By on November 4, 2009

Toyota Floor Mats

Not taking a page out of Audi’s playbook, Toyota has decided that the best defense is a strong offense. The risk of the accelerator getting jammed is strictly a problem of unintended loose or ill-fitting floor mats, according to Toyota Bob Carter, general manager of the Toyota-brand division of Toyota Motor Sales USA. Letters are on the way to owners of certain Toyota and Lexus models warning them about the errant mats as part of a safety recall. More certainty after the jump:The Detroit News has this quote on the mat-ter:””There is no risk of accelerator pedal entrapment in our vehicles in which the driver side floormat is compatible with the vehicle and is properly secured in the factory hooks.”  Toyota refuted speculation in the press that other defects might be causing its vehicles to accelerate uncontrollably, citing its own and federal safety studies. “There is absolutely no evidence to support any of these theories,” Period. End of subject. Now go away.

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55 Comments on “Toyota: Floor mats absolutely, positively, 100% certainly the problem...”


  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Was 60 Minutes ever held responsible for the whole Audi 5000 thing? Near as I can recall, they got off scot-free, despite rigging a test and being completely disingenuous in their reporting (eg, ignoring physical evidence that the accelerator had been pressed down hard)

  • avatar
    MBella

    At least Toyota is big enough to survive this. If it happened to to a smaller automaker, they would be destroyed. Look at Audi with the 60 minutes debacle. It took them about 20 years to recover, and that was only because of a strong parent company.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Looks like a pretty lame accelerator pedal design…..curved specifically to catch against a floor mat. Why not curve it UPWARD away from the mat?

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Why not curve it UPWARD away from the mat?

    Because the human foot that is depressing the pedal isn’t shaped accordingly. That would be a bad idea.

    If the mat is catching the pedal, then there are issues with the design of the mat and/or the pedal height.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Watched a woman crash her Audi from a vantage point across the street, 22 years ago or so. She backed clear across a highway from a parking spot at a store. We watched as she hit the store we were parked outside. No brake light ever came on. Her story was that she was hard on the brakes. Since some of the brake lights still worked after the crash, she was obviously incorrect. Driver error, but not in her mind.

    I’ve had stuck floor mats myself in the past. So what should Toyota do? Lie about what likely happened? Blame it on electronic poltergeists?

    I read the blog over on ABC yesterday. Unbelievable what people expect you to believe.

  • avatar
    italianstallion

    I experienced “unintended acceleration” on at least two occasions with my ’04 Scion Xb. The gas pedal would get stuck on the factory carpeted floor mats because they had shifted around.

    Of course, the vehicle did come with fragile little plastic retainer clips that were designed to hold the mats in place. I retrieved the broken clips from the ground after my first visit to a car wash, and they never saw the light of day again.

    Bad design.

  • avatar
    John Holt

    ABC News is stoking the fire… if you look at the comments section on the main page, there isn’t a single comment that doesn’t agree with ABC’s investigation… awfully convenient that nobody is arguing their story. Censor much?

    In the first Photo Story about the Prius accident in CO, the claim is that the Prius “shot up to 90 mph” and “would not stop despite pressing on the brakes really really hard.”

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but a Prius is physically incapable of “shooting up to” any speed, much less 90 mph, especially while on the brakes. So either she just got done roasting her Prius’ brakes around a track (see Paul’s Audi 5000 article for similar sentiment for the ability of brakes to restrain a meager 100 hp), or that’s one big fat foot flooring the accelerator.

    I’ve had “unintended acceleration” in several cars I’ve driven, and each time I’ve determined it was thanks to my size 13 clodhoppers. Bandwagons are for those to jump on when they can’t take responsibility for their own actions, and this appears to be no different.

