The Truth About Cars » toyota gas pedal The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:01:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » toyota gas pedal Toyota Recall Creates Unintended Accelerator Consequences Sun, 07 Mar 2010 18:18:14 +0000

In the TTAC Pedal Series “Toyota Gas Pedal Fix Simulated: Friction Reduced, But By Too Much”, I anticipated that the crude shim fix for the recalled CTS “sticky pedals” would result in an uncomfortable pedal feel at the least and  quite possibly unsafe characteristics at worst. A quick refresher: a carefully controlled degree of friction (hysteresis) is essential in an e-pedal, otherwise smooth changes and maintaining steady states in throttle position become difficult if not impossible. I wrote: “Undoubtedly, Toyota’s intended degree of friction will be compromised by this fix, to one degree or another. And drivers may find the fix unpleasant or uncomfortable, also to some degree or another. Clearly, this fix is a band aid to fix the intrinsic limitations of this design.”

I’ve been counting the days until someone complained about the results of the pedal fix. Yesterday it came, from TTAC reader JAQUEBAUER:

My daughter took her 2009 Camry in to the dealer today for the Gas Pedal recall, and were very surprised and disjointedness with the “fix” that Toyota has chosen for this problem. We picked the car up, getting the keys and a copy of the repair order from the cashier. We were not told about any precautions to take or be aware of changes in the operation of the car. The Repair order indicated that the cars computer was reprogrammed, and some work was done on the gas pedal. I asked her to test drive the car in the dealers parking lot before she went home, to check for any problems.

There were 2 issues she found unacceptable, that I want to talk about here.

First, she said the feel of the accelerator had changed greatly, that it took very little foot pressure to move the pedal, that it felt very light and that she was startled when she pulled out from the parking space at how fast the car jerked forward. It seems that the fix reduced the force needed to move the accelerator greatly, and she had not expected the change, and it would take some time to get used to.

Secondly, the other part of the fix was to “chew off” the bottom of the gas pedal, reducing its length to about 4 inches. I say “chewed off” because the cut was very sloppy, looking like a raccoon has eaten the bottom end of the pedal off. It appears that they did not replace the floor mat, as it looked like that same 10 month old mat.

After calling both conditions to the attention of the service manager, he acted like we were the only one of “thousands” to complain about the recall fix. . We did NOT get acknowledgment from him that we should have been informed about the change in pedal pressure, and that an unsuspecting person might have an accident because of this change.

As for the gas pedal fix, he said that “we only do what is dictated to us by Toyota.” I asked if the cutting of the pedal was an interim fix, or the final fix, and did he agree with me that the gas pedal cutting was a sloppy fix for a $25,000 car ? His reply was to repeat that “this is what the factory has told us to do.” This service manager did not know if this was the final fix.. At a minimum, we should have been warned that there would be a change in the pressure required to depress that gas pedal, and to be careful when first driving the car. I also feel that the removal of bottom part of the gas pedal was done very sloppy, and did not conform to any quality standard in today’s manufacturing world. I am sure that Toyota would not ship a new Camry with a “chewed off” gas pedal, and that this “fix” was a “cheap way out”

If we are now safer in our Toyota Camry because of this recall, a “chewed off” gas pedal might seem like a petty complaint, and would be acceptable as an interim countermeasure. If this is the final solution, then the “sloppy” nature of the fix makes me wonder where else is Toyota being “sloppy”

Not only does this crude change in how the critical friction device change the feel of the pedal, potentially to a dangerous level, but it also negates the built-in self compensating adjustment to the friction device as it wears. That means that as the pedal ages, the friction can only become lesser. This may take some time to fully manifest, but its why we called for Toyota to replace the CTS pedal with the Denso pedal or preferably with an even better design altogether.

[Update: According to the terms of the recall posted at NHTSA, If the customer is not satisfied with the accelerator pedal operation or the feel of the pedal after the reinforcement bar has been installed, a replacement accelerator pedal will be offered at no charge when they become available. Undoubtedly that will be the revised version of the CTS pedal, and not the Denso pedal, which to my understanding is bolt and plug-in compatible. from this story, it's quite obvious that Toyota service reps are not informing customers of this option.]

