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(The Consumerist)   If you think turning off the ignition, standing on the brakes, or putting the car in neutral will stop your out-of-control Toyota or Lexus, boy are you in for an amusing twist   (consumerist.com) divider line 724
    More: Scary, Lexus, Toyota, mats, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, maximum speed, guard rail, tow trucks, overrides  
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45032 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Feb 2010 at 12:21 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-02-24 12:37:54 PM  
Now we know what happened to her:

www.freewebs.com
 
2010-02-24 12:37:57 PM  
When he did that the car actually tried to start itself.
Must be the new Toyota Satan.
 
2010-02-24 12:38:11 PM  
BlackCat23: ihatedumbpeople: Incident happened in 2006? I wonder when...our AllData system doesn't show the ES350 model was available until the '07 model year.

Which hit the market in '06. Like most models do.(ie: new model years come out in the numerical year before. 07 cars come out in 06, '11 cars come out in '10)


I'm aware of that...just pointing out how small the window had to be for this to happen...if the '07 model was the first ES350 and this happened in 06, that car had to have been damn near brand new...makes you wonder if this was a buggy software glitch or if she's full of crap...
 
2010-02-24 12:38:14 PM  
ihatedumbpeople: Incident happened in 2006? I wonder when...our AllData system doesn't show the ES350 model was available until the '07 model year.

Doesn't model year xxxx always come out in year xxxx-1?
 
2010-02-24 12:38:18 PM  
ihatedumbpeople: Incident happened in 2006? I wonder when...our AllData system doesn't show the ES350 model was available until the '07 model year.

It was new IIRC, and the '07 model year is 'new' in '06
 
2010-02-24 12:38:18 PM  
aimtastic: I believe that something really bad happened to this lady's car. I believe that she believes the story she's telling. But I also believe that the combination of panic at the time, the attention she's gotten since then, and a potential payday in the future have significantly altered the story that she believes is true.

THIS

I know how my own perception of an event can be altered depending upon the circumstances, and I know how stories tend to be a bit more dramatic than reality when an event is particularly unexpected, jarring, or emotional/stressful. I hear this quite a bit with people who were in severe downbursts or weak tornadoes (both events can be stressful and rare for the person to experience, and the stories tend to be a bit exaggerated relative to reality), though that's not to say that the people are lying. Indeed, I'm sure they think they are correct, and they don't have malicious intent; instead, their perception of reality was modified by stress and their emotional state at the time of the event.
 
2010-02-24 12:38:32 PM  
Emotional appeals should be forbidden in Congressional testimonies. Bring us the facts, not your "omfg, God stopped my car, I was terrified."

What is probably a very real problem is being taken advantage of by people who have no business on the road and no concept of personal responsibility. The plural of anecdote is not data, unless you are presenting these anecdotes to Congress.
 
2010-02-24 12:39:11 PM  
Is this the thread where I get to brag about my manual transmission F-150 from 1997 and how much more awesome it is than them thar fancy luxury cars with their electronic controls?

Because mechanical stuff never fails, ever.
 
2010-02-24 12:39:34 PM  
I would have swerved it into some panhandlers or Courtney Love.
 
2010-02-24 12:39:36 PM  
Why is it always old people who claimed to have done everything technically available to stop the car but they still cannot program a vcr? I call panicky shenanigans/selective recall/insurance dodge

/wotsavcr
 
2010-02-24 12:39:36 PM  
For those above who don't believe a car can have a fly-by-wire transmission, one of my neighbor's tractors has one. Working in the fields last summer, tractor just stopped. Would reverse but wouldn't go forward. Electro-hydraulic actuation is not needed in farm equipment transmissions.

K. I. S. S.
 
2010-02-24 12:40:47 PM  
TheBitterest: Why does God get all the credit for stopping the car, but none of the blame for starting it in the first place?
pages.suddenlink.net
 
2010-02-24 12:41:06 PM  
Pssh, n00b. Ctrl+Alt+Delete always works.
 
