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ShadowDog

Toyota stares at the floorboards

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I can't think of any other way to die from something less significant.

Linkity

If it were an aftermarket product, that's another thing. Still, what a way to go.

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This shows the sad state of driving in this country of lately. This family would be alive today if the driver would have just turned the ignition off. The government has relaxed the requirements allowing 15.5 year olds to get a temp lic & without even taking the laws test. :nono:

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I installed the soft plastic lip-type mats, designed as a catch-all for wintertime slop, in my 1996 GMC Sonoma Highrider pick-up in early December 1995. I installed the driver's side mat incorrectly right over the accelerator pedal. It worked fine at first but I soon became annoyed that at idle the motor was doing 1500-1800 rpms. What's up with that thought I. (?) And then, through a closer inspection, I realized what I'd done. Be forewarned.

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This shows the sad state of driving in this country of lately. This family would be alive today if the driver would have just turned the ignition off. The government has relaxed the requirements allowing 15.5 year olds to get a temp lic & without even taking the laws test. :nono:

NO! That is NOT AT ALL what you are supposed to do in that situation!!!!!! Ever hear of steering wheel lock? Now you have a speeding missile YOU CANNOT CONTROL! Also, these cars have the push-button ignition, and I don't think they knew how to turn it off.

What an intelligent, informed person does in this situation is throw the transmission into neutral and steer to the side of the road/shoulder and apply the brakes.

I remember hearing about this, happened down near San Diego. So sad. Damn lucky no one was killed outside of the vehicle either--they crashed at the end of a freeway ramp and it's frankly miraculous a) there wasn't a queue at the light to plow into, and b) no cross-traffic in the way. They literally flew off the T intersection, into some scrub grass so far off the road you couldn't see the car from the road, and promptly burst into flames. Such a tragedy.

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I'm surprised they had the time and state of mind to call 911 and talk to the operator, yet not be able to put it in neutral.

I've never tried it, but shouldn't the brakes be able to slow the car down even with the throttle pressed? I doubt it was running at full throttle unless the driver had it at full throttle when the floor mat got stuck on it. Given the the fact that he had time to call 911 I bet it was only at part throttle, and the car was slowly building up speed over a decent amount of time.

A good reason why everybody should be driving manual transmission. Enough with this automatic BS.

Very bad press for Toyota. Something that may have been the dealer's fault for putting the wrong floor mats in.

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The article says a California Highway Patrol officer was in the car. Makes me wonder if he was driving or his wife was driving. CHP officers should know what to do in that situation. Although being in a loaner car that is unfamiliar to them, it may have made it more difficult.

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NO! That is NOT AT ALL what you are supposed to do in that situation!!!!!! Ever hear of steering wheel lock? Now you have a speeding missile YOU CANNOT CONTROL! Also, these cars have the push-button ignition, and I don't think they knew how to turn it off.

Most cars can be turned off without locking the wheel... and if the wheel does lock, you still have the keys in the ignition and it take only a couple fractions of a second to unlock.

For the record, I have had floormat jammed around accelerator enough times over the years, and at least twice had to kill the ignition, pull over, get out of the car and unjam it.

What an intelligent, informed person does in this situation is throw the transmission into neutral and steer to the side of the road/shoulder and apply the brakes.

They probably did that... and the engine redlined. Either fear that they would blow up the engine (and have to pay for it) or that the engine would blow up in a Hollywood-style explosion killing everyone for a quarter mile popped into their heads and they put it back in gear.

Granted, I will blow up the engine before crashing into anything major... but I would have turned off the car with the ignition.

I remember hearing about this, happened down near San Diego. So sad. Damn lucky no one was killed outside of the vehicle either--they crashed at the end of a freeway ramp and it's frankly miraculous a) there wasn't a queue at the light to plow into, and b) no cross-traffic in the way. They literally flew off the T intersection, into some scrub grass so far off the road you couldn't see the car from the road, and promptly burst into flames. Such a tragedy.

Tragedy for the passengers... the driver should have had better sense or not been behind the wheel. This is why we need better driver's testing. In the end this boils down the same as the McDonalds hot coffee episode... big company hand clueless person a gun and person blows their own foot off.

When my floormats jammed the accelerator, I didn't feel the need to sue anybody.

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1. shift to neutral.

2. click engine off

3. click ignition back on

4. press brakes

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1. shift to neutral.

2. click engine off

3. click ignition back on

4. press brakes

Step 3 is iffy. While most modern cars aren't supposed to be able to be push started, I have found that some automatic transmission cars can restart coasting in neutral at higher speeds by just putting the ignition on.

I found this out by turning the engine off after overheating, but trying to keep the electric fans running. Not sure why, but it sure surprised the hell out of me. Its happened in two different cars, but I can't remember which.

