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Afraid Camry Owner - Toyota found to keep tight lid on potential safety



  • My father-in-law is a Michigan native and bought only domestic nameplates his entire life. Last month he let go of his 220,000 miled Buick LeSabre and went car shopping. He didn't really want a GM product as he was opposed to the government takeover, and was therefore leaning toward Ford. His son interfered and basically begged and pleaded with him into buying a Camry because of its quality and reliability. You have to understand my brother- in- law buys only Toyota products, and that's ok, because I'm partial to Japanese nameplates myself.

    Anyway, my father- in- law caved in to his son's sales pitch and took delivery of a 2010 Camry LE two weeks ago. I talked with him this morning... He has about 400 miles on it now. I have never heard him so PISSED. My guess is that he is cutting his son from his will. LOL
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Just sit back a moment and let go of all this what was known when and what did Toyota do vs. what others woulda/shoulda done, and ask yourself how did Toyota get to this point.

    My theories are:

    1) Toyota did not act much different then other comapnies have acted in the past, or that other companies would have done if this was their problem. Human nature is to be mosty greedy, and to promote one's company as superior (which of course makes failure-admission difficult).

    2) My main theory - this problem is a result of making what used to be a simple mechanical linkage, into a complicated system. Sure there may be benefits to electronic systems, but they certainly have a lot more parts and software that need to work correctly. I would strongly suspect this "complication" is what has made this problem drag on for as long as it has, and is making a design-fix such a lengthy process.

    Growing up my father always said he would never want a Cadillac, and would stick with his Chevy. There was just too much to go wrong on a Cadillac. Similarly I'll never buy a vehicle that has one of those touch-screen panels that controls the HVAC, stereo, lights, suspension and such, when simple independent knobs that I can turn will do just fine.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Somehow, I get the feeling that some of the posters here are pleased that Toyota is having these problems.

    This could have happened to ANY manufacturer, not just Toyota.

    Toyota builds good cars and they will get this problem tackled.

    A lot of people are suffering as a result of this.
  • watkinstwatkinst Posts: 119
    Toyota is learning that when you move from very simple strait forward vehicles to fairly complex vehicles your reliability record drops and the risks of having expensive and possibly very damaging brand image issues are fairly high.

    The reason this thread even exists is because Toyota marketing and the parent company has done an excellent job over the years managing the BRAND IMAGE. Many people believe Toyota are a special company that make flawless products.

    So here we have many people learning that no the reality of it is that Toyota is like most Auto companies and has plenty of flawed products :-)

    Now the one thing I will say is that when Toyota is called out on its flawed product it has proven over and over again that it will honor a product owner by making things as right as possible - by spending thousands of dollars on a old out of warranty vehicle suffering from the flaw - or buying back old out of warranty products at market value or higher to make sure the owner of said flawed product is left as whole as possible in the pocket book.

    This is something that no other Auto maker I have ever read about - owned a product for has EVER done! Especially a US Automaker which all three are known better for basically telling you to go screw your self when its clear their product has a major flaw.

    My first toyota was a 91 4runner with the horrid 3L v6 I bought it with 100,000 miles on it. Two weeks later a Toyota dealer called me during a service visit to tell me Toyota the company would be covering the cost for a total rebuild of my trucks engine! They asked me to return to the dealer for a loaner car. A brand new Camary for two weeks. Toyota HQ spent $8000 rebuilding my 2nd or 3rd owner 100,000 mile 4runner. A year later while stopped in a gas station pumping gas - the head failed resulting in a huge plum of steam that cleared us from the station!!!

    Toyota checked it said sorry we relaced the head with the same faulting part - we will be rebuilding your engine again. Another $6000 spent by Toyota HQ to make things right!

    I promptly traded the 4runner in for a new Subaru LOL. And vowed never to own another toyota. And here I find my self driving a 1993 Landcruiser - when I bought it my thought was if all else fails I know Toyota will go to the ends of the earth to fix a faulty vehicle so I felt the risk was pretty low.

    Back track to my Ford experience. Ford basically says go screw your self when you discover your Ford has a pretty serious flaw thats going to cost you big bucks to fix with the same flawed part. Hence I have never owned another Ford since nor has any member of my extended family.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Customers don't WANT simple cars and the emission and safety requirements forced on the manufactures cause a lot of complicated systems to exist!

    People want it all! they demand everyu option known to man, ten cupholders and airbags everywhere.

    Those 3.0 V-6's weren't "horrid" engines but the did have a tendency to blow head gaskets. Toyota stood behind those engines LONG after the warrantys expired as they did in your case. What more do you expect?
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    A specific request has come in for a Toyota owner in Minnesota. Send me an email if you hail from there.

    [email protected]
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,379
    >pleaded with him into buying a Camry because of its quality and reliability.

    A car's relative reliability and value image in people's minds lags reality by 3-4 years. Reality is here.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • We just purchased a 2010 Toyota 1 month ago. The vehicle is one of the recalled vehicles.
    Now my wife is afraid to drive it.
    Being that the vehicle is so new, do we have any recourse to try to get our money back from the dealer or Toyota?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Several have asked that question and it is highly unlikely Toyota would buy your car back. They do however have to make sure it doesn't have a problem.

