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Toyota Halts Sales of Popular Models - Accelerator Stuck Problem Recall



  • 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 Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 12,491
    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.
    2019 Kia Stinger GT2
  • 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: 19

    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 Edmunds Poster EmeritusPosts: 12,491
    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.
    2019 Kia Stinger GT2
  • 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.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Just found this news article. Two Toyota advisors resign from University of Southern Illinois Auto Technology advisory board. following-critical-study.html
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    "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.'

    Guess floor mats just can not be blamed for cause of accident this time.

    Here is link again ota-Prius-into-a-wall-in-Harrison
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    What is it that makes you think that..??
  • dodge440dodge440 Posts: 10
    This problem is most certainly an EMI / RFI problem and Toyota had better wake up to the fact. It could be caused by anything from an arc welder to high power line surges. An arc welder makes more sense as these operate at 220+ volts AC and can supply HUNDREDS of amps. When the arc is generated, it generates / emits high-power spikes of electro magnetic energy which can and does upset electronics. Toyota has three (3) major design problems to deal with: a) ECU Software, b) INSANE fly-by-wire throttle / brake design, c) inadequate / ineffective filtering on its vehicles ECU computers. Once the Toyota ECU computer is upset by RFI / EMI induced noise and in 'open-loop mode', no amount of patch-software will reset the ECU. A CABLE ACTUATED throttle is a tried and true solution. Back to basics, Toyota. Anytime software is involved, bad things always happen.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2010
    "..bad things always happen.."

    Well I sincerely hope not otherwise the human race has no future.

    Yes, it certainly could be RFI/EMI, but it also could be caused by a fairly simple (once found) and rarely occurring "race" condition within the firmware instruction execution sequence.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    When your vehicle is careening out of control, three seconds to stop the engine may seem like an eternity especially while trying to stay alive and not kill anyone while trying to stop the car.

    Push button ignition is quaint but not safe. The idea of a kill switch is great, but under panic conditions, who is going to remember that the switch exists?
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    The issue here is that on modern vehicles most everything is controlled by a computer, namely the engine, trans, etc., or "drive by wire". These computers talk to each other constantly and if one of them goes wacko, it may take the other ones with them, thus paralyzing the whole system.

    Since there is in most cases lack of a true ignition switch, this is problematic since most manufacturers have opted for push button starting. Leaning on that button for three seconds, is a long time when you are trying to control an out-of-control vehicle. Cars and trucks, especially gas powered have become too computerized and there systems have become so interwoven that you end up with SUA and UA issues.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    This problem is most certainly an EMI / RFI problem and Toyota had better wake up to the fact. It could be caused by anything from an arc welder to high power line surges.

    Now that you mention it, right where the 2008 Prius took off on its own there are high voltage lines crossing the freeway. I believe they are 220,000 volt AC lines. 1000s of cars travel that interstate every day. So that is hard it imagine.
  • kq0b1kq0b1 Posts: 14
    Here are number of class action suits waiting to be ruled on. :( This is going to be an interesting ride. Question is: is your car worth less on a trade-in ? If so what is the monetary depreciation? At this time I have not made up my mind :confuse: . I have a 09 Limited Avalon and it is heavily electronic controlled - the transmisson is 6 speed with ability of manual shifting. Also I was one that had a floor mat with no hooks (that was a easy fix - they placed hooks on the driver side) plus on the accelerator some carpet was removed along with the fix for the accelerator. I was told with the push-button start that if the accelerator problem occured the engine would be turned-off with power still remaining for the Power Steering -- this needs explained more to the public . It would be nice if Toyota would give a generous loyalty trade-in for a 2010 or 2011 for those who think the ride of the Avalon Limited is still a nice car. Let's see what happens.
  • vmrgvmrg Posts: 9
    So, he drove a runaway Toyota for 20+ minutes, called the police etc. and brakes magically worked when the police came over (oh yes, he applied the "emergency brakes"). I don't buy this for a second. Unfortunately, we will see a lot of people that will try to profit from Toyota's misfortunes.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,166
    it also could be caused by a fairly simple (once found) and rarely occurring "race" condition within the firmware instruction execution sequence.

