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DetroitNut90

Lexus ES350 federal safety probe widens

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Federal regulators have stepped up an investigation into 98,454 Lexus ES 350 sedans after amassing 40 reports of unintended acceleration, including eight crashes and 12 injuries, along with cases in which drivers said their cars stopped only after an accident.

Toyota Motor Co. told safety officials that the problem appeared to be caused by loose floor mats and contends that it dealt with the flaw through a mailing to customers earlier this year. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided to continue its investigation last week to verify whether Toyota's efforts were sufficient.

Sudden acceleration problems carry a unique stigma in the U.S. auto industry, due to the collapse of the Audi brand in the late 1980s following a "60 Minutes" report alleging runaway vehicles. Federal safety officials later cleared Audi, but it took years for the company to clear its name with customers.

While some auto safety advocates maintain that several models still suffer from sudden acceleration, NHTSA has investigated hundreds of such complaints over the past two decades but rarely found any defects. Most of the complaints have been blamed on drivers mistaking the accelerator for the brake.

But in the Lexus investigation, NHTSA verified several of the complaints. One driver told the agency the vehicle had hit speeds of 100 m.p.h. over a 6-mile stretch of freeway due to the problem. A Michigan woman said the problem caused her to lose control of her Lexus, triggering a rollover crash on I-75 that totaled her car. NHTSA does not release the names of people who file complaints.

Detroit Free Press

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Hmmm..I always wonder about the people that claim 'sudden acceleration'....they didn't think to use the brake, put the car in park, shut off the engine, etc?

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Once and only once, the cruise control in my Cutlass has some sort of seizure and started accellerating the car gradually. As I was already doing 65 and in traffic, this became a problem. The cruise switch didn't respond, the brakes didn't cancel the the cruise, I ended up putting it in neutral and shutting off the car, but I lost power brakes and power steering. I took a chance and restarted the car while rolling and the cruise let it's grip go...... and it never happened again.

No damage was done, but it was one of the scariest driving moments of my life.

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Hmmm..I always wonder about the people that claim 'sudden acceleration'....they didn't think to use the brake, put the car in park, shut off the engine, etc?

So do I... but 40 occurrences of the same problem is somewhat alarming.

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The Prius, too.

http://www.autoblog.com/2007/08/14/toyota-...ind-of-its-own/

"One Prius owner with only 600 miles on the clock told ConsumerAffiars of his car experiencing 'uncontrollable acceleration,' and another reported that after hitting a large bump in the road, traction control flared up before the brakes cut and the car started to lunge forward."

I'm reminded of CBS and the Audi 5000. Then, as now, I have yet to see a report of unintended acceleration that has any credibility. It's all usually driver error, although blaming floor mats is generally believed to be better PR strategy.

It is amusing, though, that this latest round has focused in on Toyota. The person who sent me the Prius link was quick to note the irony in smug drivers making such elementary mistakes.

I say we sit back and wait for Consumer Reports to file the Prius and ES next to the Suzuki Samurai; Isuzu Trooper; Lotus Elise, and other vehicles that this esteemed group of multifaceted watchdogs can't seem to learn how to drive.

I can't say I think much of the floor-mat excuse, particularly when the blame likely lies (as in the case of the Audi 5000) with the drivers. Then again, Toyota already tried blaming the idiot consumer over sludge issues, and that didn't work so well.

With all of that said, Toyota did recall a bunch of Lexus RXs last year for an underdash plastic piece that popped off during driving, above the driver's feet. Who says Toyota doesn't steal ideas from Alfa Romeo?

Edited by CaMIRO
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Once and only once, the cruise control in my Cutlass has some sort of seizure and started accellerating the car gradually. As I was already doing 65 and in traffic, this became a problem. The cruise switch didn't respond, the brakes didn't cancel the the cruise, I ended up putting it in neutral and shutting off the car, but I lost power brakes and power steering. I took a chance and restarted the car while rolling and the cruise let it's grip go...... and it never happened again.

No damage was done, but it was one of the scariest driving moments of my life.

Exact same thing happened to my dad on our 1991 Cavalier.

It had aftermarket cruise installed, my dad stopped the car

by shutting it off and shifting into Neutral but for a few

seconds we were accelerating well past 70mph right next to

Phillips Academy in Andover leaving a 40mph zone and

entering a 25mph zone. Scary.