  • avatar
    johnthacker

    Was 60 Minutes ever held responsible for the whole Audi 5000 thing? Near as I can recall, they got off scot-free, despite rigging a test and being completely disingenuous in their reporting (eg, ignoring physical evidence that the accelerator had been pressed down hard)

    They issued a partial retraction, but they were sued or forced to settle the way that NBC and Dateline were forced to with the exploding pickup trucks story. Or PrimeTime Live and ABC with the Food Lion story. But those two were worse because the network newsmagazines actually staged the footage.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Of course, the vehicle did come with fragile little plastic retainer clips that were designed to hold the mats in place. I retrieved the broken clips from the ground after my first visit to a car wash, and they never saw the light of day again.

    My Protege5 had this problem: the driver’s mat was secured by a post on the floor that went through a metal eyelet on the mat. I went through several mats on Mazda’s dime: each time, the eyelet would tear out and then the mat itself would rip. When that happened, the mat would shift forward, though instead of accelerator it would interfere with the clutch.

    This was so annoying that, on my subsequent cars, I made sure to buy the winter (ribber/plastic) mats that are less likely to tear or rip.

  • avatar
    TRL

    It cost Audi millions because they stubbornly refused to admit any guilt. Yes they were innocent and had nothing to really admit guilt about, but previously I had assumed only the Germans would be stubborn enough to want to win that battle and lose the war. What is it , some Axis power creed or something? Does that mean Fiat will find a way to have even worse press about Chrysler than already exists?

  • avatar
    John Horner

    OK Toyota, how about release data to support your claims? Assertions don’t really do it.

    BTW, ABC cannot get into legal trouble for simply reporting what people are saying. Rigging tests gets you in trouble, but breathless reporting of What People Are Saying is legal, even if it can be horribly misleading.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Some years ago I was sitting in my old Saab 99, door open, both feet on the ground outside the car, waiting for my wife to come out of the supermarket. For some reason the Saab began to roll slowly, so I swung halfway around and hit the brake to stop it. Brake went to the floor and for a second or two I near-panicked, thinking I’d had some kind of brake failure.

    I was of course pressing the clutch to the floor, from my awkward position in the seat. It only took me a few seconds to figure it out, but I thereafter could easily imagine how someone who isn’t the brightest bulb in the box could remain convinced they were on the brake when they were actually on the gas.

    As I vaguely remember from the Audi 5000 tsuris, certainly it was partly the fault of not-very-competent drivers, but there was also a slight but basic difference in pedal placement between the European Audi and the domestic cars that some people had previously owned.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    OK Toyota, how about release data to support your claims? Assertions don’t really do it.

    They don’t have to. They passed it to the NHTSA, who is far better equipped (and theoretically impartial) and their investigations—there have been several for Toyota, as well as many for other makes and models—lead to nothing more than the floor mat TSB.

    It cost Audi millions because they stubbornly refused to admit any guilt. Yes they were innocent and had nothing to really admit guilt about…

    If you admit culpability, or even take responsibility, the reaction from the personal-injury legal community would be akin to that of taking a swim in shark-infested waters and slitting your wrists.

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    OK Toyota, how about release data to support your claims? Assertions don’t really do it.

    They don’t have to. They passed it to the NHTSA, who is far better equipped (and theoretically impartial) and their investigations—there have been several for Toyota, as well as many for other makes and models—lead to nothing more than the floor mat TSB

    From fond remembrance of the Ford Explorer/Firestone debacle, I think a little positive PR on Toyota couldn’t hurt. It costs nothing to say to the public, “Hey We got it. It was a small design flaw in our otherwise stalwart product but we’ve recognized the problem and are working diligently to fix it”. A smart apology costs nothing and gains a lot of respect.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    One time I was pulled over at the tender age of 17 for speeding. It was a straight stretch on a rural highway. I see a cop coming from the opposite direction. I REMEMBER glancing down at the speedo, seeing 60mph (on a 55) and thinking, “no problem”. After the cop passes me, I see him starting to pull a U-turn in my rear view. “Hm, must be getting called back to town.” I keep driving. About 1 mile down the road, he catches up to me and I pull over completely confused. “He’d really pull me over for 60 in a 55?!” The radar gun said 67mph. To this day, I swear that I looked down at the speedo and it said 60mph. More than likely, though, I was wrong and misread the speedo on that glance.

