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Toyota accelerator problems

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Jack Straw, Mar 9, 2010.

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  1. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    With all of the reports I have read I haven't heard of any one just putting their car into nuetral. The guy yesturday in California sped down the highway for 20 minutes. I basically understand that something is happening and the computer thinks the gas pedal is being pushed down. What I don't understand is why can't you put the car into nuetral or are people panicing?

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  2. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    That was the first question I asked when that awful tape of the panic stricken people in Ca. who were killed first hit the airwaves. Clearly, if you put the car in neutral you have effectively severed the connection between the engine and the transmission. To me that's a no brainer and if the pistons blow through the hood who cares? I'm no mechanical genius but I know enough about cars to know that neutral means no power to the drive wheels. In later discussions of the tragic circumstances the very issue of shifting to neutral or turn the key off was recommended as the solution...

    What really gets me is the "nitwit factor"... you are in a runaway vehicle and you're capable of dialling 911 but you lack the basic good sense to put the transmission in neutral or turn the key off? Time to revamp the Driver's Ed. books, huh?
  3. RowCropRenegade

    RowCropRenegade Feeling the Heat

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    Or turn the key....
  4. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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    the article says he was able to turn the key when he got down to 55 mph.. so I don't understand either
  5. FORCE FAB

    FORCE FAB New Member

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    THIS ALL STARTED IN THE 90'S WHEN THEY STARTED MAKIN YOU PUSH THE BRAKE BEFORE SHIFTING INTO GEAR.......MAKE IT IDIOT PROOF SO YA CAN GET MORE IDIOTS ON THE ROAD......TOYOTA IS MESSED UP RIGHT NOW BUT IF YOU CANT THROW IT INTO NEUTRAL OR PARK OR REVERSE OR TURN OFF THE KEY!YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE A LICENSE....
  6. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    My wife's Toyota hybrid accelerates just fine, from 0 to faster than I should be driving. The problem I have is putting my foot on the brake when I see a deer and being able to do nothing other than trust the computer. Even though the braking has been flawless, I'll take the 4 wheel discs without ABS in my truck any day of the week.
  7. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    i seen this last guy on the news talking about his prius. he was asked why he didn't put the car in neutral. he said when your going 94 miles per hour there are alot different things running in my mind. what a dope. first thing on his mind was to pickup the phone. i'm use to the old cars. in a old car if the throttle was being held down from one thing or another if you put it in neutral you blow the engine. why not try something different, shut off the key. the company is frowning on shutting off the key saying that you can lose power steering and brakes. bull. if your excited that much your adrenalin is flowing and at that time people can have so much more strength than you think you have doesn't matter if your key is off your brakes will still work. the prius is the worst offender if the throttle was pushed down not only are you getting a 4 cylinder engine pulling but you have a electric motor which has even more torque than horsepower. that's why these people can't stop those cars. the brakes them self are fine just can't over come the wieght of the vehicle at speed and 2 driving forces combined. i just don't understand why the company just won't come out and say that they have a computer problem.
    my friend that works at toyota says that if you were to slide the shift into neutral the engine would not blow because of a rev limiter.
    this same thing used to happen to a old 68 fairlane i owned when i was a kid. it had a broken motor mount on the drivers side. when i would hit the gas to start from a light or from stop the motor would lift alot higher than normal and because of that movement it would tug on the gas peddle and would keep going until either i shut the motor of it got up enough speed to lay the motor down. i was just a kid and i had the sense to shut the key off turn the wheel to pull over then hit the power brake peddle to stop and get my senses back.
    we are really losing the race on common sense as time go's on.
  8. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    this type of problem would not happen if they got rid of the fly by wire and went back to the gas peddle controlling the air flaps in a throttle body and a throttle positioning sensor. if the computer decided to dump a bunch of gas into the engine because it thinks the gas peddle is floored the motor would stall because of not having enough air.
  9. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Don't need to depress brake to shift into neutral from drive, just to get out of park into gear.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Considering this went on for about 20 minutes, it seems there was plenty of time for rational thinking and even a call to Toyota by the trooper. In his model Prius, all he had to do is hit the P (Park) button or hold down the Start button for a few seconds. Either procedure would have put the car into neutral and brought the engine down to idle. This works even done under full acceleration. So was this stunt paid for by GM?
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Any time I see an emergency situation that I didn't have to deal with, I know exactly how it should have been handled. :coolsmirk:
  12. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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    I can see that having this happen can be quite horrifying and you mind would turn to just stepping on the brake to stop the car. With that said and the report from Cali. of the runaway Prius confirmed my suspicions. But turning off the ignition of the car allowed the car to just coast to a stop.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Unless it causes you to lose power steering, power brakes and overshoot by a tad and lock the steering column. :ahhh:
  14. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

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    At 90 miles per hour, you don't need power-steering, it's most useful when parking the car. My take on this is that many people don't know how to think on there own anymore. An example my employees, I have to tell them everything to do, and put it in writing, so when they screw up HR will back me when I discipline them. If this dummy had enough cool to use the cell phone, he should of had the smarts to hit neutral. I wonder did the police suggest this?
  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I've been saying this for a long time . . . couldn't for the life of me figure out why folks didn't simply slip their car into neutral . . . or as a last ditch effort turn off the car engine and keep the steering wheel as straight as possible to avoid any possible lock up. Yeah . . . I can understand how some folks might panic initially . . . but after a few minutes one would think the driver, other passengers (in other examples), the 911 dispatcher, etc. would think to mention this idea . . .

