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Toyota Halts Sales of Popular Models - Accelerator Stuck Problem Recall

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,085
    edited March 2010
    toyota needs to install a fuel disable switch and give instructions on how to stop the motor by hitting the panic button. Maybe they can get help from Staples on supplying big red buttons and mount them on top of the dash in front of the driver: instead of "Easy" they could say "Help me!"

    But wait. The Prius would need another switch to disable battery power as well. Maybe that button could say, "Just electrocute me instead!"
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,796
    I think Toyota should rename the Prius. It should now be called the "Kamikaze Hybrid" or the "Hi ri Kiri Special". The car is getting the reputation of being a death trap.

    The report which I saw and I heard was frightening. My biggest fear is that one of the affect Toyota products will take off and hit my wife or me.

    On a related note which I heard yesterday, Toyota factory workers had sent a two page memo to management with concerns about vehicle quality and the fact that Toyota was cutting corners in building their vehicles. The news article, which I heard on the radio, went on to say that Toyota management ignored the concerns in that memo. Who better to see potential issues than the people who assemble the vehicles. As I recall, any worker on the Saturn assembly line could stop that assembly line if he/she picked up a problem.
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    OK, here is the big question. What is the best method to install an ignition "kill switch" in a late model Toyota vehicle? There has to be a reasonally accessible hot wire (with the engine running) that can be controlled from the dash with a simple off/on toggle switch.

    I am becoming convinced that turning off the ignition key may not stop the engine in a true UA situatuion.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Videos show Prius is at CHP for now. Saw one report NHTSA and Toyota both will be responding. So now we wait to see if CHP and owner and NHTSA will release auto to Toyota.

    Multiple different reports are coming out it seems. Similiar, but still some details left out. Report CHP released that officers car actually stopped auto with his own car was retracted. Video iterview - Officer was along side and over PA ws attempting to give suggestions. Officer had mentioned putting car into neutral. Did not say whether owner did or not. Saw one report owner did try.

    Last advice - officer feels it was a combination of things finally got auto stopped. (1)steeper grade of freeway (2)emergency brake application (3)continue braking(officer could smell brakes of Prius). Officer did put his car in front of Prius at the end just in case auto took off again. Seems autos never touched though.

    CHP and driver/owner make statement was not floor mat. Owner had checked. Owner makes claim acclerator pedal stuck and even despite trying to move pedal it stayed right where it was. Not sure what he actually means in his statement?

    Two weeks ago had taken to his dealer with recall, and was told car not on list. Turned away. 2008 Prius

    Owner states will not drive car again! Naturally owner is now quite upset at Toyota.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    edited March 2010
    I own a 2007 Prius which is identical to the 2008 involved in this incident.First of all,there is no "off" switch.There is only a start button which acts as an off switch after you park the car.Same as turning a key off in a conventional car.
    I have tried putting the car into neutral,and at slow speeds it does work,however I have never attempted that while at highway speeds,let alone at 90 MPH.
    It is rather scary driving a Prius not knowing when or if it will take off out of control.People,don't buy into that floor-mat story.The floor-mats are on hooks and are not going anywhere.It's a red herring.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,904
    pops, some of the toyota vehicles do not have an ignition switch/key. they have a pushbutton that supposedly turns off the engine if held down for 3 seconds.
    I think your ignition kill-switch idea is a good one, but I continue to recommend the "trade in your Toyota for a non-Toyota" solution.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Not gonna happen with the Prius.They have problems of their own.Google "Prius incident in California."
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Your theory is interesting. Also refer to the James family Prius run away incident. This was in Colorado.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    Maybe this fails only under certain conditions,but traveling at 25MPH the shifter goes into N mode quite easily.Of course,maybe an electronic failure would affect that too.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    What does UA mean?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,900
    edited March 2010
    UA= Unintended acceleration
    SUA= Sudden Unintended Acceleration
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    This is very interesting article from Seattle Washington reported way back April, 2009. Relates problems Prius and SUA/UA. People iterviewed and what they were told. Note one example where customer was test driving Prius for a possible purchase. And vehicle took off with salesman in auto as well. I got a kick out of the alleged statement where auto tech said if owners wouldn't put floor mats in cars the way they do there would be no problem. Prospective buyer said it's not my car, it's yours and he didn't do anything. Article is even before all took off last August.

    http://www.seattleweekly.com/2009-04-22/news/the-flip-side-of-the-perfect-prius
  • windy025windy025 Posts: 6
    "I hope NHTSA gets the car before toyota is able to mess with it. "

    NHTSA should assemble a team of engineers from bmw ford and suburu as well as the southern illinois prof and whoever else toyota is slinging mud at, and then we'll see how long before the source of the problem is found!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    In my opinion it is entirely possible that the source of the problem will NEVER be found, can NEVER be found. Unrepeatable combination of RANDOM external & internal (to the car) RFI/EMI voltage surge/drop events.

    Long term solution: Install a totally independently operating BTO, Brake/Throttle Override.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,147
    wwest....well, there is a solution. Redesign the Toyota/Lexus internal computer systems and do a recall do install them.