    I figure the same was with the situations in the ABC article. Referring to the car that ended up over the cliff into the ocean, if you launched your car off a 100′ cliff and your wife died in the process, you are certainly going to want to believe that you didn’t cause your wife’s death and that the car malfunctioned instead. The emotional trauma that comes with an accident like that must be terrible, nevermind the fact that it could have been caused by something as silly as hitting the wrong pedal. I have a feeling that lots of accidental shootings where “the gun just went off” are the exact same thing.

  • avatar
    rtt108

    Perhaps we should outlaw shoes ?

    I almost always drive barefoot, or in socks if it’s really cold out (yes, it IS legal everwhere). It’s impossible to confuse pedals, because you can feel exactly which pedal you’re touching.

    I also have experienced the accelerator pedal getting stuck on a loose floor mat. But since you have a sense of touch when barefoot, you feel exactly what just happened and can hook a toe under the pedal and pull it right back up.

    NSNSNP!

  • avatar
    Mark out West

    Simply hinge the accelerator pedal at the floor.

    Problem solved.

  • avatar
    Bigsby

    There is no such thing as an outbreak of driver error. Drivers make mistakes, including mistaking the gas pedal for the brake, all the time. This means that “unintended acceleration” would happen all the time and with cars from all manufacturers.

    It doesn’t.

    Electronic control modules in cars are not, as far as I know, up to military grade. That means that normal manufacturing practices can produce variances in performance which conceivably could include maximum throttle without input.

    Drivers who are used to predictable response from input, faced with a motor that seems to have a mind of its own, are susceptible to panic reactions.

    Human error? A car maker should never put its customers in a car where any anomalous response due to engineering and design was possible. That includes an ECM which defaults to shutting off power entirely. If you are on the freeway at 120 km/h and suddenly lose all power you are in deep shit as much as if the engine suddenly decided to redline on its own.

  • avatar
    Maverick

    It seems like Toyota has turned into GM. Lots of arrogance. Seems like they are not handling this well to me. Instead of proactively managing this they seem to be hiding out.

  • avatar
    Mark out West

    @Bigsby

    E-Gas and throttle by wire controllers are dual-redundant, down to the motor windings and pedal and feedback potentiometers/sensors. Also, federal safety standards require a complete self-test at startup and active monitoring of the control system during operation.

    An example: the pedal sensor on my car consists of three independent rotary voltage transformers mounted on a common input shaft backed up with a mechanical “off idle” switch. The transformers modify a constant frequency signal supplied by the controller by varying it’s amplitutde. The controller examines all three, and if they’re not in agreement, shuts down the e-throttle. That’s four independent verifications of pedal position – way more than just “military grade”.

    Please cite a single case of electronic throttle commanding full or unintended throttle application.

    This accident was caused by mechanical failure – a blocked linkage. It was not electronic.

  • avatar
    polska

    Abc’s newsworthiness is about as reliable as my Dad’s ’86 Caprice.
    I guess it’s my own perception gap.

  • avatar
    Bigsby

    @Mark out West

    You have me out technicalled for sure.

    In 1987 my Chev Beretta, while in operation suffered a total power loss. No power brakes, no power steering,no rpms. Nada. I pulled off on the shoulder, switched off and tried restart. The motor not only started to shot to redline and stayed there. The car was in Park and I had not touched any pedal of any sort. It didn’t move fortunately but it scared the crap out of me.

    After replacing the EGR valve two or three times GM warranty replaced the ECM, an $800 bit of electronics sourced from Mexico. It never happened again.

