By on March 7, 2010

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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59 Comments on “Toyota Recall Creates Unintended Accelerator Consequences...”

  • avatar

    I was always partial to those chrome and rubber “footsie” pedals, myself.
    But if they did what you describe to my child’s car I’d probably have a cow!

  • avatar

    For the first time I’m starting to think that this whole affair may hurt Toyota in the long run.

    It’s one thing to have a problem. It’s another thing to do a sloppy inadequate fix. If people can’t be confident in the repair work, it will hurt resale value – a lot.

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t imagine anyone who has gone through this treatment at the hands of Toyota every wanting to buy another one or recommend Toyota to a friend. That chewed off pedal will always serve as a reminder to the owner. How could Toyota let this happen to their image?

    • 0 avatar

      Toyota’s customer service at their repair bays has sucked for awhile now. I used to joke that it was because they see so little action that they try to hit you for everything they can when you’re there. Lexus’s repair centers are a totally different experience, It’s like the difference between a high end room in the Marriott and a room in a hotel that specializes in hour room rentals.

  • avatar
    Beta Blocker

    Probably the safest thing most Toyota owners affected by the recall can do right now is to ignore the recall notice until more experience is gained with the true short-term consequences of making this modification. There is much wisdom in the old adage,”Move quickly, but not in haste.”

    • 0 avatar
      crash sled

      Probably the safest thing most Toyota owners affected by the recall can do right now is to ignore the recall notice until more experience is gained with the true short-term consequences of making this modification. There is much wisdom in the old adage,”Move quickly, but not in haste.”


      I agree, BB. If I wasn’t experiencing issues with my accelerator pedal, I wouldn’t let ANYBODY with a sawz-all anywhere NEAR it.

      NHTSA flew over to Tokyo to demand that Toyoda-san issue a pedal recall, and likely against their better judgement, Toyota did so. This is the result of NHTSA’s and Toyota’s (politically influenced?) haste.

      Per Toyota, there have been 10 (ten) confirmed occurrences of “sticky pedal” in the US, and 3 (three) in Canada, out of 2.3M vehicles sold with that CTS pedal. I’ll make the same bet I offered a couple weeks ago, which nobody took me up on: Anybody wanna bet dinner that the above 13 vehicles have all been water-immersed?

      If you read that Exponent report, you’ll notice that Exponent went to great lengths to describe the moisture resistant features of Toyota’s pedal sensor system. There was so much verbiage about the moisture topic, that it piqued my interest. I wondered: Nobody even asked that question, why is it being answered so voluminously? Here’s one explanation:

      Toyota has been going to great pains not to insult their customers, by not calling them idiots for stacking-up floor mats like cordwood, and for being too stupid to use their brakes, or nuetral gear, and other peculiarly American driving habits that the rest of the world somehow seems to avoid as they drive their Toyotas merrily along, absent our hysterical displays.

      Similarly, I don’t expect Toyota to accuse their customers of driving previously water-immersed vehicles. But the attention they’ve directly and indirectly given to the moisture resistance of their systems is telling, I suspect.

      If there was a systemic issue caused by moisture produced by the vehicle itself, I think we all intuitively know that it would show up in far more than 13 vehicles, and it would have been uncovered by now. But what of externally-introduced moisture?

      Poor Toyota, they allowed some dumb NHTSA bureaucrats to bum rush them into this foolish pedal recall. Ford must be laughing. They sold 23M mankiller transmissions, with a cemetery full of proven fatalities, and laughed all the way to the un-recalled bank.

  • avatar

    I suspect to some degree that this will effect resale value.