    Man, what a mess....too bad!
  • We just purchased a 2010 Toyota 1 month ago. The vehicle is one of the recalled vehicles.
    Now my wife is afraid to drive it.
    Being that the vehicle is so new, do we have any recourse to try to get our money back from the dealer or Toyota?

    Same here. My wife and I purchased a 2010 Camry SE on Jan 8.

    I spoke with the Sales Manager at the Dealership this morning about this car. He said to drive the car and not worry about it. Easy for him to say, but my wife is none too happy.

    Don't think any of us will be getting our money back.
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    The Detroit Bureau reports today that Toyota is currently in discussions with other world governments and safety agencies about expanding its latest recall involving defective accelerator pedal mechanisms that may cause unintended acceleration. Eight models are included in the current U.S. recall, which affects some 2.3 million Toyota branded vehicles. Without a fix for the issue, Toyota is required by law to stop production and sales of the vehicles, which it did yesterday – some five days after the recall was announced. Toyota also announced another recall earlier this month affecting 4.2 million vehicles with floor mats that could trap accelerator pedals, also causing unintended acceleration, and while the two issues are said to be unrelated, around 1.7 million vehicles are affected by both recalls.

    At the heart of this latest recall are accelerator pedal mechanisms produced by Indiana-based CTS Corp. at its plant in Mississauga, Ontario. What's not immediately known is whether the pedal mechanisms produced by CTS Corp. have been used in any models sold outside North America, or whether the problem with these parts is in their manufacturing or an issue with their design, choice of materials, etc. If it's the latter, the defective pedal mechanisms could be produced in other Toyota supplier plants around the world and be used in millions more vehicles than the ones covered by this latest recall in the U.S.

    Toyota has not officially commented whether or not its considering expanding the recall to other markets, or other brands like Lexus and Scion. Stay tuned as more news about Toyota and its recall woes continues to surface.
  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Chicago radio station WGN that the government asked Toyota to stop selling the vehicles.

    LaHood said, "The reason Toyota decided to do the recall and to stop manufacturing was because we asked them to."

    A Toyota spokesman, John Hansen, said today the company had taken the step voluntarily.

    Strickland wouldn't directly address why Toyota didn't stop selling the vehicles five days earlier when it announced the recall -- as it was legally required to do.

    "At this point, you need to talk to Toyota about those decisions," he said. "We'll be continuing to work with Toyota and having conversations."

    Strickland said in taking the action "Toyota was complying with the law."

    "They consulted with the agency. We informed them of the obligations, and they complied," he said.

    Toyota is required by law to stop production and sales of the vehicles
  • Three months ago I bought (cash) a 2010 Corolla so I'd have a vehicle (I'm 60 yrs. old) that I could rely on. Out $20K+, now I get in my Corolla and wonder (taking from that old song) "Will this be the day that I die ?"... I didn't purchase a $20K toy so I could worry every day (just the opposite). And I can't help but wonder, what's the resale value gonna be if it doesn't kill me ? I'd like to just get my money back but that's probably not gonna happen. By the way, I've only put 700 miles on the car.
  • "How could you possibly believe that the CHP officer driving the ES350 didn't have enough common sense, driving knowledge/experience, to shift the car into neutral...?"

    How could I possibly believe the guy that had that same loaner car come back unscathed after he had the same problem three days prior but yet the cop was the one that was killed?

    You're basically stating that because he was a cop - we have an ironclad conclusion the vehicle was truly uncontrollable.
  • colloquorcolloquor Posts: 482
    There's no doubt the problem could be a mechanical problem with the pedal mechanism itself, but remember the pedal is only changing inputs to a control circuit, whether it be an analog or digital interfaced device, as the system is drive-by-wire - no mechanical linkage between the accelerator pedal and fuel/injector system. The pedal is controlling inputs to the ECM.

    OK, here's my worry... what if Toyota has buggy firmware code for the drive-by-wire system. This would be more plausible, especially for these random and instantaneous acceleration issues.

    Remember when the new gen 2007 Camry was introduced? Check the posts out here on regarding surging issues. What did Toyota do to fix the problem ... flash the ECU with new code.

    With today's engines and transaxles running at extreme efficiencies, the only way to implement this is with full computer control and drive-by-wire, especially when ABS and VSC systems are implemented. You simply can't have the old mechanical linkage anymore, especially with ABS and VSC as we're talking nanosecond or microsecond response times.

    I hope it's something mechanical, such as an out of tolerance mechanical piece, e.g. poor machining. This is relatively easy to fix, and implement a change. But, a random glitch in embedded firmware code. Ask any programmer, when you fix a bug in code, another one creeps up on you. This could be a very serious problem.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Hey folks,
    If your question isn't specific to the Camry, please check out the general discussion linked at the top of this discussion. Thanks!


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • revitrevit Posts: 476
    I am surprised with the number of problems the Camry has had lately; first a drop in quality and now all of these recalls and they have stopped selling it.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You are helping to make, strengthen, my point.