    Safe to assume that something failed on the board(s)? I assumed that $800 for a central control unit for the car was not up in high end territory. Military grade, though I don’t know the exact definition, I assumed to be something better than something slapped together.

  • avatar
    JohnRyder

    Driving barefoot is cool (literally, I suppose) but when the sole of your foot picks up a tiny sharp stone, or even a piece of glass, that you had dragged into the car unintentionally, and you step on the brake…

    The reaction from the pain would be to pull the foot away for a second, and thereby increasing, dramatically, your chances of an accident.

    Same goes for loose fitting sandals, or flip-flops.

    JR

  • avatar
    segfault

    @ Mark out West:

    BMW does hinge their accelerator pedals at the floor. IMO, on those cars, a few inches of floormat overlapping the pedal is too close to the fulcrum of the pedal to actually press it down.

  • avatar
    njoneer

    That does look like a lousy pedal design, that a mat could easily interfere with its movement. Are there better designs out there? Better designs at Toyota?

    How about The Truth About Accelerator Pedals comparison between Toyotas included in and Toyotas excluded from the recall?

  • avatar
    frozenman

    I’m becoming a little suspicious of the electronic throttle control inputs on new cars .While out driving in my 08 honda I was waiting at a busy intersection looking to turn left. When I saw my opening in the traffic I hit the gas hard, this resulted in a brief lurch into traffic until the vsa kicked in and cut power to the motor , the car continued on through the intersection in at what seemed like a snails pace. Sacred the crap out of me nearly getting t-boned in the process! So now, no more full throttle inputs off idle or turn the stability assist off.

  • avatar
    Mark out West

    @Bigsgy,

    All bets are off when your discussing a GM product and “failure modes”. The sky’s the limit in that case. Seriously, I doubt a 1987 Berreta had anything other than the cheapo Bowden cable setup for a thottle linkage. As to why it failed, I can’t even begin to guess. My point was throttle-by-wire is more, not less, safe than mechanical linkages.

    Whether the Lexus in question has E-gas is still unanswered.

    @Segfault,

    I own a BMW product. And yes, the floor hinge setup is essentially failsafe in the case of roaming carpets. Good call.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Where Toyota bites the big one is an ignition system that takes a rocket scientist to shut the engine off.

  • avatar
    rtt108

    @JohnRyder :

    Driving barefoot is cool (literally, I suppose) but when the sole of your foot picks up a tiny sharp stone, or even a piece of glass, that you had dragged into the car unintentionally, and you step on the brake…

    The reaction from the pain would be to pull the foot away for a second, and thereby increasing, dramatically, your chances of an accident.

    Same goes for loose fitting sandals, or flip-flops.

    umm … yeah, right. 45+ years and it hasn’t happened yet. Nor have I caught any horrible diseases, had my toes cut off by a bike chain, or any of the other absurd paranoid things people have told me over the decades.

    On the loose footwear, I agree. This IS dangerous in that it’s easy to get tangled in the pedals.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    The bad thing about this is that took Toyota so long to admit there was a problem. These cases are nothing new. Toyota only seemed to admit the problem recently after some bad press in which several people in an accident.

    My opinion on this… if you are at WOT, and the brakes are pressed, say more than 50%, the throttle should be cut. At WOT, most braking systems to not work. With throttle by wire, the car should be able to override the bad input and slow the car, and returning the function of the brakes. I believe not having this type of safeguard is a problem for Toyota and any other manufacturer who doesn’t have this type of system implemented.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    This wouldn’t have happened if Toyota sourced RF’s ‘favorite’ mats – WeatherTech. They are thin, stiff rather than floppy, and tightly fitted. In fact, it can be a real PITA getting them out to clean. I don’t know about other manufacturers, but Porsche sells them with the Porsche logo replacing the Weathertech logo, (if not Weathertech, then a complete ripoff).

