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Toyota And Lexus Recall: Everything You Need To Know Page 2

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Loose all-weather floor mat jams accelerator pedal. Photo: NHTSA

Toyota/Lexus Unintended-Acceleration Recalls Index:

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September 29: Toyota Recall Affects 3.8M Prius, Lexus Cars

Toyota orders Lexus and Toyota dealers to inspect all cars for mismatched floor mats, after a fatal crash in Santee, California in late August and reports of unintended acceleration.

September 30 (update): Toyota clarifies that this is not yet a recall, just a safety advisory, and that Toyota is working on a system for floor-mat retention hooks.

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October 7: Toyota's Answer To Deadly Floor Mats: Zip Ties!

Toyota instructs dealers on a system to keep floor mats in place—involving zip ties.

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October 14: Stick Accelerator Strategies: Consumer Reports Tests Them

Consumer Reports tests stuck-accelerator strategies and concludes that the so-called smart-throttle technology that some automakers use quells most unintended acceleration concerns.
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November 2: Toyota Floor Mats To Blame In Stuck-Accelerator Issue

Toyota declares that floor mats are to blame in cases of Toyota and Lexus unintended acceleration.

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November 6: Toyota-Lexus Floor Mat Problem Is Now Officially A Recall

Recall of 3.8 million vehicles is now officially a recall, not a safety advisory.

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November 25: Toyota To Shorten Then Replace 3.8M Accelerator Pedals In Safety Recall

Toyota recalls 3.8 million vehicles to replace accelerator pedals, and install an override system on vehicles with push-button ignition.

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December 7: CR: 41 Percent Of Acceleration Complaints Involve Toyotas

CR analyzes NHTSA complaints and notes that 41 percent of "sudden acceleration" complaints involve Toyotas, even though market share was roughly16 percent.

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January 12: Toyota Installing Brake-Override System To Counter Unintended Acceleration

Toyota says that it will fit a brake override system (smart throttle) to all of its Toyota and Lexus vehicles by the end of the year.

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January 21: Toyota Issues Recall For Sticking Gas Pedal; Affected 2.3 Million Cars

The second major recall issue begins. Toyota recalls 2.3 million vehicles for a separate issue—sticking gas pedal mechanisms. About 1.7 million vehicles are affected by both recalls and 4.2 million are affected in some way by either one.

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January 26: Toyota Stops Sales Production Of Stuck-Accelerator Cars

Toyota suspends U.S. sales and as well as production on models affected by the sticking-accelerator recall—reportedly after the U.S. Transportation Department had reminded Toyota of its obligation to do so.

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January 27: Toyota Recalls Another 1.1 Million Vehicles, Brings Tally To 5.4 Million

Toyota adds another 1.1 million vehicles to the list affected by the original floor mat recall, bringing the total tally to 5.4 million. The number of those affected by the sticking gas-pedal mechanism recall remains at 2.3 million.

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January 28: Redesigned Accelerator Mechanism In Production

Toyota advises that its parts supplier, CTS, is now producing redesigned accelerator pedal assemblies.

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February 1: Toyota and NHTSA Shockingly Slow On Unintended Acceleration Issue

The New York Times reports that the slow response will be the subject of Congressional hearings.

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February 1: Dealers To Start Fixing Gas Pedals This Weekend

Parts for the accelerator retrofit are being shipped, dealerships will be trained, and recall fixes will start by the weekend, Toyota says.

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February 2: Older, Higher-Mileage Vehicles More At Risk

Toyota clarifies that although excess moisture causes the accelerator linkage to stick on affected vehicles, the issue can become more likely with age and wear.

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February 8: Toyota Recall Already Denting Residuals, Resale Values

ALG and Kelley Blue Book have reduced Toyota residuals/resale values across the board, due to damage to the brand's reputation from the recalls.

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February 15: Toyota-Hired Firm Finds No Problem With Electronic Throttle

Exponent, an independent firm hired by Toyota, is "unable to induce unintended acceleration" in test results of electronic throttles, which have been accused by some safety advocates to be related to the issue.

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February 16: Toyota Recall: Ford, Honda, And Hyundai Gaining The Most

Ford, Honda, and Hyundai--but not GM and Chrysler--are getting the most of the market share that Toyota has lost so far due to the recall.

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February 18: Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda Shifts Gears, Will Testify To Congress

Toyota's CEO, who had previously said he would leave U.S. officials to respond to federal hearings, decided to testify in person.