2010-02-24 12:41:08 PM  
That why I drive this.. 4 speed, CLUTCH, and Battery Shut OFFSwitch in Floor!
i585.photobucket.com//">
 
2010-02-24 12:41:41 PM  
With the car stopped and both feet still on the brake, the motor still revved up and down. At 35 mph it would not shut off. Finally, at 33 mph, I was able to turn the engine off.

if the car was "stopped", how was it going 35 mph?
 
2010-02-24 12:41:47 PM  
manimal2878: Ingaba: I know it's not the best option to take in the event of runaway acceleration, but before I took the time to fish my cell phone out of my pocket and make a call I would have turned the key in the ignition to the off position and shut the car down.

If your car is ramping up in speed, wouldn't you need both hands on the wheel to steer around things and avoid obstacles? I find it incredibly unlikely she could have made a phone call and paid attention to the road enough to avoid wrecking.


She was driving a Lexus ES350. It has Bluetooth.

Calling her husband didn't involve digging a cell phone out or hammering buttons, it was as simple as holding in a button on the radio and saying, "Call John" (or whatever his name is).
 
2010-02-24 12:41:48 PM  
BlackCat23: that it has MULTIPLE causes(yes, the pedal is a cause, the force feedback part of the drive by wire pedal can wear and stick)is downright negligent.

Which is why I'm guessing the whole controversy is a load of media overreaction and congressional hand wringing to appear competent spurned on by greedy lawyers and people like this lady who are all too ready to claim something happened so they can get on the class action and media appearance gravy train.
 
2010-02-24 12:41:51 PM  
factoryconnection: Her car was hurtling down the highway and nothing that she could do could bring it under control. Then, randomly the car slowed down despite continued signs that the thing was f*cked up. Believe it or not, people reacting to unexplained events that without hours and hours of scientific thought aren't doing it just to piss off thin-skinned douche bags on the internet.

Lady: "Thank God I'm not dead."
ITA: "F*CK YOU YOU STUPID C*NT GOD HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT WHY DON'T YOU PUT MORE THOUGHT INTO IT YOU FAT COW!!!"

Get a grip on yourselves.


Actually no one is griping on her saying "thank god!" They are commenting on the fact that she attributes god to slowing the car. The point being it doesn't take hours of scientific thought to reason "if god gets credit for stopping it, why not starting it?"
 
2010-02-24 12:42:13 PM  
AfterTheGoldRush: Back in the 1980s there was a massive panic over Audis that exhibited "Sudden Acceleration Syndrome". Thousands of compliants, lawsuits, and a huge hit piece on Sixty Minutes with stories of cars driving themselves into swimming pools, through garage doors, and so forth.

So the DOT did a massive study on "Sudden Acceleration Syndrome", only to conlude that the most likely cause of "Sudden Acceleration Syndrome is "pedal misapplication".


Yeah...way too many people, especially old people, seem to forget the ol' "brake left, gas right" thing. How many stories have been on fark about idiots plowing through Farmer's Markets or stores because they confused their gas and brake pedals.

I'm sure most of these are legit, but I'm guessing there's at least a few idiots not paying attention.
 
2010-02-24 12:42:32 PM  
The accelerator issues sound like electrical / computer problems based on the testimonies I've read so far. That said, here's my Cool Story Bro ®...

Last fall I had reason to travel to So. Cal for a conference. The hotel we were staying at had valet only parking, which was free to hybrid drivers.

When I rented a car, a Prius was only $15 more a day (valet would have been $25 / day)... I decided to rent the Prius and not pay for parking.

That car was a nightmare. Numerous times I'd think I was in gear, only to be in neutral. Or, I'd think I was in park, and lift my foot off the brake, only to lurch forward. For those of you who haven't driven one or ridden in one, for reasons only explicable to Toyota, they have a completely non-standard shift / drive selection mechanism. (I should add, I drive a Civic Hybrid as my regular commuter car... good mileage, drives pretty much the same as a regular civic. Same keys, same gear selection, same pull lever parking brake, etc)

i35.photobucket.com

Look at the picture above. There is an on/off button. A parking brake button. A shifter / drive selector that puts the car in drive, neutral, reverse, and in an "eco mode". This may all make immediate sense to Prius owners, but for most of us I'd say it is confusing. Some of the stories I've read had to do with rental / loaner cars, so I'd have to imagine this confusion has played in somewhat.