    I think you're probably right about software glitches because the SUA seems random just like Microsoft bugs. I initially thought EMI/R, but unless the Toyota is woefully deficient compared to other make electronics, you'd expect to see more UA on other brands if EMI/R was the cause. I find it hard to believe the auto vendors are all that different in their technology.

    If I heard the news correctly last night, they indicated that this Exponent firm Toyota is using at one time in the past claimed to find no danger from second hand cigarette smoke. If that is true, then I'd have to think it is possibly one of those "yessir, anything for a buck" type consulting firms, or incomplete or incompetent in their efforts, and I'd then have to discount their positions. Toyota needs to hire a nationally trusted lab like Sandia to assure unbiased and uninfluenced results that the consumer can trust. Personally, I also think they need to move away from automotive type university specialists, whether Stanford or SIU, and more toward computer science and electrical engineering experts like MIT or Cal Polytech.

    Finally, I think this assault on critics is a dangerous game, because if the SUA continues after their hard line position, Toyota may lose consumer confidence and trust if the SUA incidents continue. I think they also need some professional PR and marketing help on this matter. Johnson & Johnson came out good after the Tylenol poisonings and Ford did alright after the Firestone tire mess. I think this was at least partially because they didn't play hard line opposition, instead taking every precaution to protect their customers. Toyota seems to be aimlessly bouncing around from floor mat and shim recalls to seemingly outright denial that any electronic or computer issue can possibly be involved. I also suspect they will end up recalling more models down the line further making them look bad because they didn't fully step up to the plate initially, or at looking least incompetent which will hurt their long built reputation. Not smart IMHO, sounds too much like a possible game outcome of short term savings, but long term loss.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Sorry I disagree until undeniably proven different -this is not hoax - per reports- according to CHP officer interviewed three things helped getting car stopped. Officer stated there was an upward grade to road, aplied emergency brake, and driver's continued braking - all assisted. Got vehicle down to 50+- mph and then felt safe applying. Turned car off.

    Driver said because road curves alot just too scared of the what if's- couldn't take chance turning off car- didn't know if steering wheel would lock or not, and shifting into neutral same. Etc. This was an emergency situation, and he did what he felt was safest and was comfortable doing. People are human.

    CHP could smell the burning of brakes he said.

    Man was quite upset afterwards. He had taken Prius into dealership 2-3 weeks ago with his recall letter - was told not in recall.

    Prius is now at Toyota dealership[.
  • PMOPMO Posts: 278
    Just when you think it is safe to go back in the water (just like JAWS) Toyota is not swimming with the currant at this point .3 year interest free loans too.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Toyota just announced today they will recall ALL Tundras 2000-2003 for rust problem. This is expansion of the limited Nov, 2009 recall. Still have not found on Toyota USA Newsroom as yet.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    I saw interviews that person said road has multiple curves along this stretch of freeway. Is this correct??
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 164,193
    911 Call

    Operator: Have you tried putting it in neutral?

    Driver: No.


    Later in the interview, the driver states that he wasn't familiar with that kind of transmission, and was scared that the car would flip..

    Let's see..... I'm driving 94 mph, and can't slow down... but, instead of trying to shift into neutral, I'll fumble around for my phone and see if I can call someone for help.... :surprise:

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  • PMOPMO Posts: 278
    My guess ,why the speed? not why did it not stop?(is this the Question or the answer?)
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 11,926
    It is hilariously funny and the San Diego Real Estate Agent must really be a comedian if he felt putting it into neutral or turning the car off would be more dangerous than letting it continue speeding out of control.

    Spare me.

    This is ridiculous hoax.
    '16 Audi TTS quattro 2.0T, '15 Audi A4 quattro 2.0T, '19 VW Tiguan SEL 4-Motion AWD 2.0T
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    It has curves and steep uphill and downhill sections. Nothing the average car cannot negotiate at 70+ MPH. Which is the speed limit on that whole section of Interstate 8. Not sure of the traffic at the time. It should have been fairly light and very light when he passed the Alpine exit (Tavern Rd).

