Toyota in a world of hurt 71 replies

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NiteStryker

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24th April 2003

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#1 8 years ago

Feds to probe cause of runaway Prius in California - Yahoo! News

EL CAJON, Calif. – The government sent investigators Tuesday to examine a Prius that sped out of control on a California freeway, and Toyota said it wanted to interview the driver as the besieged automaker dealt with a high-profile new headache that raised questions about the safety of its beloved hybrid.

A day after state troopers helped the car slow to a stop and its driver to emerge unharmed, Toyota could shed no new light on what might have gone wrong. The Prius is not part of Toyota's vast recall of gas pedals that can become stuck, but it is covered by an earlier recall of floor mats that can catch the accelerator.

The freeway incident happened at the worst possible time for Toyota — just hours after it invited reporters Monday to hear experts insist that electronic flaws could not cause cars to speed out of control under real driving conditions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sent two investigators to examine the car, a government spokeswoman said. Toyota Motor Corp. spokesman Brian Lyons said the automaker is sending three of its own technicians to investigate.

Another Toyota spokesman, John Hanson, said the company wanted to talk to the driver, James Sikes.

His car, a 2008 model, was covered by the floor mat recall, but the driver in Monday's incident said the pedal jammed and was not trapped under the mat.

Sikes told authorities he was driving on Interstate 8 outside San Diego when the accelerator became stuck. He said the car reached 94 mph before a trooper, calling out instructions from a megaphone, helped him slow down and turn off the engine.

A pair of 911 calls spanning 23 minutes recounted the harrowing experience. In the audio released Tuesday, Sikes sounds panicked at times as he tells a dispatcher about a stuck accelerator. The dispatcher, Leighann Parks, repeatedly tells Sikes to throw the car into neutral and turn off the ignition. Sikes often didn't respond to her instructions.

"My car can't slow down," Sikes tells her. At one point, Parks asks if he had put the car into neutral, and Sikes responds, "I'm trying to control the car!"

Sikes, 61, was identified in a 2006 newspaper story as a real estate executive and longtime lottery player who won $55,000 and was selected to appear on a California Lottery TV game show.[/QUOTE]

:lulz: This event happened less than 2 miles from my house.

I find the bold parts a bit...odd. Im wondering if its fake. Someone trying to cash in on the snowballing problems Toyota is facing.

And I love how the story says "he reached speeds of 94 miles an hour".... OH NO!!!! Considering the cruising speed on most parts of the 8 freeway is 85, this really isnt horrible.

Another article says [QUOTE=] Officer Neibert said he not only could smell the brakes from the Prius but also witnessed Sikes physically lifting his body to apply pressure on the brakes.

Putting Runaway Prius in Neutral Didn't Work: CHP | NBC San Diego

So maybe he wasnt faking. But I wouldnt be suprised if someone tries.




KeNDaLL2000

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17th May 2006

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#2 8 years ago

I have a Prius. Guess who is going 102mph on the freeway tomorrow...:lulz:




Andron Taps Forum Mod

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#3 8 years ago

Fo realz? Did you get pictures?


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Dragonelf68

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#4 8 years ago

He was too busy watching Miley. :giggle:

But seriously, I love the irony in this. Toyota invites reports to talk to the experts and a this happens.


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Admiral Donutz VIP Member

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9th December 2003

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#5 8 years ago

Meh, the Toyate crap is lame. Various cars manufactures have recalled cars for all sorts of faults and mistakes over the past years as they shortend development time and testing.

But assuming this was real, why didn't he he change gears (to neutral) and/or turn the engine off? I guess he sort of pannicked, well partionally, as he seemed calm enough to call the police...




Rikupsoni

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26th April 2004

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#6 8 years ago

Admiral Donutz;5264220Meh, the Toyate crap is lame. Various cars manufactures have recalled cars for all sorts of faults and mistakes over the past years as they shortend development time and testing.

But assuming this was real, why didn't he he change gears (to neutral) and/or turn the engine off? I guess he sort of pannicked, well partionally, as he seemed calm enough to call the police...

Yeah, American politicians have just used it as a chance to diss Toyota to promote their own carmakers, like Americans cars didn't have faults. I can assure you, most recent American car models have had a lot more faults to fix. Japanese cars are the most reliable in the world, proved by car inspection statistics.

But a funny story, didn't think anybody could have used it as an excuse for speeding. :lulz:




dinosaurJR

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#7 8 years ago

I call BS on this. Turning off the ignition of putting the car in neutral would have sorted this out. END OF.

To say putting the car in neutral had no effect is crazy - what? was it a magic car? Was it Herbie? I think not...

Turning the key to the OFF position kills the current to the electric motor / turns off the spark ignition / cuts power to the fuel pump. Putting the car in neutral (in a manual gear car) mechanically breaks the connection between the engine and the wheels (the input shaft to the gear box disengages from the lay shaft \ output shaft) leaving the engine to rev freely, but the engine revs physically cannot be transmitted to the road wheels. In an automatic gearbox, the torque converter is disengaged, there is no fluid pressure and so the same as above happens... A fault in the accelerator pedal assembly cannot stop you from doing either of the above...

Seems like he is trying to cash in on the Toyota controversy...




Dragonelf68

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#8 8 years ago

It's a machine dinosaur. Machines can fail.


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dinosaurJR

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#9 8 years ago
Dragonelf68;5264324It's a machine dinosaur. Machines can fail.

Yes, machines can fail. Yes, that makes me sad. But this is like saying your brain exploded because you scratched your foot... (and no, scratching your foot with an armed tactical nuke does not make this an invalid point)

Even if the accelerator pedal stuck (or if the throttle butterfly valve jammed open - same effect) turning off the ignition would stop the car. Science Fact. As would have putting the car in neutral.

Driver fail can be acceptable - applying the brakes in this situation would do very little. The engine + momentum would totally double team them. End of.

Anyone with an ounce of technical savvy would call BS on this immediately.

The driver is the weak point...




Crazy Wolf VIP Member

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22nd March 2005

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#10 8 years ago

Machines can fail. Toyotas do not.

Seriously though, his lack of response to requests to put it in neutral make me very, very suspicious of this. Turning off the car kills your steering, so I can understand not doing that, but putting it in neutral just stops your engine from transferring power to the wheels, which, y'know, slows the car down.