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Toyota Halts Sales of Popular Models - Accelerator Stuck Problem Recall

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  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Yes, the throttle body was replaced by Toyota at no cost to the owner. This Haggerty did give his testimony during the hearing. And he provided the copy of repair work done.

    The replacement parts for Haggerty's auto are key factors for everyone to consider carefully. This is where electronics exist and how engine is told to respond by the computer sensors in these parts.

    This is area Dr. Dave Gilbert did his study and presented his findings and gave testimoney at hearings. Since then Toyota has refuted his findings in their highly televised/publicized webcast.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    Looking at the Toyota UA from a stock pickers point of view.

    James Sikes and His Toyota Prius Acceleration Problem: Too Much Hollywood Script?
    Article Submitted by: JRodgers

    A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article on BestCashCow that Toyota is entering a death spiral. I continue to think that Toyota's problems are real and are just beginning. Their refusal to address the sudden acceleration issue as an electronics problem - instead opting to satiate customers by moving the pedals around - is doing dramatic damage to the brand from which the company will never recover. To boot, Toyota was, as I predicted, poorly prepared in front of Congress two weeks ago. I drive a Lexus. My next car will be an Infiniti.

    Putting the marketing damage aside, I am amazed by the parallels between this case and the Ford Pinto cases in the 1970s which led to the development of product liability tort law in the US. We give large product liability awards in the US in order to stop manufucturers from putting low values on human lives and producing products that may kill people. That gets manufacturers to fix problems rather than than treat them as inconsequential. A couple of large awards will take down Toyota. I am short Toyota stock and long very long-dated Toyota puts.

    But this situation two nights ago with James Sikes and his Prius is really bugging me. It seems like the guy is piling on to a news story. He was too prepared to go straight to the media. He called 911 before trying to pull the emergency brake. Sikes, according to published reports, is a 61-year old real estate executive and longtime lottery player who won $55,000 and was selected in 2006 to appear on a California Lottery TV game show. This smells to me like a washed up Californian angling to be a plaintiff in a lawsuit or to be on the Amazing Race 18.

    If it happened in Iowa or Kansas maybe I'd believe it, but these days anything coming out of California just seems scripted for Hollywood.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Toyota didn't refute Dr. Gilbert's findings, they just said that the flaw he created was an extremely rare one and was unlikely to happen in the real world.

    Nevermind that Toyota's own factory documentation indicates that their firmware is specifically designed to detect this "rarely occuring" failure and therefore should have detected Dr. Gilbert's "flaw" and sat an MIL accordingly.

    "...improper programming.." gets the blame once again.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...My next car will be an Infiniti..."

    And you may just find that this SUA flaw is incorporated in each and every vehicle wherein NipponDenso, Denso US, is the primary firmware resource.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    I agree, that was a stock pick expert's take on the whole Toyota mess with Sikes thrown in. Not my take. I never have liked the looks of the Infiniti cars.

    I do have an idea that the NHTSA is hesitant to get too aggressive with the automakers on DBW, as it is the heart of many of their mandates on stability, braking and traction control.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    DBW is not a requirement for stability, braking, and/or traction control.
    My '92 LS400 has has dual throttle plates to facilate traction control. My '01 F/awd RX300 uses fuel cut via EFI control for VSC/TC.

    Not that DBW overall isn't a good thing, no idle air bypass valve, no separate cruise control actuator, etc. Just needs a few finishing touches, like say an independent foolproof/failsafe BTO.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    edited March 2010
    Is your 92 LS400 the same as our 1990 LS400? If it would ever die I could justify something to replace it. Just hit 100,000 miles and it looks nearly new. I got a feeling the 1990-94 was the best they ever built. I know we went and looked again around 2003 and the wife did not like what they had done to the LS. It was her cash to spend, and she didn't.
  • Those documents are consistent with one I posted earlier that indicate that EDRs, at best, would record 150ms of data pertaining to an event. The one I posted even mentioned Toyota EDRs specifically:

    http://www.harristechnical.com/downloads/05-0271-W.pdf

    I am a bit surprised that I see no real interest in this fact from either yours or my post. How could Toyota possibly infer that 150ms worth of data could indicate that Sikes alternated between gas/brake presses 250 times? If the EDR recorded 250 such actions in that short amount of time, it was not performed by a human regardless of questions about his character.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    The data on the Prius is not from the EDR. It is supposedly stored in the control module. The question I would have is it available to the courts in the case of an accident in a Prius? Or is it proprietary information only available to discredit when needed?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Whatever..