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That is a concern of mine with vehicles equipped with drive-by-wire, as I would assume these affected Lexuses are. Not totally convinced it's a great idea since there seems to be no redundancy built in.

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I would ike to see the news carry this one. But then again, this is toyota, the company that can do no wrong. I'm guessing we won't see much on it.

Write your local media to get them to show this story. It's time toyotas lies got out.

Edited by Dsuupr
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Will that stop old farts from buying this boat? Probably not.

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Toyota's don't fail...only the 'floormats' do!

Has anyone here ever driven an Audi 5000? I have to say any acceleration from that car WOULD be unintended...slow was not a word I would use to describe the examples we drove...GLACIAL would be more of an apt description.

Speaking of Toyota and recalls...has anyone here heard or seen anything further on the Tundra seat belt and anchoring recalls in said trucks? Has Toyota complied on that one finally?

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Hmmm..I always wonder about the people that claim 'sudden acceleration'....they didn't think to use the brake, put the car in park, shut off the engine, etc?

This exact thing used to happen to my first car - a 1985 Ford LTD. While flooring it (112 HP + 4K lbs + a short on-ramp is a bad combination) the accelerator would snag on the carpet and get stuck at WOT.

The first time this happened to me , I didn't realize why it stuck and it freaked me out. Punching the accelerator repeatedly didn't free it, mashing the brakes didn't slow me enough, and I was closing in on slower traffic. It finally dawned on me to stick my foot under the accelerator and pry it up, which popped it free.

Once I knew to expect that, it was no big deal to pop it loose if it stuck again, and a rubber floor mat fixed the problem permanently as soon as I identified why it was sticking. But I can certainly see how someone could panic and crash the first time it happens - you don't think always think about turning off the car (not the wisest choice anyway because you lose power assist on brakes and steering) or kicking it into neutral in the heat of the moment.

-RBB

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Honestly, who the hell says to themselves:

"I'd like to own the most boring car in America btu instead of buying it

for $24K I'd like to pay $37K so that I have more bulbous headlights

that look like glass tumors and the grille has an L logo instead of the

double hoop T.... yes that sounds like it;s worth the extra $$$"

This is natrual selection at work. I hope these things start blowing up

like Robert DiNero's Eldorado in Casino... except they will not need

the help of a mobster with some TNT.

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This exact thing used to happen to my first car - a 1985 Ford LTD. While flooring it (112 HP + 4K lbs + a short on-ramp is a bad combination) the accelerator would snag on the carpet and get stuck at WOT.

The first time this happened to me , I didn't realize why it stuck and it freaked me out. Punching the accelerator repeatedly didn't free it, mashing the brakes didn't slow me enough, and I was closing in on slower traffic. It finally dawned on me to stick my foot under the accelerator and pry it up, which popped it free.

Once I knew to expect that, it was no big deal to pop it loose if it stuck again, and a rubber floor mat fixed the problem permanently as soon as I identified why it was sticking. But I can certainly see how someone could panic and crash the first time it happens - you don't think always think about turning off the car (not the wisest choice anyway because you lose power assist on brakes and steering) or kicking it into neutral in the heat of the moment.

-RBB

I had the same problem with an Eagle Talon.

Around were I live there seems to be a lot of Buicks going through fences, houses, stores, etc. I don't think Buick has a problem with run-away acceleration. I think they have a problem with old buyers.

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I had the same problem with an Eagle Talon.

Around were I live there seems to be a lot of Buicks going through fences, houses, stores, etc. I don't think Buick has a problem with run-away acceleration. I think they have a problem with old buyers.

Hmmmm, must be going around, yesterday we had a 94 F150 piloted by a 72 yr old man drive thru a Wendy's... literaly. Unintended acceleration? You be the judge...
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GXT+ >>"Around were I live there seems to be a lot of Buicks going through fences, houses, stores, etc. I don't think Buick has a problem with run-away acceleration. I think they have a problem with old buyers. "<<

Monroe Twp NJ, 08-14-07 ~

"Barnet Dower was traveling north at about 4pm Tuesday when he drove through a marked parking space. He went over a curb, struck a tree, went over a second curb, then traveled across a roadway, over a lawn and up a driveway, striking a corner of the garage at 195 Newport Rd, police said. The vehicle continued thru the garage door, striking a 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass parked inside. Dower continued eastward before striking the rear wall, knocking the garage off it's foundation. The vehicle became lodged in the garage wall. A township construction official declared the garage unsafe."

