CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Toyota

So guys . . . speculate about the current media spectacle. What’s causing the current Toyota models to experience full-throttle episodes . . . certainly not the floor mats!

Rocketman

You probably know as well as anyone that this is a design problem and also a possible manufacturing defect problem. Since a similar problem occurred with Asian and European models, it is not likely the quality control at the Candian plant that makes the part.

Some say it’s Toyota’s cost cutting program by their previous president, who went a little too far. I believe that Toyota is a victim of their own growth succces. Making a good gas pedal doesn’t not cost anymore than making a bad one. This time around Toyota’s usual painstaking design and testing probaly fell a little short and became more like the sloppy designs we have been used to in other cars over the last 50 years or so.

Because this is Toyota, and the plants are shut down and dealer sales on hold it is a very expensive ($500 million in lost production per week)event for Toyota, and the media as well as the business press is going nuts.

Six months from now it will all have blown over, and the only losers will be Toyota and their shareholders who will have had a temporary setback.

It’s interesting that the recall and stop sale in Canada is entirely voluntary, since the Canadian government works differently than the US Highway Safety Administration.

Would I buy another Toyota? Of course I would!

No need to start yet another thread…Oven in “General Discussions” is a thread titled “Toyota Suspends Sales” that has most of the answers…

The cars being recalled have no direct throttle linkage. They use a new “fly-by-wire” system that uses electronic actuators and servos to control the throttle position…They can’t be “fixed”. The trouble-causing parts, perhaps the entire system, must be redesigned and replaced with new parts. This will take time and will be a disaster for Toyota…

Plenty of cars out there with this system and work perfectly fine. Some euro brands even 10 years ago.

Agree, a redesign is in order, and a temporay “fix” will not work in this case. Lets see how long it takes Toyota to correct the design and get new parts produced.

They’re not “full throttle” episodes, they’re “sticking throttle.” The throttles may stick in any position, not necessarily wide open.

“Plenty of cars out there with this system and work perfectly fine. Some euro brands even 10 years ago.”

Audi owners have been complaining about stuck throttles and unplanned acceleration for years.

Most late model,if not all,Honda’s have “fly by wire” throttles. I haven’t read any problems with them.

Since a similar problem occurred with Asian and European models,

Could you show me where the problem is occurring in the Asian models. Everything I’ve read says it’s NOT in the Asian models…Just some European models. And so far only ONE pedal manufacturer has been scrutinized for the problem…CTS.

I was just reading the paper this morning; can’t say the exact source. Will keep you posted if I find out more. It does seem that it is not just a quality control problem in one plant in Canada. The design of the pedal is in question.

More Toyota news…

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100128/ap_on_bi_ge/toyota_recall

It does seem that it is not just a quality control problem in one plant in Canada. The design of the pedal is in question.

I think it’s a design problem also…but NOT necessarily Toyota. With parts like this…Toyota will send the company a spec and then the company will do their own design of the part that meets Toyota’s specs.

Right now our Lexus ES-350 is NOT part of the recall. This is almost the same vehicle as the Camry. The Lexus however was built in Japan and the plant there uses a different company for the gas pedal. The gas-pedals are completely interchangeable (at least as far as I know). I do wonder if the replacement pedal here in the US is the one made by CTS.

USA Today has a good article in today’s paper on the subject.

I read the same information as Doc, except that I read they were looking at the ones with Asian built devices rather than that they had discovered it happening overseas. Original reports were that it only affected vehicles using the throttle system manufactured in North America. News is coming out on this dialy, so there may be information published that I’ve not yet seen.

It’ll be interesting to see how this affects their market share. GM is now offering $1000 cash back to anyone trading a Toyota for a GM. While I’m not known as a GM fan, they’re making a smart business move by exploiting this in this manner. I expect others will follow.

latest info…http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100128/ap_on_bi_ge/toyota_recall

Thanks Caddyman . . . I didn’t see that. Rocketman

“I think it’s a design problem also…but NOT necessarily Toyota.”

Of course it’s Toyota’s problem. They are a sophisticated company and fully capable of demanding appropriate environmental tests and understanding the results. They have the money and the staff to make sure this doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, it did. I’d like to chalk it up to human frailty, rather than an intentional disregard of their duty to their customers. And I’m not a Toyota booster, as you know.

Of course it’s Toyota’s problem.

That’s NOT what I"m saying…I AGREE 100% this is Toyota’s problem. What I’m saying is that in all likelihood…Toyota did NOT design the pedal…They gave the supplier a spec and THEY designed it to the spec. Toyota NOW has to do the right thing and FIX this…Doesn’t matter how…And I really don’t care HOW it happened (I think Toyota should)…As a consumer all I care about is that Toyota does the right thing…and soon.

It will be interesting to see if any design engineers will revisit the ‘keep it simple’ idea. Unnecessary complexity masquerades as high tech and makes it hard to find a mechanic to fix my car. Good luck with this one Toyota!

BE PREPARED! Those who have, and can maintain, presents of mind could practice a simulation of a stuck gas pedal. All one has to do is find a lonely stretch of road, choose a starting speed (10 mph to 70mph), hold the gas pedal to the floor, and in the time it would normally take an undistracted driver to notice the full acceleration, fully apply the brake, safely pull to the side of the road, and shut off the engine. Then, simulate calling a tow.
The problem with practicing an escape is that, for a certain group of people, the motto seems to be: “OK, everybody. PANIC NOW!” With this kind of person, all bets are off on taking a rational approach to a urgent situation.

There are a lot of ways to write purchase specifications. One way is to provide a set of characteristics and let the supplier go. But sometimes a buyer will provide a design and have the lowest cost supplier manufacture it. We get everything but the drawings from some buyers, including process plans. It isn’t clear how Toyota handles it.