Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see May lease deals!
Options

Unintended Acceleration - Find the Cause

1568101146

Comments

  • Options
    doidoadieseldoidoadiesel Member Posts: 59
    edited March 2010
    in a big empty parking lot. On my 2010 Camry you turn it off by turning the key one click counter clockwise. You can still steer it although the wheel is much harder to turn and the brakes still work although you have to push harder. I reccommend that anyone who drives an automatic go find a big empty parking lot and try this themselves. Do it at 5 mph if you are worried, work your way up to 35 or so. A little knowledge goes a long way and will be a lot more effective in getting your car stopped than calling 911 or praying and the outcome will be a LOT less drastic than speeding into an intersection at 120 MPH!!!!!!! Toyota or non-Toyota - people need to know how and to practice doing this - unintended vehicle acceleration has been around since cars were first made!!!
  • Options
    rasmith48rasmith48 Member Posts: 1
    Years ago, just as computers were being added under the hood, I had a conversation with a good friend of mine (and automotive writer/expert) Len Frank. I asked him what he thought about “computerizing” the automobile. Len was from the old school of gapping a distributor with a matchbook cover (while covered in oil); but, his response stuck with me.

    Knowing my love of computers, he answered my question with a question: What are the two things a computer circuit doesn't handle well? My answer: Being shaken and changes in temperature and humidity.

    Hmmm … I’m sure Toyota has thought of this; but, are there enough potholes, concrete joints and fluctuations in temp and humidity on their test tracks? All jokes about Window’s Blue Screen of Death aside, are these problems similar to those intermittent computer problems that never re-occur when you take your computer in for fixing?

    My brand new 1979 Jeep Grand Cherokee engine had a bad habit of shutting off at 70-plus mph on the Ventura (always in heavy traffic). No power brakes, no power steering. Nada.

    The dealer never could find a cause (it never happened when he was driving). After the 6th time it happened, I walked away from the car, called the dealer and took a cab home. A week later, I had my car back and the problem never happened again. When I asked what the problem was, the dealer's chief mechanic shrugged his shoulders and uttered one word: Computer.

    Is Toyota really the only manufacturer having these sorts of problems?
  • Options
    huanitohuanito Member Posts: 12
    I really would not suggest that anyone turn the ignition switch off at speed for many reasons. First and foremost, as you mentioned all power assist in steering and braking will be suspended. I'm 5'11'' and I weigh 225 lbs, and when I have had car trouble and been towed by someone with a chain, where I have had to steer and control the vehicle in terms of direction and turns, I did so with extreme difficulty. A petite woman, slight framed man, elderly or even teenage driver, would most likely not be able to control the vehicle sufficiently, and would subject themselves to further possibility of collision by attempting this. Secondly, although most new vehicles have a failsafe feature where, while in any other position than park, the ignition key cannot be turned all the way back to the steering wheel lock position or be removed, I have experienced this feature fail in some instances. And, if the steering wheel locked while at speed, that would definitely result in certain collision. And thirdly, it is extremely dangerous to apply the parking brakes while at speed. Since the parking brakes in the majority of vehicles actuate only the rear brakes, there is a high danger of causing a skid that would result in further loss of vehicle control (actually this is one of the main techniques that Hollywood stuntmen use to initiate a vehicle skid).With all that said, obviously, if no other method to slow or stop the vehicle has worked, then the person in the vehicle has to try anything to bring the vehicle to a stop. But, because of the above possible results, the suggestion to turn the key off at speed should not be attempted other than as an absolute last resort because all other methods have failed.
  • Options
    surrfurtomsurrfurtom Member Posts: 122
    Lots of very credible theories on this thread. My gut feeling is that there is a real, not imagined problem with Toyota.

    Toyota has always had a culture of keeping things close to the vest, which may have served them well in the past. No recalls just dealer fixes. BUT they are working harder now to contain the bad PR than correcting the problem which requires full disclosure of everything that they know relative to the issue at hand. They still prefer cover-up to solutions, otherwise they would say let's give investigators all the information and access to black boxes, to the schematics and to source code. This isn't some top secret info that will sink Toyota if exposed. Big corporations have the money to buy PR and that is a big concern. They will destroy witnesses. If Toyota was sincere they would open up their systems for full analytical evaluation with a caveat of the 5th amendment that they can not use it against them. Let the public decide if they then want Toyotas not lawyers.

    The inherent problem with software, even in controlling rather simplistic forgiving systems such as motor vehicle engines and their subsystems is that there will always be a combination of conditions that were either never fully considered or fully tested that will eventually crop up as a glitch. 99.999% of these glitches lead to customer irritations and failures of inconvenience, but not to loss of life, or major loss of control and numerous fatalities such as those in aeronautical fly by wire systems.

    We have this cultural political divide in the USA where a significant number of Americans oddly trust the corporate viewpoint of profits first and customers second, than the opinions of individual Americans. Many feel that people wanting fame are corrupted, but not the corporations wanting profits. I've seen enough of both to require some hard facts.
  • Options
    ponderpointponderpoint Member Posts: 277
    Breaking news (national), Motorist Sikes repeatedly pressed the brakes.... two hundred and fifty times! The only reason more cycles were not counted is because the data recording had limited space. It's a complete hoax with the Prius in San Diego.

    Finally, In a refreshing move, investigators are going to begin focusing on "human factors" in the Toyota incidents rather than technical. (CBS National News)

    Wow, that sounds familiar, kind of like Audi in the 80's......

