stopped to avoid lurching into traffic. I also experience a pause in acceleration when cresting a hill. When I depress the accelerator it takes a long moment to respond with a subsequent lurch if I am not very careful. So my impression of Toyota DBW is it stinks. And to be fair, my GMC PU was not much better. I think we are going backward personally.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,900
    I believe Sean Kane is on the Congressional docket concerning the Toyota UA issue.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Glad to hear someone else has had somewhat similiar. Could control. but shocked. Each time checked and checked, and thought and thought. No cause. Serviced and checked. One more after that. Hardest part - now for two months - nothing. We shall see. I am going down to visit my son couple of weeks. He plans to take car to work and will try to investigate further. He has setup, so we shall see. ??? And then maybe it could be gone for good.

    I spoke with my friend who have 2008 RAV4 and they had noticed recently & occasionally more delay of accelerator letting up when brake applied while driving. But no increase. Seemed minor.

    Your problem is a litttle different. I did see some complaints about this though.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    So he is testifying. Only found that site when I had seen mentioned couple times newspaper.

    Thanks
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Law suits are dismissed if not legally substantiated. Anyone can sue, but proceeding ahead is not guaranteed. I don't think Toyota will always just settle. Legal costs to defend may be more cost effective. $50,000 bill for about 6 months legal defense (estimate SF moderate priced excellent SF attorney group) is lots more prudent than $100,000++++ settlement.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,150
    shraon.....I believe the lawsuits are coming. There's just too much evidence pointing at Toyota. You've got deaths, injuries and accidents that are all pointing to either UA or braking issues. You're right, anyone can sue. Not everyone will be successful.

    Key here is whether Toyota did enough, in a timely manner, to correct the maladies.

    That's why I think the quicker they move to the brake override system on cars past and present, the better they'll be able to defend themselves that they did indeed move swiftly in dismissing claims, at least for those plaintiffs that complained, but did not suffer bodily harm, nor an accident.

    Someone posted something regarding the '11 Avalon.....directly from their press release..."Avalon will also have a redesigned
    accelerator pedal assembly and a brake override system."


    For all intents and purposes, Toyota is admitting that there was a problem with their former accelerators and lack of brake override, otherwise they wouldn't have made it a point to include and announce those "features".

    The Avalon uses the same engine, and probably the same ECU (assuming that's what needs to be reflashed) that's used in at least the Camry, ES 350, GS 350, IS 350, RX 350..and any other application utilizing the 3.5L V6. I'm fairly certain that the ECU is different in the Prius and Lexus and Lexus HS hybrid, which were recalled, even in Japan, for braking issues. Still, that ECU is the part that's common to all of those vehicles that have issues. Does it extend to 4 cyl models? I don't know. Does it extend to models that use the V8? Don't know that, either.

    But, if a reflash solves the problems with both UA and braking, and many pundits/experts, etc say that it will, then that's what Toyota should do, to all cars that are affected, or could possibly be affected. Looks like they're doing the reflash for new models.

    In the '11 Avalon's case, I'm sure development was pretty far along and feature sets were cut in stone until they made the decision for the reflash to include the brake override. That's a safety decision that was probably very recent (like within the last couple of months) to include.

    So, it can be done. Moreover, it should be done.

    I get the suspicion that after Toyota meets with Congress, that it will be done, whether they want to or not.

    Declining quality issues? That's something that's going to take a bit more time to overcome. Clearly, they're going to have to readress both their engineering of parts, and their process to install parts on the factory floor, worldwide.

    They've got a big job ahead of them. I'm sure Toyota is up to the task, if and when they decide to tackle it.
  • "I do take exception to your stattement- "

    I am sorry, but exactly which statement or statements of mine you took exception with? and why?
  • "For all intents and purposes, Toyota is admitting that there was a problem with their former accelerators and lack of brake override, otherwise they wouldn't have made it a point to include and announce those "features"."

    so in your view, car companies have no reason to redesign their vehicles or add features unless and until to cover up an issue?

    really? you cannot think of any other reasons?

    that's pretty shocking (that you cannot think of any other reason), don't you think?
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    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?

    Probably not in your vehicle. :P But our society certainly has a lot of experience with electronic devices in the last few years; and the failure rate is no where near that good. You can say that after years of development and alpha and beta testing of the MS OS, that it is an anomaly that Microsoft issues hundreds of patches / year. Or I can look at my top-of-the-line washer which just needed a new computer board the other day. Our hardware and software is full of bugs and failures waiting to happen. It is not a matter of IF the item is going to fail, it is simply a matter of WHEN and HOW it will fail.

    And as Steve said - UA is not a brand-new unexpected problem that just occurred 2 months ago.

    The problem is that vehicles have systems that will fail in various modes - whether hardware or software, and do not have redundant systems as we mentioned on airplanes. They are using the same design-philosophy as our TV's, washing machines, and computers. The difference is the TV, washing-machine and computer are not going to injure or kill the operator if they fail. And the operator can pull the plug on a TV, washing-machine, or computer.

    Vehicle manufacturing design is being done with arrogance of the infallibility of their technology and quality systems, keep the costs low so don't include the redundancy or the manual shutoffs, and the fact that Marketing is not going to like having the consumer "alarmed" by the need to have a manual-shutoff there; as that is admitting reality; and if the competitor's aren't doing it, then that's admitting we have an inferior vehicle. That is why I said the NHTSA needs to step-in, in this electronic-age and put some minimum standards in, that all vehicle manufacturers who use a critical electronic system need to put a manual-shutoff in.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    weight is NOT an issue with a vehicle? are you for real?

    I think as in years past that people can drive vehicles without electronic transmissions, power steering, and power brakes. I'm sure my father did. ;) If not they have gyms, with lift-by-wire machines for you. :)
  • dturrdturr Posts: 70
    If Toyota vehicles have caused the death of one person; is that not one to many.

    The legal people should be involved and let us see the evidence and have a court decide if their is any culpability.

    If Toyota are to blame then owners and drivers have a right to know and decide if they accept the risk of driving a defective vehicle that can or has killed.
  • "But our society certainly has a lot of experience with electronic devices in the last few years; and the failure rate is no where near that good."

    what IS the failure rate of electronics vs. mechanical things? when was the last time an electronic part (cpu, memory?) in your PC died and when was the last time your engine or transmission gave up?

    or more broad stats?

    "That is why I said the NHTSA needs to step-in, in this electronic-age and put some minimum standards in, that all vehicle manufacturers who use a critical electronic system need to put a manual-shutoff in. "

    you can say whatever you want but the fact remains that modern fly-by-wire systems have no mechanical back-up and are perfectly safe, if not safer, to fly. had you been right, they would have insisted on a mechanical back-up there.

    so the fact that they don't is a pretty powerful repudiation of your arguments.
  • so you think weight is NOT an issue with vehicles? or otherwise?

    a "Yes" or "No" would be helpful.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,900
    so in your view, car companies have no reason to redesign their vehicles or add features unless and until to cover up an issue?

    Toyota did not announce the Brake Over-Ride feature being added to the 2011 models, until they came under fire for the San Diego ES350 tragedy. You can draw your own conclusions.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,900
    That is why I said the NHTSA needs to step-in, in this electronic-age and put some minimum standards in, that all vehicle manufacturers who use a critical electronic system need to put a manual-shutoff in.

    I would agree as long as all the automakers are under the same mandate. It would be simple and not add a pound to the already porker cars we are being sold.

    If only Toyota were forced to do that it would be a hard sell at the dealers.

    Oh, by the way if our DBW system screws up just push the panic button. :sick:
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