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Old 01-28-2010, 03:53 PM   #41
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I have a 2001 Toyota Land Cruiser that has been absolutely reliable with few repairs. However this current situation will give me pause before I purchase another Toyota. Honda is looking better to me, too. Had an Accord station wagon(dubbed the "Mom-mobile by my son) in the '90's that I really liked.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:01 PM   #42
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Eh, when in panic mode might as well jam it into park.

It is destructive to the parking pawl in the tranny. Still, the car will no longer provide propulsion and will slow down.

Cheaper to fix car and tranny (assuming you ever want to drive THAT car again) as opposed attempting re-assembly of the body(s) and/or resurrection. Less painful as well.

Edit add: when under high stress it is much easier to jam the gearshift lever to on end or the other, than trying to figure out where neutral is.

Worst case you'll be in low gear with full throttle, that will still result in manageable speed.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:29 PM   #43
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The "put it in neutral answer" has been widely publicized now due to the recalls, but even a trained highway patrol officer didn't think to do it when his car went out of control and he and his passengers all died from the sudden acceleration problem.

If putting a car in neutral solved all of the safety issues, then there would be no need for cars to be recalled or sales to be suspended.
I have not read anything definitive on this - on those cars involved in these accidents, was it possible to downshift and/or put it in Neutral or Park? Or did the whole computer control system over-ride such 'silly' mistakes? After all, you might want to protect somebody from inadvertently shifting into Neutral at highway speeds and blowing their engine by accident.

Most cars require you to have your foot on the brake to take it out of Park. It's tough to imagine a situation where you would want to over-ride that - but I suppose it could happen. And our van auto-locks the doors once you hit 15 mph, maybe you suddenly need to get out quick (an electrical fire that makes the locks non-functional)? All sorts of examples where the car takes control of operations - good 99.999% of the time, but.....


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Old 01-28-2010, 05:15 PM   #44
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The link between stuck accelerators, crashes and Toyotas is pretty specific. People that get pains in their joints don't always know the cause. Maybe it is from implants, maybe it is their diet, maybe they type too much. Maybe it is a combination of 100 different things. Vague illnesses are pretty hard to pinpoint an exact cause.

But people who have cars accelerating suddenly know that they can't stop their cars despite their best efforts and they know what make and model of car they are driving.
Yes, you're probably right. It does happen with other cars. It seems to happen more with Toyotas, but there are more Toyotas out there. Someone with a Dodge whose floor mat gets stuck might throw out the floor mat, and forget about it, while someone with a Toyota will say "Wow, here's that Toyota problem" and report it. The accelerations happen so infrequently that it's hard to study rigorously.

I'm just wary of trial by anecdotes and trial by media, and brought up the boobie story to illustrate how unreliable that is. And because of the forum requirement that every thread mention breasts.

Also, even if Toyota knew that it wasn't their fault, they might, from a PR standpoint, pretend to fix it. In today's world, they can't just say "Hey folks, it's not our fault. Switch into neutral and get a life!"
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:54 PM   #45
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Now that it has been made so public, I wonder how many people will try to blame their reckless driving on that problem, "I tried to stop, officer, but my car sped up all of a sudden!"...
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:07 PM   #46
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Having w*rked in the industry and realizing how extremely complex cars are now, I think it is just a matter of time for any company before they get smacked with a major problem. Toyota has been especially good at quality control and seeing them twist in the wind underscores how thin the ice is for us all.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:51 PM   #47
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Tundra Hits House

A couple of months ago my BIL was going to move his Tundra in the driveway. It suddenly accelerated and hit the corner of the house, damaging both the truck and the house. I think he's still pretty loyal and prefers to believe that it was an ice scraper on the floor that must have interfered with the accelerator pedal. Of course there's no way to know for sure, but it sure seems suspicious given all the publicity about the "problem".
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:07 PM   #48
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:57 PM   #49
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The "put it in neutral answer" has been widely publicized now due to the recalls, but even a trained highway patrol officer didn't think to do it when his car went out of control and he and his passengers all died from the sudden acceleration problem.
IIRC, he was in a model of vehicle that he'd never driven before, I suspect he had quite a bit of noise going on around him, and no doubt he was busy trying to dodge traffic while reaching down to grab the pedal.

If he was driving a car with a paddle shifter that he'd never really used before, I bet he was grabbing all over looking for the stick shift or the automatic transmission.

"Trained" is a relative word. I was a pretty hotshot officer of the deck on my first submarine, and could find every periscope button & knob in the dark without conscious thought. When I went to my second boat, everything had been moved around or changed just enough to make me a half-step slower. It took months to catch up with the "minor" differences and I still had flashbacks.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:24 AM   #50
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The "throttle-by-wire" system that is in most later-model cars and trucks is a major departure from the previous art.