    Unintended acceleration - find the cause....... It's probably a human, how boring.
  • Options
    surrfurtomsurrfurtom Member Posts: 122
    Interesting that you've only been a member here since this week. Are you paid by Toyota?

    We've become both a manipulating and manipulated society and internet reality is based upon PR and shills. Those with the gold control the image. There are still a few citizens who believe in "right and truth" versus money and wrong, and they call themselves whistle blowers. They pay a huge price. Until we see what this ex-Toyota attorney who has emails and other evidence that has been kept from the public eye we won't know the truth. Corporations have the money to buy the truth.

    How much are the victims making vs how much is Toyota paying its defenders and how much does it have at risk? Corporations have a bottomless pit of dollars to defend themselves and to scare off future critics. Should we Americans trade in our citizenship now in place of corporate kool aid and the payoff? We must decide for ourselves.
  • Options
    kernickkernick Member Posts: 4,072
    edited March 2010
    The auto companies have been giving their customers a foolproof way of killing the power/energy to the car. It's called an ignition switch.

    It is not foolproof. There are many devices that have power switches that do not function if the brains of the device lock-up. That is because the power switch feeds into the other electronics. It is just 1 more electronic system that communicates with another.
    The only 2 ways to stop a runaway engine is kill the fuel or kill the spark to the plugs. A switch in the passenger compartment with a sensor and wires leading to an electronic board, is not a fullproof method! It is no more foolproof then using your ESC or ALT-CTL-DLT keys to fix your computer if it locks up.
  • Options
    ponderpointponderpoint Member Posts: 277
    nhra, you're right on the money. The ignition switch, neutral, the emergency brake has been covered to no end but we simply have bored Americans that "want" to believe there's a killer out-of-control car that exists (not necessarily Toyota) for some bizarre reason.

    We have people that want to blame dumb machines with an occasional hiccup in performance WITH a performance of Oscar winning proportions (nice try Sikes, they're finally finding out you're a liar on national news) claiming the car was reeling out of control.... Not really...... Two hundred and fifty times not really.

    It's human factors folks.... Welcome back to Audi.... Nothing new here....
  • Options
    engineer_louengineer_lou Member Posts: 8
    For Toyota, a sudden acceleration of claims

    link title

    "But Toyota disputed his version of events in a press conference Monday.

    Toyota said its engineers found no evidence of a stuck pedal in Mr. Sikes’s Prius or any reason why the car wouldn't have stopped when the brakes were applied. Instead, the data indicated the accelerator and brake has been alternatively pumped 250 times, said Mike Michels, vice president of communications for Toyota Motor Sales USA."


    "No evidence of a stuck pedal" - so it must be something else right?
    "Data indicated the accelerator and brake has been alternatively pumped 250 times" - What would you do if you thought the gas pedal was stuck? Hit the gas pedal to unstick it right? Sounds like a normal response to me, if I am speeding out of control. Try to unstick the stuck gas pedal with your foot!

    If the computer does not detect a problem, start looking at the stepper motor and associated electronics that control the gas to the engine. Places where the computer is not receiving control feedback signals.

    LG
  • Options
    ponderpointponderpoint Member Posts: 277
    "Those with the gold control the image. There are still a few citizens who believe in "right and truth" versus money and wrong"

    Probably a few citizens in Kentucky working in a certain factory that believe in "right and truth" that wish the consumers that bought the products they produce would occasionally glance at the owners manual of the complex product they produce.

    Human factors.....
  • Options
    engineer_louengineer_lou Member Posts: 8
    ponderpoint states ->"We have people that want to blame dumb machines with an occasional hiccup in performance WITH a performance of Oscar winning proportions (nice try Sikes, they're finally finding out you're a liar on national news) claiming the car was reeling out of control.... Not really...... Two hundred and fifty times not really."

    What if the report obtained from the computer is wrong? If the computer is the problem and it MAXed out the count as a result of the problem, you are putting too much assumption and belief in the computer results reported as being true.

    You must be on the Toyota payroll! Your comments smack of towing the party line of no problems with Toyota's. Are you trying some damage control or are you the Toyota spin doctor on this blog?

    LG
  • Options
    ponderpointponderpoint Member Posts: 277
    edited March 2010
    "You must be on the Toyota payroll!"

    Nope. Don't even own one. I don't own an American car either and have no investment interests or association with Toyota.

    I am greatly interested in civil engineering and human factors in relation to fatalities on our nations highways and... other places.

    CBS News reporting that investigators are now focusing on human factors (in respect to Toyota) isn't exactly spin..... more like regurgitation on my part. Sorry if you're displeased with it. I was wondering when cooler heads would prevail and start investigating the drivers and driver activity leading to an incident.

    Thanks, I needed a laugh tonight - you provided it....
  • Options
    castg1castg1 Member Posts: 34
    I saw in youtube how the toyota pedal is designed. Sensors mounted somewhere in the housing, while a magnet embedded in the pedal swings by the sensors.

    In other vehicles, the hall-effect sensor is in-line with the pedal's pivot. located in the center, and half-cylindrical magnets surrounding the sensor. Move the pedal and magnet rotates giving pedal position signals to the TBW.

    I read an article from a hall-effect device supplier.. and it appears not all TBW systems are created equal. Could it be that one approach is inferior to the other?

