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Lexus ES 350
#2715 of 2769 Is Lexus drive by wire safe??
Sep 01, 2009 (10:19 am)
Runaway Lexus kills 4!
2009-09-01 03:38:41 (GMT)
San Diego, CA—A fiery crash left four people dead after the car’s accelerator became stuck. The fatal crash happened on Friday, August 28, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Route 125 and Mission Gorge Road in Santee, as reported by San Diego Union Tribune.
According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), a loaner 2009 Lexus ES 350 driven by CHP Officer Mark Saylor, and three family members experienced a serious malfunction, which caused the accelerator to stick. Someone reportedly dialed 911 around 6:30 p.m. to report the cars accelerator was stuck, and the car could not be stopped while traveling nearly 100 miles per hour. The out-of-control car careened through the intersection of Route 125 and Mission Gorge Road and collided with a Ford Explorer. The Lexus then jumped a curb, plowed through a fence, and then slammed into an embankment before going airborne. The luxury car reportedly overturned several times before it came to a stop and burst into flames in the San Diego River basin. The CHP officer Mark Saylor, 45; his wife, Cleofe, 45; Saylor’s daughter, Mahala, 13; and his brother-in-law, Chris Lastrella were all tragically killed at the scene of the horrific crash.
The car was reportedly loaned from Bob Baker Lexus El Cajon on Friday after Saylor dropped his car off for service. The Lexus is fully equipped with a double redundant fail-safe system, which would shut the vehicle off if it were to experience a major malfunction. No one at Bob Baker Lexus El Cajon knows what went wrong and is currently waiting for the completion of a full investigation. The CHP multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team and Sheriff’s investigators are conducting the investigation into the runaway vehicle accident.
ES350 kills 4
#2717 of 2769 Runaway Lexus
Sep 10, 2009 (9:17 am)
This was a horrible accident and like many accidents several things in addition to a stuck accelerator must have occurred to end in such a tragedy. I suspect that since the car was a loaner the driver was unfamiliar with the controls. If this had been a normal car with a key ignition then he could have turned the key to turn off the engine; however, I own an ES350 for many years and I didn’t even know that to turn off the engine of my car while driving, I need to hold the On/Off switch for 3 seconds. Also it is common because of the irregular shift pattern on this vehicle, for new drivers to mistakenly drive in the manual shift mode. In this mode the car will still automatically shift when the RPM’s reach a high enough level; however the N for neutral is located adjacent to the up shift position when in manual shift, so if in an emergency you are unaware of this you would push the shift up to the N position but are actually up shifting the gears. As far a breaking, a coworker of mine had a Camry accelerator stick full throttle because of debris in the tube that the accelerator arm travels through and when his accelerator stuck he was unable to stop even uphill with full break force.
#2718 of 2769 Re: Runaway Lexus [tome2c]
Sep 10, 2009 (11:48 am)
My understanding is that no car has enough power to overcome full braking force. Everyone is aware of the fact that you can rev up the engine all you want at a stop light with the car in gear, and, with the brakes applied, the car will not move. Therefore, I have to wonder about claims that a runaway car could not be stopped by the brakes, unless the brakes were faulty.
#2719 of 2769 Re: Runaway Lexus [rcf8000]
Sep 10, 2009 (12:38 pm)
I think it is because the inertia is is much different at say 80mph than a vehicle at a complete stop; although, I'm not going to try it on my own car.
#2720 of 2769 Re: Runaway Lexus [rcf8000]
Sep 20, 2009 (1:30 pm)
Trust me, it's possible. I was also the victim of the stuck accelerator via faulty floor mats. I was on the freeway when my car simply started accelerating like it had a mind of its own. Thank God, the thought of putting the car into neutral entered my mind, and I was able to coast to the side. Prior to doing that, however, my attempts at braking failed, as the car's power was simply too much. It's probably not possible to move a stopped car with brakes fully applied. However, when it's the brakes vs. a car already in motion (i.e., 80 mph), it's a whole 'nother story.
#2721 of 2769 he was a chp officer
Sep 26, 2009 (3:55 am)
as far as i know...police drive cars that are automatics. they spend their lives in them. they receive training on high speed driving and are comfortable driving auto and trained to handle such situations. he should have easily kept his head and shifted to neutral or a low gear. he wasn't a normal person, he was a cop. its their work. esp chp!
he he was on an officers salary and buying lexus's, perhaps he had financial difficulty....