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February 23: NHTSA Has No Software Engineers or EEs To Analyze Toyotas

The Washington Post observes that the federal agency completely lacks those qualified to inspect Toyotas for the issue, leaving them dependent on external consultants.

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March 15: Toyota Sudden Acceleration: Is It All Older Drivers' Fault?

Data on Toyota sudden-acceleration complaints points that the bulk of incidents ending in fatalities have involved drivers age 61 to 80.

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March 16: The Strange Saga Of Sikes And His Suddenly Accelerating Prius

San Diego's Jim Sikes, a bankrupt real-estate salesman, claims to have experienced his Prius accelerating out of control, starting another media frenzy.

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March 16: With Incentives, Toyota Taking Back Its Market Share

After sales nearly grind to a halt in January and February due to all the negative publicity surrounding Toyota products, the company introduces its March Sales Event program, featuring its highest incentives ever. By mid-month, sales are surging.

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March 19: The Punching Bag Hits Back: Prius Crash Was Driver Error, Toyota Says

Federal investigators find that one of the highest profile Prius unintended acceleration cases--of a driver in Harrison, New York, who hit a stone wall--appears to be the fault of the driver.

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April 12: Toyota Creates Rapid Response System (For Public Relations Anyway)

Toyota becomes more proactive and aggressive in its PR tactics, reacting against Center for Auto Safety Clarence Ditlo and deploying more lobbyists to Capitol Hill.

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May 4: Auto Safety Bill: Higher Fines, Black Boxes And...Brake Tests?

In the shadow of the Congressional hearings, freshly drafted versions of the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 include significant reform. Most notably, the Senate version requires minimum braking distances with the throttle open, proper spacing between the pedals, and standardized event recorders.

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May 26: Death Toll From Toyota's Sudden Acceleration May Be As High As 89

NHTSA revises the figure on how many deaths have been potentially linked to Toyota's unintended acceleration issues, from 52 to 89. The agency's overall number of complaints regarding the issue has hit 6,200.

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July 13: Drivers At Fault In So-Called Sudden Acceleration Toyotas, NHTSA Says

The Wall Street Journal obtains preliminary conclusions from NHTSA, unconfirmed, that point to drivers being at fault in many of the cases, with the brake pedal never applied in some.

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August 6:  Six Months After The Recalls: Toyota Bruised, Lexus Less So

Experts think that Toyota has lost about 1.5 percent market share over the long run, as a result of the recalls.

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August 10: Feds Clear Toyota On Throttle Issues, Steering Issue Remains

NHTSA releases a preliminary finding that it could find no evidence of electronic throttle control issues or electronic failure in Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles, and suggests that driver error had been to blame in many of the cases.

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August 11: NHTSA: Toyota Electronics Have No 'Sudden Acceleration' Fault

In 35 of the 58 accidents that could be analyzed using black-box recorder data, the brake pedal had not been depressed at all, and 14 showed only partial braking.

TCC's Bottom-Line Advice: What if the accelerator sticks?

  • Manage priorities in those precious seconds.
  • Don't try to turn off the engine, don't try to lift the accelerator. Shift to neutral, then steer and brake to a safe pullout.
  • Think about exactly what you would do if the accelerator pedal does stick. Consult your owner's manual for tips.

And specifically from Toyota-- What to do if you experience a sticking accelerator while driving:

  • If you need to stop immediately, the vehicle can be controlled by stepping on the brake pedal with both feet using firm and steady pressure. Do not pump the brake pedal as it will deplete the vacuum utilized for the power brake assist.
  • Shift the transmission gear selector to the Neutral (N) position and use the brakes to make a controlled stop at the side of the road and turn off the engine.
  • If unable to put the vehicle in Neutral, turn the engine OFF. This will not cause loss of steering or braking control, but the power assist to these systems will be lost.
  • If the vehicle is equipped with an Engine Start/Stop button, firmly and steadily push the button for at least three seconds to turn off the engine. Do NOT tap the Engine Start/Stop button.
  • If the vehicle is equipped with a conventional key-ignition, turn the ignition key to the ACC position to turn off the engine. Do NOT remove the key from the ignition as this will lock the steering wheel.

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Comments (36)
  1. Thanks for th info!! This Toyota recall has been getting a little bit ridiculous with details and news changing everyday.
     