    It is a long read. But just in case someone has time.

    http://www.infineon.com/dgdl/TLE499x_AppNote_Throttle_Position_Sensing_v1.0.pdf?- folderId=db3a30431ce5fb52011d29810c9e1b6a&fileId=db3a30431ce5fb52011d29cc328a1bd- 2
  • Options
    surrfurtomsurrfurtom Member Posts: 122
    fwshroeder you say "Charge Sikes Criminally, that will stop UA. But if Toyota does than they will worry about being "on attack". WHEN YOUR RIGHT ATTACK.
    www.schroeder6th.com

    The web site you linked to in your post http://www.schroeder6th.com/ says "Schroeder & Associates has been serving major vehicle and equipment manufacturers, insurance companies, health care providers, self-insured companies and the general public for more than 25 years. We are a defense-based full service agency headquartered in central Maryland and have worked matters nationwide and in Canada. We also serve as an extension of customer service departments for major clients investigating and researching customers' concerns about products and their performance in the real world."

    May I ask if you or the firm you allegedly represent is paid to represent auto manufacturers or corporations to investigate and potentially discredit individuals who complain or sue about products? That is a fair question since your posts on this forum and your opinions have been totally in support of Toyota and derogatory against Sikes, etc? Just curious.
  • Options
    phdhyperdphdhyperd Member Posts: 18
    The problem is terrorism,I know it for a fact,and the method that is applied to effectuate it.
    Its not soft ware or hard ware in the classic sense.
    But the method does have the ability to make YOU think so.
    Toyota does not really want a fix,it may alert them to who is doing this to them in public,and so just pretend that the real cause does not exist.
    I have that pesky Doctorate in Hyperdimensional Physics that lets me understand a world you do not,so that certain things are an immediate Ah-Hah,and this is one of them.
    Bottom line still is that until they or another interested party pays my consultant fee,no fixes can be engaged to repair all sorts of so called "Computer Glitches"
    Cuz I am that [non-permissible content removed]... that has what they need.
  • Options
    ponderpointponderpoint Member Posts: 277
    "your opinions have been totally in support of Toyota and derogatory against Sikes, etc? Just curious."

    When all else fails, start making allegations that posters are in ca-hoots with an organization, public or private sector, pro or con on the subject?

    My comments were derogatory towards Sikes the minute I saw the news break and was HIGHLY suspicious it was a hoax. My wife's exact phrase as we watched the Nightly News was; "Something's not adding up here!"

    A few days went by and his shiftless background started emerging, another few days went by and it was revealed there was hundreds of brake applications.... How many brake applications do you need before you get a clue something is wrong with the car (if there indeed was) and you need to stop it?

    On the other side of the coin, I'm not really fond of Toyotas, some people love them but I never cliqued with them - they seem rather bland and run-of-the-mill for a carmaker, the only thing really standing out, the Prius of course.

    I think in the days to come the techies are going to be upset because their search for straytrons, although commendable, is going to take a back seat to..... Dumb-old, boring-old human factors, once again.....

    Unintended Acceleration - Find the Cause..... It's your foot.
  • Options
    fwschroederfwschroeder Member Posts: 5
    Not sure if your talking to me, I've never questioned a Poster.
    I can only hope Toyota And CHIP charge him criminally when all is said and done. That will stop UA
  • Options
    doidoadieseldoidoadiesel Member Posts: 59
    Looks like Toyota is acutally in either 4th or 5th accross the last 10 years or so for UA complaints. Volkswagen-Audi, Suzuki, Jaguar are probably the worst, Toyota and BMW are vying for 4th. Some of those older years post some big numbers too for Land Rover and Ford among others.
  • Options
    noncarpetmntisnoncarpetmntis Member Posts: 7
    Did the Sikes black box data reveal to NHTSA or to Toyota peculiar pre-event patterns of a rapid & repetitive cycling of driver-applied gas-brake-gas-brake-gas........ for many minutes?
  • Options
    fwschroederfwschroeder Member Posts: 5
    Look at his brake pads [not his electronics] he's lieing. I hope Toyota has the foresight to charge him Criminally. That will stop UA
  • Options
    ponderpointponderpoint Member Posts: 277
    edited March 2010
    "for many minutes?"

    That's interesting you ask that - I want to know the exact duration also but, of course, I'm not privy to that information.

    I'm very confident that there was a "hard red flag", and that's when law enforcement got involved and decided they were going to take a "second look" at Sikes and his Prius.

    This is just Audi in the 80's all over again. Nothing new......
  • Options
    dmanutadmanuta Member Posts: 1
    Establishing the facts/fundamental physics is likely critical in understanding the unintended acceleration phenomenon. Based on the Audi study in the 1980s, the conclusion reached, as I recall, was primarily human error. The only seeming commonality was that all of the vehicles apparently had automatic transmissions.

    All of the vehicles that I have owned over the past 20+ years (so far as I can recall) required that the brake pedal be depressed prior to turning the ignition key. This was true for both automatic and standard transmission vehicles.

    In considering the fundamental physics, acceleration is the change in speed or velocity divided by time. The speed of the vehicle usually depends on the amount of available fuel to be burned. The explosive or flammability limits for gasoline vapor (on a volume basis in air) are ca. 1.4% (low) and 7.6% (high). This means that sips of fuel are all that is necessary for combustion to take place and that too much fuel will flood the engine.

    Placing the vehicle into neutral no longer transfers power to the wheels, so frictional forces (between the road surface and the tires) will eventually stop the car. This is one way to stop a vehicle, as has been indicated, experiencing an unintended acceleration.

