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      03-02-2010, 07:36 PM   #1
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Why we all should be concerned about Toyota

Before Toyota is out of this mess, there is going to be a new round of regulations that takes the toe out of heal and toe.... This could be the end of any manual transmission BMW cars in the near future.

Look at this latest piece of news:

Feds Consider Brake Override On New Cars
By Ken Thomas and Stephen Manning, Associated Press Writers
Manufacturing.Net - March 02, 2010

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Tuesday his agency may recommend that every new vehicle sold in the U.S. be equipped with brakes that can override the gas pedal. The idea seemed to be gaining support among lawmakers as Toyota officials returned for a third congressional hearing on lethal safety defects.

"We will not rest until these cars are safe," LaHood told the Senate Commerce Committee.

His testimony came as federal safety officials increased to 52 the number of reported deaths linked to sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles, through the end of last month. Previously, 34 deaths were blamed on the problem.

"I think you'll see some changes in the way they do business," LaHood told the panel.

Toyota Motor Corp. and federal regulators both faced renewed questions Tuesday from Congress over the giant Japanese car company's troubled safety record.

"We know something has gone terribly wrong," said committee chairman Jay Rockefeller, a Democrat. "The system meant to safeguard against faulty vehicles has failed, and it needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed right away."

Multiple recalls have damaged Toyota's reputation and set the stage for large numbers of death and injury lawsuits amid a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in New York, a probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission and more scrutiny from the Transportation Department. Since September, Toyota has recalled about 6 million vehicles in the U.S.

There was further evidence Tuesday of how the broad recalls and safety questions have affected Toyota's business. The company's U.S. sales fell 9 percent in February while rivals General Motors and Ford posted healthy gains.

One element of new legislation could be a requirement that all newly manufactured cars sold in the United States have an override system.

Toyota has said it will put such a system into all future vehicles and will retrofit many recalled models. More than 8 million Toyota cars have been recalled in all because of sudden acceleration or braking defects.

Meanwhile, Toyota's North American president, Yoshimi Inaba, said Toyota was setting up an outside panel to advise the company's North American affiliates on quality and safety issues. He said Rodney Slater, a U.S. transportation secretary during the Clinton administration, would lead the group.

The panel will have direct access to company president Akio Toyoda and will make sure the company's new safety and quality controls "conform to best industry practices," Inaba said in prepared testimony to the committee.

The backup safety system under discussion would override the accelerator if the gas and brake pedals were pressed at the same time.

"Why don't we require every manufacturer to do this?" Rockefeller asked.

LaHood responded: "We are looking at the possibility of recommending the brake override system in all newly manufactured automobiles."

The new number of 52 deaths was surfaced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Department of Transportation. Federal officials haven't formally confirmed the links between deaths and Toyota defects but have received a spike in complaints since Toyota began a series of big recalls in October.

Sen. Daniel Inouye, a Democrat, noted that not just Toyota cars have defects, but that other automakers also have been subject to millions of recalls. "It is not a Toyota problem, it is an industry problem," he said.

Inouye noted that over much of the past decade, recalls of vehicles made by Ford, General Motors and Chrysler dwarfed Toyota recalls.

"If it is an industry problem, we should hear from the industry, instead of just Toyota," Inouye said.

Rockefeller, whose state is the site of a Toyota plant, said, "It is clear that somewhere along the way public safety took a back seat and corporate profits drove the company's decisions."

Rockefeller last month asked the Transportation Department's inspector general to conduct an audit of the government's response to the recalls and has sought information from Toyota, the government and auto insurers.

The Senate panel -- formally the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation -- is probing whether Toyota and federal safety regulators acted swiftly enough.

Toyota President Toyoda pledged last week before a House panel to be more responsive to driver complaints and safety warnings from the government. Toyoda made a similar promise to improve quality control while apologizing Monday to Chinese Toyota owners.

