Toyota Recall- Going Overboard?

dilbaggins

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2009
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Does anyone else think that the media is skewing this whole Toyota Recall thing out of proportion and trying to make consumers scared?
 

Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,218
1,584
Which recall as there is two.

The sticking pedal being the major one. The media would rip them a new @@@@hole over this as it's not a minor fault and most drivers wouldn't think to hit the brakes or turn the car off.

The abs issue is nothing to worry about. It just happened to come at the wrong time. If the sticking pedal issue wasn't there then the abs issue wouldn't have made the news.
 

dilbaggins

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2009
65
0
Mostly the ABS issue, the sticky pedals I can see but people with common sense should know to somehow engage the brake and shift into neutral and/or shut the engine off completely.

Keyword here being common sense.
 

IntheNet

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2009
190
0
Does anyone else think that the media is skewing this whole Toyota Recall thing out of proportion and trying to make consumers scared?
Making consumers scared? No... not nearly enough has been done by the media in this regard. Toyota has not only deliberately hidden safety reports and dismissed complaints on their defects, they have jeopardized owners of Toyotas from numerous defects, not the least of which are accelerators that stick and threaten driver and passenger safety. The company should be made to address these issues or prohibited from selling further vehicles.

Toyota dismissed safety complaints for years: Stupak charges Toyota's study of sudden acceleration has 'serious flaws'
http://dailyme.com/story/2010022200003737/panel-toyota-dismissed-safety-complaints-years-.html
Feb. 22--WASHINGTON -- Despite an estimated 2,600 complaints over nine years from U.S. owners regarding sudden acceleration, Toyota downplayed the problem and refused to seriously consider electrical problems as a cause, lawmakers said today.

Toyota to fix 'very dangerous' gas pedal defects
http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/26/business/la-fi-toyota-recall26-2009nov26
The recall, which covers 4.26 million cars and trucks, is aimed at reducing the vehicles' risk of sudden accelerations, which have led to 19 deaths since the 2002 model year.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
1,061
The media overreacts to every big recall. Ford and the Firestone tire debacle is a big one I remember. Now it is Toyota's turn.

The thing that makes me scared is the possibility that Toyota knew of the problem and tried to cover it up by having ex-NHTSA workers stop investigations, etc. That is what consumers should be scared of. Not if their vehicle starts to accelerate( shift the thing into neutral, hit the brakes as the brakes can stop a car even at WOT, or turn the car off).
 

StruckANerve

macrumors 6502
Dec 31, 2008
392
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Rio Rancho, NM
One of my co-workers Father crashed his Toyota into a store a few years ago and he claimed the car just took off and he didn't know what happened. We all just attributed it to him being in his 80's and crazy and he just screwed up. We now realize that his car probably did take off on its own.
 

rikers_mailbox

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2003
739
0
LA-la-land
I agree that Brian Ross & Co. are covering the Toyota issues with an unfair bias. The acceleration problems have NOT been explicitly proven nor are they consistently demonstrable. IMO, the media are not accurately representing the problem and thus inciting consumer fear.
 

dilbaggins

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2009
65
0
I agree that Brian Ross & Co. are covering the Toyota issues with an unfair bias. The acceleration problems have NOT been explicitly proven nor are they consistently demonstrable. IMO, the media are not accurately representing the problem and thus inciting consumer fear.
This is EXACTLY how I wanted to phrase my answer
 

rikers_mailbox

macrumors 6502a
Sep 27, 2003
739
0
LA-la-land
Having a background in aerospace systems, I actually tend to believe there could exist a fault condition that leads to "unintended acceleration" (or a Brake Anomaly?). Much like aircraft, today's automobiles are complex, sophisticated machines. Errors can arise unexpectedly and have nonintuitive results, in both hardware and software. People take this for granted.

and yet I'm still happy with my 2007 Prius. It's been comfortable and reliable. And I'm impressed with it as a system (planetary gearbox and Atkinson cycle!) My previous cars were a Jeep and two Oldsmobiles, all driven >100k miles. I'll hold judgement on Toyota until after I've driven another 100K miles.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
5,809
344
Milwaukee, WI
Which recall as there is two.
I'm losing count, but I think there are at least three. Oops, make that four: http://www.lemonauto.com/complaints/1_toyota_recalls.htm

... people with common sense should know to somehow engage the brake and shift into neutral and/or shut the engine off completely.
That's not common sense. If you shut off the engine, you lose power steering.

