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Thread: Toyota gas pedal debacle

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Toyota gas pedal debacle

    American Toyota owners are understandably alarmed about ballooning recalls over faulty gas pedals and floor mats. In Japan, the automaker's home market, where there have been no such recalls, the reaction is also understandably muted.

    Some of the same Toyota Motor Corp. models recalled in the U.S., Europe and China are on Japanese roads. But they use a different parts supplier than CTS Corp., the American parts-maker which has been rushing to fix the faulty parts behind the massive recalls.

    Dealers in the U.S. are being deluged with queries from worried customers. For dealers in Japan, it's basically business as usual.

    "Some of our customers express sympathy about Toyota's overseas problems," Naeko Kawamata, a saleswoman at a Tokyo Toyota dealer, said Saturday. "But we aren't getting queries on recalls."

    So far, Toyota's reputation for quality is holding up in Japan. One factor in Toyota's favor is that Japanese often assume that Japan-made products are better than those made abroad meaning that their Toyotas are safe.
    "I think Toyota cars are very reliable," said Takashi Itoh, a photographer whose family members drive Toyota models.

    "The cars being recalled in China and the U.S. aren't made in Japan. They were made there. Those kind of problems definitely won't happen in Japan," he said.

    Some Japanese experts are optimistic the fallout from the U.S. woes will fade in a few months as long as Toyota responds relatively quickly to fix the problem.

    They see Toyota's troubles as having crept up because the automaker expanded too quickly over the last several years, making it difficult to duplicate the "Toyota Way," known for impeccable quality controls, in places that are quite different from Japan.

    "Toyota appears to be trying to respond with care," said Hideaki Miyajima, a professor of business and economics at Tokyo's Waseda University.
    "Toyota has grown to where it is now by sticking to safety standards. If it can overcome this problem, it can even make the experience a plus for its future."

    Overnight, President Akio Toyoda apologized for the worries the recalls caused Toyota owners.

    At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, he told Japanese public broadcaster NHK, "I am very sorry that we are making our customers feel concerned."

    "People can feel safe driving in the current situation," he added. "Please trust that we are responding so it will be even safer."

    Toyota said it began shipping gas-pedal parts to its dealers Friday for use in fixing the millions of cars and trucks recalled because of accelerators that could become stuck.

    Company spokesman Brian Lyons said he did not know when the parts would arrive or how long it would take the automaker to complete repairs on the 4.2 million vehicles worldwide covered by the recall. He said details of the fix will be announced next week.

    After accounting for earlier recalls for floor mats and some vehicles being recalled more than once, the global recall amounts to more than 7 million vehicles, a staggering number.

    Hidekai Homma, a Toyota official in Tokyo, said media reports giving that number as the equivalent of Toyota's annual vehicle sales are providing an exaggerated picture of the problem.

    "We don't welcome this kind of thinking at all," he told The Associated Press. "No matter what, we believe we have responded speedily to a problem that has come up."

    Consumer Reports, an influential U.S. publication, has suspended its "recommended" status for the eight recalled models, dealing another blow to the Japanese automaker's reputation in the U.S.

    Toyota stopped selling the eight U.S. models, including the top-selling Camry, on Tuesday. It also announced that it will stop building them in the U.S. until the problem is fixed.

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    That problem was easily fixed on my son's Avalon---
    He was on the Interstate in Austin going to his office when traffic started slowing down. He was slowed down to about v10 MPH when he looked in the rear view mirror and saw this big Dodge pick-up pulling a trailor with a load of heavy equipment closing on him at a high rate of speed--- he tried to get out of the way but never made it-- got rear ended--totaled his car (07 Avalon) --pushed him across 3 lanes of traffic and he got stopped headded in the wrong direction-- The Corvette in front of him got run over also-- Both he and the vette driver walked away--- but my son had head injuries and hurt hands-- so they hauled him to the hospital--- his lawyer is already on it-----
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose View Post
    That problem was easily fixed on my son's Avalon---
    He was on the Interstate in Austin going to his office when traffic started slowing down. He was slowed down to about v10 MPH when he looked in the rear view mirror and saw this big Dodge pick-up pulling a trailor with a load of heavy equipment closing on him at a high rate of speed--- he tried to get out of the way but never made it-- got rear ended--totaled his car (07 Avalon) --pushed him across 3 lanes of traffic and he got stopped headded in the wrong direction-- The Corvette in front of him got run over also-- Both he and the vette driver walked away--- but my son had head injuries and hurt hands-- so they hauled him to the hospital--- his lawyer is already on it-----
    Christ... your family has had some bad luck. I hope his injuries aren't permanent.

    Keep us posted...

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    Hope it all works out Jim. Sorry to here that. I wasjust wondering does anyone think there might be a glut of used Toyotas out there because of the gas pedal debacle? Maybe somebody can pick up a good used Toyota on the cheap?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    .
    "The cars being recalled in China and the U.S. aren't made in Japan. They were made there. Those kind of problems definitely won't happen in Japan," he said.
    It makes one think that if the design of the parts is the same, then the problem is probably in the manufacture and/or assembly.
    Trevor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Christ... your family has had some bad luck. I hope his injuries aren't permanent.

    Keep us posted...
    No serious injuries-- a few staples to keep the head skin together and the normal sprained hands from the death grip on the steering wheel---

  7. #7
    Jim,

    How about his clothes? I'd guess he would need a new pair of pants after that!
    I'm going quackers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    Jim,

    How about his clothes? I'd guess he would need a new pair of pants after that!
    He said that he had no time to dirty them!

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    Hope it all works out Jim. Sorry to here that. I wasjust wondering does anyone think there might be a glut of used Toyotas out there because of the gas pedal debacle? Maybe somebody can pick up a good used Toyota on the cheap?
    This kind of thing can really hurt a company's image - and image (especially the perception of quality - or its lack) can hugely affect the trade-in/residual values.