Mr. Dower is 89 and was driving a toyota camry.

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Hmmm..I always wonder about the people that claim 'sudden acceleration'....they didn't think to use the brake, put the car in park, shut off the engine, etc?

It is a proven FACT that a vehicle cannot overpower it's own brakes (as long as nothing's defective with the brakes themselves.)

I don't give "unintended acceleration" complaints ANY credit.

If your floormat has bunched up in front of your gas pedal, it's your DAMN responsibility to make sure nothing in the car impedes with your ability to control it....including the floor mats.

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It is a proven FACT that a vehicle cannot overpower it's own brakes (as long as nothing's defective with the brakes themselves.)

I don't give "unintended acceleration" complaints ANY credit.

If your floormat has bunched up in front of your gas pedal, it's your DAMN responsibility to make sure nothing in the car impedes with your ability to control it....including the floor mats.

Well...earlier this year the Prizm would do something funky like this. Sometimes the gas pedal would get "suck:" or something. When I had the pedal down to accelerate hard (like for passing) and would let go the car would still be accelerating. I'd have to take it a couple time to get it to stop. The car didn't have floormats at the time, and unlike the Cobalt, it's carpet is secure.

This happened several times...I could never figure out if it was getting caught on something or what, but eventually the problem went away.

Also, the floormat thing is kind of weak...in my experience, when a floormat "bunches up" by the pedal, it prevents pedal travel, thus hindering acceleration...

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Given the average ES buyer - seniors or real estate women - this doesn't surprise me.

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It is a proven FACT that a vehicle cannot overpower it's own brakes (as long as nothing's defective with the brakes themselves.)

'Proved' by whom??- ever hear of a device called a linelock? How about 'power braking'? Trust me it's possible, I've seen it numerous times.

ANY vehicle with marginal brakes & high torque levels has the potential to overpower it's brakes.

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I owned my '68 Camaro for 4 years and I can assure you the

350 horsepower ZZ3 crate smallblock was able to overpower

the 4-wheel drum brakes without a PROBLEM.

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Given the average ES buyer - seniors or real estate women - this doesn't surprise me.

OMG that is 100% true.......the lexus ES should get an award from the nation al reators association as car of the year or something.

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OMG that is 100% true.......the lexus ES should get an award from the nation al reators association as car of the year or something.

Second runner up: The Lexus RX.

Oddly, Howard Hanna, a major real estate firm here in Pittsburgh, purchase a fleet of dark green Rainiers for their agents. The green just happens to match the green on their logo.

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I don't give "unintended acceleration" complaints ANY credit.

I do. I see no reason why a drive-by-wire throttle body couldn't do something such as this. After all, it's nothing more than a servo-style electric motor controling it. A programming glitch could easily cause an issue like this, or maybe water intrusion into a critical harness, a faulty signal from the throttle position sensor (accelerator pedal asy.), etc. Far more likely than it happening with a cable-driven thottle body.
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'Proved' by whom??- ever hear of a device called a linelock? How about 'power braking'? Trust me it's possible, I've seen it numerous times.

ANY vehicle with marginal brakes & high torque levels has the potential to overpower it's brakes.

NOT if the brakes are in proper working order.......("marginal" brakes don't cut it.)

What happens if you take a Corvette with an automatic, sit in the parking lot, and floor the gas with your foot firmly on the brake? (providing the traction control is off) it sits there and smokes its tires on the pavement.....without moving forward.

I even remember doing this in high-torque cars like a Roadmaster Sedan LT1.....with what would be suggested as brakes not as impressive as a Corvette's.....

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I do. I see no reason why a drive-by-wire throttle body couldn't do something such as this. After all, it's nothing more than a servo-style electric motor controling it. A programming glitch could easily cause an issue like this, or maybe water intrusion into a critical harness, a faulty signal from the throttle position sensor (accelerator pedal asy.), etc. Far more likely than it happening with a cable-driven thottle body.

You guys just don't get it. It doesn't matter what kind of throttle it is.....if you are sitting still, the car is not going to accelerate away "unintended" as long as you are properly using the brakes. IF you are moving, you can slow the vehicle by applying the brakes. It will take longer ('cause the throttle is open) but it's entirely possible to keep the car under control.

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