But the company still faces lingering doubts over the cause of the problems, which it has blamed on gas pedals that can get obstructed by floor mats or stick due to design flaws. Safety experts have said the electronic systems of Toyota vehicles also could be to blame. Toyota insists there is no evidence of an electrical cause.
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      03-02-2010, 07:52 PM   #2
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Sounds like posturing and political talk to me. Trying to take advantage of the situation. Im sure there is adequate regulation already.
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      03-02-2010, 08:25 PM   #3
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Typical overreaction. Rather than fixing the problem with a single manufacturer, they want to create an across the board solution.
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      03-02-2010, 10:03 PM   #4
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No matter which country it is, whenever the politians get involved, it spells trouble. Politians harvest votes, they don't give a damn if ruins a car enthusiasts life. Over-reacting and acting like they are doing something. Am I cynical? You bet.
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      03-02-2010, 10:35 PM   #5
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I'm not sure of my source, but I read somewhere that Nissan has the rev matching feature in the new Z with an eye towards a day in the near future where the safety Nazi's are going to prevent any heal and toeing.

While I own the DCT trannie, I (would like to) reserve the right to own a sports car in the future with a manual if it's not my everyday driver. I'm not sure of the benefit if you can heal and toe by yourself...
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      03-02-2010, 10:41 PM   #6
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Honestly, I place the blame for all these acceleration accidents at the feet of automatic transmissions. Why? Automatics have become so prevalent that many people completely forget how their cars work. I know that these deaths are tragedies, but if someone has enough time to call 911 and say their car is careening out of control, then they have had MORE than ample time to move the shift lever to FUCKING NEUTRAL!!!!!

I haven't looked at the data, but I'm willing to bet that every single accident attributed to stuck accelerators were cars equipped with automatic transmissions. Why? Because anyone who drives a manual transmission knows to push in the damn clutch! These would be "panic stop" situations, which means "both feet IN!"

I'm not meaning for this to be a "auto vs. manual" thread. I'd say most of the automatic drivers here on this forum would know to move the shift lever to neutral in these situations. But the vast majority of Americans are bad drivers at best. Which is why the government wants to intervene. "People are dumb, so we must make systems that keep them from hurting themselves." Sadly, the unintended consequence is that each new "safety system" just further removes the driver from the operation, masking even worse inadequacies and deficiencies in skills.

And the ultimate oxymoron about this concept? Doesn't the US government feel the REAL problem is the ELECTRONIC CONTROLS in Toyota cars that are the problem? So let's mandate a different electronic control system to make sure the first electronic control system problem doesn't happen! Am I the only one who sees the idiocy in that??

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      03-02-2010, 10:58 PM   #7
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They just need to let the free market figure it out. There are times when regulation is needed... but in this instance the market has the information needed to make decisions regarding their safety.
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      03-02-2010, 11:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scollins View Post
Honestly, I place the blame for all these acceleration accidents at the feet of automatic transmissions. Why? Automatics have become so prevalent that many people completely forget how their cars work. I know that these deaths are tragedies, but if someone has enough time to call 911 and say their car is careening out of control, then they have had MORE than ample time to move the shift lever to FUCKING NEUTRAL!!!!!

I haven't looked at the data, but I'm willing to bet that every single accident attributed to stuck accelerators were cars equipped with automatic transmissions. Why? Because anyone who drives a manual transmission knows to push in the damn clutch! These would be "panic stop" situations, which means "both feet IN!"

I'm not meaning for this to be a "auto vs. manual" thread. I'd say most of the automatic drivers here on this forum would know to move the shift lever to neutral in these situations. But the vast majority of Americans are bad drivers at best. Which is why the government wants to intervene. "People are dumb, so we must make systems that keep them from hurting themselves." Sadly, the unintended consequence is that each new "safety system" just further removes the driver from the operation, masking even worse inadequacies and deficiencies in skills.

And the ultimate oxymoron about this concept? Doesn't the US government feel the REAL problem is the ELECTRONIC CONTROLS in Toyota cars that are the problem? So let's mandate a different electronic control system to make sure the first electronic control system problem doesn't happen! Am I the only one who sees the idiocy in that??

+100!!
i agree... i am quite certain that 99.9% of any accidents caused by unintended acceleration is on an auto car... people just dont bother to learn how their cars work these days!
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      03-03-2010, 12:04 AM   #9
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I agree, 1st thing I said when this was going on. Why the hell didnt they put hte car in neutral or turn it off?
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      03-03-2010, 12:30 AM   #10
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This won't affect heal and toe down shifting, but it will affect left foot braking. Many cars already override the accelerator if the brake pedal is pushed at the same time (including all recent Porsche's). The override is not immediate, it has some delay, and the clutch pedal position is taken into account as well so heal and toe down shifting is unaffected.