    The issue seems to be that depressing the brakes does not appear to enhance the frictional forces and the vehicles do not slow down (as expected). The problem then seems to be dealing with the relative amounts of air (throttle) and gasoline (fuel injectors). By maintaining the 1.4% to 7.6% by volume (gasoline to air) ratio enables combustion of the fuel to occur.

    The unintended acceleration seems to be maintaining "inertial motion" even if the driver is feverishly depressing the brake pedal. This situation suggests that a governor could be actuated by depressing the brake pedal in order to obviate the unintended acceleration. This scenario would avoid an apparent immediate engine stall (with possible loss of control) should the by volume (gasoline to air) ratio decrease to less than 1.4%.

    If there were a mechanical origin to this problem, it is my opinion that a solution would have been identified long ago. The problem appears to be electronic in nature. An electronic solution thus should be amenable.

    Although I am not an "IT guy", it ought to be possible to theoretically (in computer simulation) alter the fuel-air mixture "to mimic" what are the likely triggers to the unintended acceleration. The parameters for onset of unintended acceleration should be identifiable via computer simulation. Adjustment of the computer codes, controlling or governing the throttle and the fuel injection parts, one ought to then be able to model how to end such an unintended acceleration.

    The overall vehicle computer code can then be updated/upgraded to reflect that "unusual braking patterns" may be triggered by an unintended acceleration. The overall vehicle computer ought to then be factory programmed to recognize the combination of "the unsafe fuel-air mixtures", leading to unintended acceleration, and "unusual braking" are causes for an "orderly slow-down"; through the use of a governor as described earlier.

    If cosmic rays (which have been opined as a cause of unintended acceleration) are involved in these events, there ought to be records maintained by astronomers, planetaria, university scientists, etc. indicating that there was "a surge" of cosmic energy right in a given vicinity around of the time of a documented incident. Such "a trigger" would offer rationale on the difficulty of reproducing an unintended acceleration event and that the origin is likely to be an electronic one.

    The fundamental physics often points us in the right direction regarding a solution. I trust that this is the case here.
  • Options
    phdhyperdphdhyperd Member Posts: 18
    The Audi situation was not human error as much as engineering error and that was the conclusion.Audi had CIS and when the engine seen a slow down from gear engagement,the idle stabiliser added air to the intake,very similar as an IAC,but with CIS air flow picks up the fuel paddle and it takes a bit of time to burn the fuel.
    The victims involved did not have their foot on the brake pdal enough,so therefore ,an acceleration surge.
    That situation tasked an eventual end to CIS,and Audi fixed it with a brake pedal engagement servo that prevented the shiftewr from being engaged without about 25 lbs. of force on the brake pedal. It is not the same at all.
    This problem has a different physics problem that none of you physics boys or girls have solved,nor have the engineers or techs.
    It is solvable with some help from a different kind of physics staff,and I am on that staff.
    Pay my consult fee and transportation and per diem arrangement and I will solve it for you,Toyota ,NHSTA,SAE,IEE and on and on.
  • Options
    ponderpointponderpoint Member Posts: 277
    edited March 2010
    "If cosmic rays (which have been opined as a cause of unintended acceleration) are involved in these events, there ought to be records maintained by astronomers, planetaria, university scientists, etc. indicating that there was "a surge" of cosmic energy right in a given vicinity around of the time of a documented incident."

    That's interesting and has merit. The only problem I have is that it would also affect other electronics and you would have to get a correlation - other complaints of electronics getting wacky at the time ie; digital electronics are not just in cars, we're not talking a single shot rifle, it would be machine gun spraying all over the place, an EEC or ECU but also knocking out somebody texting while driving.... Ah, We can dream can't we?

    We have enjoyed a quiet period of Solar Flare activity for some time now (too quiet) and I don't think people realize how bad it can get. Something happened back in the 1800's that was so bad it even zapped primitive telegraph operations.
  • Options
    plektoplekto Member Posts: 3,738
    edited March 2010
    And yet my original claim still is valid(it's on page 2 of this discussion, IIRC). That is, the problem can be avoided entirely by using a different type of sensor that provides a physical resistance and feedback (in an electrical sense) rather than what they use now which either has to rely on a very complex redundant system that apparently they can't design correctly to be 100% fail-safe(Toyota can't, not that it isn't possible to do so), or that has to have horrendously complex software to analyze the thing and hope that the signal it receives actually corresponds to what's happening.

    A good example of this is an optical mouse. It's great for what it is, but it also has a critical flaw, which is that whatever it thinks is happening is what it tells the computer. If there's a glitch the computer has no way to know that it's bad other than you noticing that it's not working correctly(ie - in Toyota's case, hope the software catches it). There's a reason they don't use optical and magnetic sensors in airplane flight controls, for instance(well, at least in non-military designs). Because what happens if the thing fails results in a total disaster versus a sticky or sluggish control that can be fixed at the next maintainance interval.

    That said, I still don't get why they don't just use a throttle cable and have that go to a mechanical sensor or module. My 1987 4Runner has this type of setup, as an example(first year Toyota did this, back in 87) - a throttle cable that goes to a TPS unit that gives the computer data and vice-versa. If it's damaged or failing, it's obvious because rather than jamming wide open or doing crazy things, it responds poorly and gives you plenty of warning that something's wrong.

    Yes, it fails/needs adjustment more often(about every 2 years, IME) than modern systems, but then again, it having a problem never will result in someone getting killed because the vehicle decided to accelerate out of control. HOW it fails when and if it does do so is the critical issue. Not why. IF it were designed properly, it wouldn't ever possibly fail in such a manner - and all of that redundancy and software and so on wouldn't even be required in the first place.

