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Toyota Halts Sales of Popular Models - Accelerator Stuck Problem Recall



  • It appears that most people do not realize that all Prius models come from the factory with Brake Override already designed in. Therefore this one event in California proves the problem has to be in the electronics. The CHP officer testified that he saw the man had his brakes on, and the officer could smell them. With Brake Override, it is supposed to be IMPOSSIBLE (not yelling, just can't find another way to emphasize) for one's foot to be on the brake and the engine remain at full throttle even if you are holding the gas pedal to the floor. The only way those two things can happen at the same time is if there is a problem with the electronics. The electronics operate the Brake Override function as well as have exclusive authority over the Electronic Throttle Control.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You should allow for the possibility that this UA problem somehow relates to the engagement or attempted engagement of cruise control. Most drivers only do that on the "open" road".
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    BTO is NOT designed in...!

    Only by default.

    It's really that the HSD firmware is DESIGNED to take a different execution path when the brakes are used. The firmware is designed to enter the regenerative braking mode WHENEVER the brakes are used.

    No question that the gas pedal should have been IGNORED with the brake lights on.
  • I nearly bought two toyota vehicles in the past two years, i ended up passing on them for two reasons. The dealer was horrible, worst experience i have had. They were rude, and sleazy. The second reason was in the words of the sales manager " we are the best cars on the road, if you want a POS from another company go right ahead but we don't have to offer any incentives, you want the car or not we are not going to negotiate." Toyota makes good cars, don't let these recalls overshadow the point, but maybe these problems will be an eye opener for thier dealers. When i need another car i will look at toyota, but if thier dealers have the same attitude then i will say no thankyou...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The dealer attitute your encountered is by no means unique to Toyota.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,082
    roho...I have friends who actually work for Toyota....their livelihood depends on Toyota. Even they are frustrated with the way their own company has botched this. Among them, they fall into two categories.

    The first minority set takes the same view as a few members here. That is, Toyota can do no wrong....disregarding the complaints, looking for a reason....any reason to deflect blame.

    Then there are the majority who state the same thing that the workers in Japan have stated. That is, it's been a long time coming. Cost cutting has taken its toll. And, that the emphasis shifted in recent years from building a good vehicle, to building one that had as much cost as possible removed from them.

    So, I've heard both sides. Yet, the same Toyota problems exist.

    Toyota has two choices.....embrace any and all input from employees, 3rd parties, customers, and fix what it wrong.

    Or, the seemingly on going attacks, sidesteps, dismissals, redirections, etc on their customer base, gov't agencies, and the rules/regs that they must adhere to.

    They're doing a whole lot of the latter, and practically none of the former.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    How important is Dr. Gilbert's discovery that the Toyota/NipponDenso MIL system monitor did not detect that the two gas pedal position sensors were shorted together.

    Was it:

    1.) Sloppy coding of the firmware??

    2.) Intentional coding to avoid too many "limp home" episodes.

    Either way it is worrisome.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    Sheesh, what an arrogant attitude. You never down the competition like that to a customer, no matter what your personal opinion is. He should've said, the (insert make & model) is a fine car, but Toyota offers this...etc.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    edited March 2010
    LOL, I got a similar line from a Mazda dealer when I pulled into the lot to look at the Tribute while I was driving my (then wifes) CRV. Took it for a spin, checked it out and then the salesman had the audacity to say "See it's not just Honda who can build the best, highest quality vehicles out there. Makes you wonder why you paid so much for your CRV when the Tribute is better".

    I didn't have the time or the nerve to remind him that the Tribute was a Ford and was literally the second most recalled vehicle in history next to the Focus and only 1 recall away from matching the Chevy Citation...

    Stupid stuff too like wheels falling off and gaslines rupturing...

    Wasn't worth the time, so I walked.
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,082
    dw.....I agree that different dealers have different attitudes. I had one (a Ford dealer, no less) state to me that the only way they give test drives (in this case, a SHO) was if I put down a deposit on one.

    Ummmmm....yeah.....that's exactly what I'll do. Give you money to test drive a $40K car which I may, or may not like, for the privilidge of allowing you to sell it to me.

    Still, I think with all the incentives Toyota has right now, and the precipitous fall lff of their business, I'm betting if you went back to your same dealer, they're attitude would have changed.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    A couple years ago when Toyota was riding the top of the wave, they had that we are the best attitude and do not give discounts. Take it or leave it. What a difference a couple years make.
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Posts: 2,882
    Agree, I have no problem if it's done in a professional manner, telling me how much better there's is than mine, but telling me how bad mine is, well that's insulting. Arrogant Toyota dealers were the #1 reason why I didn't own a Toyota for a long time when they were so popular. I'm sure their tone is changing now.

