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Toyota Cleared of Unintended Acceleration?


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As I am deep into the electronic side of things I do have a different look at this whole problem. First off, cars in the past have had unitended acceleration problems, but most could be accounted for by a mechanical failure... why, well we didn't have the computer controls as of today. (dah) One that I remember was the mid 70's GM cars that would have the motor mount go bad... you would gun the engine and it would rock the engine over in the engine bay and pull the accelerator cable even more... that was a biggie.

 

This Toyota deal, well, very much a different kind of problem. Even though from the reports I've read, the "experts" (from NASA) have gone thru miles of line codes and could not find anything in the programming that could cause the problem. I'm not convinced. Sorry NASA... but you guys aren't perfect either.

If they asked me, I'd say it's possible that something is doing it in the programming... hell, if NASA can't prove it then I guess my vote doesn't count... LOL

 

Back in the mid 80's the Audi 5000 had a run away problem. Where it would drop in gear and take off on it's own. The result of that little incident led to the shift interlock... (doubt if many people knew that's why we have shift interlocks today) However, the run away problem was hushed up and never talked about again. I worked on a lot of those 5 cylinder cars... My opinion, the cause was the interaction with the cruise control electronic module and the computer system in the car. All of which was "designed" out of later models. The reason it woul drop into gear by itself (in my opinion) was because when the engine would race the detent for the park position was usually worn down and it didn't take much force to knock it out of park.

 

Ok, that's about all I've got... hope it makes sense. I guess in a nut shell... I think there still is a weird problem with the software... but that's just my opinion, and I DO think IF it is a software issue... the real issue comes back to the operator... PUT THE DAMNED THING IN NUETRAL ! ! So operator error still is an issue.

 

Gonzo

Toyota Cleared of Unintended Acceleration???

 

Federal Highway Safety Officials on Tuesday of this past week absolved Toyota for problems pertaining to unintended acceleration with respect to its "electronics". As Toyota cheers this finding, the news media now reports that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Driver Error is the cause for most cases of unintended acceleration. That's right, MOST cases. All that was cleared in this investigation, which NASA also participated in, was the electronics systems of the Toyota vehicles.

 

No conclusions were reached for the mechanical issues Toyota has with either the floor mat or the gas pedal. Many news stories failed to report other parts of the investigation. Here's a quote from the Wall Street Journal, "In a few cases of prolonged uncontrolled acceleration, NHTSA said slipping floor mats that trapped the gas pedal were the likely the cause" Here is a direct quote from Mr. Ray Lahood, US Secretary of Transportation, " The evidence points to mechanical and driver problems, not electronic". And, the last quote for today from NASA's lead engineer Michael Kirsch, "An electronics failure couldn't be entirely ruled out". For me, there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

 

Three main causes for unintended acceleration were found, Sticking gas pedal, floor mats that trapped the throttle and driver error.

I don't know how you feel, but for me the jury is still out. I know firsthand that I had customers complaining of run-way Toyotas long before the problem hit the news papers. And, if this is driver error then why only Toyota vehicles? Wasn't it Toyota who finally admitted to the problems?

 

Please, I want to hear from my fellow shop owners. What do you think?

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With all the "cents" spent on testing before a model goes into production it really doesn't make and sense in todays world that things like this still happen.

It don't make sense does it!

Edited by Gonzo
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Honda had a recall on their late 90's civics for floor mats getting stuck under the pedal. We had to install an anchor to hold the mats in place and now all the new cars come with the anchor's already installed. Of course, this doesn't help if you have aftermarket mats. I have had the mats stick and hold the pedal down before. Its pretty scary when it happens. Not saying anything about Toyota directly just staying what we saw at Honda.

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      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
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      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
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