  • avatar

    Last week I took the 2009 Matrix- my wife’s daily driver and my kids’ weekend ride- to the dealership for the pedal fix. They have also removed the mats and put them in the trunk. As soon as I came back from the dealership, I have reinstalled the mats. They have hooks- I can’t see how they would cause any trouble.
    Didn’t notice any difference in the way the car drives. After seeing this article, I asked my wife and both kids if they noticed a difference. None reported. I went one step further and asked them to look for a difference in the way the gas pedal feels and acts. They couldn’t point to any…

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Omoikane, If you read the article explaining how the shim fix is done, you’ll know that there are a number of different shims to chose from depending on the measurement of the gap. Two problems are likely as the result of that: human error in the measurement or mixing up a shim. It won’t be the first time a tech made a mistake.
      But the bigger problem is that if you understand how the shim works, it intrinsically does reduce the friction amount. But depending on manufacturing tolerances and wear, that amount will never be exactly the same.
      I didn’t say all the fixed pedals would feel equally different, and I don’t doubt that your experience and many others is valid. But that doesn’t negate the very real likelihood and actual experience of some, as in this unsolicited testimony.

    • 0 avatar

      Servús Paul! The pedal service procedure has several potential quality escape points.

      1. Properly gaging of wedge opening;
      2. Properly reading gage;
      3. Proper selection of required shim;
      4. Proper installation of shim;
      5. Importance of keeping shims from getting mixed in the production, logistics, or service stages of process (and ability to clearly differentiate and sort mixed stock);
      6. Other issues related to installation of shim (not being clear on the entire procedure I can’t comment further);
      7. Long-term wear-in of shim (will shim wear into plastic? will shim corrode or fatigue and break? will the friction of pedal assy change markedly over time due to wear?)

      The issue of human error in using and reading the gage is known as “Gage R & R” (Reproducability & Repeatability) meaning that it is reproducable if two different users get same results and it is repeatable if the same person gets the same results. As I wrote when the repair was announced, and again after watching Toyota testify in D.C., Toyota has created a risk for themselves if their shim repair does not anticipate, and correct for, the potential of Gage R & R errors.

      Gage R&R is just a natural consequence of one operator using a gage over and over, or a gage being used by multiple operators and this is why the gage, fixture, process and training are so important to minimize the risk of variation.

      The use of (IIRC) 6 or 7 different shims suggests to me that there is either a very wide dimensional issue, or that the dimensional range is small but extremely sensitive. If it is a case of the latter, a robust counter-measure to potential Gage R & R effects is critical to minimize the performance variation across all repaired vehicles. (I have no proof, but am highly sceptical that this has been done or really is possible.)

      That some pedals appear to be cleanly severed and others hacked-off I see as a pretty good illustration that this repair is HIGHLY operator dependent; the only question is whether the system is tolerant of this operator dependency. I am more than confident that if the scenario described by your corresponent has happened once it has happened, and will happen, multiple times.

      Note: Just because this post only focusses on risks 1-4 above, doesn’t mean the other risks should be ignored or discounted.

      After posting I read the comments below mine, and since I am within the edit window … two comments: I agree that Paul is using the concept of hysteresis correctly and with the concept of wmba for a centralized modification facility(s) as this would go a long way toward mitigating risks 1-4 …

  • avatar

    In the good old days all would be rectified by dropping in a small block Chevy engine.

  • avatar

    I wonder what part of this experience is shared with other dealer service departments? My experience is that while the specific part may be “loose” compared to the original pedal. The rest of this story could be isolated at the dealer level.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    This “fix” has all the earmarks of a half-baked hatchet job. Somewhere inside the mind of Toyota I’m thinking that this is what went down:

    “Do something, ANYTHING, but do IT FAST! A culprit must be found and dealt with … don’t worry too much if the real culprit has been found or if the “fix” is well thought out. JUST DO SOMETHING!”

    BTW, most vehicles sold in the US market have an overly agressive throttle tip-in initial response already. Stupid rubes think that a car which takes off with the slightest amount of pedal pressure is PowerFul! Toyota’s shim wow flim flam apparently makes it even worse.

    • 0 avatar

      I have another technical term – “kludge”.
      I’ve read the service bulletin and the whole process looks kludgy. It’s got to be costing Toyota a lot of money to do this patch.
      Wouldn’t it have been more efficient to install some new pedals until a sufficient amount could be re-manufactured in a production atmosphere. The variances can be better controlled in a manufacturing environment. And then just swap the whole pedal assembly for an “official remanufacture” assembly.

    • 0 avatar

      Don’t be surprised when the 2nd Field Campaign is announced for the complete replacement of the ePedal assy.