When I started driving, the gas pedal was connected to a series of metal linkages that went through the firewall to the carburetor's butterfly.

Then they got rid of the linkages, and the pedal instead pulled a steel wire that was in the center of a cable. The cable's sheath was a tight spirally-wound steel wire. The sheath was then encased in a plastic jacket for protection and to keep out moisture.

In both of these methods, the driver was always in direct control of the amount of air entering the carb, and when they later went to fuel injection, you were still in control of the butterfly in the fuel injection throttle body.

We have a 2010, not a Toyota, an American-designed and built that is built over in Uncle Mick's new territory. It has throttle-by-wire. I took a quick look at it a few minutes ago, hanging upside-down to try to see the accelerator pedal assembly. Not much to see... a plastic pedal on a plastic arm, that goes into a small plastic box that has an internal return spring, and has a connector on top for a sensor, looks like 3 wires. Probably a potentiometer. That's all there is to it.

So with throttle-by-wire, the engine control computer reads the gas pedal sensor to see the present position of the pedal. Then the computer (along with doing all sorts of other engine functions), controls a servo motor that actually opens/closes the throttle body's butterfly.

If the pedal sensor gives out the wrong position, the computer will take it as fact, it has no way of knowing differently. If the servo motor decides on it's own that it wants to join the 24 Hours of LeMans, I wouldn't think the computer would richen the injector pulse widths if the pedal is not in a strong acceleration position, but I may be wrong there.

Or, the software could go bonkers and the computer commands the servo to open wide, and it also increases the injectors duty cycle because it thinks its supposed to accelerate. That would be the scariest. An insane cpu is unlikely to read a press on the brake pedal as a "do not accelerate". If Toyota's "no acceleration while braking" fix for some of their cars is all software, and not a redundant separate system like many Cruise Controls have, then it's not a solid fix.

Don't even get me started on the "Start/Stop" button that some cars have today. I don't see me buying something like that. I want a key switch that enables or kills power to ignition, injectors, and fuel pump. And I want a transmission setup that if I decide to put it into Neutral at 70 MPH, it does it. So far, DW & I still have that. But some people don't now.

In an earlier thread on Toyota's issue, Leonidas kindly posted info that he dug up on the California Hwy. Patrolmans disaster. It had a Start/Stop button, and we weren't sure if the Lexus would or would not perform a shift to neutral if the throttle was wide open.

Could you imagine an airplane's avionics package that would not let a pilot dis-engage the automated program to fly the plane manually? Because the pilot "might" do something unwise? A baaaad idea.
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:43 AM   #51
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In an earlier thread on Toyota's issue, Leonidas kindly posted info that he dug up on the California Hwy. Patrolmans disaster. It had a Start/Stop button, and we weren't sure if the Lexus would or would not perform a shift to neutral if the throttle was wide open.
Not sure about the Lexus, but the Prius will. Thing is, it is different than most cars and requires the driver to learn something a little different. You need to move the shifter to the left and hold it there for 2 or 3 seconds.

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Could you imagine an airplane's avionics package that would not let a pilot dis-engage the automated program to fly the plane manually? Because the pilot "might" do something unwise? A baaaad idea.
I agree, very bad idea. However, I would be shocked if the Lexus actually didn't allow a power off in case of emergencies.
In the Prius (with the push button start) you simply hold the start button for a few seconds. But again, that is something different.
If someone is unfamiliar with it, I would recommend inserting the fob into the dash (basically a key).
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:49 AM   #52
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What Might Cause a Gas Pedal to Become Stuck?: Scientific American

Toyota Speed-Up Suits Say Problem Deeper Than Pedal (Update1) - BusinessWeek

I'd still rather have a drive-by-wire accelerator than a frayed accelerator cable.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:34 AM   #53
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If putting a car in neutral solved all of the safety issues, then there would be no need for cars to be recalled or sales to be suspended.
Wow, where do I start. We are talking about an emergency situation (runaway throttle), not a long term fix. Toyota will engineeer a permanent solution, and soon.

Here'e a hypothetical situation- you are driving in the winter, wearing heavy boots, snow, etc. Very common scenario, happens every winter somewhere in the world. You step on the gas to pass a car, drag the half-frozen, snow-covered floor mat under the accelerator pedal. It sticks. You let off the accelerator and it just keeps racing. You try to unstick it with your foot, but it just jams the floormat further under the pedal, and you actuallly start going faster.... Oh, NO!!!

What do you do?

1. Throw the gearshift into neutral so you can safely brake to a stop and solve the problem.

2. Panic, do nothing except grip the wheel, stand on the wet brakes, crash at high speed, then sue the manufacturer of the boots, floormats, car, and the highway department for their role in the "unavoidable" crash?