    The only thing that will get me back in their show room will be ridiculous deals. My next new vehicle will be either a Honda or a Ford.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    What chance is there the car will get an honest appraisal at a Toyota Dealer?

    I would hope that the NHTSA would have had someone get down there and stand guard over that vehicle, or take possession of it. If there is possible fraud then what that Prius driver was doing was breaking all sorts of traffic laws, never mind the fake-911 and fraud issues. So either way I'd hope the government had some sense to have some control over that vehicle. Nobody from Toyota should look at that vehicle without the state or fed officials being there too, and getting access to any and all data.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    roho1: That's funny because to me the majority of posters here are Toyota haters for various reasons mainly UAW sympathizers

    gagrice: You would be hard pressed to put me in that category. If you check the UAW thread you would see I am one of the most aggressive opponents of that bunch of scoundrels.

    me: Roho - same here; you can go over to the UAW thread and see that I also think the UAW has mostly hurt the D3 and themselves by being too greedy. I own a Japanese car (Mazda) and a Jag. I considered a Rav4 before, so I don't hate Toyota.

    I do think Toyota though is getting caught up in a problem that could have hit any one of the major automakers. They are continuing to redesign their systems, trying to do it as quick as possible and for as low a cost as possible, and pay the least for those parts. They are relying on a whole bunch of electronics and software systems to all work together quickly. And may I say it again - the engineers are working as quickly and at as low of cost to get their redesigns to market. That does not bode well for the quality of those designs.

    If this happened to Ford, or to GM, or to Mercedes I would be saming the same critical things. Toyota may be making it worse than it would be for others because of the japanese culture which many have already detailed.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2010
    Absent the ability to HACK the Prius HSD system control firmware how could this event have been fraudulent/faked...??

    Even if the driver intentionally held the gas pedal fully depressed the HSD firmware would/should have over-ridden the gas pedal input in favor of the braking, both regenerative AND frictional.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    link title

    The 76-year-old member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church was there to drop off items for a tag sale and tried to park her car when she experienced a problem that sounds like those that have prompted a massive recall on the cars.
  • meditchmeditch Posts: 6
    Very little mention has been made of possible misue of the cruise conrol; likely inattention of driver; a sudden illness being experienced; or simply driver inattention.
    I have the nagging feeling the present administratiion is conducting a witch hunt against this wonderful company in an effort to promote the sales of Ford's and GM cars.
  • vmrgvmrg Posts: 9
    It is not that simple, brake override can easily be manipulated:

    The brake override feature is designed to be unobtrusive in normal driving conditions. It is designed to manage vehicle acceleration caused by interference with the accelerator pedal and is otherwise undetectable under normal driving conditions.

    Using the accelerator pedal position sensors, brake light switch circuitry, and the vehicle speed sensors, this intuitive and intelligent extra measure of confidence helps ensure that vehicles can be controlled in the event that the accelerator pedal is trapped.

    When the vehicle throttle is opened beyond the idle position, at speeds greater than five miles per hour and then the brakes are firmly applied for longer than one-half second, the override feature will reduce engine output to the idle position, allowing greater braking performance. If the brake pedal is then released and the engine speed does not return to normal operation, the vehicle should be brought to a stop with brake override, the engine shut off and the vehicle evaluated by a Toyota dealer.

    The feature has sophisticated control logic intended to eliminate undesirable or inappropriate activation and is designed to be imperceptible. In certain driving conditions, unnecessary activation of brake override would create an inconvenient or even unsafe situation.

    For example, the brake override feature does not operate if the brake pedal is depressed before the accelerator pedal. This logic allows for vehicles starting on a steep a hill to safely accelerate without rolling backwards, otherwise known as a hill start.

    Toyota engineers have carefully calibrated the system control logic to prevent the system from interfering with efforts to free a vehicle by rocking it to gain traction in snow or mud. Since some drivers prefer to brake with the left foot, the system also recognizes this as an intentional action by the driver and will allow the accelerator to function normally.
  • djohnson1djohnson1 Posts: 54
    Thanks to all for the interesting posts.
    Interesting editorial, probably applies to many situations where driver is just starting out, not on freeway, but not all, of course.

    "THE Obama administration has said that it may require automakers to install “smart pedals” on all new cars. This kind of system — already used in BMWs, Chryslers, Volkswagens and some of the newest Toyotas — deactivates the car’s accelerator when the brake pedal is pressed so that the car can stop safely even if its throttle sticks open.