    The Prius has a very goofy shift lever on the dash. Not sure how easy it would be to shift into neutral. I think he was afraid of breaking his car at that point. I am sure being a real estate person he had a blue tooth phone and calling 911 would have been all by voice command. Remember the whole incident of the Cop Killer Lexus is still on San Diego resident minds. He is lucky he was in a gutless Prius. As I am sure the uphill sections slowed him down. The downhills were probably where he was going over 90 MPH.

    If he had not called 911 and got the CHP involved. He would have probably gotten the car stopped. Then called Toyota and been towed in and told it was NO TROUBLE FOUND. My suggestion to anyone experiencing UA in a vehicle to call 911 and have it documented. Most likely will be a Toyota as it is very rare in other makes.
  • iwant12iwant12 Posts: 269
    edited March 2010
    I'm with you on this. If I were traveling at 90 mph with no control, other than steering, I would have damn sure found some way to put it into neutral. Something's mighty fishy here.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2010
    How many of us have EVER shifted a car, ANY car, into neutral EXCEPT with it already stationary??? On the other hand don't MANY of us know how detrimental it might be to try to put the transmission in park??

    Besides which the Prius DOES NOT HAVE A TRADITIONAL "NEUTRAL". Neither the ICE nor the electric motors are EVER disconnected from the drive wheels. The Prius shift lever's neutral position only "tells" the HSD control system to stop driving the wheels.

    CHP officer stated he saw the Prius brake lights going on and off, the HSD system is (supposedly) PROGRAMMED to go into regen mode when the brakes are applied. That is the "default" BTO, Brake/Throttle Override, that Toyota is saying is the reason the Prius doesn't need a BTO reflash.

    If the control computers were ignoring the brake light switch in favor of the STUCK gas pedal then why would one think it might "obey" the shifter neutral switch closure/position. Worth a try, yes, but.....

    Try walking in the other person's "shoes" before being so quick to criticize.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Try walking in the other person's "shoes" before being so quick to criticize.

    Excellent advice.

    I got a feeling a lot of armchair drivers would be in the biggest panic if their car went crazy on them.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Many thanks for your detailed explanation. What you said seems to explain what he was saying too. I do remember CHP officer wanted to get him stopped before the upcoming downgrade.

    Yes, during interviews on CNN today he said he was scared to shut car off as he was afraid of losing control of car with the curves, and too scared of neutral because of car's speed. Noticed today he is much more composed than he was yesterday. Yesterday he demonstrated all the symptoms of a visibly shaken person.

    Floor mats were not the problem.

    CHP has once again released the 911 tapes. This is good!
  • popsavalonpopsavalon Posts: 231
    Amen on the quick to criticize. It seems that if folks don't have any real knowledge of the potential problems, it's just easier to post that a "real driver" would have been in complete control of the vehicle!
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    Try walking in the other person's "shoes" before being so quick to criticize.

    I respect your wise words. Totally agree.
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    We are all humans. Each of us makes mistakes. We all react to emergencies in different ways. And in emergencies studies have found many individuals do things they would not normally do. I feel very sorry for anyone that has experienced a highly stressful incident as this.

    People here in USA generally are well known to have big hearts and compassion for fellow man.
  • findmefindme Posts: 36
    I knew others would be on these boards after viewing the latest news story about the prius owner. This scares me terribly especially with a soon to be 16 year old who can't wait to drive her mom's highlander! I haven't been on the boards much since I purchased my vehicle. I love it and have had no problems. I do have a couple of questions that perhaps have already been asked. If so, I apologize.

    Has cruise control been on in all of these cars? It seems like most of the reports from the news have been on the interstate. Is there a certain mileage range that most of these stickings occur?

