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Toyota Camry, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Tundra, Toyota Sequoia, Pontiac Vibe, Automotive News
Feb 10, 2010 (10:31 am)
I'd like to preface this message with a note that I do love Toyota's and I am speaking merely out of concern and to hear and educate myself from anyone's responses.
I currently own a 2006 Camry and I'm sure I share the concern with some Toyota owners whose cars aren't on the recall list that Toyota:
1) Has a UA issue only with primarily its latest generation of vehicles. Since I have not heard from users complaining of UA, either on the news or online and whose experience we can treat as credible, I have to assume the Toyota recall list is attempting to address the UA issue on models representing the MAJORITY of UA cases. So, why then, if DBW has been in use in the industry for some time now, should the recall cases be limited to newer models? Or is Toyota trying to prevent a PR nightmare by admitting a general DBW defect in all it's models?
2) The media loves to report on the number of recalled Toyota vehicles BUT are there any sources (links, news, etc.) whereby we can relate the actual number of recalled vehicles to some kind of "failure rate"? i.e., by knowing the total number of latest generation vehicles sold or Toyota's market share. The point I'm getting at is how BIG a problem is this for the average driver? With what probability can one expect to experience UA issues? My opinion is obviously biased but I'd venture to guess it's on the order of the chance of dying on a roller coaster.
#1164 of 3623 Re: Most comprehensive article yet (from WSJ) [steve_]
Feb 10, 2010 (10:43 am)
This is great! Have it saved. Will sure help me with my sesearch. And to see who owns what. Some auto manufacturers do seem to own more than one auto corporation.
This seems to be first complete list I have seen. The one I had by Consumers Report was good but only done for 2008 models, and some faulty study analysis claims can be made as not complete report.
I hope Edmunds has forwarded this to NHTSA. Edmunds thank you for doing. And Steve, thanks for passing along.
Now we wait to see. How will NHTSA react??? Address??
#1165 of 3623 Re: market [millwood0]
Feb 10, 2010 (11:20 am)
it is my view that we should have a market that allows the production and marketing of both high quality (high priced) and low quality (low priced) vehicles.
We have that now. You can buy a variety of vehicles that will brake, accelerate, and handle to different limits. You have various strength materials used by different manufacturers and options to add to it. BUT the point you are MISSING is that there are MINIMUM standards that are set on most products.
It is a simple engineering concept that if a machine can malfunction in a serious manner - such to cause serious injury or death, the operator there should have a simple, clear way to deenergize that machine. We are not talking about expensive systems. I can open my Grainger catalog right now and for $50 retail buy the parts to have a foolproof method for a driver to shutoff the engine in a vehicle within seconds.
Also you are missing the fact that the average car buyer is not a technical person; and even if they are the car companies don't offer their engineering files to customers such that they can understand how the systems are designed and built. What you propose would be like expecting a homebuyer to understand electrical codes, and determine if they want GFI's in the bathroom? and if the whole system was designed to be grounded. Exactly the reason for codes, so the consumer doesn't have to be an expert, but gets a safe product.
buy BMWs of the world
BMW's are no safer than Toyotas in terms of systems, if they both have the same level of electronic-only systems; unless they have redundant as noted on newer airplanes. And I'm still pretty sure, pilots can shutoff most or all of the computers and manually fly a plane, as in the situation to land in the Hudson a few months ago.
#1166 of 3623 And the requests keep coming...
by Karen@Edmunds HOST
Feb 10, 2010 (11:24 am)
Toyota owners/shoppers, what will you buy next time around?
If you're willing to talk with a reporter, send an email to predmunds.com including your phone number and the make/model you would purchase next.
Feb 10, 2010 (11:34 am)
rm....it depends on the reports you're looking for. There's the one sensational one with the police officer driving an ES350 who made a 911 cell phone call which ended tragically in the deaths of his family when experiencing UA.
I believe the NTSA has a comprehensive list of the Toyota reports of UA. I don't know if they list them by model year though. Wouldn't be a bad place to root around to see the exact numbers though, if you're interested. State Farm insurance reported some Toyotas that were involved in UA accidents, but I don't know if they stated exact numbers either. They only reported a "high rate" of claims based on Toyota UA accidents in the report I saw.
As far as your 2nd point, a question I've asked before, how many deaths or accidents does it take for it to be a "big problem" for Toyota to be forced to make the recalls? What's acceptable? And, who gets to be the judge as to how many are acceptable?