    I think the problem really boils down to it being sheer idiocy to put critical control systems completely under computer control when it's not absolutely necessary to do so. Fly-by-wire might make sense for a modern fighter jet - and the pilot knows the risks and gets paid extra for it , but it's simply a bonehead move to put that on something as simple as a car's throttle and/or braking system. If it wasn't broken, don't "fix" it.
  • Options
    srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    The only problem I have is that it would also affect other electronics and you would have to get a correlation - other complaints of electronics getting wacky at the time ie; digital electronics are not just in cars, we're not talking a single shot rifle, it would be machine gun spraying all over the place, an EEC or ECU but also knocking out somebody texting while driving.

    Not necessarily. Cosmic rays (high energy protons and alpha particles) are present all the time. They are more dense (higher flux) in space than at the top of of mountain, which in turn has a higher flux than what's at sea level. That is one of the reasons why electronics designed for a space environment, particularly near-earth orbits, has to use special, qualified components.

    Alpha particles cause single event upsets (SEUs) in many types of components. Think of this as being a bit flip in a cell of a memory chip or a register (flip flop). The number of SEUs that occur in a given piece of equipment (like an ECU) depends upon the flux of particles, the shielding (whether deliberate or accidental), and the sensitivity of the given component or circuit to upset events. The sensitivity of given component in turn depends on the technology used and also the feature size of the devices - with smaller feature sized devices being more prevalent to upset (because the energy levels needed to cause the upset are lower).

    Devices such as microprocessors made with the latest 45 nm feature-size technology are much more sensitive to alpha particles than the previous generation devices. The same is true for memory chips.

    Therefore if the UA incidents are caused somehow by SEUs then we would expect to see more incidents of UA at higher altitudes and also, like you alluded to, a higher incident of UA incidents duding a period of higher cosmic ray flux. Other nearby electronics may or may not exhibit anomalous behavior, depending on the type of electronics and the components used.
  • Options
    carbuff1171carbuff1171 Member Posts: 77
    According to this evaluation (for a different reason), Toyota's EDRs capture data for the last 150ms. Nothing but a malfunctioning computer could erroneously record 256 brake presses within 150ms. 256 is also a curious number when you are considering the computer as root cause. It's also interesting how Toyota provides just enough information to indict the driver, but not answer the obvious questions that remain. While doing so, they also know that nobody else can analyze the EDR data.

    http://www.harristechnical.com/downloads/05-0271-W.pdf
  • Options
    carbuff1171carbuff1171 Member Posts: 77
    ...or it could just be an obscure set of inputs that triggers a software logic path that contains a bug.
  • Options
    srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    or it could just be an obscure set of inputs that triggers a software logic path that contains a bug.

    Yes, it certainly could. See my post #285 in this thread.
  • Options
    ponderpointponderpoint Member Posts: 277
    The Westchester runaway Prius has now been labeled driver error. She never applied any braking at all! Not only Toyota but NHTSA calling the play.

    Starting to see a trend here.

    Back in the year 1927, if you bought a brand new Ford, what was expected of you if the vehicle "hiccuped? I think a certain amount of dexterity and responsibility was expected.

    What changed?
  • Options
    srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    edited March 2010
    or it could just be an obscure set of inputs that triggers a software logic path that contains a bug.

    Here's an article from an electronics trade journal that talks about a similar scenario.

    Unexplained Stalling

    Some excerpts:
    After a few months of ownership, my car would randomly stall while at full freeway speeds

    The conditions required to manifest this failure were specific. First, it only happened on very hot (approximately 100 degrees) and dry days. Second, the car had to be hot from sitting out in the direct sun for some time. Third, the air conditioning unit needed to be set to the highest setting while the car was turned on. Fourth, the driver of the car had to have a specific driving style (the stalls never happened to my wife who has a heavier foot on the accelerator than I do).


    You can read the full article and get all the details.
  • Options
    huanitohuanito Member Posts: 12
    One thing that has to be realized here is that, although it doesn't require a rocket scientist, an acrobat, or a weightlifter to operate a motor vehicle, it does require a certain minimum level of intelligence, agility, and strength to do so. If you look at the reality video shows, there are many instances of senior citizens, who because of degeneration of the above attributes due to age, end up putting their vehicles through the front windows and doors of various structures or obstacles (I'm sure many of those instances were sans a Toyota). Also, on those same shows it has shown young kids who took their parents car for a joyride, usually ending up putting the car front end first into a tree or some obstacle, because they were simply to young and inexperienced to be behind a wheel (again, many times sans a Toyota).

    So, it does require a certain minimum level of skill and ability to drive a car. And, if you wanted to get into splitting hairs, there are probably certain cars that are more or less easy to operate than others. So, as I proposed from the beginning, there is very distinct possibility, as the news stories seem to be confirming more and more, that operator error can be seen as the main, if not one of the main factors for this alleged Toyota UA issue. But, as I also stated, there is also the distinct possibility that another reason could be that, many in the Toyota owner or driver ranks, are simply hearing the dinner bell chime, and don't want to miss out on the feast that they can smell in the air, with Toyota the one on the spit. I just recently saw a national advertisement from a law firm soliciting Toyota owners and drivers who have had "issues" "injuries" or "accidents" from the alleged Toyota UA issue.

