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Old 02-03-2010, 11:36 AM   #121
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I think that with American auto-makers faltering last year on the verge of bankruptcy and having to be assisted by taxpayer money, we need to think about the publicity surrounding this recall with a grain of salt and "follow the money".
I'm glad I'm not the only cynic with this floating around in the back of my mind. There has been a fair bit of saber-rattling in Washington about this, and I can't help but wonder just how appropriate it is given the obvious *vested* public interest in seeing GM gain market share at Toyota's expense now that we "own" much of GM.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:52 AM   #122
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Trading in my 1992 Plymouth Acclaim....
No one could ever fault a person for getting rid of that.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:57 AM   #123
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You've been snowed !

I see lots of ink written by apologists for Toyota.

What Toyota wants the public to believe is that it's just a few Misaligned gas pedals or car mats.

What is more probably the case, is that their drive-by-wire system has bugs in it. That's what causes, in some cases, the run-away acceleration not some floor mat.

Toyota's reputation for bullet-proof cars is on the line.

Make no mistake this issue is not going away soon.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:59 AM   #124
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I think it will be Honda & Nissan that will profit the most by the Toyota recalls not GM. I also had a Solara with no problems and would have bought another Toyota but the way Toyota had to be pushed to recognize there was a problem makes me hesitant to purchase a Toyota right now . In a few months after the news dies down I may feel differently especially when they start offering incredible deals to get their sales going again .
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:11 PM   #125
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My biggest concern is the lack of a specific cause for the incidents.
Strictly speaking of odds, the odds I am going to have this issue seems to be about the same as my chances of being hit by lightning.
This makes it all the more important that Toyota identify exactly when and why this is happening.
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:34 PM   #126
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Strictly speaking of odds, the odds I am going to have this issue seems to be about the same as my chances of being hit by lightning.
...or a runaway Toyota.
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:00 PM   #127
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to be about the same as my chances of being hit by lightning.
I actually have been hit by lightening. According to the National Weather Service, the odds are 1/6250 over an 80 year lifetime, so not as remote as most people think.

Steve Wozniak (the less famous Apple cofounder) was on the news last night stating that he has a Prius that has had sudden acceleration issues , surging up to 100 miles an hour, when the cruise control is on. So he believes the Prius may have a software, not gas pedal issue. He said he tried to contact Toyota about the problem but was never able to get through to anyone.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:30 PM   #128
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No one could ever fault a person for getting rid of that.
That particular 1992 Plymouth Acclaim was a piece of JUNK - - I never wanted it in the first place and two years before our 1998 divorce my ex gave my previous car to our daughter, and bought the Acclaim for me for $5K. Maybe he saw divorce on the horizon before I did.

Some people on the board had and liked Plymouth Acclaims and I'm glad, but it was really hindering my LBYM/saving/retirement efforts.
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:34 PM   #129
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Article to today that the problem might be software related?

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says Toyota may have software trouble - Telegraph
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Old 02-03-2010, 02:35 PM   #130
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That particular 1992 Plymouth Acclaim was a piece of JUNK - - I never wanted it in the first place and my ex gave my car to our daughter before our divorce, and bought that for me. Maybe he saw divorce on the horizon before I did.
Yeah, this is during the time when Detroit earned its reputation -- from about the late 1970s into the '90s. They may have improved a lot since then, but old perceptions die hard...
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:02 PM   #131
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Steve Wozniak (the less famous Apple cofounder) was on the news last night stating that he has a Prius that has had sudden acceleration issues , surging up to 100 miles an hour, when the cruise control is on. So he believes the Prius may have a software, not gas pedal issue. He said he tried to contact Toyota about the problem but was never able to get through to anyone.
After spending so many years dealing with complex software and hardware systems, it would not surprise me in the least if there were multiple problems that manifest as the same general sort of symptoms. With something as complex as the 'drive by wire' systems now appearing in vehicles, we have lots of interesting opportunities for unexpected interactions between already complex subsystems.

The 'strong hybrid' cars like the Prius and Civic Hybrid use regenerative braking, running the electric motors as generators to recover energy and recharge the battery when slowing, and then switch to friction braking (brake pads) at a very low speed. In addition, these vehicles have anti-lock brakes (ABS), and possibly advanced options for stability control. These work by rapidly pumping the friction brakes to prevent the wheels from locking up and skidding.

Here's a fun interaction. If the vehicle is using regenerative braking, and the ABS or stability system sees a wheel stop turning, as there aren't any friction brakes to pulse, the ABS system can't compensate. Depending on design, a new interaction between the regenerative braking and ABS system may be needed. For example, the vehicle may have to switch from regenerative braking to the friction brake system, so as to give the ABS system the opportunity to avoid wheel lockup and skidding. The switchover at a higher than normal speed may cause a momentary loss of braking force (call it 0.1 to 0.2 seconds) while regeneration is cut and the hydraulics are pressurized. The driver will feel that momentary drop in deceleration force as a 'surge'.

