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Intrepidation

More than 100 complaints lodged over fixed Toyotas

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WASHINGTON – Complaints of sudden acceleration in Toyotas repaired under recalls have nearly doubled in the past two weeks, according to an Associated Press analysis of government data.

The complaints from 105 drivers raise questions about whether Toyota's repairs will prevent the cars from speeding up on their own or if there is another reason for the problem.

Toyota has said it is confident in its repairs and has found no evidence of other problems, such as faulty electronics. The automaker did not immediately comment Wednesday on the latest complaints.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was contacting owners who have complained about their repaired vehicles. David Strickland, NHTSA's administrator, said in a statement Wednesday the agency has found "several instances in which a dealer made mistakes in applying one of the recall remedies."

He said NHTSA has discussed the issue with Toyota, which is trying to improve instructions to dealers.

Toyota has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide since October over complaints that gas pedals can become sticky or trapped under floor mats.

An AP review of a NHTSA database found reports of repaired cars continuing to accelerate on their own had jumped to 105 since March 4, when the government reported 60 such complaints.

The complaints are submitted online or through a NHTSA hot line and have not been independently verified.

In many of the comments, which can be filed anonymously, owners said the sudden acceleration issue reappeared only days after their cars were fixed at their local dealership.

"I went in for the recall and it seems there is a worse problem now," wrote the owner of a 2008 Toyota Tundra in Boynton Beach, Fla., who reported unwanted acceleration in early March. "I truly believe this is an electronic problem."

John Moscicki, of Lake Oswego, Ore., told the AP his 2007 Camry accelerated on its own five times before he got the vehicle fixed under the floor mat recall last month.

On March 4, his repaired Camry took off from a standing stop on the freeway and accelerated to 50 mph before Moscicki managed to stop it by shifting into neutral, hitting the brake with his left foot and pulling back the gas pedal with his right.

"It just went to the floor like some other system had control of it," said Moscicki, who raced high-performance sports cars and previously owned a Porsche restoration business.

His Toyota dealer had the Camry for a week, and Toyota sent in a field engineer to examine the car without finding anything wrong. Moscicki said he had planned to give the vehicle to his college-age daughter but now intends to get rid of it. "I wouldn't let her anywhere near this car," he said.

The safety concerns are difficult to pinpoint because they could be related to any number of factors, said Diane Steed, who served as NHTSA administrator during the Reagan administration.

Besides telephone interviews with owners, the agency will look at how dealers fixed the cars, whether the problems involved common parts or the same manufacturing facilities or whether human error might be involved, she said.

Steed, who led the agency during a lengthy review of sudden acceleration complaints in Audi sedans, said there is no specific threshold that would automatically lead the agency to demand that Toyota, or any other automaker involved in a recall, come up with a new fix.

"It's really an engineering judgment call," she said. "The real challenge is not so much the numbers but digging to get to the bottom of what is the problem."

___

Associated Press Auto Writers Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher in Detroit, Dan Strumpf in New York and AP writers Allen Chen in New York and Dibya Sarkar in Washington contributed to this report.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100318/ap_on_bi_ge/us_toyota_no_fix

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Sudden acceleration complaints on Toyotas nearly doubled in two weeks

03/18/2010, 5:31 PMBY MARK KLEIS

In what may come as little surprise to many, a new report suggests that the number of complaints of unintended acceleration on Toyota vehicles has nearly doubled in the last two weeks. Many of the complaints come from owners of vehicles that have already been serviced by Toyota in adherence to recent recalls – raising questions about the cause and offered solutions.

According to a report by the Associated Press, NHTSA’s reports of unintended acceleration by owners of Toyota vehicles have nearly doubled in the last two weeks. NHTSA’s most recent data shows 105 cases of unintended acceleration, and jumping from the 60 reports as of March 4, 2010.

NHTSA says it has been in direct contact with the owners who have filed complaints, noting that it has found “several instances in which a dealer made mistakes in applying one of the recall remedies,” according to David Strickland, NHTSA administrator.

NHTSA has not disclosed details on how the repairs failed to fix the problem, and Toyota has not yet commented on the increase in complaints.

Complaints suggest the problem is outside of pedals and floor mats

“I went in for the recall and it seems there is a worse problem now,” suggested a complaint regarding a 2008 Toyota Tundra. The owner went on to suggest, “I truly believe this is an electronic problem.”

Complaints like these raise questions concerning both the validity of the diagnosis and proposed solutions to the problem, as well as whether or not increased attention to the subject may be the source of increased perceived unintended acceleration. Whatever the cause, several drivers remain convinced there is a problem with the vehicles’ electronics, creating a problem for Toyota – whether it is based on a physical problem, or a perception problem, Toyota will still need to find a way to address the issue.

Breaking report suggests “NY Prius” accident was driver error

Adding what appears to be a concrete example of driver error being attributed to unintended acceleration, a new report by Fox News suggests that the Prius which slammed into a wall in New York apparently did not have any brakes applied prior to hitting the wall. The investigation is still on-going, and should be complete within a week.

2007 Camry owner gives a detailed account of his multiple experiences

Another driver, John Moscicki, of Lake Oswego, Oregon, told the AP that his 2007 Toyota Camry suffered unintended acceleration five times prior to having his floor mat modified during the recent recall. Moscicki went on to explain the details of an occurrence on March 4, after his vehicle was treated for the recall in which his Camry accelerated out of control, yet again.

“It just went to the floor like some other system had control of it,” said Moscicki, who, according to the AP, also raced high-performance sports cars and previously owned a Porsche restoration business. Moscicki also explained that when the vehicle began accelerating from a standstill on the freeway – up to 50 mph – Moscicki was able to stop the acceleration by shifting into neutral while simultaneously braking with his left foot and prying the accelerator pedal away from the floor with the top of his right foot.

Moscicki’s account suggests that the pedal itself moves during the unintended acceleration event, much like how a pedal will move while utilizing cruise control if additional throttle is applied.

Moscicki told the AP that Toyota sent out a field engineer that was unable to find any problem with the car. Moscicki had originally planned on giving the car to his college-age daughter, but now says, “I wouldn’t let her anywhere near this car.”

link:

http://www.leftlanenews.com/sudden-acceleration-complaints-on-toyotas-nearly-doubled-in-two-weeks.html

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Someone, please, make this insanity stop. Toyotas across America are FUBAR, still win MT comparo tests although they "excell at nothing" ... this is a rash of automotive madness the likes of which I've never seen. What's so hard about telling Toyota to GTFO?

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The only way Toyota can solve these problems is to make their vehicles exciting and sporty and unsuitable for geriatrics. Having an average buyer age of 103 certainly isn't helping them.

I propose a line-up of only Celica, FT-86, Supra, FJ Cruiser, and diesel Land Cruiser - all with mandatory clutch pedals. That should do it.

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I propose a line-up of only Celica, FT-86, Supra, FJ Cruiser, and diesel Land Cruiser - all with mandatory clutch pedals. That should do it.

Even in a perfect world, Toyota would find someway to screw up an interesting and great line-up like that and make it soulless in some fashion.

I will admit, the FT-86 is a horrible guilty pleasure of mine. But the sad reality about the FT-86 is that, while it's an attractive car with great credentials, the styling doesn't make an emotional connection or inspire me in the same vein a Camaro, etc., does. There isn't any character or flair to the car whatsoever.

The FJ Cruiser, I'll admit, is kind of cool in an ugly sort of way. I saw one out in the pouring rain ... all three windshield wipers working. I couldn't help but to make an obvious awkward turtle directed at the driver.

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