My 1st-hand experience with "unintended acceleration"

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Sporin, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. Sporin

    Sporin Prius Noob

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    I thought that given the recent rulings about the varied Toyota "unintended acceleration" issues, I'd share my experience from the other day.

    I put Husky Weatherliners in my car almost as soon as I got it. Good thing, too, since we've beeline living in a Winter Wonderland since mid-December. The other day I pulled them out to empty the melted water that was soaking my cuffs and when I put them hurriedly put them back in I didn't put the driver's side UNDER the accelerator pedal… I put it over it.

    Dumb mistake, but I bet not terribly uncommon. It was gray and dark out, and the black mats and black pedals, and my own rushing … I just made a mistake.

    Sat in the car, started it up. I put it in reverse, and was surprised when the car popped back quite suddenly and strongly. However I was easily able to stop it with the brake pedal… very easily. It almost felt like a car on "high-idle" but the Prius was warmed up and the CVT doesn't move you much without pushing the pedals unlike some conventional automatics.

    With my foot on the brake, and still not realizing what was happening, I put it in Drive and the car surged forward. Again, I stepped on the brake and stopped immediately. Knowing now that something was up I put it in Park, and pushed the brake. Got out, checked the mat, and realized my stupidity.

    I share this only because it is first hand experience with a legitimate gripe that some owners made about the old, OEM mats. The stiff Husky Mats with my feet on them (though not over the pedal area) were enough to push the pedal and bring on some power.

    Because the car was warm, the ICE was off, so I never "heard" any revving or anything.... an aural cue that I (and presumably others in this situation) might have noticed in a conventional car. The battery alone certainly gives the car a nice "jump" even at a minor throttle position, love that instant electric motor torque. :)

    A less attentive driver could conceivable drive the car up over a berm or into a pole… though it would require ignoring the brake pedal which, as I said above, worked exactly as it should.

    Anyway, i just wanted to share my experience. I wouldn't send my wife and son off in this car everyday if I had the slightest worry about unintended acceleration. The cause of the problem was my human error in reinstalling the mats, not the car's fault. The brakes worked easily, and perfectly, just as they should. I now it's :deadhorse: but I wanted to share.

    >>>>> Edit: Please see post #7, this was MY INSTALL MISTAKE, the Husky mats did not do this spontaneously, they CAN NOT shift in any way imaginable, on their own, to cause this issue.<<<<<
     
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  2. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    It is not true that unlike a lot of cars (though more do have this coming online) the Prius' brake automatically overrides any throttle anyway? And thus the experience you had: regardless of throttle if it interprets any brake pedal whatsoever throttle is cut. Therefore double protection against unintended acceleration because a) It shouldn't happen anyway and b) If the car's throttle does go haywire for some reason pressing the brake overrides it.
     
  3. Sporin

    Sporin Prius Noob

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    That was the question in the early cases. I can't say for sure, it definitely took "determined" brake pressure to stop the car, not at all like my brake pressure "cut" the power to the car in any way.
     
  4. twittel

    twittel Senior Member

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    Sporin, are you saying the Husky liners may cause accelerator jam? I didn't fully understand the connection between acceleration and the Husky liners. I'd like to have a set of Husky's but not if they're causing this problem.
     
  5. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    I've looked at this possibility with my Weathertech liners and it would take some real effort to make this happen but since I didn't actually test it out I cannot say for sure. This thread just helps to show why you should always hook your floormats into place. :)
     
  6. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    That is an interesting change from the GenIIs. In the GenII, with your foot pushing the gas pedal to the floor (WOT), simply applying brake pressure feels like you have cut power to the car and sent it from WOT to idle.
     
  7. Sporin

    Sporin Prius Noob

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    No, absolutely not. The Husky liners (as well as the weathertechs) go WAY up under the pedals to prevent ANY sort of interference issues. Even if shifting around, I don't see any way it could happen.

    This was purely my mistake when putting them back into my car after a quick shakeout. **I** put them over the pedal mistakenly, it didn't happen on it's own.

    fwiw, I've had the Husky mats shift forward an inch or 2 occasionally, but that only puts them up higher behind the pedals... no way to cause an issue.
     