Still it is a bummer and is inevitable at this point...
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      03-03-2010, 12:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by attbimmer View Post
This won't affect heal and toe down shifting, but it will affect left foot braking. Many cars already override the accelerator if the brake pedal is pushed at the same time (including all recent Porsche's). The override is not immediate, it has some delay, and the clutch pedal position is taken into account as well so heal and toe down shifting is unaffected.
I was just going to post this bit of Porsche info. the system has no impact on heel/toe the delay is significant enough that it is not a factor.
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      03-03-2010, 01:42 AM   #12
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Some auto cars like mercedes have electronic gear shift levers, kind of like a joystick. So if it is electronically error even that wont possibly shift. Anyways I am going with the idea that ever since media started broadcasting this toyota acceleration problem, people are crashing their car on purpose so they can sue for money. People sue for easy money these days too much.
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      03-03-2010, 01:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by attbimmer View Post
This won't affect heal and toe down shifting, but it will affect left foot braking. Many cars already override the accelerator if the brake pedal is pushed at the same time (including all recent Porsche's). The override is not immediate, it has some delay, and the clutch pedal position is taken into account as well so heal and toe down shifting is unaffected.

Still it is a bummer and is inevitable at this point...
So no left foot braking with PDK?
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      03-03-2010, 02:04 AM   #14
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Some auto cars like mercedes have electronic gear shift levers, kind of like a joystick. So if it is electronically error even that wont possibly shift. Anyways I am going with the idea that ever since media started broadcasting this toyota acceleration problem, people are crashing their car on purpose so they can sue for money. People sue for easy money these days too much.

And now everybody who has been found at fault in a crash involving a Toyota are saying "it's the car's fault, not mine!"

No personal accountability plus quick cash by suing is what is really causing this country's demise.....
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      03-03-2010, 09:08 AM   #15
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And now everybody who has been found at fault in a crash involving a Toyota are saying "it's the car's fault, not mine!"

No personal accountability plus quick cash by suing is what is really causing this country's demise.....
No different than the millions of people walking out on their mortgages on purpose.

I don't see why you'd need any overrides on a manual car, even if the accelerator got stuck you could just put the clutch in, works 100% of the time guaranteed.
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      03-03-2010, 10:14 AM   #16
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No matter which country it is, whenever the politians get involved, it spells trouble. Politians harvest votes, they don't give a damn if ruins a car enthusiasts life. Over-reacting and acting like they are doing something. Am I cynical? You bet.
i'm right with you brotha...and that's not the only major problem with Washington. we live in the most free capitalist society on the face of the planet (in the midst of a recession i might add), and yet only a fraction of a percent of all politicians remotely know something about business . our entire society is driven by free enterprise, and yet a majority of our politicians are just lawyers trying to solve problems that entrepreneurs should be solving.




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Originally Posted by scollins View Post
Honestly, I place the blame for all these acceleration accidents at the feet of automatic transmissions. Why? Automatics have become so prevalent that many people completely forget how their cars work. I know that these deaths are tragedies, but if someone has enough time to call 911 and say their car is careening out of control, then they have had MORE than ample time to move the shift lever to FUCKING NEUTRAL!!!!!

I haven't looked at the data, but I'm willing to bet that every single accident attributed to stuck accelerators were cars equipped with automatic transmissions. Why? Because anyone who drives a manual transmission knows to push in the damn clutch! These would be "panic stop" situations, which means "both feet IN!"

I'm not meaning for this to be a "auto vs. manual" thread. I'd say most of the automatic drivers here on this forum would know to move the shift lever to neutral in these situations. But the vast majority of Americans are bad drivers at best. Which is why the government wants to intervene. "People are dumb, so we must make systems that keep them from hurting themselves." Sadly, the unintended consequence is that each new "safety system" just further removes the driver from the operation, masking even worse inadequacies and deficiencies in skills.

And the ultimate oxymoron about this concept? Doesn't the US government feel the REAL problem is the ELECTRONIC CONTROLS in Toyota cars that are the problem? So let's mandate a different electronic control system to make sure the first electronic control system problem doesn't happen! Am I the only one who sees the idiocy in that??