So... people who don't know to hold down the power button are farked. If the car won't shift out of drive you're farked. An electronic parking brake button isn't going to do shiat. Nothing in that car isn't electronicly controlled (transmission, acceleration, braking, etc)... almost nothing someone can do if the electronics are going bad, and if the start/stop button won't actually turn off the car (big question), what else can you do?

I'd predict this is going to end up being the largest product liability situation since the tobacco settlements... the loss of sales Toyota / Lexus is likely suffering right now must be devastating. They've got a serious farking problem, and I don't see how they are going to get out of it anytime soon.
 
2010-02-24 12:42:41 PM  
oldfarthenry: Let's see - the government pours BILLIONS into the domestic auto industry then TA-DA - their major competition gets raked over the coals over recall issues.

Sorry, lady - I know the UAW is paying you a lot of money to testi-lie but I'm smellin' a conspiracy!
*adjusts tin foil hat*


Considering there are NOT similar problems with other foreign car companies such as Hyundai, Honda, Subaru, BMW, Nissan, Mercedes (and I can continue on). I see a lot of holes in your theory.
 
2010-02-24 12:42:46 PM  
Eddie Adams from Torrance: God was a real dick for letting her ride 6 miles at 100 MPH before stopping her car.

No, it'll turn out to be one of those inspirational, "Footprints" kind of things.

"...Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you you'd drive with me all the way. But I noticed there is only one set of skid marks down the whole six miles of freeway. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The Lord replied, 'My precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of skid marks, that's when I was calling you over the OnStar system to tell you you mixed up the brake and gas pedals, but the phone was busy because you were yakking with your husband. Stupid biatch.'"
 
2010-02-24 12:43:02 PM  
One retard claiming she had both feet on the brakes and still couldn't stop the car does NOT make it true. Unless the Toyota has brake by wire, the brake pedal should win.
 
2010-02-24 12:43:09 PM  
This is not a Toyota problem. It is indeed, the work of Skynet. Once it cycles through all the Japanese car brands, then it will hit the American car brands. Mark my words.
 
Ant
2010-02-24 12:43:48 PM  
manimal2878: Ingaba: I know it's not the best option to take in the event of runaway acceleration, but before I took the time to fish my cell phone out of my pocket and make a call I would have turned the key in the ignition to the off position and shut the car down.

If your car is ramping up in speed, wouldn't you need both hands on the wheel to steer around things and avoid obstacles? I find it incredibly unlikely she could have made a phone call and paid attention to the road enough to avoid wrecking.


Voice dial on bluetooth headset. Try it.
 
2010-02-24 12:44:20 PM  
impaler: Ingaba: hb0mb: In my car, a 2006 bmw, there is no key to turn. you put it into a slot and press a button. much like to make a phone call, you press a button on the steering wheel. I'm willing to bet the lexus is probably comprable to my car.

According to Toyota, if you press the start button and hold it for 2-5 seconds the car will turn off.

I have to go to the "start" menu in order to shut this thing down? Who designed this monstrosity!?


Its not the automakers fault if you don't know how to stop your own damn vehicle.

/Its as simple as shifting up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, brakes, accelerator, brakes, accelerator, start!
/Or crawl out on the hood and disconnect the battery cable.
 
2010-02-24 12:44:22 PM  
Dead for Tax Reasons: TheBitterest: FTA: "After six miles later, God intervened," and the car began to slow on it own, though the engine continued to rev itself in cycles."

Why does God get all the credit for stopping the car, but none of the blame for starting it in the first place?

that was teh devil's work


God told me the expression on her face was priceless.

/and by God I mean Phil the schizophrenic homeless guy.
 