    For those not familiar with the mendacity of our yellow tele-journalists, the exploding GM trucks ‘investigated’ by NBC did not in fact explode easily. These trucks had exposed side saddle gas tanks to look like the big rigs. Even T-boned, they had to be encouraged to catch fire. The encouragement came by way of Estes solid fuel model rocket motors. These shotgun shell sized motors are sufficiently energetic to hurl several ounces of model rocket hundreds of feet in the air. I remember watching Jane Pauley and Stoned Phillips, all wide-eyed and innocent looking, issue a non-apology of sorts, referring to these things as ‘sparkers’. It was the last time I wasted watching 48 Hours or any similar mainstream media investigative liars.

  • avatar
    1981.911.SC

    @Mark out West :

    Before you hinge the pedals at the bottom, ask some owners of old Porsches about that. Rust, Dust and Dirt can take a toll on the moving parts. Frozen pedal clusters are not uncommon in older 911′s.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    “They don’t have to. They passed it to the NHTSA, who is far better equipped (and theoretically impartial) and their investigations—there have been several for Toyota, as well as many for other makes and models—lead to nothing more than the floor mat TSB.”

    First, I agree, Toyota doesn’t have to do anything. But, this is partly a technical issue and partly a PR issue. Selling cars is like any retail business. Nobody actually “controls” any market share, even though the phrase controls xyz market share is often used in the press. Every day is a new day, and ever day a company in a highly competitive marketplace has to win customers one at a time. Image matters a great deal in Toyota’s situation. Having a PR flak come out and say in the strongest terms possible “we are right, our critics are wrong” is meaningless noise making. It is much more persuasive to say we are right, and here is the data that backs us up.

    As far as the NHTSA goes, yes they are theoretically independent and competent, but great deals of pressure are brought to bear on the NHTSA by the companies they regulate. Over time, every regulatory agency comes to be populated by people who are in many ways sympathetic to the industry and companies they regulate. Revolving doors between industry and regulators are a common practice. Bottom line: I do not have 100% faith in the NHTSA any more than I have 100% faith in the FDA, SEC or any regulatory body. The industries they regulate are highly sophisticated at the game of influence.

    The ugly story of GM’s poorly located pickup truck fuel tanks is but one example of how things really go down:

    http://www.autosafety.org/history-gm-side-saddle-gas-tank-defect

  • avatar
    fincar1

    “Simply hinge the accelerator pedal at the floor.

    Problem solved.”

    Well, as long as the interior is kept clean and dry. There was a time when they all were hinged on the floor…all except the 30′s Fords, that is. The hinges would get full of dirt or they’d rust and cause problems.

    The (accessory) floor mats slide forward a bit on both the 99 Accord and 84 RX7, but don’t bunch up at the front and cause any problems with the pedals. We just pull them back in place every 2nd or 3rd drive.

  • avatar
    fincar1

    I get so tired of hearing about GM’s “poorly located” pickup gas tanks.

    1. Every big truck in the world has its fuel tanks located behind the cab and outside the frame rails. Well, probably 99.8% of them. Most of them have the tanks right out where you can see them, with no sheet metal at all covering them. Yet we never hear people p***ing and moaning about that. I would assume that the designers at GM thought they were following standard industry practice in putting them there on the pickups too.

    2. Before that, the pickup gas tank was in the cab behind the seat. Putting it next to the frame rails behind the cab was actually a big improvement.

  • avatar
    210delray

    Edmunds ran a story a couple of days ago, saying in part,

    ABC has produced an investigative piece on the issue, wherein a few Toyota owners and an independent safety expert make the case that reports of unintended acceleration in Toyota/Lexus products cannot be written off to mere bunched-up floor mats.

    Independent safety analyst Sean Kane, of the Vehicle Safety Information Resource Center, LLC (VSIRC), was interviewed for the story, and he says he has uncovered evidence of more than 200 accidents and a dozen deaths involving Toyota and Lexus vehicles that apparently accelerated out of control. His numbers come from another company, Safety Research & Strategies, Inc. (SRS), but neither Kane nor the SRS web site lays out those numbers in any kind of detail. Kane then speculates that electronic thottles may be the real culprit of unintended acceleration but offers nothing in support of that.