    Whatever comes of this situation - either no issue and just some third party creating something that never existed for their own ends (as I believe to be the case), or, actual issue that must and should be dealt with - there is a lot of money to be made by many parties here. And, one thing that everyone needs to realize is this: even if they never definitively determine and prove what the cause of the Toyota UA issue is, Toyota will most likely still be held responsible, since ultimately, it is their vehicles that are involved in the claims being made. And, they will be required, even if not by order of law, but in order to maintain a concerned and responsible corporate citizen persona in public view, to compensate and make it right with the people who have made these claims against them. I think many people who are making the claims about Toyota now, are fully aware of this, and have absolutely nothing to lose by jumping on the bandwagon.
  • Options
    210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    400th post! Still Edmunds 1, "real" cause of SUA 0. I think Edmunds' prize money is safe.

    I agree with everything huanito said, but specific to carbuff's assertions, the Prius was interrogated through the hybrid controller computer, unique to Toyota's hybrid models. This computer has much more memory than the event data recorder (EDR). This is how Toyota and NHTSA determined Sikes' Prius was braked at least 250 times.
  • Options
    natisteinnatistein Member Posts: 1
    Dear,
    Some years ago I bought a 4 years-old car, it wasn’t a Toyota, but was part of a special serie. It was well-maintained and had only 25.000 Kms on the counter. The price was very interesting., so I had a mechanic friend check it and he told me it was a great opportunity.
    Just a few days later when i was driving in the city, less than 50 Kms/hour, the motor went crazy and the tours went up to 3000 rpm and even till 3800 or 4000 on the highway. We then brought it back to the garage of our seller but it continued having the same problem. We then brought it to the brand’s garage and neither could they identify the problem.
    I am not a mechanic but my husband and I are very curious and like to learn and understand things.
    This is what we did without results:
    -We realized cold temperature had nothing to do with it, as I thought it could have been the automatical shock, but even with high temperatures the problem reoccurred.
    -We cut the carpet around the accelerator because we thought it was being stuck there
    We checked if the acceleration cable which was free to move or if something was blocking it.

    When starting the car we undid the screw of the revolution system
    Observations and results:
    My husband and I started to observe and control every time this problem occurred and checked the parts we thought could have been involved in the problem. We finally discovered what it was: while handling one piece, the acceleration immediately stopped.

    So i went to the brand’s garage and asked to replace that part. They laughed at me so I just kept it the way it was. I drove 4 years with that car and the flaw I was trying to keep under control. As I ‘m living in Belgium, where highways are very secure and the landscape very plain, I always found a secure place to stop the car when the accelerator went crazy. When this once happened I opened the bonnet and started handling that part I had found earlier to be involved. It became a habit.
    After 4 years this happened increasingly and my fuel’s consumption was excessive during those accelerations, so I decided to let it go.
    Dear persons, this might seem odd to you, as I’m not a mechanic, but sometimes a simple experience can also explain or help understanding why some complicated things happen
    If you think my experience could help you in any possible way, do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail or phone :
    MORA DURAN Natividad
    Mail address : natistein47@hotmail.com
  • Options
    ineedajobineedajob Member Posts: 12
    edited March 2010
    I’ve thought long and hard on this subject and whether or not to even get involved in this discussion, however it’s time to clear up many of the misconceptions about this subject and clear the air. First, I must come clean and say I firmly believe that the unintended acceleration in well over 95% of the cases (all vehicles, not just Toyota) is being caused by “user error”. I will also say I have never been a fan of “drive by wire”. With that being said, here is my opinion.

    Cars are designed with fail safe methods and consider most scenarios. Sensors that read “high” (or open, like in a broken wire) are typically thrown out as a valid value, same as a sensor that reads “low” (like a shorted wire). This is especially true for accelerators where most likely car manufactures use 80% of the sensors useable range. With that being said, a “short” (which many people talk about), is just not a feasible idea as those values would result in only a check engine light.

    I owned a 1973 Dodge when I was a kid, one day I “stumped” on it to pass car. 20 – 30 seconds later the Dodge would accelerate and pass (cars were slow back then). When I was done passing, I took my foot of the gas only to find that my Dodge was still “floored”. I looked down and found my floor mat was pressing the gas pedal down that was causing the Dodge to keep accelerating. Why am I even bringing this story up? To show that user error happens to everyone, even someone that works closely with cars.

    Bottom line, my feeling is that over 95% of today’s unintended acceleration is either floor mats or just pressing the wrong pedal. Most cars today have been scaled down in size since the early days of cars and at the same time internal placement of user components (gas pedals, brakes pedals, etc) have gotten closer too. I too have pressed both the brake and gas at the same time during panic stops (on a Ford). Today’s pedals are VERY close and it’s easy to make that mistake. What about the other 5%, we will most likely never know, however I doubt it’s a design problem.

    Moral of the story, keep your car in good repair (including the floor mats which are ignored by many people) and slow down. Not your car, but YOU! People need to slow down in life. I see people talking on cell phones, breast feeding (yes, I have seen this), putting on make-up, shaving, texting, using a computer, reading a book (I see this a lot on the freeway here in California). Remember, driving is a FULL TIME JOB.

    Remember, when looking for solutions, it’s often the most simplest thing. As they say, when you hear hoof beats, think Horses, not Zebras.
  • Options
    bnetbnet Member Posts: 7
    Had I not experienced 6 SUA events with a Lexus LS400 between 2004 and 2006 I might agree with you. However, believe me, after a stop for a stop sign, and being about 5 feet behind the car in front of me, when I released my brake to start forward, the car took off. I had just taken my toe off the brake and hadn't even started moving to the accelerator. I immediately put both feet on the brake "and they were on the brake, and the car surged about a foot, stopped for a second and surged another foot. It took 3 surges feeling like a full throttle event before I had the sense of mind to get into neutral. I must have moved about 4 feet and was very close to hitting the car in front of me. It then stopped and reacted normally. I reported it to NHTSA and Toyota. The answer from them everything looked normal. All 6 incidents were about the same. The total time involved --- about 3-4 seconds.

