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Old 03-02-2010, 02:28 PM   #241
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Perhaps I didn't make my self clear on this board.

Zathras flamed, "The only thing here I see is that he was impatiently awaiting the notice, and then tried to make the appointment." (See my first post #136.) Toyota has notified NTSA and it is on their website, that the Tacoma floor mat can cause unintended acceleration.

Hell, yes, I was trying to get some kind of a response from my dealer when I sent them an email, (requiring a model, year, and VIN number,) requesting simply a "recall repair." I have never gotten one email, phone call, letter or postcard from my dealer or Toyota concerning any recall of the Toyota Tacoma. (It can kill you, but our company can't communicate with you directly.) I found out through, first my newspaper, then through an internet search, and finally when the thing got big enough to attract the attention of television news.

Since I never personally received a first notice, I wondered if, when Toyota did find a fix, I would even get a letter telling me to come in. I have been trying to understand the cryptic notice on the Toyota.Com website. It hasn't changed since I looked it up 4 months ago. I did try to verify what was being done with the phone gal setting up the service appointment. I did tell her that I had looked up my VIN number and hadn't seen anything about a sticky accelerator for my Tacoma, just the floor mat issue. But she said that she had looked my VIN number up and that my Toyota was definitely one of the vehicles due for an accelerator repair.

I am ticked that no one ever contacted me personally about the recall. I am ticked that they made a mistake in scheduling the appointment and didn't even apologize for it. And I am ticked at getting jumped on by a fellow poster. There are other dealers in my general vicinity I will use in the future.
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Old 03-02-2010, 04:06 PM   #242
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Originally Posted by Elderdude View Post
Zathras flamed,
No flame was intended, you sounded impatient, and reiterated that here.

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Originally Posted by Elderdude View Post
...Hell, yes, I was trying to get some kind of a response from my dealer when I sent them an email, (requiring a model, year, and VIN number,) requesting simply a "recall repair." I have never gotten one email, phone call, letter or postcard from my dealer or Toyota concerning any recall of the Toyota Tacoma. (It can kill you, but our company can't communicate with you directly.) I found out through, first my newspaper, then through an internet search, and finally when the thing got big enough to attract the attention of television news.

Since I never personally received a first notice, I wondered if, when Toyota did find a fix, I would even get a letter telling me to come in. I have been trying to understand the cryptic notice on the Toyota.Com website. It hasn't changed since I looked it up 4 months ago. I did try to verify what was being done with the phone gal setting up the service appointment. I did tell her that I had looked up my VIN number and hadn't seen anything about a sticky accelerator for my Tacoma, just the floor mat issue. But she said that she had looked my VIN number up and that my Toyota was definitely one of the vehicles due for an accelerator repair.
Sounds like you did everything, and then some, that any reasonable person would do. I do appologize, from your earlier comment it didn't sound like you had or that you got the instructions you did from the receptionist.
I would raise holy hell as well, and if you had not already, talk with the GM of the dealership to let him know why I would be going to a different dealership.

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I am ticked that no one ever contacted me personally about the recall. I am ticked that they made a mistake in scheduling the appointment and didn't even apologize for it. And I am ticked at getting jumped on by a fellow poster. There are other dealers in my general vicinity I will use in the future.
I would be as well. We have two Prius. We did receive both email and mail notices about the floor mat recall for each of our cars.
I appologize again for jumping to the wrong conclusion, I should have asked if you asked the receptionists about her setting up an appointment for the 'sticky accelerator issue'.

I hope you have much better service from your new dealer
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:18 PM   #243
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Apology accepted and appreciated.

I was wondering if I was alone in not receiving a notice. Sounds like Zathras had better luck than I did. I have liked both of my trucks. I believe most of the problems Toyata is having now are caused by deaf ears at the top, both at the corporate level and at my dealerships. They will suffer in sales and customer loyalty.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:39 PM   #244
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Apology accepted and appreciated.

I was wondering if I was alone in not receiving a notice. Sounds like Zathras had better luck than I did. I have liked both of my trucks. I believe most of the problems Toyata is having now are caused by deaf ears at the top, both at the corporate level and at my dealerships. They will suffer in sales and customer loyalty.
Don't know if this will help in knowing who has and has not received notices, but thought I'd post it just in case it is helpful to someone.