    • 0 avatar

      John, I think you hit it exactly. Toyota doesn’t actually know the causes of all the reported incidents and so is rushing to be seen doing something, anything.

      Until they get their act together, I wouldn’t have any of their recalls done. I know I would be ripsh!t if my car came back with a hacked-up pedal. Since the brakes of any modern car are capable of overpowering the engine, I would just make sure I was on the right pedal.

      Their ham-fisted handling of this is sure to destroy their resale value and that will create some opportunities. I drove an Audi 5000 for practically nothing during their hysteria 20+ years ago, and now I’m on the lookout for a lightly used LS460.

    • 0 avatar

      Remanufacturing would make more sense than what they’re, as pedals could be repaired neatly and variation could be controlled.

      I’d been thinking of using this debacle as a chance to pick up a commuter car, but perhaps I wasn’t thinking big enough…

    • 0 avatar

      Shim Wow… Classic! I can see Vince doing the infomercial already.

  • avatar

    In the good old days all would be rectified by dropping in a small block Chevy engine.

    Changing any engine other than the factory 4 or 6 cyl would be greatly impossible, reason is a FWD, the engine mount be different side and front. Also to find a transaxle would be very easier to find Hens’ teeth.
    The whole fiasco is going to hurt Toyota big times. They’re becoming as indifferent and cavalier attitude as the Big 3 dealers during the good old days.

    • 0 avatar

      Congratulations to blowfish, winner of the daily TTAC “That Guy” award for March 7, 2010…

      As in “Oh, you mean That Guy in the comment threads who had the buzzkill dissertation on why a small block Chevy engine wouldn’t fit in the engine bay of a Corolla after Some Other Guy made an obviously dumb joke. What is with That Guy?”

    • 0 avatar

      The whole engine and front transaxle from a ’69 Olds Toronado will fit perfectly.

    • 0 avatar
      crash sled

      As in “Oh, you mean That Guy in the comment threads who had the buzzkill dissertation on why a small block Chevy engine wouldn’t fit in the engine bay of a Corolla after Some Other Guy made an obviously dumb joke. What is with That Guy?”


      Not only is it a buzzkill, it’s sacreligeous. I’ve seen guys standing on top of those things, literally stomping them into cars! Good times… good times.

    • 0 avatar

      If the Chevy doesn’t work, I propose the drive train from the mid-engine Testarossa stuffed in backwards.

      An with only one forward gear, you couldn’t go as fast when you experienced UIA. The 5 reverse gears would be cool.

    • 0 avatar

      Perfect for making J-turns; Jim Rockford would love that!

  • avatar

    All Car Companies should have came forward with a full disclosures of what car were dangerous. Instead of waiting for a huge media blitz and tons of public pressure. I never seen so many car companies GM – NISSAN – TOYOTA – HYUNDAI having recalls all at the same time. I had no idea my car was affected until I looked on and found I had a bad Anti Lock control unit on my 2008 Pontiac G8 , my co workers Ford Truck had a recall also. So be careful

  • avatar

    GI Number #1!!!

    Try as they may, Toyota simply does not possess the experience, the panache, or believeability to lie to us Americans like our American Car companies do. Ford Pinto, anyone? GM Orange Coolant, anyone? Chrysler Sebring, Anyone [OK, that’s hitting below the belt].
    Me, I find comfort in Toyota’s debicle. I WANT to do business with a company that can’t LIE FOR SHIT. Why? When they get caught, as they always do, and the CEO gets hung out to dry, the next CEO will think twice before he/she entirely forgets the lesson!!!

    Toyota may be in the car busnies but they DON’T SELL CARS—they sell ‘Horseshit’ which I define as selling mass hysteria to American Consumers who delude themselves into thinking their car purchasing decision was based upon quality, durability and value for the money.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t fault Toyota for recalling their cars. ALL Car Companies have re-calls. RECALLS do not invalidate a purchasing decision simply because the ‘factory’ seeks to correct a problem that really should never have gone out in the first place.