    I really hope they find the true cause and fix it before more lives are taken.
  • berriberri Posts: 10,166
    It is hilariously funny

    Unfortunately, its not to Toyota, its dealers and customers. I think this is the kind of crap that happens when a company appears to stall and pussyfoot around for apparently several years. Hoax or not, I think Toyota's poor corporate handling of these issues has made them a media focus, the butt of numerous jokes, and a stress to non auto buff or tech type owners (which are the majority by far). Didn't Wozniak tell Toyota several times how the cruise control in his Prius can cause UA? Weren't there an abnormal (compared to market) number of complaints about UA for several years? Didn't State Farm give an actuarial statistical analysis pointing to UA abnormalities on some Toyota's they insured and processed claims on several years ago? As a Toyota owner, I like my cars, but I am getting fed up with seemingly constant Toyota confusion, denial and backpedaling because its raising concerns and hurting my resale down the line. Regardless of the simple "put it in neutral" line and the apparent low probability of occurrence, its getting my wife and kids upset about using the vehicles. If they don't get their act together soon, that resale value may go into a nose dive. Even if half the UA complaints are mistakes or fraud, there seems to be an unusual amount of UA, including on cars without floor mats or that recently had the pedal recall. My message to Toyota and its consultants, spend less time denying and more time resolving. I don't appreciate my vehicles becoming Harvard Business School textbook cases of how not to handle a problem. If Toyota engineers and Exponent can't resolve the matter other than blaming the driver and pedal manufacturer, hire someone who can - and in a hurry please!
  • carstrykecarstryke Posts: 168
    Nascar is gunna have to hire Carl Edwards to stop Kyle Busch/Hamlin/Logano/Vickers plus whoever else races a Toyota
  • sharonklsharonkl Posts: 660
    What you heard on the news regarding Exponent is correct. Yes, they wrote reports that tobacco use did not cause cancer, and other health issues. Published several. Also they were hired by PGE & their chromium pollution here in California. Also their former Vice President Dennis Paustenbach(of Chem Risk - San Francisco) heavily involved. Wrote fraudulant scientific study, etc. They said chromium did not cause cancer. But chromium cancer,incidence, other major illnesses is quite high.. Took 10 years to uncover the audacious abuse. I had posted links earlier on this blog. And I have more examples too.

    Exponent is quite good. It's just what they write - always/almost always is supportive of their client. Exponent is just a defense type firm. What they write could/may be highly questionable considering just the above two references mentioned above.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 164,193
    Uh... 3000 posts in this discussion.... I don't think I'm that quick to criticize... :surprise:

    I agree about emergencies being stressful, and our reactions may be different..

    But, if one's reaction to a stuck-open throttle (that you are currently driving) is to call 911... then, really, they should take a cab.

    Driving 94 mph, in your own car... and, not even attempting to shift into neutral? Total incompetence. This wasn't a loaner car... it was his own vehicle.


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  • Good question. Even though Prius was not included in the recent recall, you can see they have been the subject of UA investigations for over two years with Toyota doing little about it. Unfortunately neither did NHTSA.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    It certainly seems too convenient. The same day as the Toyota webcast. This event smells more than his brakes.
  • I know. Can you imagine the headline "Runaway Lexus slams into Tundra gas tank lying on the highway"? On the bright side, dropping the gas tank could be a fail-safe for a runaway Tundra.

    Here is another reference:
  • He must know the secret of putting a Toyota into UA mode.
  • dturrdturr Posts: 70
    There is a saying that is common in Europe.

    Toyota as a corporation is acting like a common criminal, they only admit to 20% of the truth.
    If you are thinking of making a purchase remember these words Let The Buyer Beware.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Well Rhonda Smith (The couple that took the stand in the trial that aired a couple of weeks ago) claimed she was able stop her Lexus after god intervened...

    I'm very strong faithfully but I'm sorry, that one is comical.
  • mickeyrommickeyrom Posts: 936
    I heard that he did try to shift into neutral, but rememeber the Prius controls are all electronic,not mechanical.It would NOT change from D to N.I have a Prius and that does have me a bit concerned.Maybe I should invest into an anchor.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    This event smells more than his brakes.

    Why would he cause certain damage to his own Prius that he really liked? The logic is not very clear for it to be a fabrication.

    I think we are finally seeing the true extent of the UA with Toyota and Lexus. In the past people were towed in and the dealer reset the computer and pushed them out the door.

    All these studies by people should include a cross reference study. When a complaint of UA is reported to the NHTSA of UA, go to the dealer referenced and look at their record of the incident. My guess is they would not find a record. Just part of the Toyota cover-up of all problems.
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