Newsroom : Customer FAQs Regarding the Sticking Accelerator Pedal and Floor Mat Pedal Entrapment Recalls / Toyota 3

Quote:
What vehicles has Toyota begun notification on for the floor mat recall?
Toyota has begun issuing notification for the Lexus division involved models – ES350 and IS250 and IS350, and the Toyota Camry and Avalon. The recall remedies for other involved vehicles will be rolled out through 2010.
There's a lot more interesting information there about what to do, and so on.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:15 PM   #245
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If it is just a floor mat problem why are they reconfiguring the accelerator pedal ?
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:29 PM   #246
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Perhaps unless Toyota corporate has a solution, as in cast of the Prius, they don't want to alarm their customers with a direct recall notice? My experience anyway. I talked on the phone with the service manager at my dealership, prior to my latest appointment flareup, who said not sending out actual notices was a corporate decision. Nothing the dealership could do about it from their end.
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:49 AM   #247
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Well, looks like the government has decided that it will be mandatory for all new cars to automatically go to idle when the brakes are applied. This is undoubtedly a good design feature, but won't be without cost. There will be at least some increase in crashes when cars unexpectedly and suddenly lose power due to false indications that the brake has been applied, and at the very least it will add another failure mode/thing to check when a car isn't responding properly to throttle inputs.
Sure, the issue is worth resolving, but what has been the opportunity cost? In cold, hard economics--there have been a tragic handful of lives lost in Toyota crashes blamed on possible stuck accelerators (regardless of reason--mats, sticky pedals, possibly software). If Congress had spent their time implementing incremental improvements to our health care system, or on any of a hundred other more important issues, how many lives would we have saved/lengthened/improved? OTOH, every minute they spend in imperious grilling of Toyota execs is one less minute spent in more damaging Congressional hobbies, so maybe this is yet another public service for which we should be applauding Toyota.

Hopefully the government will come out with a mandated fix for cars equipped with carburetors. Somehow we survived all these years depending on nothing more than a spring to counter a sticky throttle cable.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:11 PM   #248
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Ultimately all cars will have their programming updated periodically via WiFi. So if you get in and turn the key, don't be surprised to get a message - "Please wait - updating"
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:20 PM   #249
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Toyota's assembled experts said the professor's experiments could not be recreated on the actual road. For example, they said, Gilbert had shaved away insulation on wiring and connected wires that would not normally touch each other.
"There is no evidence that I've seen to indicate that this situation is happening at all in the real world," Gerdes said. He added that the professor's work "could result in misguided policy and unwarranted fear."
To prove their point, Toyota officials revved the engines of cars made by competitors, including a Subaru Forester and a Ford Fusion, by connecting a circuit rigged up to the wiring of the gas pedals.
Wow, just read about Toyota's "debunk" of the electronics problem. A guy found a certain combination of shorts that cause the engine to rev full throttle with no errors on the car's computer. Toyota hired the company that "proved" second hand smoke isn't harmful for the tobacco companies and refuted his experiment.

Among their claims: It never happens in the real world that wires lose their insulation and short. It never happens that wires located a distance from each other can short together. Since cars sometimes use the metal of the frame to complete circuits, I can only say I am flabbergasted by their assertion that out of millions of vehicles this can NEVER happen.

They also tried to show it's not just a Toyota problem by connecting a circuit of their own design to other companies cars and making the engines run. HELLO?? Connecting a circuit is a lot different from a short where a wire might wear the insulation off and touch a piece of metal.

I am left with an impression that they are turning on the PR machine to try to fix this mess, but that it will be impossible to believe anything they say. This debunking exercise was a big lie from start to finish. What a shame that a company that worked so hard for so many years to improve quality and make excellent products cannot understand that this is not a problem they can obfuscate their way out of. I feel sorry for Toyota workers who have done everything so well for so many years but are going to get tainted by the executives' attempt to pretend there is no problem.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:45 PM   #250
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bold mine...
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Wow, just read about Toyota's "debunk" of the electronics problem. ....