    So, in the absence of hard evidence, we can’t exactly describe ABC’s report as a rigorous investigative piece. ABC does at least acknowledge that no engineers or automotive safety experts have been able to duplicate this condition in a Toyota or Lexus, and that NHTSA denied the latest petition for a defect investigation of the current-generation ES 350.

    So what this boils down to are self-styled “safety experts” and a tabloid-type “news” story branding this as a serious problem. Yet, NHTSA has denied a petition for a defect investigation of the alleged “sudden acceleration.” I don’t buy into it myself, and as has been noted, drive-by-wire should be much more reliable than the old-school mechanical linkages or cables. Also, the Camry and ES have had DBW since the 2002 model year.

  • avatar
    bimerguy

    I feel sorry for the family that was involved in the accident. Bad things like these ones happen. I was just wondering, if the accelerator is stuck, cant the driver put the car on NEUTRAL to avoid an accident from the rapid and continous acceleration? Because all you can have is the car on neutral, high RPM but the car will not be driving and then you can hit the brakes..or what about shutting off the engine? Just a thought to minimize such accidents.

  • avatar
    Bridge2farr

    I’ve experienced unintended acceleration in a 2007 Camry. Scary. Shame on Toyota for concealing this problem for years. Liars.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    “Driving barefoot is cool (literally, I suppose) but when the sole of your foot picks up a tiny sharp stone, or even a piece of glass, that you had dragged into the car unintentionally, and you step on the brake…”

    My wife is in the Maldives, on a magazine assignment. The local “airline” has the world’s largest fleet of Twin Otter–we used to call them Twotters–seaplanes on floats (24), and she reports that all the pilots fly barefoot. Saves getting their sneakers wet when they beach.

  • avatar
    John Holt

    @bimerguy: I feel sorry for the losses too, and you’re on to a good idea, but I’m guessing asking people to have the wherewithal to put the car in neutral in a panic situation is as effective as asking them to remember to check their turn signal while on the mobile phone.

  • avatar
    Bridge2farr

    “The ugly story of GM’s poorly located pickup truck fuel tanks is but one example of how things really go down:”
    The “ugly” story? are you referring to NBC’s contrived and staged demonstration? That they had to publicly apologize for when it was discovered it was total BS?

  • avatar
    jacksonbart

    The Emperor knows best. The fat lazy Americans don’t know how to drive.

    Buy American (I bleed red) or VW, Audi, BMW or Mercedes who have the technology that disengages the gas peddle when the break peddle is pressed.

  • avatar
    Funk Forty Nine

    I noticed one day on my 2000 Camaro that it felt like I couldn’t depress the gas pedal. I got down and looked at the mat and the first thing I noticed was no hook to keep the mat from sliding forward. I pulled the mat out and found it was bunched up UNDER the gas pedal. Fail safe mode. I know GM designed it that way!

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    My Mom’s B11 Sentra had a similar carpet malfunction.

    Fortunately it had a better pedal design. The pedal was about same as the Toyota one but was shorter, i.e. lower edge was not so close to floor. The carpet slid forward and bunched up in front of pedal, limited throttle movement to idle-low. It wouldnt go over about 50 on flat ground until I removed the carpet. I put in Mercedes Benz carpet clips, those were nice clips. Steel, pins with ratchet action toothed clamps.

    Toyota TSB should be to remove pedal, cut off bottom 30 mm, reinstall.

    I cant touch any pedal lower edge from the passenger seat. No reason it has to be within a few MM of floor.