    I also happen to be an electrical engineer that chased low probability intermittent problems spending as long as 6 months solving some of the tougher ones. Toyota has an electronic problem they haven't solved yet and are just covering their behind by saying there isn't a problem because they haven't solved it yet. It continues to boggle my mind that everyone is willing to say that because Toyota can't replicate it that it doesn't exist and ignore the customer stories that in their telling repeats my experience over and over. Toyota should have to prove that they can capture the event by stress testing cars with and without the problem to try and sort out the answer. Events that occur 1/1000-10000 times are tough to find. They haven't found it yet but my experience clearly tells me they have a problem. Period.
  • Options
    iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,709
    edited March 2010
    is this. Why is anyone still purchasing Toyota's? Is life not valuable to these people? Yikes.

    And this just in: Why does this continue to occur on here? Read the following paragraph.

    This is especially true for accelerators where most likely car manufactures use 80% of the sensors useable range. With that being said, a “short” (which many people talk about), is just not a feasible idea as those values would result in only a check engine light.

    Do all of you that keep spelling manufacturers manufactures know something about how that word is spelled that some of the rest of us don't know? I'm quite sure that car manufacturers plural should be spelled manufacturers.

    Having said that, my mind goes right back to the fact that Toyota's of the affected model years are dangerous to be on the road right now. Until this problem with their electronic drive-by-wire is figured out I wouldn't touch an infected Toyota with a 2,500 mile long pole. Period

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • Options
    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    It's just chat typo and not something a spell checker would catch. Not a big deal and not really helpful in keeping to the topic since we all understand the meaning anyway.

    Life is full of risks - buying a Toyota isn't one of the riskier things you can do. If all these Toyotas were running amok, you'd be seeing tow trucks all over. And yet you don't.
  • Options
    iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,709
    edited March 2010
    I am glad I am on Edmunds a lot then. Because this thing is serious and human lives are valuable. Taking lives because of an infected chunk of automobiles is just plain wrong.

    On our trip to Vegas last week I can't tell you all how many affected Toyota's I saw on the road.

    BTW-the 2010 Suzuki Kizashi is a nice ride. I loved it. The one I drove was an automatic, though, the Vivid Red one in the showroom was a 6-speed. Can't wait to drive the stick version. When I do I'll tell any of you all interested in the beautiful car.

    If I really wanted the Vivid Red Kizashi 6-speed I would've insisted they squeeze it out through their showrom doors and let me test drive it. Only $23,484. Well worth every penny. I will happily pay the MSRP for this car. It's well worth every dime.

    But I want the Platinum Silver Metallic 2010 Suzuki Kizashi GTS and will wait for one of those in 6-speed form to test drive. Over.

    And out.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • Options
    phdhyperdphdhyperd Member Posts: 18
    The prize money is not safe,Edmunds folks do not even accept challenges without first having the understanding of the problem ,obviously ,and certain protocoled people keeping it quiet.
    When any "prize" presenter or awarder sets the stage for the award to include a re-occurence and then a fix,they purposely sour the field of applicants,and laugh and laugh,Just like the Amazing Randi,who does the same thing with his fake prize money.
    I can explain how to fix those types of problems and have no re-occurences,and so the million goes to me.
    But let me remind you Edmunds folks,putting a jinx into the prize,when protocoled men know the answer already is outed now. Thanks for the space to do just that.
    Dr.Tom Phd. HD Physics,test me and see.
  • Options
    iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,709
    edited March 2010
    is any one of us Edmunds regulars(or anyone else on here for that matter) gonna take the above poster up on his offer. Sir, are you going to ask Toyota if they need your help, if you're sure you can solve their UA problem, I must ask?

    I'm asking phdhyperd that question, if it's his mission to accept my offer. Certainly most all of you watched Mission Impossible in the late 60's and the 70's, right?

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • Options
    phdhyperdphdhyperd Member Posts: 18
    edited March 2010
    Kia Person, I have offered Toyota an assist,with a consultant fee and per-diem,and I think they do not want it fixed for a certain reason,that is not publicly identified by myself,and so do not communicate.

    I have offered an assist to the NHTSA, and they do not communicate.

    There is a certain faction that erases any processes that would effect them from creating a "Certain Terrorism" against anyone,anytime to forward their agenda,and they have alot of their "people" who work every day to keep their ball in the air.

    I,obviously do not belong to them,but many who read this forum do,and a certain number of them are under watch orders to keep them from doing some things from my faction.

    Shame on those of you who get checks from certain places to do the terrorism against America. These days ,many are just dropping dead,I would run if I were one of them,its just a matter of time,You'll SEE.
  • Options
    iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Member Posts: 7,709
    and Toyota are stubbornly refusing any help just so they can say they "fixed" it themselves? When lives could potentially be lost as a result? Seems kind of goofy ta me.

    2021 Kia Soul LX 6-speed stick

  • Options
    phdhyperdphdhyperd Member Posts: 18
    KIa Person,I did not say that ,and they cannot easily fix it themselves either.
    Lives are taken every day by methods you do not understand,the few lives lost in car malfunctions are nothing at all in the scheme of things.
    The Institutions I mentioned are incapable of broaching secure subjects,as there are "managers" all over that steer them away from any subject matter that would out the group that is doing all of the terrorism here.