You know, after thinking about this... I wonder if anyone has ever tested just laying on the brakes with a stuck throttle? During the Audi unintended acceleration hoopla, there was considerable testing of the brakes in the theory that the brakes should be strong enough to hold the car even at full throttle... which it did. However, they never tested holding the brakes at high speed and full throttle... where the brakes have to overcome the engine _and_ the stored kinetic energy of a car moving at 100 mph. Mythbusters?

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Never had a stuck accelerator, but I've had a broken accelerator..would only work if pushed all the way down.

My first instinct in an automatic would be to try to shift to neutral, park or reverse with the brakes to the floor..with a manual, shift to neutral.

Sad story.

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My gas pedal got stuck under the floormat in the Achieva once. Scared the crap out of me.

I was on a side street (in fact, just down the block from my house at the time), so the conditions surrounding the scenario were optimal. What I did to fix it was,

1. Apply brakes (in a panic)

2. Shift to Neutral (once I thought of it)

3. Continue to apply brakes.

4. Investigate gas pedal, observe that it was stuck under the floor mat.

5. Unstick gas pedal.

6. Take a minute to catch my breath.

7. Make a mental note to never needlessly floor the gas going down a side street again.

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I dont think Toyota deserves any blame for this. It is very sad though. I guess shock and panic took over.

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Toyota deserves the blame that the wrong floor mat was in the car which the dealerships were giving out as a loaner. It is just like any other design defect. There is an issue of strict liability and negligence here.

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even then its most likely the dealers fault because most mats are dealer installed anyway.

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Step 3 is iffy. While most modern cars aren't supposed to be able to be push started, I have found that some automatic transmission cars can restart coasting in neutral at higher speeds by just putting the ignition on.

Pushstarting by coasting in neutral? There was something more wrong there than just an overheated engine......

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Step 3 is iffy. While most modern cars aren't supposed to be able to be push started, I have found that some automatic transmission cars can restart coasting in neutral at higher speeds by just putting the ignition on.

I found this out by turning the engine off after overheating, but trying to keep the electric fans running. Not sure why, but it sure surprised the hell out of me. Its happened in two different cars, but I can't remember which.

You know, after thinking about this... I wonder if anyone has ever tested just laying on the brakes with a stuck throttle? During the Audi unintended acceleration hoopla, there was considerable testing of the brakes in the theory that the brakes should be strong enough to hold the car even at full throttle... which it did. However, they never tested holding the brakes at high speed and full throttle... where the brakes have to overcome the engine _and_ the stored kinetic energy of a car moving at 100 mph. Mythbusters?

I did this a lunch in the caprice on the industrial drive I was doing 50 and punched the gas and brake at the same time and the front tires lock and the back tires spin once the car is below 15 mph thus resulting in brake torqing and lots of smoke. Pretty cool wish i had a pic.

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I'm surprised they had the time and state of mind to call 911 and talk to the operator, yet not be able to put it in neutral.

I've never tried it, but shouldn't the brakes be able to slow the car down even with the throttle pressed? I doubt it was running at full throttle unless the driver had it at full throttle when the floor mat got stuck on it. Given the the fact that he had time to call 911 I bet it was only at part throttle, and the car was slowly building up speed over a decent amount of time.

A good reason why everybody should be driving manual transmission. Enough with this automatic BS.

Very bad press for Toyota. Something that may have been the dealer's fault for putting the wrong floor mats in.

According to the 911 call, they said they had a stuck accelerator and bad brakes and were going 100 mph.

Shifting into neutral would eliminate the engine throttle from the equation, and the brakes, no matter how bad, would get the car to stop.

Most cars can be turned off without locking the wheel... and if the wheel does lock, you still have the keys in the ignition and it take only a couple fractions of a second to unlock.

For the record, I have had floormat jammed around accelerator enough times over the years, and at least twice had to kill the ignition, pull over, get out of the car and unjam it.

They probably did that... and the engine redlined. Either fear that they would blow up the engine (and have to pay for it) or that the engine would blow up in a Hollywood-style explosion killing everyone for a quarter mile popped into their heads and they put it back in gear.

No, they hadn't. They had just recently picked up the rental car, probably didn't know how to work everything in it very well, and according to local reports had no idea what to do so they called 911. Maybe they "knew" what to do, but didn't know how to actually do it in that car.

I highly doubt the engine would explode "Hollywood-style"

Granted, I will blow up the engine before crashing into anything major... but I would have turned off the car with the ignition.

Tragedy for the passengers... the driver should have had better sense or not been behind the wheel. This is why we need better driver's testing. In the end this boils down the same as the McDonalds hot coffee episode... big company hand clueless person a gun and person blows their own foot off.

When my floormats jammed the accelerator, I didn't feel the need to sue anybody.