AMEN!

i said this in a previous thread about Toyota's current woes:
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+1

not that it excuses Toyota from taking responsibility, but Toyota is having to take responsibility for far more than just its own mistakes - it is having to take responsibility for consumer stupidity as well. despite malfunctions, many accidents and deaths could have been prevented were there not so many utter idiot ssholes behind the wheel.

for instance, one recent tragedy concerns a family of four. the father, an off-duty officer, was driving his family somewhere in their Camry when the car started accelerating inexplicably. instead of putting the car in neutral and using the brakes, the cop calls 911 to report his emergency, and prays aloud with his family while awaiting further instructions/help from 911 . they eventually crashed and died all b/c some bright light behind the wheel didn't think to take the car out of drive and use the brakes. i can't find an online source for this - i heard the audio recording of the 911 call and the crash on the radio.

nevertheless, automobile manufacturers know that 99% of drivers have an IQ lower than 50...unfortunately, at the end of the day, lots of Toyotas still have uncontrollable acceleration problems...
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      03-03-2010, 03:07 PM   #17
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Automatics are not the reason Americans can't drive. Extremely lax drivers license testing (and a lack of renewal testing) is the reason so many Americans can't drive.

Excluding bikes/CDLs/etc., we let everyone drive whatever they want. No special consideration is given to training, experience, or current physical condition. This is a system that doesn't discriminate between a 16-year old is driving a Ferrari or a Fiesta and has no system in place to supervise the physical ability of anyone to keep driving. I understand there are significant challenges to creating and implementing a comprehensive system to address the issues, but the "free candy for life" approach we have to licensing is the real culprit.
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      03-03-2010, 05:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scollins View Post
Honestly, I place the blame for all these acceleration accidents at the feet of automatic transmissions. Why? Automatics have become so prevalent that many people completely forget how their cars work. I know that these deaths are tragedies, but if someone has enough time to call 911 and say their car is careening out of control, then they have had MORE than ample time to move the shift lever to FUCKING NEUTRAL!!!!!

I haven't looked at the data, but I'm willing to bet that every single accident attributed to stuck accelerators were cars equipped with automatic transmissions. Why? Because anyone who drives a manual transmission knows to push in the damn clutch! These would be "panic stop" situations, which means "both feet IN!"

I'm not meaning for this to be a "auto vs. manual" thread. I'd say most of the automatic drivers here on this forum would know to move the shift lever to neutral in these situations. But the vast majority of Americans are bad drivers at best. Which is why the government wants to intervene. "People are dumb, so we must make systems that keep them from hurting themselves." Sadly, the unintended consequence is that each new "safety system" just further removes the driver from the operation, masking even worse inadequacies and deficiencies in skills.

And the ultimate oxymoron about this concept? Doesn't the US government feel the REAL problem is the ELECTRONIC CONTROLS in Toyota cars that are the problem? So let's mandate a different electronic control system to make sure the first electronic control system problem doesn't happen! Am I the only one who sees the idiocy in that??

No sir you are Not! Remember never to shift while crossing railroad tracks? How about check your blind spot before you change lanes? People that aren't smart enough to figure that neutral is your friend just proves that Darwinism is losing the battle against technology. I have a Volvo theory. The safest car in the world allows stupid people to survive their continual fuck ups and breed more stupid people, thereby nullifying natural selection.
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      03-03-2010, 05:43 PM   #19
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No sir you are Not! Remember never to shift while crossing railroad tracks? How about check your blind spot before you change lanes? People that aren't smart enough to figure that neutral is your friend just proves that Darwinism is losing the battle against technology. I have a Volvo theory. The safest car in the world allows stupid people to survive their continual fuck ups and breed more stupid people, thereby nullifying natural selection.
LOL +1 Volvo theory.
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      03-03-2010, 09:32 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by scollins View Post
Honestly, I place the blame for all these acceleration accidents at the feet of automatic transmissions. Why? Automatics have become so prevalent that many people completely forget how their cars work. I know that these deaths are tragedies, but if someone has enough time to call 911 and say their car is careening out of control, then they have had MORE than ample time to move the shift lever to FUCKING NEUTRAL!!!!!

I haven't looked at the data, but I'm willing to bet that every single accident attributed to stuck accelerators were cars equipped with automatic transmissions. Why? Because anyone who drives a manual transmission knows to push in the damn clutch! These would be "panic stop" situations, which means "both feet IN!"

