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The Current State of the US Auto Market

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    edited August 2013
    Fault in Toyota electronics was never proven by anyone, anywhere at any time. The settlement was to compensate owners for possible loss of resale value from the bad PR.

    Cause of these accidents remains undetermined.

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  • greg128greg128 Posts: 346
    edited August 2013
    This was copied from a report about some Toyota documents leaked by insiders. There is actually quite a bit of evidence that SUA is electronic. From the report:

    "Another document is a Technical Field Report from Toyota’s Cyprus dealer written in January 2009. The dealer pleads: “… Engine revs stick at 6000 rpm without any reason. This issue occurs without any warning and at random cases. … (there were) two big car accidents in which the drivers miraculously escaped injuries. … the vehicle accelerated in an uncontrolled manner … more than 5 times … the Accelerator Sensor Assembly was replaced. … This issue could cost lives!!”
    In another communication, a driver reported a Tundra zooming to 80 miles per hour, uncommanded, with ineffective brakes. When the truck was fixed, the technician noted, “short (circuit), insulation defective,” and replaced the gas pedal sensor assembly. The same document lists 547 pedal position electronic sensor assemblies that were replaced to fix speed control malfunctions that had been attributed to a mechanical “sticky pedal.”
    Japan engineers also noted or investigated many varied electronics-related causes of UA and speed control issues. They include short circuits in the pedal position sensor, cruise control, poor wiring connectors, electromagnetic interference (EMI), and voltage irregularities. Numerous times throughout the documents, the electronic Engine Computer Unit (ECU) is mentioned as a possible cause for vehicle behavior that they could not understand.
    Another document shows that Toyota investigated speed control issues in the car of Crown Prince Naruhito in 2008, and admitted the cause was the endless problems with the ETCS’s many components.
    In spite of all of the internal discussions about electronics, Toyota stuck with its public story through its PR campaigns, advertising, sworn testimony and in its recalls, that UA is caused by floor mats and sticky pedals.
    When evidence surfaced that there were other, electrical-related causes, and independent experts advanced plausible theories, Toyota never changed its public story. In several cases Toyota representatives disparaged these experts and even sued."

    This and other evidence is the reason why Toyota is settling these cases. There are still around 200 UA lawsuits pending. Not one will go to trial because the evidence will come out. Ever hear "Cover-Up"?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    edited August 2013
    As well they should sue. All this smacks of conjecture and sensationalism and extortion.

    Conspiracy theories go on forever, because they are based on speculation. They are not evidence-based allegations. There's "someone in Cyprus" and an "engineer" but the truth is....nobody knows and nobody has proven anything.

    When looking for answers, first look to the most obvious, or as they say in medical school, "when you are in Texas and you hear hoofbeats, think HORSES! or CATTLE!...not Zebras!"

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  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    I actually heard the 911 tapes, no one said anything about trying something as mundane, elementary, and simple as putting the car in Neutral. I stand by my statement.

    No one, not even NASA has proved any gremlins or issues with Toyota's electrical systems. Toyota paid out in this particular case because the dealership put in the wrong floor mats, but again, neutral solves that.

    There has not been one documented case where the engine can overpower the brakes if driven properly.

    Is it possible? Sure, anything is possible, but that still doesnt mean you have a right not to do something as simple as shifting to N or turning the ignition off (turn key or hold start button 3 seconds).
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,343
    If someone was truly hurt by a faulty electrical component, they wouldn't "settle" They'd take it to court to let it see the light of day. If they take the money "settling" they were in it for the money.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    I still find it amazing that all this was caused by floor mats. In any of my cars, I could stack several on top of each other and not touch the gas pedal.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,050
    Some of my old cars ('57 DeSoto, '67 Catalina, '85 LeSabre), the gas pedal was actually hinged on the bottom, at the floor. So it would be really easy for the mat to slide up over the pedal. But still, that's not going to jam it down.

    The mat in the Catalina, a cheap rubber one, would always stay in place, but I remember on Grandmom's LeSabre, that mat was constantly sliding forward, over the gas pedal, but at the same time bunching up under the brake pedal.

    It seemed more annoying than dangerous, though, as it wouldn't jam the gas pedal down, and if you hit the brakes, the pedal would still go down despite the bunched up mat behind it.

    With that Lexus that burst into flames, didn't they have some kind of all-weather mats in the car, that had the extra thick lip around the edges?
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    IIRC, the dealer put in floor mats from a Lexus RX (The car was an ES that crashed).

    It was also found that a lot of the drivers who actually crashed had mistaken the gas pedal for the brake pedal.

    Still didn't stop a GM dealer near me from putting a wrecked Prius up on a 3 story ramp outside the dealership with a big sign "How safe do you feel?" on it and ads running for extra conquest cash if you traded a Toyota...
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,196
    The gas pedal on my 1989 Cadillac Brougham is also hinged on the bottom.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    Well we kinda did the UA discussion to death in another topic so maybe we'd better swing back to the U.S. market.

    Of course, there is some relevance in that once media sharks get an automaker by the ankle, it can really damage them.

    It's like "trial by media" for automakers.

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  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,651
    edited August 2013
    The problem isn't with the factory floor mats IIRC. It is with thick aftermarket floor mats installed by dealer and/or the customers.

    FWIW, my brother had a thick aftermarket floor mat in his Nissan Sentra Spec V several years ago. He was driving it aggressively one night and the gas pedal got lodged in the floor mat and was stuck 3/4 of the way down. He simply pushed in the clutch and let the engine bounce off the rev limiter (which avoided a UIA case).