#1168 of 3623 Re: Car Runs on Code [lzc]
Feb 10, 2010 (11:47 am)
Funny comparison to the witches. But scarey too! And witch craft still seems to be present today. We had incidents here in our county where sacrificial rituals were occurring years ago. Police - arrests- convictions - prison.
And yes, mass public and news media pressure with UA is present now. Attacks rampant. All can be good and bad. Who, what is Biased and who, what is nonbiased? And does present a challenge.
As I have said before wish we would see other manufacturers that have issues mentioned more too. This is one example I personally feel could be considered a bad.
As for floor mats route taken by NHTSA and Toyota - don't totally understand - but I can somehow see this as a possible corporate liability protection approach - Toyota has to protect self too. Still floor mats route appears to be only one of the causes.
NHTSA - government watchdog agency - government at work is always interesting. My husband's involvement at state level sure helped me to understand some of the "behind the scene" interractions, etc.involving decisions, law, etc.
Bottom line at I posted in past - I kind of predict - brake override will help decrease complaint issues - public & owners will be happy - Toyota will overcome . Guess we wait to see what happens.
#1169 of 3623 Re: market [kernick]
Feb 10, 2010 (12:30 pm)
"And I'm still pretty sure, pilots can shutoff most or all of the computers and manually fly a plane, as in the situation to land in the Hudson a few months ago. "
you are mistaken.
the airplane that crash landed in the hudson is a true fly-by-wire design in that sense that 1) it has zero mechanical back-up and 2) the computer can alpha-protect the pilot - if the computer thinks the pilot is pushing the airplane beyond the limits as designed into the software, the flight computer can disregard the pilot's input. for example, stalling an A322 (the one landed in Hudson) is practically impossible.
so in that particular case, the pilots had full control of the airplane, short of that engine. APU and flight computers were fully functioning.
if you can compare that with 777 which is also a flight-by-wire design, except that in a 777 there is no alpha protection and the pilot can push the airplane, via flight computers, out of its performance envelope. for example, you can stall a 777.
the new dreamliner, also a fly-by-wire design, has another variant of the same basic design except that alpha protection exists in the software, in the form of limits.
the systems above are so called "digital" flight-by-wire. there were also various "analog" flight control systems before that, or flight-by-cable set-ups that either use mechanical cables / hydronics or mechanical cables / sensors / electrical actuators.
the last category is what is widely used in automotive "drive-by-wire" set-ups, especially with automatic transmissions.
flight-by-wire is desired for aviation for a multitude of reasons, each different for a given market. But one important factor in their adaptation has been its superb reliability record. there are "suspected" cases of flight malfunction attributable to flight-by-wire but not a single confirmed incident.
that's why you do NOT see mechanical back-up in modern flight-by-wire systems.
the most expensive element in modern flight-by-wire design has been its control regiment (determining the principles under which each system works together) and testing (of scenarios where the computers don't go crazy if computer or sensory failures take place).
if you want your Camry to achieve that kind of reliability, well, you wouldn't be able to drive your camry anymore.
hope that helps.
#1170 of 3623 Re: WSJ: Secretive Culture Led Toyota Astray [millwood0]
Feb 10, 2010 (12:39 pm)
Here is that section. Is interesting. As said in past I did find some faulty research analysis in DHTSA report. DHTSA did not list any question formats asked to owners. Most medical research I have reviewed and analyzed include formats, etc.. Statements vague. Did not list all questions owners who had all weather mats were asked. No official record how many had stuck pedals. What question format existed for these? Etc.
This is particular section:
3.2 Owner Surveys
To comprehend the statistical significance of the probability for this event to occur, a survey was sent to a sample size of 1986 registered owners of a 2007 Lexus ES-350 requesting information regarding episodes of unintended acceleration. NHTSA received 600 responses for an overall response rate of 30.2%. Fifty-nine owners stated they experienced unintended acceleration. Thirty-five of those responding also reported that their vehicles were equipped with rubber Lexus all-weather floor mats and several commented that the incident occurred when the accelerator had become trapped in a groove in the floor mat. Interviews with owners revealed
that many had unsecured rubber floor mats in place at the time of the unintended acceleration event, which included in some cases unsecured rubber floor mats placed over existing Lexus
#1171 of 3623 Re: market [millwood0]
Feb 10, 2010 (12:51 pm)
You are somewhat mistaken regarding the AirBus series. After that FAMOUS crash of an Airbus prototype many years ago the fly-by-wire firmware specifications were modified to a "bend, but do not break" standard. For instance the new firmware allows the pilot to intentionally fly the airplane, not in a landing configuration, with the stall warning sounding LOUDLY.
