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Lexus Stuck Accelerator Kills Chp Officer And Family.


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  • 1 month later...

Looks like the NHTSA isn't buying the mat excuse:

Govt criticizes Toyota press release on floor mats

By KEN THOMAS (AP) – 2 hours ago

WASHINGTON — Toyota Motor Corp. released misleading information about an investigation into problems with stuck gas pedals that led to a massive Toyota recall, the government said Wednesday, stressing the issue is still under review by federal safety regulators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was still investigating the case and meeting with Toyota to hear about the company's plan to redesign the vehicles and fix "this very dangerous problem."

Toyota recalled 3.8 million vehicles last month over problems with gas pedals that got stuck on floor mats and told owners to remove driver's side floor mats and not replace them until the automaker had determined a fix to the problem.

Toyota said in a statement on Monday that NHTSA had confirmed "that no defect exists in vehicles in which the driver's floor mat is compatible with the vehicle and properly secured."

But NHTSA said that was inaccurate and the government was investigating possible causes of the acceleration problem. Removing the floor mats was "simply an interim measure" and "does not correct the underlying defect in the vehicles involving the potential for entrapment of the accelerator by floor mats, which is related to accelerator and floor pan design."

"The matter is not closed until Toyota has effectively addressed the defect by providing a suitable vehicle based solution," NHTSA said in the statement, which the department said was issued to correct "inaccurate and misleading information" from the automaker.

Toyota spokesman John Hanson said "it was never our intention to mislead or provide inaccurate information. Toyota agrees with NHTSA's position that the removal of the floor mats is an interim measure and that further action is required. We continue to discuss an appropriate vehicle remedy or remedies."

The recall includes 2007-2010 model year Toyota Camry, 2005-2010 Toyota Avalon, 2004-2009 Toyota Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Toyota Tundra, 2007-2010 Lexus ES350 and 2006-2010 Lexus IS250/IS350.

The recall, Toyota's largest in the U.S., was prompted by a high-speed crash in August involving a 2009 Lexus ES350 near San Diego, Calif. Mark Saylor, a 45-year-old California Highway Patrol officer, and three members of his family were killed when their vehicle hit speeds exceeding 120 mph, struck a sport utility vehicle, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and burst into flames.

Family members made a frantic 911 call from the Lexus and told a dispatcher the accelerator was stuck and they couldn't stop the vehicle.

The high-profile incident led Toyota President Akio Toyoda to call the fatal crash "extremely regrettable" and offer his "deepest condolences."

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By no means am I displaying any sort of disrespect to the victims, victim families, or anyone else who has been impacted by this horrible accident. But I have to ask; what about kicking the car out of drive into neutral and just letting the engine blow? Can this not be done in cars anymore at certain speeds?

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I'm not defending Lexus here, I just want to point out something. Click on the links below and you'll see what I mean.

Unintended acceleration issue #1

Unintended acceleration issue #2

Unintended acceleration issue #3

Unintended Acceleration issue #4, 5, 6, and 7

And my biggest issue is more with the NHTSA themselves. How when the national spotlight is on this accident, they decide to put on thier stage costumes and walk around the crash sites with gavels in hand, yet with THOUSANDS of documented cases of the Ford spark plug spitting issue they just turn thier backs, citing this is not a safety issue, but made Honda recall 55,000 cars for a possible engine stalling issue? and where were they for the GM ABS brake failure issue? which until the fed launched a probe did they finally agree to do thier investigation 4 years after the fact that resulted in a 1.2 million unit recall by GM? And I'll bet most people never even knew anything or heard about these other incidents. Like the people that died in the 98 Lincoln.

I'm sorry, but I'm just really suspicious of the whole NHTSA and anything they have to say about anything really. So sure, everyone wants to hear that Toyota/Lexus is responsible for this accident so we can have a public lynching. But if this comes to light that it is, then what about all the rest of the car makers? What about Ford that was actually found to have a problem? As this seems to have been a problem since the early 80's and with all car makers. Let's not forget that this dates back to when throttle systems were mechanical, and not in any way controlled by a computer. The gas pedal was directly connected via a "throttle cable" and people claimed this issue occurred even back then. Not to mention that most car makers all use a different system, but all seem to have this same problem. So what does that say about our NHTSA then? Maybe they are the problem here and not just Toyota should be held at fault here.

The whole media thing just reeks to me. Isn't it funny the timing and how the media has chosen to handle this? Hmmm, the governement that now has a huge interest in GM/Chrysler and a waining domestic market sure could use a nice media circus to help bring down the big import market some about now. Maybe if they could figure out a way to drag this out for a while................sure couldn't hurt huh?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not to also disrespect the victims of this, but what about simply slamming on the brakes?

I encountered this situation in an old Rav4 before. I test drove an old Rav4, and after accelerating really hard, I noticed that (no floor mats or anything!) the gas pedal was literally stuck! :angry: Now I didn't think of just driving in neutral (it was an AT), but the first thing that came to my common sense mind was to slam on the brakes to at LEAST slow it down. I practically drove on the brakes for a mile until I was able to stop in a parking lot where after I killed the engine switch, I could see my brakes all smoking :o :o That whole time I was just slowing the car down by slamming on the brakes, and at times pulling the hand brake.