    What I do fault Toyota with that they KNEW they had a brake and software problem, that they concealed it for as long as possible and then attempted a cheap, ‘half-baked’ fix to solve the problem—JUST LIKE THE AMERICAN CAR COMPANIES DO!!! Be Honest with me, TTAC readers. Are you happy with Toyota’s fix? Would you feel confident taking your family to Lake Tahoe on all those downhill ‘S’ Curves?!

    When J&J had some extortionist tamper with their Tylenol bottles, J&J dumped all store inventories and restocked them at a $100 million dollar loss. That $100 million dollar loss was like a $1 billion dollar marketing campaigne because IT SPOKE TO ME—it said Johnson and Johnson values my health and will destroy product and profits rather than put my life in danger. Now compare and contrast that to Toyota’s response on its brake and software crisis. Hey, buddy? Wanna buy a used Toyota, really cheap?!!!

    Toyota’s ‘stunt’ disillusions the buyer contemplating a new Toyota purchase, freaks out the customer whose car is being recalled and absolutely trashes the resale value of the Toyota their loyal customer ownes and is contemplating replacing with a newer Toyota model. And to think Consumer Reports recommends several new Toyota cars as ‘best buys’?

  • avatar

    Paul, I am curious as to your continued use of the word “hysteresis” to describe the built-in friction evident in these pedal assemblies. In my experience, and in every definition I can find, the word has no association with the above mentioned friction, but actually refers to a lag, or “sloppiness” in the relation between the physical position of a device, and it’s related electrical/electronic effect. The shims discussed above, in fact the whole throttle pedal issue, has nothing to do with the electrical precision of the pedal position, but rather whether the pedal is in the position you want, at any given instant.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      @Scottdb, I used it because it was used in technical articles specifically describing the function of the friction device in these e-pedals. It may not be proper usage. But the way I see the definition of the word being applicable is in the lag of response on a strictly physical level: a slight increase in foot pressure will not result in movement in the pedal. It requires a larger degree of pressure to initiate the change (overcome the friction) than the degree of pressure required to make a change once the pedal is moving. Stiction is certainly involved in this delay or lag.
      If the word hysteresis is being used incorrectly for this physical delay or lag in response, I’m not at all invested in it, and happy to drop using it.

    • 0 avatar
      Facebook User

      Paul is most definitely using the term “hysteresis” correctly. It refers to a lagging effect in pedal position between applying and removing force. See for lots and lots of good examples.

    • 0 avatar

      Paul’s use is correct, AFAIK – the hysteresis is the difference between static friction and sliding friction.

      If you place a wood block topped with a given weight on a wood table, it will take a measured amount of force to start the block to slide horizontally across the table, but once the block is sliding, the force required drops considerably. The difference between these two forces can be referred to as “hysteresis”. What Toyota has done is reduced the amount of weight on top of the block.

      Another way to see it — slowly tilt the same table until gravity causes the block to slide and measure that angle – that can be equated to the hysteresis. Then reduce the weight on the top of the block and tilt the table again – the lower angle of tilt required to get the block sliding is the same as having to keep very controlled pressure on the gas pedal to keep it from moving unintentionally (sic), which results in more driver fatigue.

  • avatar

    From the NHTSA recall site, this is from the Q&A document about the pedal recall:

    Q8b: What if a customer is not satisfied with the accelerator pedal operation or the feel of the pedal
    after the reinforcement plate is installed?
    Q8b: 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.

    Unfortunately, some of these service departments are doing little to help the Toyota image, but a well-informed consumer can protect themselves to some extent.

    • 0 avatar

      My question is this:

      Say you get the fix in. You absolutely hate the feel and are not used to it and it badly surprises you. You tell them you are unhappy with it and they agree to replace the accelerator pedal completely, but it’s 6-8 weeks until they get the correct part in. Do they give you a loaner either unaffected or unfixed to use until the part comes in?

  • avatar
    George B

    Paul, what steps would a customer have to take to get the desired fix of a software upgrade and a Denso pedal assembly at the lowest cost in time and money? Can the customer get new software separate from the “racoon” pedal pruning and the shim?