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  2. Toyota is ignorant! I heard on the news that they may of known about this issue for 2 years! The tides are turning.The big 3 will start to dominate again along with the Korean auto makers. This will hurt Toyota for years to come!
     
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  3. unfortunately,Toyota outsold all other manufacturers combined in America during their recall! go figure,the cars were being recalled and Americans thought the price too good to turn down!
     
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  4. We have a 2003 Matrix. What design changes did Toyota make that means the 2009-2010 Matrixes are recalled but earlier models are not?
     
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  5. Greg, while newer Matrix models (the ones affected) have a drive-by-wire throttle, I believe your 2003 Matrix has an old-style throttle, with a physical connection that carries through from the accelerator to the actual throttle/FI. So completely different design and type of linkage...
     
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  6. I'm satisfied about the drive-by-wire explanation, but the illustration of the floor mats on the web site looks just like the floor mats that we have. Should I return the floor mats, and do the mats wrap tightly around a brick for aforementioned return?
     
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  7. When I was driving my daughter's 2006 Scion XA, I had same experienced several times where the RPM got stuck at high rev even though my foot was off the accelerator pedal. I am sure it wasn't the floor mat either. So how come Scion is not included in Toyota's recall?
     
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  8. The Scion xA isn't covered by the floor mat recall, and I'm quite sure its accelerator mechanism isn't produced by the affected supplier, CTS. But Greg and aville88, these are both questions you should present to your dealership ASAP.
     
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  9. Can you tell me why, specifically, the models that are not included in the recall are not affected and are considered safe? We drive a 2007 Sienna and it makes me nervous to put my children in every day...
     
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  10. I have a 2007 Prius--have there been any accelerator mechanism failures with this year/model?
     
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  11. When did toyota start implementing the "drive by wire throttle"/"electronic Thorttle control"? Does the Highlander 2005 have a "drive by wiere throttle"?
     
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  12. Roman: Yes, your 2005 Highlander does have an electronic throttle. Toyota phased them in on much of the lineup 5-8 years ago.
     
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  13. So a 2001 Lexus IS should be okay? Are all the older models, pre-04, okay?
     
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  14. was thinking of buying the RX 450 hybrid. given toyota/prius isssues is that still a goo choice or should wait and watch
     
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  15. Thank you so much for the recall info. I don't drive a Toyota but Honda. These days, what we could rely on even they're reputable brands. MASS PRODUCTION no longer guaranteed good quality. Not just cars, look at all short life span of electronic gadgets. I have Sxxx most expensive models of camcorder and laptop. Guess what..both broken and recall due causing blast, can't help.
     
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  16. I had a 2002 Lexus GS 350 that had the sudden acceleration problem at least 6 years ago. This car is not on any recall list.
    The Service manager took one look at the car and said "Floor Mats" and walked away like he did not care.
    He obviously knew then that floor mats were a problem!!!!!!
    I was never sure that this was the whole cause of the incident as I was in heavy traffic and never depressed the pedal far enough to get the acceleration we felt. Also, it stopped on its own after I reached a parking lot. I did not move the mat to get the pedal from under the mat!
     
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  17. Just yesterday, my 2008 Rav4 engine revved when I stepped on the brake. Only after the revving stopped (a few seconds) did the braking finally work. It scared me to death. Luckily I was not in heavy traffic. The 2008 is not on the recall list. I am frightened to drive it. I am taking it to the dealership today, but am afraid they will try to minimize what happened because it is not on the recall list.
     
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  18. Throttle-by-wire in automobiles is a bad idea. Unlike the airline industry, automobile design from concept to production is precipitously undertaken everywhere. There is no excuse for the failure of such an important device. Why would any auto manufacturer move from the time-tested cable operated throttle to something that could be so inherently dangerous.
    Also, I cannot believe that Toyota did not provide any safety measures into their design. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that an electronic throttle control could and will eventually go awry. Something as clear and simple as a software sub-routine that would override the throttle by application of the brake pedal is mandated into this design. It would also break people of the habit of riding the brake. I hope Toyota gets raked across the coals for this one - they deserve nothing less.
     