    Toyota has had some other problems, but this is the first one that's been hugely publicized and is thus well-known to many people.

    It could do a lot of damage... if you start hearing "Toyota jokes," watch out!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    This kind of thing can really hurt a company's image - and image (especially the perception of quality - or its lack) can hugely affect the trade-in/residual values.

    Toyota has had some other problems, but this is the first one that's been hugely publicized and is thus well-known to many people.

    It could do a lot of damage... if you start hearing "Toyota jokes," watch out!
    I have a big problem with the big panic over this situation. The State Trooper who, along with his family, crashed, had time enough to call on his cell phone and narrate the proceedings--- He was in a Lexus 350--- said he had no brakes--they were burned out. With all the time he had to burn out the brakes and make a phone call, why the hell didn;t he shut the engine off? Why didn't he put the tranny in neutral? What was he thinking? Certainly not like someone who was trained to not panic---
    I guess there are folks who will panic in any situation --no matter how much training--- I flew with a few of those guys. They usually wind up having accidents that could have been prevented.
    I'm not saying that Toyota isn't at fault, just saying like I did about the Ford Explorer panic--- I drove a '91 Explorer 135K miles without any tire related incidences--

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose View Post
    I have a big problem with the big panic over this situation. The State Trooper who, along with his family, crashed, had time enough to call on his cell phone and narrate the proceedings--- He was in a Lexus 350--- said he had no brakes--they were burned out. With all the time he had to burn out the brakes and make a phone call, why the hell didn;t he shut the engine off? Why didn't he put the tranny in neutral? What was he thinking? Certainly not like someone who was trained to not panic---
    I guess there are folks who will panic in any situation --no matter how much training--- I flew with a few of those guys. They usually wind up having accidents that could have been prevented.
    I'm not saying that Toyota isn't at fault, just saying like I did about the Ford Explorer panic--- I drove a '91 Explorer 135K miles without any tire related incidences--
    Completely agree with you.

    The thing is, common sense, initiative and basic competence are fast becoming rare characteristics.

    People expect idiot-proofed cars because they're, well... idiots.

    As you say, controlling the car in this situation should be easy. Just put the transmission in neutral, hit the brakes and pull over. With modern rev limiters (all cars have these now) you can't overspeed the engine, so it's not going to hurt anything to put the transmission into neutral with the gas pedal sticking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Completely agree with you.

    The thing is, common sense, initiative and basic competence are fast becoming rare characteristics.

    People expect idiot-proofed cars because they're, well... idiots.

    As you say, controlling the car in this situation should be easy. Just put the transmission in neutral, hit the brakes and pull over. With modern rev limiters (all cars have these now) you can't overspeed the engine, so it's not going to hurt anything to put the transmission into neutral with the gas pedal sticking.
    The big problem is that there are few, if any, common sense juries!

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    Senior Member J. ZIMM's Avatar
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    I agree with Jim. The lack of training by the State Police was a contributing factor in this accident. If you have ever driven a race car, you learn some of the self defensive moves that could save yours and other drivers lives. I have practiced a 'what if' situation through the years, no matter what kind or type of vehicle I drive. It may sound a little rough on equipment, but do you know how you or your rig is going to react to a 'stuck' gas pedal, lost of brakes, power steering, or any other malfunction that could occur? How about a wheel coming off? Stuff like this could and can happen. How will you react to this. I have lost wheels, brakes, steering, and have had gas pedals stick. I even had one car go up in flames. Now that can get exciting while trying to unbuckle a 5 point harness, and climb out through a hole in a door. So lack of training in the State Cops case is unfortunate, but lives could have been saved if he had the proper training.

  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J. ZIMM View Post
    I agree with Jim. The lack of training by the State Police was a contributing factor in this accident. If you have ever driven a race car, you learn some of the self defensive moves that could save yours and other drivers lives. I have practiced a 'what if' situation through the years, no matter what kind or type of vehicle I drive. It may sound a little rough on equipment, but do you know how you or your rig is going to react to a 'stuck' gas pedal, lost of brakes, power steering, or any other malfunction that could occur? How about a wheel coming off? Stuff like this could and can happen. How will you react to this. I have lost wheels, brakes, steering, and have had gas pedals stick. I even had one car go up in flames. Now that can get exciting while trying to unbuckle a 5 point harness, and climb out through a hole in a door. So lack of training in the State Cops case is unfortunate, but lives could have been saved if he had the proper training.

    This kind of thing ought to be taught as part of basic driver training - but of course, it's not. Instead, they spend all kinds of time berating new drivers about the evils of speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Rose View Post
    I have a big problem with the big panic over this situation. The State Trooper who, along with his family, crashed, had time enough to call on his cell phone and narrate the proceedings--- He was in a Lexus 350--- said he had no brakes--they were burned out. With all the time he had to burn out the brakes and make a phone call, why the hell didn;t he shut the engine off? Why didn't he put the tranny in neutral? What was he thinking? Certainly not like someone who was trained to not panic---
    I guess there are folks who will panic in any situation --no matter how much training--- I flew with a few of those guys. They usually wind up having accidents that could have been prevented.
    I'm not saying that Toyota isn't at fault, just saying like I did about the Ford Explorer panic--- I drove a '91 Explorer 135K miles without any tire related incidences--
    It is ironic that the state trooper was not able to get out of that situation. Of course its a tragedy for him and the people killed in the car, but wasn't he trained in emergency driving maneuvers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    This kind of thing ought to be taught as part of basic driver training - but of course, it's not. Instead, they spend all kinds of time berating new drivers about the evils of speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeding.

    Bingo! You got that right!

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