They also tried to show it's not just a Toyota problem by connecting a circuit of their own design to other companies cars and making the engines run. HELLO?? Connecting a circuit is a lot different from a short where a wire might wear the insulation off and touch a piece of metal.
I would need to see that in context, and also know if the journalist was precise in wording.

Technically (and in practical, daily usage), a 'circuit' only requires a power source, a conductor, and a load. In the case where you short a wire directly across a battery, the conductor *is* the load. So this doesn't necessarily imply that they hooked up a computer board or something - a jumper wire to simulate a short would qualify as a 'circuit' in this case. Maybe they determined the point in the circuit where the short was required, and that got worded to make it sound like more than it was? Very hard to say with a journalist in the loop. But if Toyota is saying this could happen in another car if you design a circuit board to certain specs and somehow magically get it connected to the right (wrong?) wires in your car, then they are stretching it beyond all credibility. If that is the case, they are really gonna go down the tubes.


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Well, looks like the government has decided that it will be mandatory for all new cars to automatically go to idle when the brakes are applied. This is undoubtedly a good design feature, ...
I'm disappointed that this just wasn't a basic industry standard, w/o any intervention from any govt body. It is how cruise controls work, so it isn't even a new idea. And while going to idle could be an occasional fault, it is preferable to unintended acceleration (at least in my book!). We often hear how sue-happy this country is - I am amazed that companies don't protect themselves in what seems like a pretty obvious way.

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Old 03-08-2010, 09:34 PM   #251
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This article worded it differently (again, bold mine):

Toyota Knocks ABC News Report - WSJ.com

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At a news conference, engineering consultants hired by Toyota also showed they are able to cause vehicles made by three other auto makers to rev suddenly by making the same electronic modifications used by a college professor who was the subject of the ABC report, and who testified before Congress last month.
Of course, "they all do that" may not be the best defense.

On a somewhat related note ... I was reminded today of a scary story one of our friends told. Their oven got stuck "ON". By the time they realized it, the "SELF CLEANING" Interlock had activated, locking the oven door, with a chicken hitting critical mass inside. They ended up calling the Fire Dept, and they managed to get it shut off.

NOTE TO SELF - plan a safety check with the family, and make sure they know how to turn off the circuit panel, and Natural Gas valves (I'm not sure that can be turned off by the homeowner, turning it off and back on w/o making sure pilots are lit can cause problems).

-ERD50
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:57 PM   #252
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Well, looks like the government has decided that it will be mandatory for all new cars to automatically go to idle when the brakes are applied. This is undoubtedly a good design feature, but won't be without cost.
It's going to make track days interesting. There are things done at speed that this change will make more difficult to unexpectedly impossible.

Oopsie.

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Hopefully the government will come out with a mandated fix for cars equipped with carburetors. Somehow we survived all these years depending on nothing more than a spring to counter a sticky throttle cable.
I can just see it. An extra set of reaallly big springs, drawn back by a vacuum motor, and released on braking. Maybe with something to unlatch the throttle linkage, too, so that it won't relatch until brakes are off and engine RPM is below some threshold. I have a prototype...
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:11 PM   #253
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Among their claims: It never happens in the real world that wires lose their insulation and short. It never happens that wires located a distance from each other can short together. Since cars sometimes use the metal of the frame to complete circuits, I can only say I am flabbergasted by their assertion that out of millions of vehicles this can NEVER happen.
What the professor did was connect the throttle position wires from both position sensors to the power supply. That put a signal out on both the wires at the same time that looked exactly like what goes out when the pedal is mashed to the floor. I wouldn't call this a 'never happens', but it is a very unlikely event that both lines would short to power simultaneously. If only one shorted to power, the control system should see the inconsistent signals as a fault, triggering a safety action of some sort and lighting the Check Engine light.

The same compound fault on other electrically controlled throttle systems is very likely to produce a similar result, as the other consultant demonstrated.

I do not think trying to guard against a simultaneous double short to power would be the best use of engineering effort, though. I'd much rather see actual field faults reproduced in a controlled manner, identification of previously unknown fault states done, and additional hardware and software hardening against new classes of faults implemented. This is the broad sort of thing that the 'brake overrides throttle' changes try to address.

