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NHTSA: Electronics Flaws did not Cause Toyota Acceleration


CSpec

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From the NY Times:

The Obama administration's investigation into Toyota safety problems found no electronic flaws to account for reports of sudden, unintentional acceleration and other safety problems. Government investigators said Tuesday the only known cause of the problems are mechanical defects that were fixed in previous recalls.

The Transportation Department, assisted by engineers with NASA, said its 10-month study of Toyota vehicles concluded there was no electronic cause of unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas. The study, which was launched at the request of Congress, responded to consumer complaints that flawed electronics could be the culprit behind Toyota's spate of recalls.

Officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said they reviewed consumer complaints and warranty data in detail and found that many of the complaints involved cases in which the vehicle accelerated after it was stationary or at very low speeds.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator Ron Medford said that in many cases when a driver complained that the brakes were ineffective,
the most likely cause was "pedal misapplication," in which the driver stepped on the accelerator instead of the brakes.

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So while I imagine some toyoyo fans are somehow relieved at this report, the flip side now is NO ONE KNOWS what causes it- which is far scarier.

"the most likely cause was "pedal misapplication," in which the driver stepped on the accelerator instead of the brakes."

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OK then 1) Why the disproportionate number of sudden acceleration cases in Toyotas versus other makes (prior to publicity)? and 2) Why the massive cover-up?

No conspiracy theory or anything, but these are the next logical questions.

Edited by Croc
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Guys, this exact same thing has happened before: http://en.wikipedia....ation#Audi_5000

No, that was quite a bit different, actually. The issue with the AUDI 5000 was that the pedals were slightly closer together than most other models, but the American news media got ahold of the story and rigged the cars for sensationalist news coverage. AUDI took years to recover, despite not actually having anything wrong.

Toyota installed defective accelerator pedals and improperly-designed floormats. There actually was fault, and then Toyota had the audacity to try to cover it up. Very different.

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No, that was quite a bit different, actually. The issue with the AUDI 5000 was that the pedals were slightly closer together than most other models, but the American news media got ahold of the story and rigged the cars for sensationalist news coverage. AUDI took years to recover, despite not actually having anything wrong.

Toyota installed defective accelerator pedals and improperly-designed floormats. There actually was fault, and then Toyota had the audacity to try to cover it up. Very different.

I believe we now know that an application of the brakes will stop even a Toyota which IS experiencing run-away acceleration. So therefore anyone who experienced a prolonged incident did not apply the brakes.

If the floor mat was in the way then I can understand how that might happen. Other than that it was driver pedal misapplication. With all the old people buying Toyotas I don't know why this would shock us. Whenever a vehicle runs into a building or into a crowd I always 'joke' that it must have been a Buick, as that most often seems to be the case. But of course I never blamed Buick for this; it is just that Buicks tend to be driven by fossils.

So the floor mat recall seems legitimate. But after that it all becomes questionable. Because contrary to your post this issue was sensationalized by the media and the US government. The accelerator pedal may not have been perfect, but it wasn't the cause. It seems that recall was mostly Toyota doing damage control for being blamed for not "doing enough". And much of that blame was for not admitting/recalling the very 'issue' for which they have been absolved by this recent finding!

You might want to read this, especially the section "Media coverage and criticism":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_recall

It is full of little gems which directly contradict your post, but here's a sample:

"Further analysis of the NHTSA complaint database also revealed that many acceleration complaints featured multiple factors, including DUI and reckless driving, which were typically not disclosed in news reports. In July 2010, Forbes faulted the Los Angeles Times for inaccurately reporting on an alleged Toyota runaway crash by failing to mention that the involved driver was indicted for vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of marijuana."

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The Perfect Storm, in other words. Uh-huh.

I keep forgetting this is C&G, where its far more likely that Toyota would buy off the media and various government agencies than that people are f@#kin panicky idiots and Toyota can't properly fasten a floor mat.

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Isn't NASA the same agency that was called out by an amateur researcher because it had it's proprietary climate data screwed up, and subsequently revised it, and more than once? :scratchchin:

Just because the Guv'mnt told you so, doesn't always make it correct, theorized pay-off or not.

Edited by balthazar
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"the most likely cause was "pedal misapplication," in which the driver stepped on the accelerator instead of the brakes."

I believe that. ive been driving a rav 4 for a work vehicle and its happened where i put one foot on both pedals. They are far closer together than in my Avalanche.

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Their Might and Might Not be a real issue with the products. One thing for sure is that if you measure the pedal size and space between them, you will find that Asian auto's have closer pedal spacing than american. This is what I have noticed on the vehicles and one reason I keep sticking with American auto's as they are built for bigger people. My sister has a Mazda 6 and her husband drove it a couple times and now refuses to drive it as he always seems to hit both pedals or get his feet stuck.

Hate to say it but we build based on our local / regional area and the Asain companies always look to build small vehicles for small people. Not everyone is comfortable or built for a small auto.

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No, that was quite a bit different, actually. The issue with the AUDI 5000 was that the pedals were slightly closer together than most other models, but the American news media got ahold of the story and rigged the cars for sensationalist news coverage. AUDI took years to recover, despite not actually having anything wrong.

Toyota installed defective accelerator pedals and improperly-designed floormats. There actually was fault, and then Toyota had the audacity to try to cover it up. Very different.

You're confusing two different claims made against Toyota: one was that some accessory floormats caught on the pedal (that was acknowledged and corrected) and the other was that there was some computer bug that floored the throttle. The media lapped up the latter claim: witness the Balloon Boy guy in California who got on national television. However it has now been found to have been completely spurious.

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I thought there was still a physical issue with the electronic gas pedal where the friction points used to simulate a real gas pedal's feel would actually have too much friction and the pedal would not return to an idle state when the foot was removed.

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