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Unintended Acceleration - Find the Cause

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Comments

  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    edited December 2013
    Is it claimed this might be the fault of Toyota/Lexus? I drive this model/gen RX300. Completely unrelated to this vehicle, I have also recently been the victim of another driver of an early 80's Lincoln at-fault in an "unintended acceleration" accident where the driver clearly mistook the throttle for the brake pedal, mashing the throttle of the V8 to the floor in the effort to try to stop the huge sedan. This driver came up with lots of excuses why it was not his fault. I had a feeling blaming the car was coming next. So again, in my limited experience, it is all too common for people to come up with excuses to place blame elsewhere rather than accept blame as the driver of the vehicle.
    Although obviously I wasn't witness to the accident in this article, if I mistakenly shifted my transmission into the wrong drive gear or hit the throttle instead of the brake, it would be pretty easy to plow through a Starbucks, endangering patrons. My experience with the RX has been admittedly limited my own ownership during the past 15 years and hundreds of thousands of miles, however I am looking forward to seeing solid evidence to support the claim that it was defective engineering or parts and not driver error.
    Even if it accelerates on it's own - assuming a cruise malfunction that is not fail-safe - why are the brakes disabled too?
  • A UA "incident" is terrifying. The driver would have to be an exceptionally cool dude to look down at his feet and determine if HE is the cause (he probably is, but that's another story).

    "Evidence" is based on replication. If you can't replicate your theory, you can't prove it. All theories need to be falsifiable, but apparently UA incidents are faith-based and defy testing.

    The only tests I've seen show that even at full throttle, you can stop a car with the brakes.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    The cop and family that were killed in the Lexus ES350 had completely burnt the pads off trying to stop the car. In that case is was determined the wrong floormats were the cause of UA. That dealer is no longer a Lexus dealer by the way. Still being sued by the family. Toyota settled for $10 million. Also the goofy kill switched had to be held down for 3 seconds to stop the engine.

    I don't think this case has gotten to the finger pointing stage yet. Just want to keep up with all the ToyLex crashes where it is a possibility.
  • You can stop a car with the brakes at full throttle. As for the stop button, that's what an owner's manual is for.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,910
    It seems in virtually all of these cases, when data is analyzed to see if brakes were applied, they weren't - even if the "driver" insists otherwise. Couple that with the fact that most of these UA cars attract people who see driving as a chore and that the drivers aren't the most "with it" on the roads, it doesn't seem like the cars are going crazy. Still waiting to see a documented UA claim with a 30 year old male in a Camry/Prius/Lexus.
  • houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 5,774
    It amazes me at all the complicated reasons for UA that people come up with...chrome whiskers, radio waves, you name it. Then they ignore the most simple reasons...driver error or fraud and greed.

    2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    How many people read the owner's manual on a loaner car?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    How about a 36 year old male?

    The expert hired by lawyers for a Minnesota man imprisoned for vehicular manslaughter after his speeding Toyota killed three people has filed a report claiming that he has identified a mechanical flaw that could have caused the accident.

    "This makes our case even stronger," said Bob Hilliard, an attorney for Koua Fong Lee, 36, who is serving an eight-year prison sentence. Hilliard hopes to convince Ramsey County, Minnesota prosecutors to free Lee from prison pending a new trial.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/RunawayToyotas/expert-mechanical-defect-found-runa- way-toyota-camry-killed/story?id=10667854
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,958
    edited December 2013
    Most of the time the manual isn't even available in the loaner or rental car.

    (Houdini1, I always heard it as "tin" whiskers but I guess it's really "metal whikering". :))
  • how many pilots read the owner's manual on a rental plane?

    Answer: ALL OF THEM

    What's so hard about "Hey, how do I turn this thing on and off?"

    Besides, one's instinct when you press a button and nothing happens?

    Yep, you press more often and harder.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,910
    edited December 2013
    Almost 4 year old story that uses "breaking" for the use of brakes? I need more than that :) Any updates?

    A 1996 car even at 10 years old is old enough to have who knows what kind of botched repairs, too. Not seeing a direct connection to the cases involving 2003+ designs when the cars were often only a couple years old.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,910
    I'd go for the former, or maybe mechanical failure in an old car.