    Considering the very low probability of unintended acceleration, I wouldn’t be surprised if dealer techs cause more safety problems than they fix.

    Ugly trimming of Toyota accelerator pedals reminds me of the practice of ear tipping, cutting the tip off the left ear of stray cats to mark that they’ve already been spayed or neutered.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      George B, There are two separate recalls. The mat/pedal entrapment is regardless of which make pedal you have. But that’s the recall that includes the brake-override reflash. Since recalls are voluntary, you might be able to argue that you only want part of it. But Toyota might nigh be happy about it. Frankly, how the pedal looks and the fact that it’s a bit shorter seem like a fairly minor issue. Other cars have small pedals too, and they do sand them down.
      If you have a CTS pedal and are unhappy about how it feels, you can demand a new pedal (see comment above), but it will almost certainly be the revised CTS pedal, even though a Denso would bolt and plug right in. You could try demanding a Denso pedal. If they won’t budge, a new one costs (retail) about $120 or so. They should give you a break on that.

  • avatar

    Stay classy, Toyota, stay classy.

  • avatar

    Some time ago on this site before the actual recall, I opined that Toyota should have some central repair centers where the pedals could be properly modified by trained technicians. All you then need is a “float” of some few thousands of pedals going back and forth to dealers.

    I could not believe it when Toyota decided to do the work in the dealer’s shop. What tools do they have to do the work of slicing off the bottom of the pedal in a reasonable way? I saw a picture of a Toyota mechanic hacking away at the pedal with a giant pair of wire side-cutters in the Globe and Mail.

    Where is the instrument to measure the force required to depress the shim-modified pedal to factory tolerance? Nowhere to be found.

    I agree with you, Paul. The fix is worse than the original problem. Plus I too would be livid to find a hacked about pedal in my new car.

    This is where Toyota is committing suicide. They have not applied any standard procedure for this delicate repair work, and will pay for it in future. One can see the utter futility of Toyota’s corporate response to the problem. They think the dealer’s mechanics are as interested in a quality fix as they are. Hah!

    Or worse, Toyota simply does not care.

    BTW, hysteresis is the energy loss in a complete cycle of motion or electrical wave. In the pedal case, it would be the total friction energy loss from application and removal of your foot. So I think you got it right.

    • 0 avatar

      As I pointed out previously, the quality of the repairs can be better controlled in a near production environment. There are millions of units to be done. It would also be cheaper than doing each repair as a single job. The would turn the repair into a “swap out” – unscrew/unplug the old pedal assembly and reverse with a “factory” remanufactured unit.

    • 0 avatar

      In metals, a hysteresis curve results from residual permanent set. If you load a part above its elastic limit and remove the load, the structure will still have some residual stress in it. It can be useful – for example, artillery tubes are autofrettaged – overloaded during manufacture so that the inner bore is in compression when unloaded. The firing pressure has to overcome that compression to put the barrel back into tension.
      It’s another effect lagging the cause….and that hysteresis curve also represents lost energy as it does with friction.

  • avatar

    if anyone has ever driven a dodge neon srt-4 its gas pedel feels the same, very little pressure required, the first time i drove one it was very weird but i found accelerator pressure is something that you adapt to and it’ll feel fine after a while.

  • avatar

    This will destroy repeat sales. Hyundai had better add extra shifts at their factories.

  • avatar

    CPTG…..although I am a chrysler fan I’m still not blind. I know that the sebring is a piece of garbage. But it’s a bit unfair to compare it to the pinto, or mention it in the toyota recall. Sure it’s an ugly pile of crap, but so far they havn’t been exploding or running people off cliffs.

  • avatar

    I think there is another simple thing being overlooked. The service dept. employees need to show the customers the “N” position on the shift quadrant, then explain to them how to use it in case of an emergency.
    1. shift into neutral. 2. slow the car down and pull to the side of the road. 3. shift into park and turn off engine. 4. call for help.

  • avatar

    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. 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.”

    Did the dealer at least use a Toyota factory authorized raccoon?

  • avatar

    Maybe the squirrels under the hood chewed it off.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Toyota’s fix always struck me as being half-assed. I still can’t fathom why it does not flash the ECU with a brake override instead of jury-rigging the existing e-pedal.