I agree that Brian Ross & Co. are covering the Toyota issues with an unfair bias. The acceleration problems have NOT been explicitly proven nor are they consistently demonstrable. IMO, the media are not accurately representing the problem and thus inciting consumer fear.
I disagree on all points. Now, some cars (at least 15 at last count) with "fixed" pedals are still spontaneously accelerating. Toyota is either baffled by the problem, or is still engaged in coverup behavior. I never bought the floor mat explanation. I'd believe a floor mat and pedal problem in sequence, but not just a floor mat. You can reach down and move a stinkin' floor mat!
 

ayeying

macrumors 601
Dec 5, 2007
4,548
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Yay Area, CA
That's not common sense. If you shut off the engine, you lose power steering.
Not entirely true. I've shutdown the engine at highway speeds before and not lose control of the vehicle. If you don't turn it to "LOCK", you'll be fine. Also, brakes still work while the engine is not running. The brakes will just feel less sensitive then with the car running.

Furthermore, Toyota's don't have a Brake safety system. If the accelerator's at max, the brakes doesn't have priority over the accelerator like they do in other cars such as Honda or Ford. That's a major flaw in Toyota's design.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
1,061
That's not common sense. If you shut off the engine, you lose power steering.
Oh no, you lose power steering and return to the days before power steering existed.

You can still steer the car without power steering.

Furthermore, Toyota's don't have a Brake safety system. If the accelerator's at max, the brakes doesn't have priority over the accelerator like they do in other cars such as Honda or Ford. That's a major flaw in Toyota's design.
True, but the brakes can still stop the car with the engine going at WOT. What probably happens with these people saying the brakes don't stop the car is that A) Poor maintenance and the pads need replacing B) In mid-panic they pump the brakes instead of holding it down firmly. Pumping the brakes does NOTHING to stop you with the engine going at WOT.
 

Rodimus Prime

macrumors G4
Oct 9, 2006
10,132
4
Mostly the ABS issue, the sticky pedals I can see but people with common sense should know to somehow engage the brake and shift into neutral and/or shut the engine off completely.

Keyword here being common sense.
Easy to say hard to do. In a panic common sense is not there for any one. In a panic most people will slam on the brakes and they reasonable expect the car to stop.
If the car is stuck at WOT the braking power is greatly reduced. Toyota screwed up in knowing this was a problem for years and choose not to fix it and now it is coming to bite them in the rear.
Not having a software over ride to the has pedal in a panic stop was stupid.
 

Signal-11

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,475
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2nd Star to the Right
That's not common sense. If you shut off the engine, you lose power steering.
I did an informal poll among my friends. Most did NOT come up with "Put the car in neutral" as ANY step in what they'd do for SUA. Most, in fact, did not even really understand what that N on their steering column meant.

This is a driver competency issue. American driver competency is extremely low, compounded by the fact that most Americans have only driven automatics their entire lives.

Looking at other countries where these exact same models are sold, there are in fact little to no complaints about SUA leading to accidents because the drivers dealt with it as it happened. And if anything, the Germans and the Japanese are the most meticulous record keepers on earth.