No one was suggesting that Toyota would offer this a permanent solution, but anyone who drives a car should recognize that there really is a solution to "uncontrolled acceleration"
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:35 AM   #54
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My ten year old Toyota Solara had that floor mat problem . It used to bunch up under the pedals . I finally just tossed the floor mat . I love my old Toyota but the thought of an out of control car on the highway has me definitely crossing Toyota off my list .
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:37 AM   #55
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my partner works for lexus, in service - he said they are replacing their pedals with new ones...so perhaps there was a readily avail fix for lexo but not for toyota? or their customers will be coming back for a second recall later!
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:42 AM   #56
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Rec'd this letter this AM:

Dear (westernskies),


Yesterday Avis announced that it was removing all of the vehicles identified for recall by Toyota from its corporate fleet in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. This step was taken to protect the safety of our customers, which is always our top priority.

It is important to note that the safety problems that have led to Toyota’s recall of certain vehicles are believed to arise out of usage over time. Accordingly, we believe that all of the Toyota vehicles in our fleet are safe, given the regular maintenance and the low mileage of our overall fleet.

We also want to reassure you that the affected Toyotas represent only a small percentage of our overall fleet, so we expect to be able to fulfill all projected demand and you can continue to make reservations with complete confidence for any rental occasion. Our fleet strategy emphasizes diversity so that we are able to respond to the full range of vehicle rental needs of our customers, as well as to reduce our risk from any issues arising out of any individual manufacturer.

We further want to emphasize that only certain Toyota makes and models, in addition to the Pontiac Vibe, are affected by the recall. Those Toyota vehicles that are not affected will continue to be offered for rental; however, if you are uncomfortable driving a Toyota vehicle, we will make every effort to offer you an alternative vehicle if one is available.

Our commitment to customer safety is also behind our decision to offer what we believe is the youngest and lowest-mileage fleet in the vehicle rental industry. Whether you place as high a premium on safety as we do, or whether you just like driving new cars, either way Avis continues to be your best car rental choice.

Thank you for continuing to choose Avis for your vehicle rental needs.

Sincerely,

Thomas M. Gartland
Executive Vice President
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:06 PM   #57
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Local news interviewed my Toyota dealer last night. He said that concern over the Toyota accelerator pedal doesn't seem as strong here as in other parts of the country, and only 2-3 people have brought their cars in for the accelerator pedal fix so far. From the interview I got the impression that he already had a fix from Toyota but from what I have read after that, I guess not.

I am so glad that my new Toyota Venza is not on the list and I couldn't be happier that I was able to find a Toyota that I like so much. Nothing can diminish my glee at finding a new car that is just what I wanted. I like the fact that Toyota stopped selling the defective cars.

Like Moemg, I noticed that the floor mats in my Solara bunched up a lot. I was thinking about removing them but never got around to it. Instead, every time I got in the car I was unbunching them and flattening them out before starting the car. I did this even before the discovery of the mat problem just because it was disturbing to me. Unbunching them was a bit of a PITA occasionally since they didn't "want" to stay flat.
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:04 PM   #58
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Latest update is that Toyota is reportedly shipping the first stocks of new gas pedals to their factories, not the dealerships. Getting the production lines running is apparently more important than taking care of their existing customers.

This is turning into a huge public relations nightmare for Toyota- and I bet the back-of-the-phone book-attorneys are already perusing the Robb Report trying to decide where to spend their share of the class-action settlement $...
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:21 PM   #59
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Local news interviewed my Toyota dealer last night. He said that concern over the Toyota accelerator pedal doesn't seem as strong here as in other parts of the country, and only 2-3 people have brought their cars in for the accelerator pedal fix so far. From the interview I got the impression that he already had a fix from Toyota but from what I have read after that, I guess not.

I am so glad that my new Toyota Venza is not on the list and I couldn't be happier that I was able to find a Toyota that I like so much. Nothing can diminish my glee at finding a new car that is just what I wanted. I like the fact that Toyota stopped selling the defective cars.


I am glad you are enjoying your new car so much W2R! Here is the picture of my new Camry:



I know people think they are boring but I am all giddy with excitement!
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:40 PM   #60
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I am glad you are enjoying your new car so much W2R! Here is the picture of my new Camry:



I know people think they are boring but I am all giddy with excitement!
It's GORGEOUS, not one bit boring!! I love it. The Camry is a terrific car, and I am so happy for you. Did you get the V-6, or the 4 cylinder?

Just this minute I got back from taking my new Venza out in torrential rain. At first it was awful to see those drops of water falling on its lovely shiny finish. I drove across town to mail a letter at a post office about 5 miles away, just to have an excuse to drive it. The lights and windshield wiper and windshield defrost functions were easy and work well, and it handled nicely in the rain. It doesn't seem to leak inside (and believe me, the rain was hard enough for this to be the "acid test" for leakage). I did avoid a spot that often floods. No sense in testing fate.
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