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Toyota Sienna Uncontrolled Acceleration

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  • Now let's see if LEXUS ever admits to their cars' malfunction causing sudden uncontrolled acceleration! Personally, I've been patiently waiting after three years. Why does it take a well-publicized tragedy in California to get these unsympathetic car companies to finally admit to serious and even fatal flaws in their design. How many tragedies could have been avoided if they had just "fessed up" years ago when the reports first appeared on sites such as this, subsequent filings with the designated governmental agencies, and pleas to the car companies themselves!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'll share it again, if people want the Sienna to be included in this campaign, the occurences have to be documented, to demonstrate a pattern of problems.

    Report your issues here:

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

    Complaining about it on the internet might help you vent and feel better, but the fact that Toyota has not included the Sienna means one of two things:

    * there isn't actually such a pattern

    - or -

    * there is a pattern, but it has not been reported/documented properly

    Please click the link if you've been affected.
  • If you are a Toyota owner and interested in sharing your reaction with reporters, send me an email stating the vehicle you own, your telephone number, and the best time you can be reached.

    Send to: karenedmunds.com

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 289
    Taking it a step further, here is how you can view some of the complaints that are already out there:

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/
    then select "Recalls, Defects and Complaints" from the menu on the left
    then select "Search Complaints" near the top of the menu on the left
    On the right side of the next screen, click "Search Selected Type" under where the word "Vehicle" is checked
    Try selecting "2005" in the "Select Year" pull down menu and click "Submit Year"
    Select "Toyota" from the "Select Make" pull down menu and click "Submit Make"
    Select "Sienna" from the "Select Model" pull down menu and click "Submit Model"
    Pick "Vehicle Speed Control" from the "Select Component" menu and click "Retrieve Complaints"

    Click the "Get Summary" link next to each complaint for details. Interesting stuff.

    This is just for 2005. There are similar complaints afterwards for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. There are also complaints for 2004, but I got tired of reading them all, so stopped looking at earlier model years.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 289
    After dinner I decided to go back into the NHTSA website to look for complaints of other Toyotas that were not on their recall list released yesterday. When you click "Select a Model" under Toyota, the first one that pops up is the 4Runner, so I picked that one. Sure enough, there are instances of unintended acceleration reported. I looked at 2006 through 2008 model years. I hate to say it, but this problem might be even bigger than what has already been reported.

    By the way, the 4Runner is 100% built (parts and labor) in Japan.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think where it's made had any influence. I believe the Prius is made in Japan and Highalnder is made in the USA, and both were affected.
  • dbtdbt Posts: 298
    Current recall affects CTS pedals, used in US/Canada manufactured Toyota models (except Lexus RX and possibly Sienna). Not affected are Denso pedals used by Japanese manufactured Toyotas/Lexus/Scion and definitely Canadian-made RX.
  • tsu670tsu670 Posts: 289
    After doing more research on this issue (Google "Toyota sudden acceleration pedal"), I'm growing more and more convinced that the problem is NOT the rubber accelerator pedal itself as Toyota would lead us to believe. In other words, it isn't a mechanical problem of the pedal getting caught under floor mats or sticking on the carpet, and it isn't that the pedal is slow to return to idle. Grinding down the shape of the pedal or changing spring tension is not the answer.

    Instead, it appears the problem is with the electronics of Toyota's "Throttle-By-Wire" system they started incorporating in their vehicles over the past few years. I'm thinking it's the sensors used to tell the computer when to open or close the throttle.

    I continue to hear on our local news how Toyota dealers describe the problem as "sticking" gas pedals, but the stories I read are about sudden acceleration, not sticking pedals. The vehicles just start bolting out on their own, resulting too often in horrifying accounts of drivers trying to avoid traffic, pedestrians, parked cars, trees...

    Toyota is supposed to announce their findings in the upcoming week. It will be interesting to see if they stick to their mechanical "pedal" explanation, or admit it is a system-wide electronics issue with their "Throttle-By-Wire" system.

    For sure, they will need to add the feature that turns off the throttle when the brake is applied, but they should add it to ALL of their vehicles with TBW, not just the 8 models on last week's recall.

    edit: I just did another Google search to see if there was any news. The following article from the L.A. Times popped up about 40 minutes ago:

    Doubt cast on Toyota's decision to blame... gas pedal
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    Toyota is fast losing its reputation as company which promotes reliability and safety. With the Friday’s announcement, the total recall of cars now stands at 9.5 million, 4.1 million for gas pedal problem and 5.4 million for floor mat problems. The number of cars recalled is more than what the company has sold last year (7.8 million vehicles were sold world-wide last year) which means the company’s expenditure will go up for carrying out the repairs.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Recalls are not necessarily a bad thing.
  • This situation is certainly bad for Toyota.
    The government forcing companies to recall defective products is a good thing. Time will tell if this fix is actually the fix or if there is more too it.
  • yatesjoyatesjo Posts: 186
    It isn't about what works for me it is about what creates the least danger to everyone on the road. What your wife insists on doing is dangerous to her and to everyone around her. It is the worst possible way of handling the situation. If she her age is reducing her strength and reactions, then even more so she should take the action that requires the least time, least effort and maintains the power assist in the brakes and steering. Age is no excuse for stupidity. If she persists in using it, she should be removed from the road.

