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Continuing questions about Toyota's accelerator problems

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…


I wonder how many cars are out there that have never been retrofitted?

Probably a good number. The average response rate to recalls is around 75%, meaning 1 in 4 doesn’t get the fix done. The response rate is typically lower for older vehicles, as obviously some have been totalled/scrapped, ones bought used aren’t always registered with the manufacturer so the manufacturer has trouble contacting the owner, and they often aren’t taken in for dealer service where the VIN is run and they can check for open recalls.

On newer vehicles, the response rate is typically much higher…

Eastwind Airlines FL517. The airplane experienced an undocumented rudder reversal problem. The pilot improvised and brought the plane down in one piece. Since then, pilots were trained to handle flight control problems and FAA ordered a redesign of the component.

Toyota’s problem is well documented and procedures were given on how to handle stuck throttle situations. This incident says more about the drivers we share the road with than Toyota.

Commercial airline pilots are among the best pilots around, and are well trained. Car drivers don’t need anything close to the training required to be a commercial pilot. My cousin just got back from military deployment and he hasn’t been able to keep up his 6 takoffs and landings per month minimum. He has to go to 2 days of training to retain his license to fly commercial. That’s just one of the things they have to do. I think it says more about pilots, airlines, and the FAA than about automobile drivers.