Post-crash analysis of that early prototype indicated that had the pilot had FULL-AUTHORITY over the control surfaces the airplane would have not stalled and crashed, airframe "BENT severely, but no deaths.
Feb 10, 2010 (12:58 pm)
I don't know if anyone posted this yet, so here goes:
Target Toyota: Why the Recall Backlash Is Overblown
To judge by press accounts and statements from government officials, those innocuous-looking Toyota sedans and SUVs in millions of American driveways are somehow kin to the homicidal '58 Plymouth Fury in the Stephen King novel "Christine"—haunted by technological poltergeists and prone to fits of mechanical mayhem. In the midst of three major recalls, Toyota has been hammered by daily newspaper and TV pieces suggesting it has been slow to address safety problems. U.S. transportation secretary Ray LaHood announced that anyone who owns one of the recalled vehicles should "stop driving it." (He quickly backpedaled on that pronouncement, but warned, "We're not finished with Toyota.") Displaying a previously undisclosed concern for the safety of American owners of foreign-badged automobiles, the UAW quickly piled on. And now, Toyota's North American president Yoshi Inaba must submit to ritual humiliation at the hands of the U.S. Congress in a hearing on Wednesday.
Does Toyota—or any car company—deserve this? Well, if they are knowingly selling an unsafe car, yes. But is that what's going on here? Not so fast. There's no question that unintended acceleration is a serious problem that needs to be fixed. But a little perspective is in order. As Popular Mechanics automotive editor Larry Webster has pointed out, every major carmaker receives occasional reports of sudden unintended acceleration (SUA). In the last decade, the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency logged some 24,000 SUA complaints. Less than 50 of these red flags were investigated. Why so few? The main reason is the nebulous nature of SUA. Often the problem occurs once, never to happen again. It's tough to fix a defect that can't be replicated. And then there's the driver variable. As awful as this is to think about, it's been shown that sometimes drivers simply mix up which pedal they're pushing. In the late 1980s, the Audi 5000 was the target of a barrage of SUA allegations, lawsuits and press reports (including a notorious "60 Minutes" episode that was later discredited). Then, as now, there were accusations that mysterious electronic gremlins somehow took over the car. In the end, NHTSA concluded that driver error was the only likely explanation for the incidents.
But many safety concerns do have validity, and every carmaker has conducted numerous recalls involving critical safety features of their vehicles—brakes, steering, airbags, seat belts, and more. Still, the fact that some safety problems don't emerge until cars have been on the road for months or years is not a sign that automakers are criminally cavalier about safety. Quite the opposite. The safety issues that lead to recalls generally occur in very small numbers, often barely rising above statistical noise. Toyota's unintended acceleration problem, for instance, involved a handful of cases in literally billions of miles of driving.
As those cases come to light, it is necessary for carmakers to take action, and it is natural for consumers to be concerned. But the intensity of the backlash against Toyota is almost unprecedented. Here's what is being missed in most of the coverage of the issue: All cars are inherently dangerous. They propel their fragile human cargo at high speeds over unpredictable terrain. They combine thousands of parts that need to interact flawlessly—in environments ranging from Death Valley heat to Fairbanks cold—in order to maintain safe operation. Their radiators contain scalding fluids; their batteries are full of toxic acid; and their gas tanks hold explosive power equivalent to more than 100 sticks of TNT. And, by all accounts, Americans drive those cars faster than ever, on increasingly congested roadways.
Nonetheless, driving gets safer every year. Fatalities per mile driven have fallen more than 25 percent since 1994, in part because cars themselves are safer. Compared to those of 20 years ago, the typical vehicle today has better brakes, better steering and more (not to mention smarter) airbags. Electronic stability-control systems have helped prevent countless accidents. Still, even the best cars are far from perfect. And much of the outrage over Toyota's troubles seems based on the unrealistic expectation that cars should be infallible. That's an unattainable goal; even well-designed components can wear out and fail in unexpected ways. Recalls are not a sign that carmakers are indifferent to the safety of their customers. On the contrary, recalls are part of the process by which automakers address safety or reliability issues that are often fairly subtle.