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Fyi: U.s. Launches Toyota Safety Probe


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U.S. launches Toyota safety probe

Highway safety authority investigates reports of sudden acceleration in Camry, Lexus models.

March 9, 2004: 7:23 AM EST

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's largest auto manufacturer, Toyota Motor Corp., said Tuesday that the U.S. government has launched an investigation into three of its vehicle models, including the Camry -- its best-selling model in the United States -- over an alleged defect that causes sudden acceleration.

The U.S. highway safety authority announced Monday that it had received reports of 30 crashes that injured at least five people when some Toyota Camry, Camry Solara and Lexus ES300 vehicles suddenly and unexpectedly surged forward.

"One of the noted injuries was serious: it occurred when a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle which allegedly surged forward unexpectedly," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said in a statement released on the Internet.

An estimated 1 million vehicles from the 2002 and 2003 model years could be affected, according to the NHTSA.

A spokeswoman for Toyota confirmed the NHTSA's investigation into the three models, but she said she could not give further details.

Shares in Toyota (TM: Research, Estimates) earlier ended Tokyo trade up 0.51 percent at ¥3,950, against a 0.25 percent rise in the benchmark Nikkei average.

http://money.cnn.com/2004/03/09/news/inter....reut/index.htm

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Interesteing article but extremly brief, No referance to years models engines or anything else..

Ntsa has to research all claims when an accident involving humans are harmed. Lots of people belief they are not at fault and look for a scape goat. Who is easier than a car company when no one else to blame is ? There was another one like this last year for the LS 430 . No problems there either that were found. All DRIVER ERROR.

But i can understand sometimes a car does have a problem. I remember the audi's of the 80"s being crucified for there surging problem. Then later it came to light there wasn;t a damn thing wrong with the cars and it was all driver error.

Funny how things work.

BTW Why is your name bad lexus ?

Does it bad meaning bad or bad meaning good?

"RUN DMC"

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well, let's wait and see the result of investigation.

Toyota and Lexus might not be as good as we want to believe.

If it's true, they have to recall the cars immediately.

Hopefully, they don't do the same thing like the sludge engine problem.

They don't even admit that it's their problem. Instead, they try to blame the owners. This is a safety issue. No car company should get away with murder like this.

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I just talked to a friend at CBS, and he confirmed the report... it involves Camry, Camry Solara, and ES300 models 2002 and newer. This is a preliminary investigation into the electronic throttle system, and allegations of unwanted acceleration. Toyota hasn't officially responded yet.

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I was about to post a thread on this as I just read it in the Washington Post.

Bad Lexus: Please, do us all a favor and just save the "Lexus is bad! We've been misled!" bit. How Lexus handles this situation will ultimately show that they're a responsible carmaker or not. Don't jump the gun until this investigation is complete. If the NHTSA determines there is a safety issue here, I'm certain Toyota will work with them and establish a way to do a safety recall and fix the problem. Nothing in Toyota's history would make me think otherwise. If the NHTSA finds no issue as they have in the past many times (they find no problem more than they find problems) then of course Lexus would have to do nothing.

I know you are dissapointed in your 9 year old Lexus' performance, but this is an issue that all us owners are interested in and I'd appreciate if you don't cloud it by simply trying to take Lexus down. You don't even own one of these cars. Calm rationality always prevails over vengeful mudslinging.

As for the engine sludge what do you expect Lexus to do? The problem doesn't exist if the oil is changed properly, and they have an 80,000 mile warranty that includes FULL ENGINE REPLACEMENT if you can demonstrate one oil change a year has been done, One a year when Lexus suggests 3-4 times that! Thats damn sporting of them if you ask me. Supposedly the changes to the 3.3 liter in 2004 fixed the sludging problem.

Anyways it looks like this is the issue I've always talked about with the jump in the electronic throttle system. If this is the case this could be a big deal for a lot of carmakers that use these systems.

I'll post more information when I have it, I'm going to call in some favors and see what I can find out.

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Amen to SW03ES!

Badmouthing to a bunch of people who have had decent experiences with the car and car company is not the way to add legitimate complaints to our discussions.