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  19. I have worked on fly-by-wire aircraft for 20 years. As Raymond says, control-by-wire is tricky. The sets of symptoms I have read about do not sound like any kind of linkage problem. It sounds more like electronics or software failure. Aircraft use sophisticated (and expensive) hardware/software configurations to guarantee that a single (or even two) failures can not cause a life threatening condition. I suspect that auto companies feel that solution would be too expensive. I’d bet that there are just 1 or 2 companies making the chips and software for all drive by wire cars. Caveat Emptor
     
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  20. Is the 2008 IS 250 safe from the audden accelation issue I toll out the floor mat
     
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  21. My Pontiac Vibe 2009 has had "rabbit starts" since I got it (former rental car; puchased July 2009). I thought I should just adjust myself to it. Today I was slowly turning into a parking spot and it suddenly accelerated and I crashed into the bordering fence. It stopped when I took my foot off accelerator. Luckily I didn't go down the hill because my wheels were already turned. Does this qualify for the recall? Thanks.
     
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  22. I have a 2007 Lexus IS 250, which your article states is affected by the recalls. However, when I called my dealership, they said it was not affected. Who's right?
     
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  23. The media is not reporting the exact facts. I work for a Lexus dealership and to answer the concerns about the floor mats for the IS and ES, it's not a recall on the actual floor mat. It's the fact that people are not properly securing their floor mats in, you must clip them in. They are getting stuck up under the gas and brake because people are not clipping them in. The deadly crash that happened in CA was due to a loaner ES 350 that was given to the family with Toyota floor mats in them, not Lexus floor mats. So these floor mats were not specifically made for the car. All they are doing at the Lexus dealerships in making sure you have the proper Lexus floor mats in your vehicle and they are securing them to the floor.
    As far as people complaining of RPMs going up when your foot isn't even on the gas, I have a Honda and mine does the same thing. If you look in your owners manual, more times than not it will talk to you about this. It's a non-issue, it's just a computer in the car that helps the car to brake when going downhill and some times kicks in while going up hill. It depends on the speed and the incline at which you are going. But this is now in most cars, not just the brands you are talking about here.
     
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  24. Lots of speculation. Drive by wire having more problems? Cable operated have more problems and issues - sticky cables, cables wearing through, need constant lubrication and adjustment. Drive by wire more problematic is nonsense. The engineers, designers and manufactures understand this. The public in not as intelligent. Same in the past with ABS brakes and air bags. Many thought this technology dangerous and even wanted to have removed from new cars! There will always be a percentage of people out there who will continually come to false conclusions in life. Drive by wire is an extremely simple electrical path. It is similar to your household temperature rheostat. It just doesn't turn itself up or down. Or your volume control on the stereo. To speculate universal electrical physics does not apply under a Toyota nameplate is very very far out thinking.
     
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  25. Those who have put their foot on the brakes and not touched to accelerator and still have the engine roar to life all have one thing in common. They do not believe or accept that the two mechanisms are completely separate with no common connections. They ALL have very little if any mechanical knowledge to accept the impossibility. Again, it is like turning up the heat in your home and having the kitchen fan turning on full tilt. If it occurs simultaneously, it may appear linked. It is often our first conclusion when two events coincide at exact same time that they must be linked. Throughout history, mankind (or womankind) have made these false conclusions based on this principle, often in tragic pursuits.
     
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  26. Response to aircraft drive by wire "tricky". The only thing "tricky" about it is that it must be wired correctly when working on. If wrong wire to mechanism, of course it will not work as designed. But aircraft require much more maintenance and replacement of parts or taking apart and putting back together can be "tricky" for less skilled. If competent mechanic, they should not have any problems working on. If do, yes it would make any aircraft very dangerous and for this mechanic who finds it "tricky", I hope he is not working on the plane I fly on next. Come on and get real. They would never use drive by wire in airplanes if less safe.
     
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  27. I had a 99 GS300 that this happened to me... went to JM Lexus in Pompano, FL and at the time they didn't know what the issue was. Was the scarriest experience of my life... car was totally out of control. Wondering if anyone else has had issues with an older GS300?
     
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  28. I’m an expat in Taiwan and about 7 months ago I ran in to an acceleration problem driving an 2006 IS250. The IS250 is owned by the president of the company I work for and she is shorter than I am and therefore has a different driving position than I do and sits closer to the wheel.
    Anyway I pulled the car out of the factory gave it some gas going up the side of mountain and the pedal jammed and the car wouldn’t slow. Thinking it was something I did I restarted the car, now in park the pedal was still jammed so the engine started racing. I shut the car down again I looked down at the pedal and sure enough the floor mat had jammed under the accelerator pedal. Here is the thing–The owner because of typhoon season had rubber mats over the existing mats. The reason I am submitting this is that the factory mats on the Taiwanese version of the 2006 IS250 are already snapped to the floor so they can’t slide. Was this a quick fix to the problem they new about back in 2006 ?
     