    The information I hold would also stop those large computer system glitches,such as the recent FAA glitch. They also are directed away from any fixes from within.

    If people I know get a handle on the situation,things would clear up,but that fight is ongoing and so fixes for security and saving lives in the interim would be the best approach,and so I snitch the process,and will tell the tale of the physics technology that is used to effectuate this terrorism.
  • Options
    kwargokwargo Member Posts: 1
    I believe that the issue may occurring in other vehicles as well as the toyota models due to a different issue other then mechanical malfunction. I believe that there may be an issue with the "drive by wire" technology and EMP interference from cell phone or other sources. I have not had an issue with floor mats or unexplained braking or acceleration problems, but I have noticed frequent problems with radio reception and cell phone usage. 2 Way radio's (CB's etc) with booster antenna's or power microphone usage in trucks can knock out a cell call, they can cause other issues with plane transmissions to towers, could there be similar issues with certain technology in our automobiles. I have SYNC in my 08 Fusion with no reportable issues, but could there be a problem in the systems of the vehicles in question that radio frequency or cell usage may be effecting the "wired" position sensor's? I believe that calls from inside the suspect vehicle, or some other source of transmission from other sources or relay's, may be the cause in the isolated cases. On the Hybrid vehicles the Hi Voltage output may be a source. In non-hybrids it could be a "close proximity" issue with the sensors that operate with foot pedal movements. That is my suggested cause, please let me know if I'm on to something.
    Thank you, for the opportunity to help.
  • Options
    puffin1puffin1 Member Posts: 276
    How does a guy who filed bankruptcy in 2008 get a $20k to buy a 2010 Prius? Then after the trooper gets the supposively runaway stopped by pulling in front
    the driver gets out and says,"I'm not driving the damn thing again."
    This is conjecture on my part,but that car was tested and retested. It's a great way to walk away from payments. Great country America.
    He will probaly go to court for Post Taumatic Stress and get a good settlement and step up to a BMW.
    Semper Fi
  • Options
    ponderpointponderpoint Member Posts: 277
    edited March 2010
    "How does a guy who filed bankruptcy in 2008 get a $20k to buy a 2010 Prius?"

    Good question. I also find it interesting that he can retain an attorney after bankruptcy with NO intentions of attacking Toyota after this completely horrible event in his life. He's joking right? I've seen Wild West Medicine Shows that were more believable.

    The American Dream still requires hard work and responsibility, not "hyper-consumerism" and a frivolous lawsuit against a manufa..... Umm, carmaker. I think people are getting the two a little mixed up lately.

    What is the most dangerous thing you will do today? For MOST people not in a war zone?

    If you don't know the answer to that please park your Toyota and take the bus - you're going to hurt somebody.

    Straytrons happen. Stuck accelerators happen. Back in the day a driver was suppose to be in control of that and responsive, not brain dead and texting..... or talking on the cell phone while hurtling out of control.

    I guess times have changed.
  • Options
    downhillpatdownhillpat Member Posts: 1
    Has any considered the very real possibility of Electromagnetic Interference from an ignition coil...I've seen ford coil on plugs on crown vics and Lincoln LS v8's wreak absolute havoc..On the LS there is a message that appears on the message center, it reads "ETC-engine Fail-Safe Mode" aka Limp home mode, it retards the timing, limits the car to 2500 ish rpm and I believe 2nd gear. On NUMEROUS occasions I and my colleauges have found that a coil on the 2nd cylinder bank which on the LS is right under the electronic throttle body, had failed it's stress test and was leaking some of the falling voltage off of the secondary side of the coil, out of the insulator and/or the epoxy on the top of the coil, causing the ETC to detect an unwarranted input and sending the PCM into limp home mode...I wonder if Toyota has looked at this already, if not I would suggest that they do, as these vehicles I worked on are of the same vintage and this started around 2007, when the LS was still only about 1 year out of production, and the first one I saw was a 2006. I have never seen it cause unintended acceleration, but it certainly could.

    I have had a navigator that would do the exact opposite and die on the highway @ about 60 mph claiming a reverse/neutral safety failure in the datalogger, and it was caused by 2 coils that were NOT misfiring, numbers 4 and 8. Unfortunately, I do not have a toyota to test my theory on but if I did, you can bet the first I would do on a toyota with this problem would be a coil stress test.
  • Options
    castg1castg1 Member Posts: 34
    You can take an oscilloscope and prove each and every metal part in the engine
    area that is not grounded i.e. floating. Your scope will detect pulses instead of
    straight line 0V DC. Start with the throttle body. Then the long bolts securing each individual coil for the plugs are mounted.

    No idea why they are not grounded. Maybe they want those parts electrically 'floating'?.
  • Options
    srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    edited March 2010
    What is the most dangerous thing you will do today? For MOST people not in a war zone?

    Eat that donut with your morning coffee and forget the exercise routine :shades: . Diseases of the heart are still the number one killer in this country, killing more than 20 times the number of people in a year as die in road accidents. Yes, car accidents kill many more people each year than have died in 7 years in Iraq (at least US citizens, anyway), and (as another poster pointed out), maybe a thousand times more deaths each year than have been caused in total by UAEs.

    It is beyond my comprehension why people - even those that own Toyotas - have such an irrational view of the dangers involved.
Sign In or Register to comment.