2010-02-24 12:44:50 PM  
"I called my husband on the blue tooth phone system. "

No one talks like that. She was coached to say that, period. Sorry folks, but that's one of those points that a lawyer is hired to not gloss over. Had she just said she called her husband, an argument can be made for phone use being irresponsible and yadda yadda.

That was intentional and probably unlikely.
 
2010-02-24 12:45:02 PM  
PlusCestLaMeme: ihatedumbpeople: Incident happened in 2006? I wonder when...our AllData system doesn't show the ES350 model was available until the '07 model year.

Doesn't model year xxxx always come out in year xxxx-1?


Yea 2010's started appearing in Mid-late 2009. Depends on the manufacture but some have them as early as July/August.
 
2010-02-24 12:45:14 PM  
People should go to jail over this.
 
2010-02-24 12:45:26 PM  
Toyota did screw up, but let's keep things in perspective. Based on the data I saw you're about 1,000x more likely to die from your own dumbass mistake driving one of the affected Toyota models than you are to die due to a defect.

Obviously the issue needs to be fixed, but I don't see any reason to panic over it.
 
2010-02-24 12:45:31 PM  
floor9: manimal2878: %100 bullshiat.

I don't know about that, man. There are too many complaints to be ignored.

I'm not a mechanic, so the inner workings of these systems is beyond my skill level. But if the throttle is indeed a "throttle by wire" system, and if the transmission is also electronic, then it's not hard to imagine a software failure.


I don't think these cars have braking by wire, so I'm going with "%100 bullshiat".
 
2010-02-24 12:46:09 PM  
Kar98: always drive

The only reason, huh?
 
2010-02-24 12:46:17 PM  
So is this why we don't have flying cars yet?
 
2010-02-24 12:46:19 PM  
Ingaba: I know it's not the best option to take in the event of runaway acceleration, but before I took the time to fish my cell phone out of my pocket and make a call I would have turned the key in the ignition to the off position and shut the car down.

Aren't these cars push button start/stop now? You have to have the key fob in the car, but there's no turnkey ignition any more.
 
2010-02-24 12:46:44 PM  
TwistedIvory: I have a hard time envisioning an entirely electronic transmission selector, too.

I don't.

Link
 
2010-02-24 12:46:53 PM  
My parents both have a Prius, and I've driven their car plenty of times. I'm willing to believe that she had trouble putting it into neutral (it has a super weird tiny handle for shifting, and I'm assuming the lexus is the same way).
HOWEVER, let me say this- when you shift the prius, the handle resets to the middle. So she may have been continually trying to push the button in, and freaking out because it kept resetting and not sticking. Especially if it was a new car to her (as people above are saying, her story only works if she had had the car only a month or two), she may never have noticed that happening.

here's a picture: apronstringsemily.files.wordpress.com

Also, having grown up driving a stick, I can't imagine putting a car into neutral, slamming the brakes (including emergency brake) and turning off the car won't slow it down.
 
2010-02-24 12:46:58 PM  
mantabulous: Eddie Adams from Torrance: God was a real dick for letting her ride 6 miles at 100 MPH before stopping her car.

You forget that it's all part of his plan. His ways are beyond your understanding.


Bullshiat! 6 miles at 100 mph? Thats 600 miles! That's TORTURE!
 
2010-02-24 12:47:04 PM  
Rman

sweet looking double-nickel!
 
2010-02-24 12:47:28 PM  
lokidecat: "I called my husband on the blue tooth phone system. "

No one talks like that. She was coached to say that, period. Sorry folks, but that's one of those points that a lawyer is hired to not gloss over. Had she just said she called her husband, an argument can be made for phone use being irresponsible and yadda yadda.

That was intentional and probably unlikely.


Gee, you think that somebody who obviously has some money (she was driving a Lexus, after all) and was called to testify before Congress might have... you know... spoken to a lawyer first? Because that seems totally unlikely to me.
 
2010-02-24 12:47:39 PM  
Gee, am I the only one who finds it strange these claims of sudden acceleration come after the gummint buys into GM and Chrysler? I mean Toyota has a well deserved reputation for quality (you can usually get 250,000 miles out of their vehicles no problem; not so with most GM and Chrysler products) so what better way to destroy that rep than with a safety scandal?