    He threw out the floor mats that night.
  • crkyolfrtcrkyolfrt Posts: 2,345
    and ads running for extra conquest cash if you traded a Toyota

    Seems to me they were sending a mixed message. On one hand they wanted to diminish the value of owning a Toyota by suggesting (quite blatantly in fact) that it isn't safe, but on the other hand, by offering conquest cash for Toyota trades, they are saying that there is value in a Toyota...extra value in fact because the trade was a Toyota. = fail
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    it's tricky to get advertising "just right". The message cannot be "direct", but implied.

    I think you're right. There's not a car dealer in the world that wouldn't pair their cars with Toyotas in the same showroom if they could buy in cheap.

    Which leads me to ask. Why can't you have Chevrolet and Ford in the same showroom, or can you?

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  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,651
    I don't think it can be done in the same showroom, but I am aware of a dealership that has both Ford and Toyota on the same lot, but they have separate showrooms.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    I'm sure I've seen various makes in the same showroom but not various American makes.

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  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,651
    Now that I think about it. I bought a nissan pathfinder from a dodge/jeep/kia dealer and they were all basically in the same show room. I was planning on buying a Liberty, but left in a Pathfinder.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    Yep, I've seen Saabs in a Cadillac showroom (in the past) but never a Lincoln in a Cadillac showroom.

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  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    The problem isn't with the factory floor mats IIRC. It is with thick aftermarket floor mats installed by dealer and/or the customers.

    That's what I'm talking about. I always put an aftermarket mat over the factory mats in my cars. Not even close to the gas pedal.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,050
    Which leads me to ask. Why can't you have Chevrolet and Ford in the same showroom, or can you?

    Dunno about Chevy and Ford, but the dealer I bought my old Intrepid from sold both Chevies and Dodges. It was all one big building, with Chevies on one side and Dodges on the other, and the service department in the middle.

    Eventually they dropped the Chevy franchise, and picked up Chrysler/Jeep. But then a few years ago, about the time Fiat picked up Mopar, they dropped everything and simply closed up that dealership.

    There's another dealership near me that used to sell Dodges and Pontiacs in the same showroom. And that was an era when the two were in closer competition, back when Dodge was supposed to be (but wasn't always) a step up from a Ford/Chevy/Plymouth. They dropped Pontiac long before GM did though, and picked up Chrysler/Plymouth, and are still in business today.

    Never seen Fords and Chevies in the same showroom, though.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273
    edited August 2013
    As I remember it, the Lexus mats were made by Lexus, just not for the model that crashed.

    A while back I took out the driver's side floor mat. But the van is at 189k anyway, so super clean carpet doesn't matter anyway.

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  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766
    Never seen Fords and Chevies in the same showroom, though.

    Perhaps the entire old dealer model should crumble. If I can have General Mills, Post, and Kashi cereal all in the same store, why not cars, too?
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,388
    Perhaps the entire old dealer model should crumble. If I can have General Mills, Post, and Kashi cereal all in the same store, why not cars, too?

    Best idea on these forums to date.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,955
    In the small town where I am now, at one time not too long ago, Chevy and Toyota were sold in the same building, Honda and Buick were sold in the same building. Today Chevy and Toyota are still on the same property - different buildings, and Buick is gone with Honda taking over the entire building.

    Chevy and Toyota sharing a building still seems funny to me, but I guess they did have some agreements.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,050
    Oops...I must really be living in the past. Meant to say that dealer dropped Pontiac and then picked up Chrysler/Jeep...not Chrysler Plymouth!

    Once upon a time, that dealer sold Plymouths, Dodges, DeSotos, Chryslers, and Imperials. I'd imagine they went to Dodge only around 1960, when Chrysler decided to organize into two divisions: Dodge only and everything else (ultimately Chrysler/Plymouth). Dunno at what point they picked up Pontiac, though. I just remember my grandparents bought their '75 Dart there. And in 1981, I remember going with my Mom and one of her friends, who bought a K-car, and seeing a St. Regis and Catalina in the same showroom.

    My uncle went up to that dealer one day in 1990 to look at the Grand Ams, decided they were too cheap and plasticky looking, and ended up with a used '88 LeBaron coupe.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766
    Apologies if this has been previously posted:



    Wow, so innovative. I wonder how well this would go over in a UAW shop? It's amazing what can be done if all the old ideas are thrown out and new blood comes in.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,955
    Probably better relations between workers and managers, it makes all the difference. Maybe less of a corporate socio-economic gap. See a German car factory for this, too.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
    >See a German car factory for this, too.

    Are the Mercedes factories union?
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
    How about a Fusion next to a Maxima in the showroom. Got it at an area Ford dealer.

    >General Mills, Post, and Kashi cereal

    Aren't the shelves in a grocery divided up on a paid basis from the companies? In other words, to get my new Imidasoda onto the grocery shelf, I have to pay a fee to Kroger. The more I pay, the better placement for my product, i.e., shelf placement near the end or on an endcap even. Or higher rather than lower.

    So I go to Meijers, and all the General Mills cereals are in a group. All the Post and Kelloggs in their own section of the aisle. There still is segregation rather than having the bran cereals from the various companies all intermixed next to each other like having a Nissan and Fusion side-by-side in the area Ford showroom.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,955
    Yes. Everything in Germany is unionized.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    edited August 2013
    Union shops made all the raw materials you see in the video most likely. Ferraris are built by robots and unions and they seem to do okay (the entire Ferrari production run is generally pre-sold).

    Do robots cost jobs? Sure. Would you like to be replaced by a robot at your desk tomorrow?

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