That above interaction has been reported for the 2010 Prius by drivers on icy streets, and on potholes and speed bumps while braking when stability control is activated. I haven't heard of damages beyond soiled underwear yet...

What's going on under the hood is rapidly becoming very complex, and I'm not entirely sure the test methodologies of auto manufacturers, traditionally a very mechanical discipline, is up to handling this much software and electronics complexity in addition to the older electromechanical systems.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:14 PM   #132
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Oh the Plot Thickens...

Toyota inquiry expands to include additional models - latimes.com

< Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, specifically asked questions about similar problems in the Toyota Tacoma truck. He noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received more than 100 complaints about sudden acceleration in the Tacoma, which does not have the same accelerator pedal assembly as the recalled models.

He cited some complaints in which faulty floor mats, which sparked a Toyota recall last year, also did not appear to be the cause.

"What would explain episodes such as this, where drivers are experiencing an uncontrollable acceleration and, reportedly, no floor mats are present in the vehicle (or they reported the floor mat was not involved), particularly for this make and model where no CTS pedal is involved," Towns wrote.... >
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:16 PM   #133
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I have to wonder how many of these new reports are figments of the imagination and chalked up to the power of suggestion. It's as if some people think every Toyota ever built is suddenly a death trap.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:23 PM   #134
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I have to wonder how many of these new reports are figments of the imagination and chalked up to the power of suggestion. It's as if some people think every Toyota ever built is suddenly a death trap.
Keep rationalizing...
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:28 PM   #135
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I have to wonder how many of these new reports are figments of the imagination and chalked up to the power of suggestion. It's as if some people think every Toyota ever built is suddenly a death trap.
I had the very same thought about how many of these are just imagined. It will be very interesting to see how long / if Toyota can recover. Also, I bet Toyota's troubles set the ideas of hybrids back. Folks may automatically associate hybrids with faulty acceleration.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:37 PM   #136
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In December of 2006, I was driving my 20 year old Toyota truck in a Safeway parking lot and a guy offered me $1800 cash to buy it. It didn't have air bags, had been thru several accidents, and had dents and rust on the exterior. It ran fine and I didn't put it on the freeway much, but I wanted to buy a light weight camping trailer and needed a vehicle capable of towing. I knew Toyota made a 6 cylinder that could tow up to 6500 lbs and trusted the company's reputation for building reliable, relatively maintenance free vehicles. So I purchased a new Toyota Tacoma that same month, after selling the old one.

The truck has worked out really well. No problem towing the trailer up to Donner or over the the northern and southern beach area's of California. But last October I read a blurb in the newspaper about a floormat problem, the advice I found was to pull the mat and wait for Toyota to send me something in the mail early in January.
I have never received an email, phone call, or letter about the problem. If I wasn't a daily newspaper reader I would never have found out about the problem. Just yesterday I called the service department at the dealer who sold me the truck and inquired as to why, after five months, I hadn't even received a post card about the floor mat problem, the young women answering the phone said she wasn't aware that my model had a problem. I told her I was looking online at the Toyota.com recall information site and could see my model listed. After I started getting a little cranky she put me through to the service manager. He said that I should be receiving something in the mail in two to three weeks. When I asked him why no one had bothered to try and contact me about a potentially life threatening problem, he stated that that was the company's decision, not the dealer's.

While I still believe Toyota makes exceptionally reliable trucks and cars, I have no faith in the corporate leadership. They have let a small defect bring down the whole company by their lack of communication with their cusotmers. We will not be buying from Toyota in the near future.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:50 PM   #137
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Keep rationalizing...
Oh, whatever. Do you really think there is *no* placebo effect out there at all?
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:13 PM   #138
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Oh, whatever. Do you really think there is *no* placebo effect out there at all?
Or the opposite as well - such as the previously mentioned BIL who drove his Tacoma into the side of his brick house but refuses to believe it was the car's fault - "must have been the ice scraper on the floor".
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:15 PM   #139
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Oh, whatever. Do you really think there is *no* placebo effect out there at all?
Placebo effect aside.

What gets to me is the free-pass that Toyota gets compared to every other company.

If Detroit had this problem - you can bet the new York Times would be whipping up the class-action lawyers to take on this menacing conspiracy to public safety.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:30 PM   #140
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Placebo effect aside.

What gets to me is the free-pass that Toyota gets compared to every other company.

If Detroit had this problem - you can bet the new York Times would be whipping up the class-action lawyers to take on this menacing conspiracy to public safety.
No argument there. Perception is a very hard thing to shake.

Detroit earned its reputation 2-3 decades ago, and unfortunately it's discovering that old preconceived notions die hard.

By the way, I wouldn't say a free pass "compared to every other company." I'm pretty sure Honda would get the same free pass if it were their problem.
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