    To me it seems highly improbable that the computer memory could have somehow been accessed in a way that you could define that the brake was applied 250 times during the actual 22-30 minutes of the event. That would imply a time/date code attached to each and every recorded event.

    22-30 minutes of recording, exact time of day specific recording...?

    No way...!!
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I would have commented on your post if I had any idea of what you are talking about.Not your fault,I just don't understand the terminology.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    edited March 2010
    22-30 minutes of recording, exact time of day specific recording...?

    No way...!!


    I agree, that it is part of the deception by Toyota. Who can argue when they claim the ECM recorded 250 times the brake was hit. Very convenient for their case against Sikes.

    James Sikes may well be a con artist. I think he has met his match with Toyota.
  • dookie84dookie84 Posts: 33
    My 2010 Camry has a very touchy accelerator. If I press down like I would with any other car - including my 92 Camry - the car kind of lurches forward. I have to sort of tap it/baby it to get it to start smoothly from a full stop. Should I be worried or is this "the way the car drives." :(
  • Curious where you got the information about where the data is stored. I must have missed that along the way.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    edited March 2010
    Here from the Toyota newsroom:

    The hybrid self-diagnostic system did show evidence of numerous, rapidly repeated on-and- off applications of both the accelerator and the brake pedals.

    http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/toyota/toyota-offers-preliminary-findings-155- - 268.aspx

    From an ABC interview this correction of that newsroom statement:

    After the press conference, however, a Toyota representative confirmed to ABC News that the electronic data did not show how hard the brake was being pressed. "The level of brake application is not recorded," said Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons, "only that the brakes were completely released and applied."

    Lyons also clarified Michels statement about the number of times Sikes must have hit the brakes and the accelerator. He said that the data showed that Sikes pressed and released the brakes 254 times, and did not show Sikes pressing on the accelerator, only that the throttle remained open throughout the incident.


    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/hed-runaway-toyota-prius-driver-thought-die-dek/st- ory?id=10114198&page=2
  • djohnson1djohnson1 Posts: 44
    Gagrice, thanks for the interesting post. I disagree with shorting Toyo stock, but could be wrong.
    1) They are highly capitalized and have lots of borrowing power if necessary. Also, they are the pride of Japan, and would probably get financial support from the govt. if it came to that.
    2) There are many, many thousands of satisfied customers.
    3) Their sales have been up recently, in spite of the bad PR and how badly they have screwed things up. Multiply your monthly payment times the number of months and see how much you save with the 0% financing and rebates.
    4) I sort of agree with the Pinto comment, but who's number one of U.S. manufacturers today? Ford, of course.
    5) The truth will come out in the trials, if not sooner.
    6) Government won't ban electronic controls, because they greatly increase fuel efficiency and safety and would kill all the manufacturers, and the hybrids won't even work without it. No chance.
    7) I took my Avalon Limited in today for recall repairs and a new battery. Cost me about $120 for a 60 month battery. This car is very close to a Lexus, yet I pay Toyo prices for service instead of Lexus prices. A friend of mine took his BMW roadster in for a new battery and it cost him $750! (He got so mad he sold the car!) So I'm a very happy camper with my Avalon. With 60,000 miles it has had only brakes, one tire, wheel alignment and the battery. Runs like new. Great gas mileage.
  • Thanks, but I still don't see it. The first article simply says "The hybrid self-diagnostic system did show evidence of numerous, rapidly repeated...". The second says "a reading of electronic data from Sikes' car showed that he had applied the brakes and the accelerator alternately...". Both of those could be referring to EDR data. If you have any references to the contrary I would be very interested.

    The only technical descriptions I have seen of where these cars store data about a "sequence of events" is in the EDR buffer. I do not believe any sequence data is stored in a control module other than transient data in volatile memory being used by executing software. There may be error codes stored there, but that is not the data Toyota is pointing to. If there is only 150ms worth of sequence data in the EDR, that would explain why Toyota refrained from mentioning any span of time.
  • djohnson1djohnson1 Posts: 44
    "Honesty levels:

    Military recruiters = car salesman = Toyota at the beginning of this issue."