  8. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Great! Thanks for clearing up my confusion. I was wondering how the Huskys could be so different from the Weathertechs. My liners are set well below the pedal as well.
     
  9. Sporin

    Sporin Prius Noob

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    It definitely felt like the brake was "holding back" the car, so I have to think the acceleration power was not cut. However, it did this easily with a deliberate brake pedal push, and even held in Park before I put the ebrake on as extra safety.
     
  10. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I have Husky also. I can say there is no reasonable way the mat can possible jam above the accelerator except during installation. It simply runs up too high and is too stiff to come back. Ours may also have "inched up" just a tiny bit, but like Sporin says it puts it further up behind the pedal. This is a risk with any floor mat, oem or not, if it's installed above the pedal it's going to pull the pedal down :0

    All somebody here has to do is try and accelerate and brake at the same time and see what it does :)
     
  11. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Your UAE is like 99.44-percent of all UAE's out there.
    It's what we in the electronics biz call a Delta-Alpha-Sierra (dead short---no pun intended!) between the seat and the controls....in this case the accelerator.

    Unlike almost 100-percent of UAE victims, you fessed up and are trying to teach some of your fellow beans to avoid a similar situation. It's almost a shame really. Winters are tough up there and I'm sure that there are some lawyer's kids that need new shoes.

    You may want to consider shipping the car and the mats to the JPL (Space, Stars, Mars, Earth, Planets and More - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) for studies. It may not have been the mats. You're in the conspiracy now.

    Watch yer back!! :eek:
     
  12. Sporin

    Sporin Prius Noob

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    :) :) :) How sad is it that the first thing I though of after this was... "Wow, first hand issue, I MUST post about this on PC!" :)
     
  13. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    REally? This is the last place I would post about UAE. ;)
     
  14. J5A

    J5A Active Member

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    Glad you're alright and no one was injured.
    That's always my worry when walking in front or back of someone's vehicle and they'll have UA.
    BTW - is UA a new Webster's word now? ;)
     
  15. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    If so they will have to add the sub-entry for UAD (the denier version). :p
     
  16. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    It's gotta be a TLA (Three Letter Acronym) to get into Webster's.
    That's why I chose UAE.
    If it's medical...then the TLA has to end in "S" for "Syndrome" or in very rare cases you can use a TLA followed by "Syndrome", such as RUA-Syndrome, for "Repetitive Unintended Acceleration Syndrome", or what we non medically trained persons call: "an idiot."
    Those are the rules.:cool:
     
  17. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    What if you had accidentally put the mat over both the brake pedal and accelerator pedal? Now I figure you have to depress the brake pedal to start the ignition, so you might have more easily detected there was a problem.

    Does anyone know if you can start a Prius while depressing both pedals? (I guess so because from what you described, that is what happened with your foot on the brake and the mat on the accelerator).

    This might be fixed if Toyota configures a Prius not to start or come out of park while the accelerator pedal is depressed.
     
  18. J5A

    J5A Active Member

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    Love it :rockon: A syndrome. LOL

    Although I didn't mean to specifically use in acronym form...just wondering if "unintended acceleration" will make it in the big book for 2011. Like "unfriend" did in 2010. KWIM? :p Joking of course.
     
  19. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    I know this is an old thread and the issue of unintended acceleration had long ago been put to bed but this article in the UK press has many similarities.

    Harrow driver 'called 999 as his out-of-control Skoda sped along a motorway at 119mph' | Daily Mail Online

    To those in the US, Skoda is a cheaper, sub manufacturer of the VW Group, mainly using older VW tech in their cost efficient cars.

    So was this a guy panicing and pressing the wrong pedal? Not switching the car off despite saying he was trying? Or is there some fault in VW/Skode cruise control systems? Do they use a similar system to Toyota or buy them from the same manufacturer?
     
  20. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    all good questions. sometimes, it's impossible to find out. now that there has been one report, let's see if they start coming out of the woodwork.
     
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