    No one should expect the brakes to overcome both the momentum of the vehicle and the full power of the engine. It would take a ridiculous degree of over-engineering the brake system to do so on a vehicle of this size and power. The best way to overcome this is to take the engine from working against you to working for you.

    How you will react in an emergency can be decided by how you plan to react and practice of that reaction. Plan to do something stupid and stupidity will occur with natural consequences of pain and injury to those unfortunate enough to be involved. Plan to do something smart and you aren't as likely to kill bystanders (like me and my family).
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    Recalls are not necessarily a bad thing.

    True, but they are in the case with Toyota as a recall has been 5 years in the making and their so called fix still does not address the actual cause of sudden acceleration when the pedals are not involve.

    More importantly, cannot recall in recent years when any other automaker was required by law to stop selling their vehicles.
  • I have a new 2010 Limited. Have had no problems with it so far. As we all know Toyota is in a world of hurt with their line shutdowns and accelerator control unit recall problems. What I have been searching for on this site and others, is this: Why was Sienna specifically excluded from the shutdown, sales and accelerator issue?

    As far as I know, only the DENSO accelerator units from Japan are exempted. My Sienna has a unit marked "TOYOTA" on it, not Denso. So if my accelerator control unit is the same (is it?) as those in the shutdown/recall, then why isn't Sienna's? How does Sienna's differ?

    Also, my VIN begins with "5TDYK....", NOT "J", which is supposed to ID vehicles made in Japan which use Denso units, and therefore exempt. My Sienna is clearly labeled and built in Princeton, IN, and was delivered in July of 2009. Other Toyota vehicle models were also excluded. Why?

    Does anyone know the "real" reason these accelerator control units are supposedly not a problem? As nationally televised, the American built Toyota's use control units built by CTS in Indiana. I believe, but cannot be certain, that mine would also be a CTS unit. I would think that most all of the other American made Toyota vehicles would also use CTS units.

    I am specifically not concerning myself with the carpet mat issue pressing on the pedal, but only with the electronic accelerator unit. I do not have any mats that can even touch the pedal in my case. Carpet issues can be easily resolved in comparison.

    Just another inquiring mind wanting to know. I'm sure others do too.

    Thanks to one and all if this question can be answered accurately.
  • flxmomflxmom Posts: 24
    I have the EXACT same concerns and questions as you do and I am sure many other Sienna owners. I have an 09 Sienna and am very concerned and now scared to drive it especially with my kids in the vehicle ! Haven't had any issues , knock on wood, but I am questioning everything now..its very scary... :(
  • flxmomflxmom Posts: 24
    on tuneyfish.com they have photos of the recalled pedals and what a denso looks like, I was wondering about the vin number too mine starts the same as yours..but the pedal looks like a denso with the star on the side in the part near the floor
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It isn't a bad idea to practice tapping the shifter in to neutral while moving.

    I would not floor the accelerator for obvious reasons, but rather just become familiar with moving the shifter around from D to N and back.

    This is true for any car, come to think of it.
  • flxmomflxmom Posts: 24
    did the guy who crashed in Cali and died with 3 others put his car in neutral do you know I am flipping out, I have an 09 Sienna and have read this thread from the beginning and now am convinced that Sienna should be in the recall . I was questioning and skeptical that it wasn't and the proof is here,,and these are just the folks who have taken the time to report on here ! I have two kids and was so excited to get my Sienna but now an terrified to drive it..will going into neutral really help if this happens, the accelaration..and since I owned this car I have noticed a revving of the engine when I turn corners, took it in 2 times they say its nothing, sounds normal, now I really wonder.. :confuse: :(
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Are you referring to the cop? He was in a Lexus ES with floor mats from a different model installed. I don't think he tried neutral - he tried to turn the engine off and used the brakes (may have pumped them, not sure).

    Occurences are petty rare, just practice the "Neutral Tap" a couple of times, and never panic if anything does happen.

    There are all sort of hazards - you could get a flat tire, slip on black ice, get hit by someone running a red light, etc.

    The key it if anything does happen, remain calm and drive to the shoulder of the road safetly. Knowing your vehicle well is a good idea, as is driving defensively (give yourself time and space).

    I have noticed a revving of the engine when I turn corners

    It's probably holding a lower gear to help you accelerate out of the turn. You don't want the shift-shock in the middle of the turn because that could upset the balance of traction.

    It could also be emissions related.

    If the revs climb WAY up then I'd park it and call your dealer, and notify NHTSA's ODI division so it's documented.
  • flxmomflxmom Posts: 24
    Thanks for your reply, I will get practiced with the gear shift, but I have to say I am ready to get a different vehicle..this is so scary ! I know there are many risk factors when driving but knowingly driving a vehicle that has know incidents, for years, of this happening is just unnerving..
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