    "The idea is to prevent the kind of sudden acceleration that has recently led to the recall of millions of Toyotas. Federal safety regulators have received complaints asserting that this problem has caused accidents resulting in 52 deaths in Toyotas since 2000. Smart pedals might help prevent more such accidents if the cause of unintended acceleration turns out to be some vehicle defect.

    "But based on my experience in the 1980s helping investigate unintended acceleration in the Audi 5000, I suspect that smart pedals cannot solve the problem. The trouble, unbelievable as it may seem, is that sudden acceleration is very often caused by drivers who press the gas pedal when they intend to press the brake.
    For the rest of the story, please go to: st=cse
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    All well and good, but the decribed system cannot work in an HSD vehicle. The HSD vehicles do NOT have the "brake override feature" as described.
  • 3 or 4 widely publicized? Maybe 100 if we dug deep? Maybe 1000 if we assume that 90% are never reported/suspected/known? This would amount to .00000026 % of the recalled cars. Is this a media frenzy? Is the amount of press and hysteria justified given such low numbers? Pretty expensive
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Is the amount of press and hysteria justified given such low numbers?

    Well if you make a drug and 1 or 5 or 100 bottles made of millions are tainted, yes we require them all to be recalled. When a product malfunction can cause serious injury or death, you need to make ALL the fixes. Since Toyota really doesn't know the cause, and therefore can't deny that the problem won't grow, then yes the issue needs to be treated as if the reports now are just the tip-of-the-iceberg.

    Pretty expensive

    Many consumers gave Toyota $20K, or $30K, or $40 PERFECT $'s and they should have received a vehicle of near PERFECT quality; certainly not 1 with a major, major operating flaw!
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,019
    The Toyota damage control people have already tried to smear the guys credibility by spreading his financial condition to all the media.

    Is it really Toyota's fault that the "one guy" claiming UA recently has a financial record that is "smearable?"

    Toyota is not the dishonest, corrupt, and [non-permissible content removed] this lunatic clearly is. Insurance companies and employers look at credit records and ratings for a reason. They show a person's character.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • was 1 to 5 out of 100 which is at best 38,461 times worse a percentage than is .00000026. So it seems fair to ask whether 3 or 4 widely publiziced cases justifies the level of media hysteria. It seems to me that most of the 3.8 million owners of recalled vehicles are not experiencing any problems at all, and that would include me as an owner of a 2010 Camry. So from my perspective it is nearly perfect and has no demonstrable flaws. I suspect the same is true for the remainder of that 3.8 million - their cars have no operating flaw whatsoever. The statistical odds of any one person experiencing a problem remain very remote. Of those publicized, it is not clear what is going on at all. This is a huge windfall for other manufacturers and could well be an expense to Toyota far out of proportion to the actual problems - the extent of which remains simultaneously unclear and infrequent given the number of cars they have on the road.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,019
    Maybe he depressed tha gas pedal and brakes alternately?

    Maybe he wore out his brakes before even starting this hoax?

    Maybe he overheated his brakes before the CHP officer got there thereby rendering them less effective?
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 10,082
    kernick...said it before....even one death is unacceptable. OF course, Toyota has more than that on their hands caused by their UA. No one should put up with this "ahh, it's just a few deaths (last I heard it was 50+), it's just a few UA incidents that didn't cause a death, but could have resulted in a massive accident".

    This has to be taken care of and fixed by Toyota to keep any of this from happening again....the deaths, the accidents, and UA. Toyota needs to take responsibilit to save more lives, not launch a smear campaign to save the money.

    We can't do anything about those who've tragically already lost theirs. They're already gone. We can prevent any more deaths, however.
    2018 Acura TLX SH AWD ASpec
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Or maybe Toyota/NipponDenso have a more serious firmware flaw along the lines of the one Dr Gilbert discovered and disclosed.

    That was/is pretty sloppy coding IMMHO.

    But I trust that the fat lady will sing...eventually.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Sorry, that's not even an honest attempt to replicate the conditions of Monday's incident.

    Our natural instinct, FIRST instinct, would have been to step on the brake pedal in the case of UA.

    She should have simulated a fully depressed, stuck throttle, and then used the brakes to see if they overrode the gas pedal. Then if the car still accelerated the next step would have been to try to shift into neutral.
  • and the trend has been finally falling since 2005 when it was around 45000 deaths. The automotive industry is largley responsible for this drop in deaths due to (albeit forced) adoption of passive restraint systems. Mostly these people just die in the background noise of living in America and very few question why. Obviously one death is very acceptable, as are thousands, every year. I think the Toyota issue needs to be investigated but I think it is turning into a witchhunt.
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