    I think humanity is doomed. ;)
  16. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    locking the steering column i can see one of these dummys doing that. at that speed turning the wheel won't be any harder than plain old car without power steering, unless you go to one other bright thing that toyota had put on the corolla electric power steering. and stopping the car, after you shut down the engine or motor or both you just put your foot on the brake peddle hard and it will stop. going 20 minutes without doing something is plain outright stupid. i hope this guy isn't replicating. that's all we need is more dummys
  17. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    agreed. the first thing that comes to mind is pickup the phone. they must have a couch to use the toilet
  18. ChillyGator

    ChillyGator New Member

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    This is SO true.

    A couple of Sunday's ago I was eating breakfast (Cheerios) when part of one got caught in my throat and cut off my air supply 100%......I did not know that a self administered Himlich manuver was the correct action.....what I did was stand over the kitchen sink 'growling/grunting/raging' until a little pinhole in my throat opened up and I was able to start coughing and eventually coughed up the little chunk that was killing me. I think I just got lucky that I didn't pass out before getting relief.

    A couple of years ago I was driving my friend's '57 Chevy (souped up 350 motor), he told me to 'kick it' one time which I did and the accelerator promtley stuck wide open.....I'm thankful that I thought to shut off the engine rather than shift into neutral (my first instinct). Worked just as well and saved some $$.

    Things start happening VERY FAST when you get in that type situation......prior planning/thinking about it goes a long way.
  19. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    Just what we need - another reason for a Prius owner to be afraid of pressing down on the damn gas pedal.
  20. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I'm a huge advocate of buying cars made by American owned companies, I live in Michigan so this is for obvious reasons. I really don't want to see any car companies foreign or domestic suffer though since they employ so many American workers.

    With that said for the life of me I can't understand how the people driving these cars are so stupid! It's simple, put the car in neutral, I'm not a fan of turning it off due to losing power steering and brakes or locking the steering wheel. It's really not rocket science! As others have said above me the guy said he couldn't think since so much was happening, come on guy, you managed to call 911 but didn't have enough sense to put it in neutral. It's a a Prius for gods sake, it's not like it got to 90 at warp speed!

    I remember when this all started, I asked my wife what she would do and she said she didn't know. I explained that if something like this was to ever happen she'd just have to put the car in neutral. I guess living in the motorcity, being a car guy from the time I could walk and racing cars since I could drive I can keep my head enough to put a car in neutral in a tense situation.

    Maybe this is a modern day natural selection! :lol:
  21. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Please remove your tin foil hat!
  22. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Part of the problem here is that there is no longer a physical connection to either the motor or the transmission, so even if you put the gear selector in neutral, there is no guanrantee the software is giong to read your keyboard input and shift the gears. As I understand it, at least in the hybrids, you have to hold the shifter in N for a few seconds in order for it to take it out of drive...ditto with the start/stop button...its designed to require more than a touch to stop the motor so you don't accidentally shut your motor off while you're reaching for the HVAC fan controls.

    An interesting side note, I experimented wiht it myself last night. In many, if not all, newer cars with automatic tranny's...stepping on the brake pedal will idle the motor, regardless of throttl input. I tried it in my wife's Audi while I was bedding in her new rear brake pads. Matted the gas pedal and stepped on the brake pedal...motor fought the brakes for about 3 seconds and then the engine shut down to idle and the car stopped...my right foot was still planted. Gonna try it in my truck next time I go out. I know the Toyotas are alleged to have this feature...I have to wonder why its not working. My guess is this is a software glitch that they can't find. The computer is throwing the motor into high or full throttle and overriding the brake cutoff...this is NOT a floormat or a sticky gaspedal or even a faulty throttle assembly...this is a computer issue.
  23. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    That's one for the World Book Of Great Quotes.


    Why not just gently roll out of the door? :lol:

    I remember when car manufacturers moved the "high beam" button from the floor to the steering column.
    They had to recall all those cars from Poland because they kept getting their feet caught in the steering wheel. :lol:
  24. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    Lol, Kenny.

    I pretty much think there is an increasing divide between using an automobile and having a basic clue about how it actually works. I'm NOT a mechanical whiz by any stretch of the imagination and I do understand how panic can overtake a situation. But for Pete's sake, people! the car is accelerating and it's out of your control. When does self-preservation kick in, TRY something besides screaming into a cell phone (how about texting for help?). I work with high speed sewing equipment and a lot of fast moving, very hot or very sharp tools on a daily basis, so maybe I'm just less cowed by equipment/machinery or am "wired" to be willing to try things. Dunno.

    Two hundred years ago those same people who've been tragically killed may just as likely have bent over behind a horse to pick up something shiney and been kicked in the head... . Yes, I'm being flip, but if you're going to operate an automobile you really do need to know more about it that just how to "aim" it.

    You can't lock the steering column unless the car is in Park and you have to move the shifter a long way beyond Neutral to hit Park. Putting the car in neutral has been one of the waysoffered to regain control over the runaway automobiles. The emergency operator asked the guy if he'd done that, too.
  25. Deere10

    Deere10 New Member

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    I believe the steering column will only lock the wheel when in Park. So to all Toyota owners Here is my PSA when barrelling down the hi way outa control Shift to neutral Turn key to back to you (steering wheel will not lock). Apply brake,If working properly if not There is always a Parking brake either foot operated or Handle between seats.. There are always options you can do. A saying comes to mind Common sense Priceless............
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