A team of lawyers, politicians, and publicists may not be the optimal group to address complex technical and engineering issues. Be very leery of political solutions to engineering problems.
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Old 03-09-2010, 02:54 AM   #254
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I am also skeptical of the "simultaneous double short to power" demonstration. It appears highly unlikely. But then, there has been a freak aircraft accident where a single mechanical fault managed to take down multiple hydraulic systems that were supposed to provide redundancy.

With any system, electrical or mechanical, one can concoct some modifications or alterations to cause a disastrous result. The question always comes down to how probable that could happen in real life. Can normal wear and tear cause that?

Another question to answer is what reliability the electronic throttle has demonstrated against its mechanical predecessor? What are the respective accidental rates? Has anyone had a definitive answer?

And whether electronic or mechanical throttle, as a driver, I want assurances that my ability to shut down the engine and to shift the transmission into neutral is not dependent on the same gizmo that provides the throttle function. Even the most novice PC users know that a computer can crash in such a way that it does not respond to the 3-finger salute (Ctl-Alt-Del). One often has to yank the power cord or uses the power switch that bypasses the CPU and directly controls the power supply. It's that simple.

A "throttle-by-wire" does not have to be as robust as an aircraft "fly-by-wire" system. Again, one can park a car and walk home, but does not have that option with an aircraft with a "dead stick". But is there anything that would hinder the car driver's ability to shut the damn thing down, without using the "thing" itself in the shutting-down process? It's still not clear to me.

I am not knowledgeable about new car designs to see if car makers make the same efforts as aircraft and avionics equipment producers in the so called FMEA of their products (Failure Modes and Effects Analysis). They might have done that already.

Oh, accidents still happen despite their best efforts, but in the aircraft business, they do not want to be accused of adding features willy-nilly just because they are "cool". All failure ramifications have to be considered. The analyses and studies are expensive, but still less costly than liability lawsuits.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:50 AM   #255
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I think it is important to remember that people are looking for causes of sudden acceleration accidents that are freakishly rare. Many many millions of cars on the road driving tens of thousands of miles each for years and years, and there are some hundred perhaps reported cases. Even if a particular fault is very very rare, the number of car-miles-years involved is so large it can perhaps allow for quite rare things to happen. If the number of trials is large enough, then very unlikely things are likely to occur at least occasionally.

PS My old beater with poor cold weather idle used to require a light touch on the accelerator even when stopped with the brake on, else it would sputter and die. The proposed new interlock will put an end that that.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:54 AM   #256
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The plot thickens with a runaway Prius.

Driver: My Prius took me for a ride - CNN.com
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:56 AM   #257
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Publicity like this does make it difficult for any company to gain public trust:

NBC Today Show - Runaway Prius Video
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:04 AM   #258
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The plot thickens with a runaway Prius.

Driver: My Prius took me for a ride - CNN.com
This is an interesting one. From this, it sounds more like a mechanical failure than an electrical or software issue:
Quote:
At one point, Sikes said he reached down to try to pull the accelerator up, but it "stayed right where it was."
It might not be the floor mat mechanical interference issue, though:
Quote:
But Sikes said "my mat was perfect. There was nothing wrong with my mat."
Sikes said he took his 2008 Prius into a local Toyota dealership about two weeks ago for service and gave workers there his recall notice. He said he was told his car wasn't on the recall list.
If the pedal stayed down, and there was no interference with the mechanism, as from a floor mat, this sounds like a failure of a simple spring or the tab from the Hall Effect sensor magnet (the green thing in the picture) breaking off.


With any luck, Mr. Sikes report is accurate, the vehicle will remain in the 'stuck throttle' state, and we'll get a real failure analysis.
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Old 03-09-2010, 10:17 AM   #259
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This latest story was presented on the news as if the patrolman drove his car in front of the Prius, then put on the brakes and slowed it down. This picture is worth about negative 1 billion dollars for Toyota:



Not exactly true, however. Still serious, and a real problem for Toyota, but in reality the cop told the guy how to turn off his car
Based on instructions from the police officer [via loudspeaker], Sikes used his brakes and his emergency brake to slow the car down. Sikes said the car slowed to 55. After several attempts to shut off the car by using the ignition button, he was successful.
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Old 03-09-2010, 11:30 AM   #260
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Isn't it good press for Toyota that a Prius can reach 90mph?
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