    When I joined the Marines, they were 100% truthful. They said they were going to kick our asses all over the place and make men out of us, and that's exactly what they did!
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,830
    edited March 2010
    it is possible for owners of other vehicle brands to like their cars too.
    just because someone gets taken to the cleaners for a new battery doesn't mean the car is bad.
    blame the dealer or the lazy owner. changing a battery is an easy job.
    i rate it a little tougher than making a grilled cheese sandwich. ;)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    I have been following the Prius since the first one was delivered in San Diego. I test drove it twice and thought it was kind of cool. I slowly lost interest in the hybrids when too many little things cropped up. There have been multiple reports here of UA with the Prius. This is the first time I have ever heard of Toyota having a place that stores information about brakes and accelerator being depressed over a long period of time. You are right the EDR has a very short snippet when the airbags are deployed. I am not convinced of the 250+ brake depressions. No time stamp, just out of the blue data we are supposed to believe because Toyota says it is true. They have lied before why believe them now?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,370
    edited March 2010
    >No time stamp, just out of the blue data we are supposed to believe because Toyota says it is true

    This is most likely a case of people misusing statistics to try to make toyota-lexus look good and blame the driver Sikes. I will bet, if my data recorder in my leSabre keeps records, that it will show I have pressed the brake in my 03 Buick 255 times. With no time record on when each press occurred, it's meaningless data.
  • Actually that is not quite what is meant by no time stamp. Once triggered, the EDR records changes in the car's velocity at specific time intervals until the buffer is full (for example every 1ms), not the time of day. It does not record "brake presses" but only reductions or increases in velocity that could imply brake or gas pedal presses. Some newer EDRs store more than 150ms, for example the new Chevy Malibu stores up to 300ms. The start of recording is triggered by a predetermined level of change in velocity. It does not need to be enough to trigger airbag deployment. Once triggered, the EDR will record a full buffer (all 150ms or 300ms worth) of measurements at it's designed interval and then stops. If the airbag did deploy, the EDR cannot overwrite the data it has recorded. If the airbag did not deploy, no reset is needed and the EDR can store a new buffer of data if it happens again.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,370
    >Once triggered, the EDR records changes in the car's velocity

    Whoa. The toyota-lexus folk indicated this showed the BRAKE had been depressed. Initially they said the brake and accelerator pedal alternated. You may be talking about the actual EDR for the auto. This record comes from an alleged recorder on the brake/electrical system for the Prius.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    edited March 2010
    If the EDR is only capable of holding 150-300ms of data, not much change can be recorded. It could tell if the throttle is depressed or the brake is depressed. Maybe if both are depressed. With the average reaction time of a human being about 200ms, not much is recorded in the EDR. My understanding is nothing is stored in the EDR on a Toyota unless the airbags are deployed. That would mean at the time of impact, it saves 150ms of data. So that would not be used in the runaway Prius. According to Toyota the EDR in the ES350 that killed 4 people here was not readable.

    So the question is this? Where is this non volatile data stored in the Prius, showing 254 depressions of the brake while the throttle was WO? If this has been available in the Prius for several years why was it not used in other cases of SUA? Or are the dealers directed by Corporate to reset that memory when someone claims their Prius experienced SUA?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "They have lied before why believe them now? "

    Just because you told a lie once in your life makes you a liar, forever, never again to be believed?

    No.
  • zigster38zigster38 Posts: 72
    I think the bottom line is that Toyota has denied problems that have occurred in the past, and no one believes them now. As someone who has worked in a large corporation, the legal dept. just wants you to deny, deny, deny until they go to court or the case is dropped.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That might be true in some private companies and probably is a standard procedure in many.

    But there are outside interests involved here, like Congress, NHTSA, plaintiff lawyers, etc.

    Toyota KNOWS they cannot lie any longer, and that lying at this point is just idiotic.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Hiding the truth, say deep inside NipponDenso in Japan, is not the same as lying. At least insofar as US courts are concerned.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,043
    You have a point. It is not considered lying until you got caught under oath. Like Toyota did in the Congressional hearings. An example when Inaba denied his role in saving $100 million by somehow getting the NHTSA to drop their investigation into UA back in 2007.

    A month after Inaba’s presentation, in which he boasted Toyota saving $100 million over a full recall, a family of four were killed in a Lexus involving a stuck gas pedal under a floor mat. In November 2009, Toyota eventually issued a full recall on the issue to prevent further incidents.

    Toyota will continue to lie and deceive even if they are caught and prosecuted in criminal court. And who ever takes the fall will do it out of loyalty to Toyota and Japan. It is the culture.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    edited March 2010
    Gary says, "Toyota will continue to lie and deceive even if they are caught and prosecuted in criminal court. And who ever takes the fall will do it out of loyalty to Toyota and Japan. It is the culture."

    Oh, Puh-Leeze. Culture Schmulture.
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