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  29. I have a 2007 Pontiac Vibe. Recently my wife was parking the Vibe on the street, in front of our house and hit the back of a parked car. She said the Vibe just suddenly lurched forward during the parking maneuver. I looked for a throttle cable and found nothing but electrical wiring going to the throttle body. This worries me a lot.
    This whole "sudden acceleration" problem sounds electrical to me. How is a steel bar on the pedal going to fix that?
     
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  30. I don't buy for one moment that the floor mats is the problem. I have had a couple of cars where the floor mats get in the way but the never made the accelerator stick and reach speeds of 120mph. The problem lies with the drive by wire. Electricity interferes with electronics point blank there is some unknown frequency/anomoly affecting the accelerators whether it's an ipod or wireless phone signals something electronic is causing this drive by wire set up to go crazy.
     
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  31. Good information. I hope you don't mind if I post a link on our site about sudden acceleration to this information.
     
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  32. Bought a Lexus IS250 which I really like at Lexus Clear Lake on Saturday May 8th 2010. This is the third car I bought from the salesman who sold me the Lexus. Tuesday a tire pressure light came on and I took the car in to have that one issue fixed. They proceeded to tell me My Lexus had a recall on it and needed to be fixed but that it could wait until my next appointment. So instead of letting me know ahead of time before I took the car home when it was first sold to me they neglected to tell me the car was not already fixed, the dealership was willing to let me drive around in a car where I could have got seriously hurt. I have lost faith in Lexus.
     
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  33. In response to the post by (BB) and post # 24 above:
    Chrysler in fact knew they had an issue with anti-lock brakes and was informed by Bendix Corp (The vendor for the system) about the issues with the systems before they put the systems on their vehicles. Chrysler weighed the odds of legal issues with failures verses profit and went ahead with installations of the systems, before the issues were corrected. This was evident for example and in the fact that when brakes were applied when the vehicle’s tires hit sand or debris on pavement, the computer would process that the car was on ice and in fact release the brakes accordingly, causing failure to stop issues on dry pavement.
    I have met engineers over the years that thought they knew everything. I’ve heard them say: “That is not possible! The way the system is designed, there is no way that could happen!”
    The key words here are “The way the system is designed.”
    But guess what, they are not God and things or a series of events they could never image take place and cause weird things to happen! Have they or you ever heard of computer glitches?
     
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  34. As to the posts by BB in #s 24, 25, and 26 as to the drive by wire interpetations.
    BB’s applying the drive by wire as to the same as operating a thermostat in your home: it is a false application.
    The thermostat in a person’s home is turned up or down physically by the person’s hand: not by a wire.
    But please note that a wire operates the throttle: it is not open or closed by hand! The return of the throttle plate or plates to the closed position can be assisted by a return spring and in some cases the spring’s rating may not be strong enough to affect the complete closure of the throttle in all circumstances.
    We all know and have to or should admit that we don’t know everything! Corporations have the final say when it comes to the amount of monies to be spent on a product before it comes to the market place. Sometimes and more often than not, they error on the profit margin side of the equation! More engineering time, etc (R&D) or even a penny more for a heavier spring added to the cost of total production numbers and affect the Corporations overall profit line! And, as in the case with Chrysler’s Bendix anti lock brakes system, Corporations error and opts on the profit margin side.
     
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  35. My wife was parking in a parking lot. Her foot was off the accelerator and off the brake, as shown by the black box printout, provided to us by an engineer sent by Toyota. She was slowly moving into the parking space. The car engine suddenly roared (two witnesses were startled by the roar) and the car accelerated quickly. The parking spot was in front of a low curb and slight inclined grassy area. About 5 feet later the car hit the tree at 18 miles per hour.
    This is a 2007 Camry Hybrid. Seems clear to me that the car has a software problem.
     
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  36. Its funny just when Toyota was about to take over as the worlds number one auto maker, this mysterouis brake issue comes about. Then when they admit to it and call it some crazy floot mat issue all the sudden the accidents have all but disappeared. I have owne Toyota and Lexus products all my life and they are the most reliable cars in the WORLD. This was all a scam to get people to buy American cars in a recession. Ask Camry owners if they will go out and buy another one and their answer will be Yes every single time....
     
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