As for the power steering thing, if you lose power steering at speed in a 3000 lbs, you will barely even notice.
 

dilbaggins

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 13, 2009
65
0
Easy to say hard to do. In a panic common sense is not there for any one. In a panic most people will slam on the brakes and they reasonable expect the car to stop.
If the car is stuck at WOT the braking power is greatly reduced. Toyota screwed up in knowing this was a problem for years and choose not to fix it and now it is coming to bite them in the rear.
Not having a software over ride to the has pedal in a panic stop was stupid.
Okay you put yourself in that situation- Your car is increasing speed and your stepping on the brake and obviously it isnt working so you have either two choices
1.) Some how get your car to rub against some sort of friction causing device (IE. Grass, the side barriers,etc.)
OR
2.)Put the car in neutral/shut off the engine.
This just prove the competency of American drivers. I've only been driving for around 3 years now and even I know the neutral trick/scheme....
 

Counterfit

macrumors G3
Aug 20, 2003
8,202
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sitting on your shoulder
I put my car into neutral multiple times just to get to highway speeds. :p


But no, the media is not going overboard, they're just making up for the coverage of big recalls on the Tundra and Tacoma over serious issues (frame rust, etc.). You would think that spare tires falling off trucks would get some attention...
 

spork183

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2006
880
0
Not entirely true. I've shutdown the engine at highway speeds before and not lose control of the vehicle. If you don't turn it to "LOCK", you'll be fine. Also, brakes still work while the engine is not running. The brakes will just feel less sensitive then with the car running.

Furthermore, Toyota's don't have a Brake safety system. If the accelerator's at max, the brakes doesn't have priority over the accelerator like they do in other cars such as Honda or Ford. That's a major flaw in Toyota's design.
I'm confused on why turn it off? Just shift into neutral. This problem won't override the tranny. Worst case scenario is you bounce off the limiter or blow the engine. Either way, your brakes and steering continue.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
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I'm confused on why turn it off? Just shift into neutral. This problem won't override the tranny. Worst case scenario is you bounce off the limiter or blow the engine. Either way, your brakes and steering continue.
I have heard that above 5000 RPM, Toyota doesn't allow you to shift into neutral.
 

localoid

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2007
2,428
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America's Third World
I have no idea if the following is 100% accurate, but on some auto forums some are claiming that certain Toyotas models with auto transmissions are equipped with a computer controlled system that switch gears electronically rather than mechanically. Purportedly, on these vehicles the driver cannot shift into neutral above certain highway speeds or RPMs because the car computer system maintains complete control of the shifting -- even if the driver physically moves the gear shift into neutral position the computer keeps the car in "drive". And supposedly, the "push to start" Toyota models will not always turn the engine off if the car's computer senses the car is still moving.

Some car-savvy investigative reporter needs to dig into the issue and sort out the myths from the facts...
 

fireshot91

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2008
4,719
0
Northern VA
Well, I asked my friend what she would do. She said she would scream, and then jump out of the car. Then she asked me what she SHOULD do, and I said to either brake, or put it in neutral. She didn't even know what Neutral is...*worried*. (No wonder Asian women drivers suck. jk)


I asked my other friend, and he said that he'd use the emergency break.
 

apsterling

macrumors 6502a
Nov 24, 2007
581
1
I have no idea if the following is 100% accurate, but on some auto forums some are claiming that certain Toyotas models with auto transmissions are equipped with a computer controlled system that switch gears electronically rather than mechanically. Purportedly, on these vehicles the driver cannot shift into neutral above certain highway speeds or RPMs because the car computer system maintains complete control of the shifting -- even if the driver physically moves the gear shift into neutral position the computer keeps the car in "drive". And supposedly, the "push to start" Toyota models will not always turn the engine off if the car's computer senses the car is still moving.

Some car-savvy investigative reporter needs to dig into the issue and sort out the myths from the facts...
In that case, couldn't the driver switch in succession from Gear 2-Gear 1-Neutral-Brake, while having E-Break pressed? Sure, you're probably gonna bust the emergency break, but better than busting any number of other parts of the car/your body. I wouldn't imagine there being any RPM limits on switching gears like that.
 