To put this in further perspective, how many Toyotas were known to have accelerated out of control? And how many Toyotas are on the road? And how many of the out of control Toyotas were that way becuase the driver was a dumbass and pressed the wrong pedal?
 
2010-02-24 12:47:49 PM  
trappedspirit: Why is it always old people who claimed to have done everything technically available to stop the car but they still cannot program a vcr? I call panicky shenanigans/selective recall/insurance dodge

/wotsavcr


Kind of why I wished they brought in somebody who didn't look like they've had a silver spoon in their mouth since birth, and has never had to do anything themselves. The fact she also drives a lexus just kind of furthers that point.

Not saying that what this lady said isn't entirely plausible, just that we'll never know for sure. "What do you mean my purse was sitting on the gas pedal?" or the floor mat, or her cruise acceleration was being engaged.

/I fail to see how braking would not stop the car either.
 
2010-02-24 12:48:06 PM  
"Oh crap! I just put the new Lexus my husband bought me into the guardrail! He's going to kill me! I need to come up with an excuse that not only absolves me of any responsibility, but also makes me look good. Now think..."
 
2010-02-24 12:48:12 PM  
ihatedumbpeople: Incident happened in 2006? I wonder when...our AllData system doesn't show the ES350 model was available until the '07 model year.

You know damn well why it wouldn't.
 
2010-02-24 12:48:21 PM  
floor9: What amuses me is the people who insist -- INSIST -- that the transmission selector is a direct, mechanical link to the transmission itself. I am no mechanic, but I am willing to bet that in most cars today -- especially relatively high-end cars like Lexus -- this is no longer the case. Everything is electronic; the selector is just an input device.

pretty sure the manual on my '06 legacy is direct. The fact that I can and do occasionally grind gears (and feel it through the shifter), seems to contradict the notion of the stick being electronically abstracted by the transmission. Plus there's the occasionaly difficulty entering reverse after being parked (I have to cycle through forward gears first sometimes). That would be something a behind the scenes wired system would presumably prevent.

Now paddle shifters are another story...
 
2010-02-24 12:48:31 PM  
SpectroBoy: One retard claiming she had both feet on the brakes and still couldn't stop the car does NOT make it true. Unless the Toyota has brake by wire, the brake pedal should win.

If the car does have brake by wire, Toyota should bring it up at their testimony and tell that woman to stuff her lies where the sun doesn't shine. I think this thread has already found at least 2 holes in her story, braking aside.
 
2010-02-24 12:48:37 PM  
ihatedumbpeople: Incident happened in 2006? I wonder when...our AllData system doesn't show the ES350 model was available until the '07 model year.

same reason I can buy a 2011 model-year cars before the end of 2010? Citation (new window)
 
2010-02-24 12:48:48 PM  
man, i seriously want to cockpunch the assholes that are commenting with shiat like 'she obviously did NOT put it into neutral'

what these farking assclowns dont realize is that newer cars, ESPECIALLY luxury cars like lexus, are all controlled by the ECU.

so yeah, your tranny, gas pedal, engine and brakes can all fail at once if the ECU has a bad ROM file or it somehow is corrupted.

seriously, someone post a cockpunch picture please!
 
2010-02-24 12:49:03 PM  
doglover: LOLIDRIVESTICKPAD

I always knew automatics were retarded, and this proves it. If it happened to me I'd try and hit the center wall maybe.


It is not the automatic transmission that is the problem, it is the farking electronics. They have a major bug somewhere in their code, and if I was guessing it is one that only happens after modules a, b, d, e, and f have ran, then module z runs for the square root of X multiplied by PI divided by the log of e time. Good luck figuring out what the fark that is about, also it is probably the most expensive piece on the entire car to fix.
 
2010-02-24 12:49:08 PM  
rman: That why I drive this.. 4 speed, CLUTCH, and Battery Shut OFFSwitch in Floor!
//">


And it will fling you through the windshield if you hit something.
 
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