    In so many of these cases, no actual evidence of braking could be found.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    Still could be a poorly designed accelerator. Prosecutor must have thought a defective vehicle was a possibility. That was a harsh sentence where no drugs or alcohol were evident.

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (CBS/WCCO/AP) Koua Fong Lee, the Minnesota man convicted in a 2006 Toyota crash that left three dead is now a free man. Shortly after a judge ordered a new trial for Lee - citing new evidence and a shoddy defense - Ramsay County prosecutor Susan Gaertner said she will not seek another trial.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/toyota-driver-koua-fong-lee-released-from-prison-no-- new-trial-for-deadly-crash/

    I disagree with the statement that any car can be stopped at WOT with braking. The tests done during the UA recalls NEVER went to 120 MPH as the cop was going when he tried stopping the Lexus.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    "You can stop a car with the brakes at full throttle. As for the stop button, that's what an owner's manual is for."

    This model RX300 does not have keyless start; to stop the engine, simply turn the key the first click "off" - but without turning it to the last click to "lock".
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,647
    edited December 2013
    why would anyone in his right mind wait to 120 mph to apply the brake? it would take a long time to reach that speed. If he waited that long to react, then something was wrong with HIM.

    That's like saying you can't stop a bicycle at 150 mph. Probably not.

    I know you might disagree, but it's been proven many many times. You can stop a car with WOT, which implies you can stop it from ever reaching 120 mph.
  • la4meadla4mead Posts: 347
    "why would anyone in his right mind wait to 120 mph to apply the brake? it would take a long time to reach that speed. If he waited that long to react, then something was wrong with HIM.

    That's like saying you can't stop a bicycle at 150 mph. Probably not.

    I know you might disagree, but it's been proven many many times. You can stop a car with WOT, which implies you can stop it from ever reaching 120 mph."

    By the time the vehicle reaches 120, any driver with half a brain would have tried moving to the left pedal, braking, shutting the engine off, shifting to neutral, pulling mats or water bottles away, etc. Anyone else is an incompetent driver.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,910
    Harsh sentence indeed, that's our beloved criminal justice system at work, keeping things safe and just. So many of these overpaid judges and prosecutors need to be put under a microscope.

    It could have been some kind of freak random incident, but I don't know if it links those in later model cars and their sometimes wildstories.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    By the time the vehicle reaches 120, any driver with half a brain would have tried moving to the left pedal, braking, shutting the engine off, shifting to neutral, pulling mats or water bottles away, etc. Anyone else is an incompetent driver.

    I would probably agree that California Highway Patrolmen are over paid if they can afford to drive a Lexus. I don't generally consider them incompetent drivers. I guess we will never know for sure. We do know Toyota paid dearly for the crash that sent them into a downward spiral.

    The crash made headlines nationwide. An investigation found that an improper floor mat caused the gas pedal on the Lexus to become stuck and the driver, California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor, was unable to slow the car down. Toyota recalled more than 4 million vehicles following the investigation’s findings.

    Saylor, his wife Cleofe, their 13-year-old daughter, Mahala, and passenger Chris Lastrella were killed. Lastrella was Saylor’s brother-in-law.

    Saylor was loaned the 2009 ES 350 Lexus by Bob Baker Lexus El Cajon when he dropped his car off at the dealership to be serviced. News reports said that a man who previously drove the loaner Lexus reported acceleration problems to the dealership when he returned it.


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/27/toyota-sudden-acceleration-internal-ema- il_n_1232279.html?ref=mostpopular
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,958
    Wasn't there some argument made that braking power would be reduced if the driver kept pumping the brakes instead of just standing on them?
  • That's not a very strong argument because it presupposes that just because he is a CHP that he somehow has god-given powers in any kind of emergency. He is trained in vehicle control and he failed, in my opinion, because he was given a situation that wasn't in the training. As any pilot can tell you, this is exactly what causes grievous pilot error.

    He didn't know how to shut the vehicle off, and he didn't know what was happening to him. Had he known, in 3 seconds he could have either shut the car off or pulled up the floor mat.

    So, in the end, he was no better trained than you or I to handle this.
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