Signal-11

macrumors 65816
Mar 23, 2008
1,475
2
2nd Star to the Right
I have no idea if the following is 100% accurate, but on some auto forums some are claiming that certain Toyotas models with auto transmissions are equipped with a computer controlled system that switch gears electronically rather than mechanically. Purportedly, on these vehicles the driver cannot shift into neutral above certain highway speeds or RPMs because the car computer system maintains complete control of the shifting -- even if the driver physically moves the gear shift into neutral position the computer keeps the car in "drive". And supposedly, the "push to start" Toyota models will not always turn the engine off if the car's computer senses the car is still moving.

Some car-savvy investigative reporter needs to dig into the issue and sort out the myths from the facts...
There's a couple of major car magazines/sites/blogs that have started doing some investigations.

Turns out that the 5000 rpm may be possible, but no reputable source has been able to replicate it.

Turns out that the push button start/keyless ignition systems operate as intended. Depression of the button for 3-5 seconds will turn off the engine in all conditions. This is still not a good emergency stop procedure.

All this is moot because Car and Driver did a series of tests from 70, 100 and 120 MPH with an intentionally stuck throttle and were able to manage full stops in the 70 and 100 MPH tests in less than the stopping distance of a Ford Taurus. The 120 MPH test, they managed to get down to 10 MPH. Given that these are all later model Toyotas we're talking about with relatively new brakes, even if they are a little worn, you should be able to get the speed down.

Only, it seems that people can't. Hrm. You sure you were stepping on the correct pedal?

Or what about that lady that testified before Congress about the repeated SUA problems with her car? Turns out that she SOLD her dangerous car to someone else. Who drove it for 27,000 miles with no problems.

I don't doubt that there is a small minority of cars with issues. The majority, OTOH, are just your typical American bad driver trying to find an excuse for the accident they got into.
 

quagmire

macrumors 603
Apr 19, 2004
6,255
1,061
Well, I asked my friend what she would do. She said she would scream, and then jump out of the car. Then she asked me what she SHOULD do, and I said to either brake, or put it in neutral. She didn't even know what Neutral is...*worried*. (No wonder Asian women drivers suck. jk)


I asked my other friend, and he said that he'd use the emergency break.
And I hoped you told him the emergency brake would not stop the car. As in most cars the emergency brake is in the rear wheels and it is a separate small brake pad from the regular pads I believe. Even if it uses the full brake pads, it wouldn't stop the car most likely since the rears only do ~20% of the stopping. Most of the stopping power comes from the front rotors.
 

fireshot91

macrumors 601
Jul 31, 2008
4,719
0
Northern VA
And I hoped you told him the emergency brake would not stop the car. As in most cars the emergency brake is in the rear wheels and it is a separate small brake pad from the regular pads I believe. Even if it uses the full brake pads, it wouldn't stop the car most likely since the rears only do ~20% of the stopping. Most of the stopping power comes from the front rotors.
I told him that I would rather use the main brakes, as they still work when you're accelerating.
 

Gregg2

macrumors 603
May 22, 2008
5,809
344
Milwaukee, WI
Oh no, you lose power steering and return to the days before power steering existed.

You can still steer the car without power steering.
But you're not used to doing that...

As for the power steering thing, if you lose power steering at speed in a 3000 lbs, you will barely even notice.
...and the goal is to get the car to slow down, at which point having no power steering is more of a problem, especially if you're an 80/80 (male or female).

All the "experts" they've been interviewing on TV say NOT to turn the key off. I suppose one reason would be that the panic you're in may cause you to lock the steering wheel.

I'm confused on why turn it off? Just shift into neutral. This problem won't override the tranny. Worst case scenario is you bounce off the limiter or blow the engine. Either way, your brakes and steering continue.
Right.

I have heard that above 5000 RPM, Toyota doesn't allow you to shift into neutral.
Haven't heard that, but the more detailed post after yours is interesting.

I asked my other friend, and he said that he'd use the emergency break.
Yikes! As a later post says, that won't solve the problem. I think it should only be used when not moving or at very low speeds. How would the lever react? You could break something else... like a finger!