Harrison NY Police Chief: Prius crash looks like human error

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by justlurkin, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    The police chief for Harrison, NY, Anthony Marraccini, after reviewing the EDR data retrieved from the crashed Prius in Westchester, was quoted by the NY Post as saying human error may have caused the vehicle to crash into a stone wall.

    The crashed Prius (which had airbag deployment) has been held at the Harrison, NY police department impound since the incident.

    Toyota casts doubt on a second runaway Prius story - NYPOST.com
     
  2. Politburo

    Politburo Active Member

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    Typical crappy post article.

    All that happened is that the police chief has allowed for the possibility of driver error.

    No conclusions have been reached, and Toyota has said nothing aside from the standard talking points about the brake override.
     
  3. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    I'm sure more detailed articles from other less crappy sources will be popping up during the rest of the day.

    Chief Marrasccini did state in previous press conferences that he had "ruled out" human error. I wonder what did he see during the investigation that prompted him to change his mind to rule it back in. :D
     
  4. mgb4tim

    mgb4tim Noob

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    The new Tundra in his driveway
     
  5. DeanFL

    DeanFL 2010 owner - 1st Prius

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    I'd guess I'm speaking for many of us.
    It's tiring and frustrating to see yet another attempt to not take responsibility for an accident. Now a knee-jerk reflex for some to blame SUA - I know this is nothing new, going back to the Audi days. But here we go again....
    BTW, how could the Chief 'rule out' driver error initially? From her account?
    Please...
    Wen wil Amercans tak charg off there responsibblitys?
    Whoops - darn keyboard failed yet again.....
     
  6. Politburo

    Politburo Active Member

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    From my recollection of the initial articles, the police chief ruled out driver error based on the fact that the floor mat was secured to the seat using zip ties.

    It appears he didn't consider the possibility of pedal error.
     
  7. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    LOL, good one!
     
  8. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    The department already has a Ford Explorer the chief can use anytime he wants. He doesn't need no steenkin' Tundra. :p ("badges? We don't need no steenkin' badges!")

    In any case, as per Politburo's request, the Wall Street Journal (which is less crappy than the Post, most would agree) also came out with the article on the prelim findings of the Harrison crash: Prius Probe in New York Suggests Driver Error - WSJ.com

    Note that the WSJ usually moves the article behind a Paywall after several hours so you might not be able to access it without a subscription.

    I'll just quote the most relevent part from the WSJ article:

    Pending the official report from the Harrison Police Department, it looks like the EDR data is saying the woman in question stomped on the gas instead of the brakes, i.e. human error.
     
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  9. Politburo

    Politburo Active Member

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    Technically, the data is saying that the throttle was open and that the brakes were not applied. The nit here, similar to what they said about Sikes, is that the data doesn't appear to record accelerator position, just throttle (which raises a question, what if you're in EV?).
     
  10. robbyr2

    robbyr2 New Member

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    I believe she believes he stomped on the brakes. She isn't lying, she's just wrong.
     
  11. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    Exactamundo. It wasn't even her car (it belonged to her employer), so if she was unfamiliar with the Prius it is entirely possible she stomped on the gas when she thought she was stomping on the brake pedal.

    She did say she was sure she stomped on the brake pedal, but the EDR recorded no brake pedal application whatsoever. So I think it is entirely reasonable to infer then, that it was the gas pedal that was stomped on.

    When the Harrison PD releases its official report, we should get more details on what the EDR data shows. I'm looking forward to that.
     
  12. robbyr2

    robbyr2 New Member

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    Now the police chief is saying that it wasn't human error as determined by NHTSA...
     
  13. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    From what little I have heard, this does sound to be the case.
    This would concern me, as that information alone may help in many of these investigations.
     
  14. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    Clarification in this article: Harrison police captain assails feds for releasing Prius crash data | LoHud.com | The Journal News

    Chief Marraccini didn't deny that it was human error... He was expressing his displeasure that the NHTSA chose to publicly reveal the data when he hasn't officially closed the case yet.

    The NHTSA-leaked data notwithstanding, I think this case is as close to a slam-dunk win as Toyota can get.
     
  15. Allannde

    Allannde Just a Senior

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    If the problem is driver error, there are some things which can be done.

    Cars can be equipped with hand controls like I just did with my Prius.

    People over a certain age can be required to take a driving test.

    Cars can be equipped with real emergency hand brakes.

    People can be expected to know how to drive their cars.

    I am sure that smart people can think of other possibilities.

    Why should Toyota work on these things when it would be greeted as a distraction from the "real problem"?
     
  16. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    Yet another one. First the Prius driver in San Diego was discovered to have quite a fraudulent background yet neither the CHP and Tow Truck drivers on the scene saw anything wrong, and then Toyota looked at the vehicle and found nothing wrong. Now, with this lady, the vehicle data recorder indicates she never actually stomped on the brakes (contradictory to what she told police and the media).

    Looks like Toyota's negative publicity is slowly going away - and being carried by the media to the public. Interesting.

    I don't think this eliminates the initial reports/incidents; it just removes the "copycats." ..But it does open up uncertainty amongst the original incidents.
     
  17. Allannde

    Allannde Just a Senior

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    Several times I have tried to start thinking here on PC about the way this discussion is diverting attention from what I think is the real problem, Driver Error.

    I find it interesting that this has been ignored.

    I wonder why. Perhaps it is because that is not widely considered to be the cause. Perhaps that is because the implications of that possibility are not popular. Perhaps it is because most consider that the time to embrace this possibility has not yet arrived. Perhaps I should start a new thread.

    I wonder.
     
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  18. Politburo

    Politburo Active Member

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    I think many of us believe it's largely driver error. When this story was first posted, I said it had all the hallmarks of pedal error, but refrained from accusing the driver of anything.

    At the same time, most (hopefully all) of us believe in evidence-based investigations. So with each incident, while there might be signs that point strongly to driver error, we await data.
     
  19. jzhou

    jzhou Junior Member

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    Well, for Prius, the EDR and Black Box will help clarifying the situation upon a crash or incident. But what about the other Toyota cars? There is no EDR/BB to prevent the copycat or hoax. So it would be harder to refute the claims of unintentional accelerations.

    So the EDR/BB is like a DNA test now.
    But what if the lawyer says the computer is wrong? Or is wired to show wrong results? Just a guess since I will never have the creative thinking of a lawyer and do not know what will happen to Toyota next.
     
  20. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

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    those people picked wrong car to report ;-).

    Lawyer can say whatever he wants, however they can not prove it. Car was impounded by police, Toyota personal can not delete the evidence, heh... thats crazy. Police said that they installed their software on toyota computers to record any action being taken.

    It is not like DNA test... it is like any black box used in aviatics.
     
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