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The Complete Guide To Toyota Gas Pedals: Teardown, Pictures, Toyota’s Fix, Analysis, And Commentary Wed, 03 Mar 2010 18:27:56 +0000

Here’s TTAC’s and the web’s only complete guide to Toyota’s gas pedals (so far), with tear downs, pictures, analysis, explanation, the shim fix, and commentary, all consolidated into one portal:

Part 1: Exclusive: TTAC Takes Apart Both Toyota Gas Pedals: Tear down of both the recalled CTS pedal assembly and the non-recalled Denso pedal assembly. Note: Assumptions and conclusions in this initial tear down lack the more complete understanding of the importance of the friction arm aspect of the CTS unit.

Part 2: Toyota Gas Pedal Fix Explained – With Exclusive Photos: Describes Toyota’s proposed fix for the recalled CTS gas pedal assembly, with detailed photos and graphics. Explains the significance of the friction arm assembly and its limitations.

Part 3: Toyota Gas Pedal Fix Simulated – Friction Reduced, By Too Much?: TTAC simulates the fix prescribed by Toyota for the recalled CTS pedal assembly, and notes how the fix changes the degree of friction, and the possible unintended result. With detailed pictures

Part 4: Why Toyota Must Replace Flawed CTS Gas Pedal With Superior Denso Pedal: Detailed analysis with pictures of the two pedal assemblies, an explanation as to why the Denso design is superior, and a call for having all CTS pedals replaced with the Denso pedal.

Part 5: TTAC Does The Toyota Pedal Shim Fix:  Stop Gap Solution At Best: Toyota’s solution is carried out here with detailed pictures, the whole Toyota document detailing the fix, and our commentary.

Part 6: Toyota Floor Mat/Gas pedal Recall Includes Computer Reflash And Trimming Of Gas Pedals: Info on the details of the floor mat/gas pedal interference recall.

Part 7: Toyota Recall  Creates Unintended Accelerator Consequences: As predicted in Part 4 (above), the CTS shim fix reduces the carefully designed amount of friction required for comfortable and smooth pedal action to the point where pedal action may now be jerky and potentially unsafe.

(Thanks to you-know-who-you-are for access to these parts and info)

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Toyota Gas Pedal Fix Simulated: Friction Reduced, But By Too Much? Mon, 01 Feb 2010 21:01:59 +0000

Update: a portal to all of TTAC’s articles on the subject of Toyota gas pedals is here:

We’ve taken it apart, explained Toyota’s intended fix, and now we’ve replicated the “fix” to see what effect it has. It works, but does it work too well?

In the photo above, the two friction teeth are shown in their operating position before the “fix”. One can easily see their pivot axle sticking out to both sides, in a lighter gray color, just where the friction unit protruded from the housing. The other end of this friction unit is the retainer for the return spring, and this is what creates the pressure on the friction teeth.

The second picture (above) shows the other end of this unit. The round end in the middle of the unit is where the coil spring is retained. The gap as shown in this picture is where the metal spacer would go. It would change the fulcrum angle, and the amount of pressure that the spring would exert on the friction teeth.

In the third picture (above) we have inserted a 1/8″ thick screwdriver shank to simulate a spacer in this area. We don’t know yet what thickness the Toyota space will have, so this is an arbitrary guess to see the effect. The amount of friction was substantially reduced by this increase in the gap, and the change in the fulcrum angle of the friction bar unit. We were not able to actually install the unit in a car to see how it would feel, but the change in feel was very noticeable to the hand.

As we’ve explained in the prior post, the balance of friction to the control spring is what creates a stable, yet safe pedal assembly. By reducing the friction, the pedal will feel “less stable”, and it might be more difficult to maintain a steady throttle opening. The perceived pressure felt by the foot will also be greater. The degree of this affect will of course depend on the thickness of the spacer Toyota specifies.

Undoubtedly, this fix will profoundly reduce the likelihood or possibility of the pedal being stuck or slow to return. But the trade off may not be immaterial. Undoubtedly, Toyota’s intended degree of friction will be compromised by this fix, to one degree or another. And drivers may find the fix unpleasant or uncomfortable, also to some degree or another. Clearly, this fix is a band aid to fix the intrinsic limitations of this design. We will be taking a closer look at the Denso pedal next to see how their design is different.

Update: The final article in this series compares the two pedals (CTS and Denso), and makes a recommendation. Link here.

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