    If the "previous" guy was astute enough to know to shift the car into neutral then you would have to consider the CHP as being brain dead if you assume he didn't do, try, that very same thing.

    If the vehicle had PB start/stop I can fully understand, this being a "loaner", that neither person might be of enough knowledge to know how to make use of the PB to STOP the engine. And by-the-by, WHY didn't the "previous" guy simply shut off the ignition..??

    An ignition key, not a PB....

    I would be leary of shutting off the engine with the key unless I was certain sure that would not also result in a LOCKED stearing wheel. Perhaps that's what the "previous" guy thought also which is why he resorted to "neutral" instead.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...what used to be a simple mechaincal linkage..."



    With a "simple" mechanical linkage you also needed:

    A.) An idle air bypass system, servomotor, sensors, etc.
    B.) A separate cruise control system, servomotor, sensors, etc.
    C.) A mechanical dashpot assembly to prevent the engine from too quickly falling to idle, often resulting in a stalled engine.
    D.) A throttle cable to the transaxle "modulator".
    E.) The ability to use EFI for VSC/TC dethrottling of the engine
    F.) TPS, Throttle Position Sensor.

    And finally:

    A cable, with inherent backlash, to push/pull the throttle butterfly plate. Three of these, actually two more, one each to the CC servomotor and transaxle modulator.

    Plus, without DBW Toyota would have not been able to use such a simple "fix" ("patch", really) for the engineering design flaw inadvertently incorporated into the U140E/F transaxle derived from the earlier Camry A140E transaxle.

    And NOW...

    Since all of the involved vehicles already have DBW it will be a simple matter to add a few lines of code so the engine automatically drops to idle when the brakes are used.
  • When something like that happened to me a couple of weeks ago in my 2007 Camry, I was waiting in a line for fast food, foot solidly on the brake, when the engine started racing and accelerating. It jumped forward a foot or so, but by then my foot was firmly on the brake. First I put it in neutral, and the engine went to 7300 RPM, then park - no change. I had to shut it off with the key to regain control. If this had happened on the highway, maybe I might not have been able to think of putting the car in neutral, when I was in the middle of a 65 MPH crowd of cars.

    The dealer was not interested in the story.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I have had my local Porsche dealer's service manager (Bellevue Barrier) tear up and file 13 a service writeup request. IMMHO that was because Porsche wanted no recordings of the design flaw. Said it was designed that way, operating as designed.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Why do I get the feeling you're just loving all of this?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    I know, it's easy for me to say this but if it were my car I wouldn't be scared.

    If my oddball chance your pedal were to stick, just yank on the emergency brake, stand opn the brake pedal and switch off the ignition.

    Since we are about the same age, I'm sure you drove cars in your youth that we had to drive with respect and caution.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 23,379
    >The dealer was not interested in the story. - lling-recalled-mod/

    "On a related note, Toyota dealers are also reportedly getting instructions from the Mother Ship on how to answer questions related to the recall. AN editor James B. Treece reports that when asked if any accidents have been reported, dealers are encouraged to respond, "The number of accidents is still under investigation" without further confirmation. As Treece notes, the spin continues, as just a simple yes or no would suffice."

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    One of my employees has a new Camry and I just volunteered to add a switch to the engine/transaxle ECU so that the EFI circuit can be INSTANDLY disabled from the driver's position just by "flipping" the switch.
  • beachfish2beachfish2 Richmond VAPosts: 177
    Are you suggesting an alien conspiracy or what? I talked to customer service today, they're answering questions as best they can. Nice folks.

    "it's easy for me to say this but if it were my car I wouldn't be scared."

    I have an '06 Avalon and it's been fine. The gas pedal cannot reach the floor or the mats and I've had NO trouble with surging or UA. My coworker is buying it and she isn't worried. Something like this can happen to any car at any time. Mechanisms fail and the driver has to be prepared. They aren't usually, but they should be.

    I had a '67 Chevy that would run away if you dared to push the gas pedal to the floor. The dirty/rusty linkage would bind up and stick and make you shut down the engine and get out to unstick the linkage. Shift to neutral. Turn off the engine. It's easy. Actually, I had this happen in a '70 Chevelle too.

    My father taught me to handle unexpected situations. After he left the Virginia State Police to work as a safety officer for a trucking company (at more than double the pay) he taught it to long haul drivers too. There are lots of little tricks and methods known to drivers. Make that real drivers. So many people today think that if they can get into a car and start it they're highly qualified drivers. More like steerers.

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    One month with none of these models sold will be a killer to many Toyota customers, dealers, suppliers and employees. Toyota's goal was to be the biggest light vehicle manufacturer in the world. Not the best. They screwed up and it will cost them tens of billions of dollars and leave thousands of customers looking elsewhere.

    Your reading skills are deficient methinks. I was responding to the other poster who made speculations ( see above ) about subjects that have nothing to do with you. Lose the number, aye?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yep this has been known since the beginning of Dec I believe. It was one of the key bits of the investigation that threw the light directly on the wrong mat being in the wrong vehicle and it not being secured.

    The other key issue is that he reported this very vehicle to the Lexus dealer when he returned safely to the store after his 'event'.
This discussion has been closed.