Sweet, good to know that you are intimately familiar with every single working of every car out there so that you NEVER are unfamiliar with a rental car. I bet you're every travelling companion's dream!

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Driver failure/error, and that's all there is to it.

I'd love to lay this one at Toyota's door, but the driver panicked and did not handle the situation in what is an obvious way by putting the car into nuetral.

Just a few months ago, I experienced a stuck throttle in my wagon due to a broken throttle return spring. I had just punched the gas for some rapid accelleration and it stuck when I lifted my foot. I had the car in nuetral without a concious thought in a split second. I then managed to kick the RPMs down by tapping at the pedal. I put the car in gear and lightly tapped the Rs back up a bit and used it as cruise control to get home.

At no time was the car out of my control.

Edited by Camino LS6
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Ok, I had to go and get more information on this as the OP's article is lacking in details.

More Detailed Article

Preliminary evidence suggests that the wrong model of all-weather rubber mat was in place on the driver's side of a 2009 Lexus ES 350 being driven by CHP Officer Mark Saylor at the time of the Aug. 28 accident on state Route 125.

So a highly trained CHP officer was behind the wheel of this car when this happened. I fail to see how all the blame can be assigned to him for this accident.

The car then burst into flames, burning the occupants beyond recognition.

I guess there was some type of Hollywood style explosion.

In 2007, Toyota, which manufactures the Lexus line of vehicles, conducted a safety recall on all-weather floor mats for late-model Camry and ES 350 models, due to the potential that the accessories could interfere with the cars' accelerator pedals if improperly used, according to the automaker.

It looks like Toyota has had problems with floor mats in the past. So, maybe it isn't only the driver's fault.

Witnesses told San Diego 6 News they saw fire coming from the wheels of the 2009 Lexus ES 350 before it crashed. That indicated "long, constant, heavy braking," said San Diego Sheriff's lead investigator Scott Hill in an interview with the U-T.

It looks like the Highway Patrolmen was trying to stop the car the best he could.

Hill thinks Saylor had trouble with the car's accelerator about five miles before reaching Mission Gorge Road. Several people called 911 to report the car was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic with its emergency flashers on.

Hill told the Union-Tribune there was prolonged “heavy, heavy, hard braking.”

“He did everything he could to stop that car,” he said.

Saylor, a 19-year CHP veteran, must have worked extremely hard to maneuver the Lexus to avoid other cars on the heavily traveled roadway, only hitting the one vehicle, Hill told the paper.

“We were very lucky that there were not more deaths,” Hill said.

Investigators say they don't know if officer Saylor tried to shift the car into neutral or if he tried to shut off the engine.

The National Highway Transporatation Safety Administraton recall report from 2007 found some Lexus drivers with stuck accelerators tried to turn off the car with the engine control button but didn't know the button must be held for three seconds.

Would of helped if the 19 year CHP vet was more familiar with the car. But, even still, people who owned the cars couldn't get them to turn off either.

Makes me wonder if there was some sort of neutral lock on the car to keep people from putting the car into neutral to prevent it from blowing up the engine on accident.

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Driver failure/error, and that's all there is to it.

I'd love to lay this one at Toyota's door, but the driver panicked and did not handle the situation in what is an obvious way by putting the car into nuetral.

Just a few months ago, I experienced a stuck throttle in my wagon due to a broken throttle return spring. I had just punched the gas for some rapid accelleration and it stuck when I lifted my foot. I had the car in nuetral without a concious thought in a split second. I then managed to kick the RPMs down by tapping at the pedal. I put the car in gear and lightly tapped the Rs back up a bit and used it as cruise control to get home.

At no time was the car out of my control.

This.

I've had a floor mat get stuck under the Prizm's accelerator before. Granted it's not a pocket rocket anyway, but all that need to be done was put it in neutral and apply the brakes, pull over and get the floor mat out

If the Lexus had a neutral lockout though, that would be an entirely different story.

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If There is a "nuetral lockout", then I'd have to blame Toyota.

Lacking that, the driver just panicked and kept his foot on the brakes until they were gone instead of doing something that works.

Sad and tragic, but this one is all on the driver.

Edited by Camino LS6
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Curious. How do you mean?

I guess I've seen too many CSI re-runs, but this could have been a murder-suicide.

If a "trained CHP officer" couldn't figure out putting the car into nuetral...

Well, sad no matter how it happened.

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The concept of neutral-lock is the stupidest design feature I have ever heard of. I fail to understand why the driver did not have the sense to even consider dropping to lower gears. The engine would eventually have blown and the car would have been significantly easier to slow down. I suppose it all comes down to panic and lack of clear thinking in an emergency situation. Bummer.

Anyhow, speculation on murder-suicide is easy for us to consider. Heck, considering the circumstances and all the questions we have, why rule it out?

Edited by ShadowDog
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