#2722 of 2769 Re: Is Lexus drive by wire safe?? [gagrice]
Sep 30, 2009 (7:22 am)
Drive by wire won't drive your car off the road, off the cliff, or jam the throttle open. Your foot, or a heavy floor mat accidentally kicked forward by that same foot might. I hate to say it, bc the driver was probably not a bad human being, but the accident was caused by the driver's failure to be responsible for his driving. In the very unlikely event you are driving a car with something holding the throttle open (nearly though not totally impossible), you have several obvious, trivial, no genius required means to stop the car.
This case was complicated by a sort of perfect storm; this particular car has a fancy keyless ignition, the driver may have been unfamiliar with the shift pattern and some genius stuck in a cool super-weatherproof floor mat -- made for a different vehicle. The correct mat hooks onto the floor and can't foul the pedals, but this one was a bit too big an maybe not hooked to the floor. Normal foot motion could shove it forward and maybe over the gas pedal. Still, you gotta pay attention and don't just flail about when something unexpected happens.
1. Step on the brake (duh). The 4 wheel brakes easily overpower the 2 drive wheels (or 4 driven wheels with AWD). I have an AWD car with a turbo and the brakes could easily overpower full throttle. If you are already traveling at highway speeds, you'll need to use some force on the brake pedal and it'll feel strange, but the brakes still outpower the engine. A typical car can stop from 100 to 0 in five seconds; no car has that much accelerating power.
2. Shift into Neutral, coast to the side of the road.
3. Turn off the engine. The brakes and steering will still work
You don't like 1,2, or 3? It's hard to imagine why (artificial legs fell off? Aliens sending high voltage through the ignition key?), but there are more no-brainer options.
a. Downshift until you reach 1st gear. That takes you down to about 30mph, and engine braking will slow the car.
b. If it's an automatic you can hit reverse. That might stall the engine or possibly throw the drive wheels into a skid (they'll start turning again on their own) but that's better than screaming, texting your mechanic or staring into space.
c. If it's a manual shift and you haven't figured this out.... it's hopeless. Pull out your phone and get the video.
If the service brakes really failed you still have other options, but since the acel and brake systems have no mechanical connection, and there are 2 separate, independent hydraulic brake circuits the only way this would happen is the movie scenario where the evil genius/government agency/alien installs radio controlled gadgets that cuts both your brake lines at once. Even then you have other ways to stop the car.
The problem is that many people are not driving their cars, they're passengers holding the wheel. Once something goes wrong they simply stare out the windshield and allow any reflexes they may have to take over.
#2723 of 2769 Re: Is Lexus drive by wire safe?? [pegasuszz]
Sep 30, 2009 (11:00 am)
Based on personal experience, I would like to suggest that option 2 is probably the better/easiest choice in a panic situation. While coasting to the side with my car in neutral, the engine was redlining the whole time. That incident occurred a year ago, and my car's engine is still in pristine condition. People, remember...you're driving a Lexus. It may look all elegant on the outside, but it's truly a rock on the inside.
#2724 of 2769 New Slogan: OH what a feeling you can't stop a Toyota!
Oct 22, 2009 (6:28 pm)
WOW! Toyota designed a Christine! And not just one! 3.8 Million!
(Christine is a horror novel by Stephen King, published in 1983. It tells the story of a
vintage automobile apparently possessed by supernatural forces.)
So, if the floormat catches the accelerator petal or computer controlled throttle
malfunctions, the keyless start/stop feature can not be enabled in a "WIDE OPEN THROTTLE" until it is held down for 3 seconds. In 3 seconds you can be at 45mph!
How many seconds would it take you to figure this "3 second feature" out if your in panic mode and accelerating towards 100mph!?
They designed a car with out a kill switch and blame it on the car owner which installs a floormat and not aware of the 3 second kill delay?
Now thats smart
Here are some additional information about Toyota's quality and engineering practices:
"Consumer groups are watching and If the allegations are correct that Toyota destroyed or withheld (electronic) data, it has the potential to reopen hundreds of Toyota rollover cases."
"Consumers saddled with sludge-clogged Toyota engines may soon get some help from the Japanese auto giant under the terms of a class-action lawsuit settlement that covers roughly3.5 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles damaged by engine oil sludge."