I'm not meaning for this to be a "auto vs. manual" thread. I'd say most of the automatic drivers here on this forum would know to move the shift lever to neutral in these situations. But the vast majority of Americans are bad drivers at best. Which is why the government wants to intervene. "People are dumb, so we must make systems that keep them from hurting themselves." Sadly, the unintended consequence is that each new "safety system" just further removes the driver from the operation, masking even worse inadequacies and deficiencies in skills.

And the ultimate oxymoron about this concept? Doesn't the US government feel the REAL problem is the ELECTRONIC CONTROLS in Toyota cars that are the problem? So let's mandate a different electronic control system to make sure the first electronic control system problem doesn't happen! Am I the only one who sees the idiocy in that??

somewhat harsh but I do agree...I think the time/money spent in Congress drafting legislation would be much better spent on a national ad campaign showing people what do if this happens to them.

Like somebody said, Congress just feels like they need to react to every problem by making new laws. Not too long ago these two guys followed home this couple from Cheshire, CT, not too far from where I live. They beat the father, strangled the mother, raped the two teenage girls, robbed the place, lit it on fire and took off. I think the father was the only one to make it out alive. The CT legislature was quick to create a "home invasion" statute. Obviously the crimes were brutal but was there anything wrong with the current statutes pertaining to burglary, rape, murder, etc.? No, but the politicians felt like they needed to do something.
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      03-03-2010, 10:21 PM   #21
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No sir you are Not! Remember never to shift while crossing railroad tracks? How about check your blind spot before you change lanes? People that aren't smart enough to figure that neutral is your friend just proves that Darwinism is losing the battle against technology. I have a Volvo theory. The safest car in the world allows stupid people to survive their continual fuck ups and breed more stupid people, thereby nullifying natural selection.
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LOL +1 Volvo theory.
HAH!! The (mostly terrible) movie "Idiocracy" comes to mind. I'd laugh more if it wasn't TRUE!
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      03-03-2010, 10:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyr15 View Post
Automatics are not the reason Americans can't drive. Extremely lax drivers license testing (and a lack of renewal testing) is the reason so many Americans can't drive.

Excluding bikes/CDLs/etc., we let everyone drive whatever they want. No special consideration is given to training, experience, or current physical condition. This is a system that doesn't discriminate between a 16-year old is driving a Ferrari or a Fiesta and has no system in place to supervise the physical ability of anyone to keep driving. I understand there are significant challenges to creating and implementing a comprehensive system to address the issues, but the "free candy for life" approach we have to licensing is the real culprit.
Yes, I agree that the lax driver testing standards is also a culprit. I find it unacceptable that the Washington State Driver test can be administered in 45 languages! How many cops speak 45 languages? How many road signs are in 45 languages? But since we just hand out driver's license like "free candy for life", it is a problem. I think more rigorous training needs to be done, as well as regular re-testing.

But I do think that automatic transmissions are a small part of the problem. They've become ubiquitous, and I don't think one can argue that they require far less driver involvement. I don't care to hear about "paddles" either, as that is a relatively recent development.

But I see automatics as the first sign of the driver apocalypse. Then we get ABS, because people drive too fast for conditions and a system is needed to more quickly modulate the brakes. Now people don't want to wear seatbelts, so airbags are created. But wait, those airbags are more dangerous if you aren't wearing a seat belt, so now we mandate seat belt use.


Can't be bothered to look behind you when backing up? Now we have back up cameras and sensors!

Can't turn your head to do a head check before changing lanes? Our blind spot detector system will do it for you!

Can't parallel park? Let our system parallel park the car for you!

Can't put down your cell phone in traffic to notice the impending crash in front of you? Our "city safety" brake system will stop for you! (Volvo).

Driving too fast at night? We have a heads up display to show you what's out there!

Fall asleep at the wheel because you are driving when you shouldn't be? Our "lane departure" system will shake the wheel or your seat to wake you up! If those systems don't wake you up, our car will brake for you automatically and bring you safely to a stop!

Too difficult to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you? Our adaptive cruise control will manage that for you!

Is your car accelerating due to a defective pedal or system? Our "brake override system" will cut the throttle automatically when you apply the brake!

And the list just keeps growing....

And I say, it all started to go down hill with the introduction of the automatic transmission. Soon enough, all you have to do is get in the car's backseat, and the car will drive itself. As a matter of fact, for your own safety and the safety of those around you, you will NOT be allowed to drive at all.

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