Let's all of us remember that as the human machine ages, it ain't what it used to be. Same for car machines.

Just got my Auto issue of Consumers and Toyota and Lexus are most of the time ahead of the pack in reliability.

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this discussion is ongoing in many forums.

I have yet to be witness to any sort of surging from my car that I don't directly cause. The brake is always depressed when I am at a stop if the car is in gear and I seldom use cruise control so I may be missing something.

I mention cruise control because one brief report of the investigation mentions use of cruise control at high speed.

I cannot see, however, condeming an enitre car company for preliminary allegations that have to be investigated by the NHTSA. These investigations happen frequently to all manufacturers. Some result in major improvements: Audi 5000 led to the brake release switch for automatics. These investigations led to the recall of the Firestone 500 tires back in the 70s and recently the Firestone Wilderness AT. Toyota has already had to recall the Sienna van for gas tank replacements. I won't comment on the number of recalls our domestic automakers have faced lately.

I think this one made headline news because the shear number of cars out there that may possibly be involved is extremely high. Of course this will make the news. Most likely nothing will come of it, but it does not help to start speculating even before any specifics have even been released.

steviej

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Well said sw & steviej! :D Let's see what the investigation says of the vehicles in question. The number of recalls by the domestics are staggering compared to the imports bad lexus, not to mention the awards for quality that Lexus has recieved over the years speaks for itself B) You think they were awarded them by accident? :rolleyes: Have a look at the motortrend website for recall info if your intrested for the last few years, quite intresting. What are you currently driving out of couriosity bad lexus? :whistles:

:cheers:

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I'm still not entirely sure what this "surging" is, if its the kind of jerk you get when applying throttle or if the engine is surging when the car is idling in drive...

I sent some emails but haven't gotten anything back.

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I can imagine the "surging" from electronic throttles. I also drive a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder with the drive by wire throttle. It is extremely sensitive to pressure compared to my ES300 cable throttle. I have "surged" many times tapping on the gas peddle from a stand still. Not in any dangerous situation of course. :P

I think as engines become better tuned (VVTi, VTEC, valve timing = more low end torque) and the implementation of electronic throttle, you will probably see more of these kinds of complaints. People are slow to change there insensitive gas peddle stomping habits to a more refined, sensitive, peddle feel. Easy to blame another instead of yourself.

Maybe Lexus and others should educate consumers on electronic throttle sensitivity. But, that just might invite more PR and legal trouble. The results of the investigation will probably require that very disclaimer. We will see....

As for reliability, the recent news headlines say the big three domestic auto makers are making great strides in reliability. That is not saying much since they were ranked low anyways. They have a long road ahead but at least they are improving. But....the headlines fail to highlight the fact that the big three Japanese auto makers are still ranked on top.

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very true ib, with regards to the domestic automakers. As it was already even before the survey was released the big 3 pretty much needed to look up to see the bottom as it was.....wasen't really a direction to go for them but up. :lol:

:cheers:

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I think you have to look at the Big 3's progress against the Europeans, more than the Japanese. While they are great driving cars, take a look at the realibility and problem areas for MB, BMW, and even VW and Audi. Not as many red dots as there should be.

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ONe thing to remember about that list is.It is based on 100 cars sold dived by # of total problems meaning any one of those car could have a defect in just one car,or a defective owner who complains about everything.

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As for reliability, the recent news headlines say the big three domestic auto makers are making great strides in reliability.  That is not saying much since they were ranked low anyways.  They have a long road ahead but at least they are improving.  But....the headlines fail to highlight the fact that the big three Japanese auto makers are still ranked on top.

That road just got longer for FORD.

Wednesday's New York Times announced that due to several injuries and an NHTSA investigation, FORD has to recall close to 1.2 million 2000-2003 Taurus and Sables.

The cause: a malfunctioning brake light and defective air filters. I beleive it is the brake light malfunction that led to the injuries. The recall letters go out this week.

steviej

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Poor Ford can't seem to buy a break the last several years :mellow: & yes the Consumers Reports april edition of the best & worst cars 2004 was quite good & informative. You'll notice both Lexus & Toyota are at the top or right close to it in almost every category. B)

:cheers:

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