  • avatar

    Long ago I had a similar problem of non-linear accelerator response. My NSU 1000 TT’s idle speed would creep up past 1000 rpm, and I’d have to walk back and squirt some lube on the Solex carburetor, freeing the sticky linkage. That’s how simple it was, back in the day, to diagnose such a problem. When UA panic erupted two decades ago, Audi still had mechanical throttle cables. Electronic fuel injection and ignition had joined the list of possible causes, though, complicating the fault-finding. Today, in something like a Pruis, there are many more potential causes of throttle misbehavior. I wish we’d more often acknowledge the virtues of simple. mechanical solutions,,,,

  • avatar

    Regardless of whether the floor mat, throttle pedal, or calibration is correct. All cars especially those that are drive by wire lack a credible back up in the event of unintended acceloration. If it wasnt one of the three above today it will be something else tomorrow. Early speed control systems mechanically vented engine vacuum from the speed control servo during brake pedal application. The only true way to protect for situations like this going forward, there has to be some form of mechanical connection from the brake pedal fully applied to some component of the engine to shut it down. Unless such a backup system as this is put in place, we will back tomorrow with another similiar concern. There are just TOO much exposure to RF. A vehicle designed today cannot foresee future technology being used by a passenger or Patrol officer with the latest and greatest radar gun. Bottom line technology is great, but dont rely solely on technology for insurance.

  • avatar

    It seems to me in this case that the dealer did a poor job. JAQUEBAUER needs to contact Toyota directly.

    Blaming Toyota for this hack job may be emotionally satisfying. However, keep in mind car dealerships’ Soprano-grade-state-government-bought protection from any sort of OEM quality control.

  • avatar

  • avatar

    Toyota and others knew they were having issues and attempted to hide it. All Car Companies should have came forward with a full disclosures of what car were dangerous. Instead of waiting for a huge media blitz and tons of public pressure. I never seen so many car companies GM – NISSAN – TOYOTA – HYUNDAI having recalls all at the same time. I had no idea my car was affected until I looked on and found I had a bad Anti Lock control unit on my 2008 Pontiac G8 , my co workers Ford Truck had a recall also. So be careful

  • avatar

    Well, yesterday out in California, a Prius supposedly wouldn’t stop and a CHP car got in front and stopped it by using the CHP car’s BRAKES. This sounds like more of the same insanity that killed the Audi 5000’s (I think that was the model) resale value (A guy I worked with grabbed up two of them for an insanely cheap price, and neither of them ever had any issues relating to stuck throttles. Besides, the brakes could stop the car without problems anyway! Why can’t these cars be stopped by using the brakes? My friends 2008 Camry doesn’t seem to have anywhere near the power it would take to override them. He’s not taking the car anywhere near the dealer for a while, until Toyota gets it’s act together.

    I’m beginning to wonder if they should have to start testing people on some kind of “runaway car” simulator, where they have to put the car into neutral and stop and shut the engine off, before they even take the driver’s test, or renew their liscense. If you can’t pass it, you’re too stupid to be driving.

  • avatar
    K.T. Keller

    Well, finally the “cat is out of the bag” on this Toyota out of control acceleration problem. I suspected a firmware glitch from day one, but the arrogant stuffed shirt Japs know better than the dumb Americans. The latest victim stated that he “standed on the brakes” and he couldn’t stop his lovely Prius. I wonder why he didn’t turn off the ignition? Maybe he did? A highway patrol car pulled in front of him in a Ford Crown-Victoria police special and brought the Toyota Demon to a stop. It isn’t clear if the highway patrol officer instructed him to turn off the ignition after the 911 call was made. In any event, this along with the Southern Illinois University professor who has been slammed by a Toyota “consultant” signifies that there is definitely a serious problem that is for all good reason related to the ECM firmware or electronics and NOT floor mats or accelerator pedals! When will Toyota “GET IT” and come clean??

  • avatar

    OK, time to chime in.