  • avatar
    johnny ro

    Another reason to trim the pedal bottom edge, as owner of a smaller toyota such as Corolla or Yaris, is the pedal shaft can then be bent forward without hitting floor, to increase leg reach while driving for taller drivers. Its almost as good as modifying seat to go back further. Also refer to foamectomy on miata.net

    This is not a factory mod; adjustable pedals are probably considered and rejected on cost and target market reasons.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    Mark out West :

    @Bigsgy,

    As to why it failed, I can’t even begin to guess. My point was throttle-by-wire is more, not less, safe than mechanical linkages…

    Really? I find that kind of hard to believe. A mechanical system is pretty simple. A cable linkage and a return spring. Compare that to all the electronics and wiring. While the design is designed to provide a high level of redundancy and self checks, the inherent complexity has to work against it. The vast majority of vehicles will never have their throttle cables and return springs replaced. The throttle potentiometers seem to be the weak points; a TPS sensor comes to mind. I’d imagine you could engineer a safety into a drive by wire system that would disengage the throttle if it sensed high braking but overall, I really think the long term reliability, and therefore safety goes to the simple system that is almost certain to last the life of the car with zero attention. It would be interesting to see actual data on the reliability and effects on safety of these new control systems.

  • avatar
    Droftarts

    So am I to assume that ABC never intends to receive another advertising dollar from Toyota? Or does ABC know something about Toyota’s future liquidity that has escaped the rest of the world (including the B&B)?

    Clearly Toyota is not blameless, but what’s in it (long term) for ABC to conduct themselves like this?

  • avatar
    210delray

    I don’t believe ABC is thinking long term. Just imagine what it will do for ratings during this Sweeps Month!

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Simply hinge the accelerator pedal at the floor.

    Problem solved.

    My 1963 Fairlane was so designed. Never had a floor mat problem ever.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Clearly Toyota is not blameless, but what’s in it (long term) for ABC to conduct themselves like this?

    Good question.

    The current sorry state of media reminds me of the great Ben Hecht; “Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.”

    “Reasonableness” seems to be a concept sadly missing in today’s media. If it doesn’t bleed, it doesn’t lead.

    Simply hinge the accelerator pedal at the floor.

    Oh yes, and what happens when the floor mat rides up onto the pedal, pushing it downward?

    Seems to me, if you have foreign objects of any sort in the footwell you allow an opportunity for pedal operation to be interfered with.

    The problem is forceful application of the brake should negate application of the accelerator. Poor effort Toyota.

  • avatar
    gimmeamanual

    The problem is forceful application of the brake should negate application of the accelerator. Poor effort Toyota.

    Why are you pointing a finger at Toyota for poor effort? No vacuum for the brakes at WOT is pretty common afaik.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    @ gimmeamanual

    …. because with all the input sensors modern vehicles have, I would expect there are other ways to combine the data to work out that positive control has been lost.

    No vacuum assist, maybe, but maximum brake pedal force can/is detected.

  • avatar
    KeithBates

    Am I the only one sitting here thinking that the brakes in these
    Toyotas are inadequate for the weight and power of the vehicles?

    I’ve built a lot of very fast/powerful cars, and first on the list of upgrades
    are the brakes. But I’m just a backyard engineer,
    my shit stops though…

  • avatar
    gimmeamanual

    @PeteMoran,
    No argument that it can’t be improved, my comment was about singling out Toyota as having done something wrong with their brake system when other cars would react the same way.

    @KeithBates,
    It isn’t the brakes themselves, it’s the system and how it works. The brakes are adequate for the weight and power of the vehicle as long as there is sufficient vacuum. When the vacuum runs out, you’d need an oak tree for a leg and swept area the size of a trashcan lid to fight acceleration.

  • avatar
    KeithBates

    @gimmeamanual
    No, it’s not the “system and how it works”. The brakes are inadequate for
    the weight and power, period. The vacuum system should include a check valve
    between the source and the booster. That should allow you to stop the vehicle
    even with the engine off. The engine was running away, the brakes should have
    stopped it… Period.


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