    Now, understand that it would take billions more to do that (on top of the billions this has already cost Toyota). But, if it saves one life, it's worth it.

    The issue here is, Toyota doesn't put the same emphasis on "loss of life" as apparently we do.

    While the accidents, issues and deaths pile up, Toyota is trying to defend their stance against getting to the real problem. That's way misguided.

    As was mentioned, hire Dr Gilbert. Get Ford, or Subaru, or any other company that's not suffering from the maladies Toyota and Lexus are suffering. Get it fixed.

    Yeah, it will make Toyota look bad. But, what's more important? Saving lives, or looking good?

    I pick saving lives.
  • goldsuvgoldsuv Posts: 51
    This MIT engineering professor says essentially the same thing.

    http://www.designnews.com/article/446480-Toyota_s_Problem_Was_Unforeseeable.php
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Is it correct that Prius has brake override already???
  • dlplohdlploh Posts: 9
    Stuck accelerator sends Toyota Prius into a wall in Harrison
    LESLIE KORNGOLD • • MARCH 9, 2010

    http://www.lohud.com/article/20100309/NEWS02/3090378/-1/newsfront/Stuck-accelera- tor-sends-Toyota-Prius-into-a-wall-in-Harrison

    The 56-year-old driver suffered non-life threatening injuries, acting Chief Anthony Marraccini said.

    The woman was pulling out of the driveway at 3700 Purchase St. facing forward when the accelerator stuck, police said.

    The car "shot" across the street smashing into a stone wall, Marraccini said.

    The collision sent "some pretty big boulders" fairly far, Marraccini said.

    Marraccini said the floor mat has been pretty much ruled out as a cause. The 2005 car appears to have had corrective action taken, Marraccini said. The floor mat was tied to the seat base with plastic ties.

    The car has been taken to police headquarters for further analysis.

    The driver was being evaluated at White Plains Hospital Center.

    On Monday, a 2008 Toyota Prius was finally stopped after attaining 94mph on a California interstate due to a stuck accelerator pedal.

    According to media reports, California Highway Patrol figured the car had traveled over 20 miles with the stuck pedal.

    That car was stopped by throwing it into reverse, standing on the brakes and turning it off, according to media reports.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..Redesign.."

    Without knowing the current causative factor(s) how would you go about "designing it out" in a new design...??
  • sparklandsparkland Posts: 108
    Why can't people who have unintended acceleration problems just turn off the key or shift the car into neutral? Is that too hard? Learn some defensive driving people.

    No excuse for Toyota, but any car can accelerate without warning--learn what to do!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Technically, yes, literally, no.

    When you lift the gas pedal to idle the HSD system is supposed to go into regenerative braking mode, the wheels forcing the generators to turn, thereby recharging the hybrid battery. Even moreso, higher regen effect, if you apply the brakes.

    So by default the Prius has a "BTO".
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,147
    Problem you have by turning the key to the off position (if you can do so), you lose all power steering, and power brakes.

    It's been reported that shifting the Lexus/Toyota cars into neutral has no affect.

    wwest.....well, we know tha Toyota hasn't designed their system the correct way. So, set about doing a redesign. That's what I'd ask Exponent help me to do. If they can't, I'd also ring up Dr Gilbert for some help in that regard, too.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2010
    Think of it this way: You've just engaged the "autopilot" with a FULL throttle "climb" command and now you want to disengage the autopilot and it will not.

    Now what....?
  • dlplohdlploh Posts: 9
    http://www.wsj.com

    Toyota says 2004-09 Priuses will be recalled to prevent pedal entrapment; an acceleration Incident in a 2008 Prius was reported in California.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    First, Toyota very likely had virtually nothing to do with any portion of the electronics componentry design aboard their vehicles other than helping compose and review the design, hardware and "firmware" specifications.

    That would be NipponDenso or maybe even Denso US. Although the latter would be unlikely since that would expose the specifications, and maybe more, to US legal system oversight.

    IMMHO it would be patently foolish to begin a redesign without being certain sure the design "flaw" could be avoided.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I don't understand, the HSD system should have IGNORED the gas pedal position in favor of regen.....
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,147
    Toyota's electronics/software strategy was devised entirely by Toyota (this is what Dr Gilbert testified had to be rethought/redone). Not sure that Denso does any of the design, but if they do, it's based totally on what Toyota told them to do.
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    Spark, before you get too far into your rant about driving skills, let me interject.

    Based on all the UA reports, it seems there is a very good possibility that, once the vehicle is in fullfledged UA, turning the key or pressing the button will not stop the engine, likewise shifting the transmission into neutral will not work either.

    These are simple steps, if the screwed up computer logic allows them to happen. Lets not kill all the messengers just yet!
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    And another runaway Prius today too!!! This does not look good. Seems police did not feel floormats were cause.

    Reports are all over the news today. Have not seen anything about this one as yet though.

    Thanks for the alert.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Yes, theoretically it should have.

    Do compare incident of the James family in Colorado as well. Another Prius in SUA/UA incident. Prior to incident husband had received $10,000 scholarship from Toyota, and family were strong advocates for Toyota. Incident and details familiar. Family did not sue.
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