That accident could have been prevented if you simply just slam on the brakes even if the gas is stuck. SW is also right, it should have hit the redline and killed the engine anyways.. Or in the very worse, put the car in PARK and just drop that whole transmission... Better to wreck the transmission rather than get killed in an accident

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If you look at the pics you will see the rotors and pads are destroyed due to heat from being applied.

I didn't have the chance to look at the pictures... Even then, just put the car in neutral or drop the tranny and put it in Park. As long as the gear shifter isn't one of those "high-tech" one like in the M-Class, GL-Class, X5, 5series, etc, it should be the next thing to do after applying the brakes.

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Yeah at that speed I doubt the brakes would have been able to overcome the inertia of the car.Putting the car in park would essentially be putting it in neutral. It would brake the parking prawl off...

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I live not far from the scene. That is open freeway that is about a 3-5% grade downhill. It comes to an end where they went through the guardrail and into the culvert. The rotors were warped beyond recognition.

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Looks like the NHTSA isn't buying the mat excuse:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . snip

"

The is a group heavily influenced by the insurance lobby ... and the insurance industry is a trillion dollar industry. They virtually always get their way. One of their more recent pet projects for example is roof collaps strength being made greater (never mind that generally makes even MORE blind spots) than the standards already are. The insurance lobby would have all cars virtually indestructable ... that way they can charge you rates and face less risk. Their corporate leadership are the wonderful folks that denied hundred & hundreds of claims from the last hurricanes ... these are the folks that as a whole, whould rather go bankrupt for example, than pay out CA earthquake claims, and end up wealthier when they come out of bko. The state of CA had to sue the industry to get them to pay out earthquake claims. Yes, there may be more than mats at issue, but NHTSA has yet to prove anything more than the mat "excuse".

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We will never no the full story on this. If the driver was a police officer I would think he would have some defensive driving training to control the car. Was he playing race car in the loaner? I had a es350 for a loaner and beat on a little just to see how much different it was from my es330. Very sad that this happened, people died. The brakes seemed strange on my es 350 loaner, but I feel thats because I wasn't used to the car. Hope Lexus-Toyota get the problem fixed. Still think they make a great car.

Tim

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Yeah, I know several cops. Can't see any of them "playing race car" in a loaner Lexus with their family in the car. They've all watched too many people scraped off the pavement after doing similar things.

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  • 6 months later...

I fully agree with your comment. If a gas pedal gets stuck slamming the brakes and cutting the engine will always do the trick. I just wonder, what kind of driver this guy has been. Another (touchy) issue, this kind of accident apparently only happens in the US, not in Europe or elsewhere. I leave it to the Forum members to figure out what is on my mind.......... :whistles:

Not to also disrespect the victims of this, but what about simply slamming on the brakes?

I encountered this situation in an old Rav4 before. I test drove an old Rav4, and after accelerating really hard, I noticed that (no floor mats or anything!) the gas pedal was literally stuck! :angry: Now I didn't think of just driving in neutral (it was an AT), but the first thing that came to my common sense mind was to slam on the brakes to at LEAST slow it down. I practically drove on the brakes for a mile until I was able to stop in a parking lot where after I killed the engine switch, I could see my brakes all smoking :o :o That whole time I was just slowing the car down by slamming on the brakes, and at times pulling the hand brake.

That accident could have been prevented if you simply just slam on the brakes even if the gas is stuck. SW is also right, it should have hit the redline and killed the engine anyways.. Or in the very worse, put the car in PARK and just drop that whole transmission... Better to wreck the transmission rather than get killed in an accident

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  • 4 months later...

personaly, i think that if your gas pedal gets stuck and it has nothing to do with the driver it shouldnt be considered a violation of the law... if there is proof that it was stuck i.e. break pads warped, throttle body messed up or something than there should be no pointing fingers at anyone but the person who manufactured the car. because no car is made perfect, nor is it possible to make a perfect one.... :(

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No, there's not. I have tried it. The engine has a rev limiter, it won't hurt anything. Try it.

One, 1 inch movement of the gearshift would have saved their lives.

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Did you note that the mighty Mercedes is not immune. Today they announced a recall of 2010-11 C & E class for potential power steering failure. The power steering can loose all of it's fluid and make the steering virtualy inoperable. As one of you said...no one can make a perfect car.

Paul

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Maybe I'm becoming (even more) cynical. A coworker died in a one car crash when he hit a concrete barrier at 2:00 AM on a recent weekday on a pretty well lit empty Kansas City freeway at the Grandview Main Street exit. He worked a day shift and why he was out at the time seems to be a mystery. The previous week another coworker's brother-in-law, immersed in bankruptcy and a family feud, shot himself in the heart with a shotgun in a wooded area at the edge of his back yard near Springfield MO. Both fatalities were ruled accidental.

When there is no explanation for why an accident occured or why someone did not take obvious steps to avoid an accident, then maybe ... just maybe ... it wasn't an accident.

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  • 8 months later...

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