Toyota Sticking Gas Pedal Ruminations


#1

If your Toyota accelerator sticks and you have not panicked and have enough time and clear space ahead, what about putting your foot underneath the gas pedal or even reaching down with your hand and lifting the pedal up?



If that can work, a piece of nylon string or very small diameter rope can be tied to the gas pedal and kept in easy reach. That is what I would want for my Toyota, if I owned one, until the permanent fix was done. A piece of string, if that would work, might be laughed off if that was Toyota’s advice. They would have a Micky Mouse reputation that they would never shed.



Is it also possible that Toyota, by advising to shift to neutral, wants to cover for potential electronic throttle sticking and the problem is not confined exclusively to a mechanical part of the gas pedal?



Toyota needs to be careful with what they advise. They could ask people to switch the engine off first but someone will certainly carry that too far and will lock the steering wheel. Before steering wheel ignition key locking that would not be a concern.


#2

I’m not certain that tying a nylon string to the gas pedal to pull it up would work on the affected Toyotas. As I understand it, the accelerator system is electronic and the pedal can be all the way up and the signal goes to the microprocessor to continue feeding in the fuel/air mixture. If the accelerator is purely mechanical, this would work. However, I think it may be an electronic issue.
An interesting sidenote: I walked to my barber shop this morning. I told the barber that it took me a longer time to get to the shop because each time I crossed a street I had to make certain that there were no Toyotas coming that would suddenly accelerate and run me down. Unknown to me, my barber has just purchased his first Toyota–a Camry. He made the deal and was home reading the owner’s manual when the alert came across the television screen. He went back to Toyota and they are fixing his Camry. They offered to cancel the deal in light of the accelerator problem, but he is keeping the Toyota. He said that the test comparison with other cars convinced him of the quality.


#3

Reaching down to pull the gas pedal up is a VERY bad idea under the best of circumstances.
If someone’s engine is racing and the car is speeding up, he/she needs to be able to see and to steer away from obstacles, including vehicles that might suddenly pull in front of them.

If someone bends down (thereby taking his eyes off of the road, and very possibly causing him/her to inadvertently jerk the steering wheel) to try to pull up the gas pedal, that action is much more likely to result in a collision.

The preferred action is to throw the transmission into neutral, apply the brakes firmly while keeping your eyes on the road, steering to the shoulder, and shutting off the ignition.


#4

I’ll be glad when this whole thing goes away.

How about those Prius brakes? Or is it “breaks?”


#5

As one Toyota Prius engineer said to another Prius engineer: “Bad brakes. I guess it’s just a bad break”.


#6

They have identified it as a mechanical failure, the pedal does stick down. An electrical failure of this type is very unlikely because there are redundant sensors on the pedal. If there are any electrical failures, the system defaults to engine idle speed only. (As if the gas pedal wasn’t pressed at all.)


#7

That is good to know. I guess if one always braked with the left foot, one could strap his foot to the gas pedal. I’ve seen pedal stirrups for bicycles.


#8

Quote from VDCdriver: The preferred action is to throw the transmission into neutral, apply the brakes firmly while keeping your eyes on the road, steering to the shoulder, and shutting off the ignition. Unquote

This may be easier said than done if you are in one of the center lanes during rush hour in Atlanta, for example, where the freeway at times is 6 lanes wide. In all seriousness, I would feel better using the string method that I mentioned, to keep the vehicle under control until it was safe to switch two or three lanes to the right or left to park on the breakdown lane.

It might be safer, however, to keep going rather than parking on the breakdown lane to give some idiot a chance at hitting your parked car.

There may be no “One Fits All” situations answer to a sticking gas pedal. Toyota is making a gamble by hoping that their sticking gas pedal emergency solution will always work under all conditions.


#9

Checked the pedal on my wife’s Camry. It has no ruminations attached. Is that supposed to be standard equipment, or an option?


#10

Make sure, at all times, your cell-phone battery is fully charged, so if the “shift into neutral and brake to a stop” solution does not work out, you can call your lawyer who by now is connected to the class action suit which is being written as we speak…Now, if your air-bags don’t work as you expected, there is separate suit for that so be sure to get your name on that list too…Prius owners feel left out, but don’t despair! Your BRAKES could fail at any moment!

Toyota announced today they are hiring 5000 people! It should be noted they are all lawyers…


#11

How about those Chevy Vega’s everybody?


#12

One needs to act, as well as react, to individual situations. One size (one reaction) does NOT fit all situations.
Say, you were in nearly stop and go traffic, and your throttle stuck open. What COULD you do? In this situation, you would be travelling straight ahead, for the next few feet. Your brakes will have some residual boost power left. You could turn the engine off, then as traffic ahead moved, turn your engine on, for a couple of seconds, then off. You might be able to continue to do this until you got off the road, safely.
Someone, with presence of mind…someone, with PRESENCE of mind, could practice this on a lightly trafficked road. How would an engine start if the throttle is held (and kept) partially, or fully, open?


#13

The problem isn’t over yet. Every car gets reports of unintended acceleration but I have read that the incidents of reports about Toyota have quadrupled since the went to the electronic throttle in 2002 and not just in the recalled models.


#14

We are told: "Simply brake with 2 feet, put the car into neutral then turn the engine off."
MAY NOT BE SO SIMPLE! Watch these video clips:

TESTIMONY OF TOYOTA DRIVER WHO ‘LOST ALL CONTROL’
(after putting car in neutral and unable to turn off engine!!!)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8533129.stm

and

"IS TOYOTA’S SOFTWARE TO BLAME FOR SAFETY PROBLEMS"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8535477.stm

and the CA crash:
“911 Call Released from Crash that Prompted Initial Toyota/Lexus Floor Mat Recall”
(with California Highway Patrolman driving unable to stop vehicle)
http://www.cardealerreviews.org/?p=247148

"Witnesses saw flames coming from the front and rear tires of the speeding 2009 Lexus ES 350 before it crashed Aug. 28 in Santee, suggesting ?long, constant heavy braking,? said Sgt. Scott Hill, the lead sheriff’s investigator. "

"Toyota Recalls Spur Worries"
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123341958


#15

Vegas were Rolls Royces compared to the Yugo and the early Kias. You could get at least 40K out of them before they went to the crusher. The Yugos could be driven straight to the crusher from the dealerships. The Kias were not much better.