    First off, regarding the California Prius on March 8, I’ve heard the 911 call, wherein the dispatcher asked the moron (sorry, but that’s the proper technical description) if he had tried shifting to Neutral. He hadn’t, and he never did.


    I’m sorry, but these people are simple morons. Tell you what, everybody: This could happen to you, in whatever brand of car you may have. So, give this a shot, the next time you’re on some side street, away from traffic: Keep the gas pedal pressed, and shift your car into Neutral. For most automatic transmission levers, that would be “one position above Drive.” Guess what? You can do it. Just put it into Neutral. That’ll decouple the engine from the drive wheels, and you can just safely coast over to the side of the road.

    I’m sorry. MORONS. Nobody has to die — they just need to learn how to drive their vehicles.

    Secondly, I agree that the fixes have been farcical. I don’t really blame Toyota much at this point — NHTSA Director LaHood has been in “extreme cover-your-ass mode” or something like that, and this sure looks like NHTSA bullying Toyota into doing something, ANYTHING, as soon as possible. Now Congress is applying more pressure. What the heck can Toyota do other than “Do something, ANYTHING, as soon as possible?”

    I have a vehicle “subject to recall,” a 2008 Camry SE. My attitude right now is “Like HELL they’re gonna touch my car!” The pedal-chewing nighmare also includes removing a bunch of insulation below the carpet — right where you need it. I AM NOT A MORON — I know how to properly attach my floor mat. Good grief.

    The shim business also sounds like “far worse than the alternative” — fighting every single day with a change that ruins a properly-engineered part, perhaps (or not) lowering your one-tenth-of-one-percent chance of actually having a problem with the damn thing during the life of the car.

    So, it boils down to this, for me:

    1. I know how to install my floor mats.

    2. I know how to use Neutral gear.

    3. I’m going ANYWHERE NEAR a Toyota dealer until and unless I hear one HELL of a lot better information about any of this than we’ve heard so far.

  • avatar
    K.T. Keller

    I would prefer turning off the key ignition, however it would be interesting to see what would occur if the gearshift was moved to Neutral. Would the wonderful ECM limit the RPM to a fixed value, or would the engine over-rev and blow up? I still believe and have believed since day one, that Toyota’s engineers are the real “morons” and that this is a ECM related problem. Chrysler tested their ECMs thoroughly at Chelsea, MI and teams tried to wreck the thing by jamming on the accelerator and basically putting the car through all kinds of torture thereby making it “moron proof”. There will always be more morons, so they initiated a “tweak” in the firmware making sure the brake pedal was applied before the shifting from PARK to any gear could occur. I’ll take our Detroit car nut engineers over the foreigners when it comes to practical engineering solutions in vehicles.

  • avatar

    I just got my 2007 Camry done. It’s Kentucky built, with the Denso pedal. It looks like they left the pedal and the floor mat alone. When I went in they asked if I was here for the GL4 recall ( something like that ) There’s nothing on my letter saying what recall it’s part of. The final receipt says I got the system reflashed and had a “Tibia Pad Assy” installed, and a “Stopper, Accelerator” installed. I have no idea what either of them are. Any ideas?

  • avatar
    K.T. Keller

    I have just read a report that now our Big Government is investigating Toyots’s ECM’s (Electronic Control Module=On Board Computers) for susceptibility to cosmic rays. This is possibly related to poor electromagnetic shielding of the on-board computer. I’m not sure if Toyota uses the same design computer on all of its vehicles with different firmware for each model/engine combination, or completely different computers. Mass production would dictate the former, however the cabling connecting the computer must be thoroughly shielded, bonded, and bypassed to ground to keep outside signals such as static charges, cosmic noise and high power radio signals out of the computer.This should not be hard to analyze.

  • avatar

    I had the CTS pedal on my 07 Camry and had the recall done recently. After the pedal was shaved and the metal plate inserted, the feel was terrible, dangerous and absolutely unacceptable. I complained to the dealership and they finally installed a new Denso pedal two weeks later. I have to say that the Denso pedal is much better than the CTS pedal in terms of workmanship and performance. I agree that Toyota should replace the CTS pedal with the Denso pedal on all of their cars. Shame on Toyota!!!

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