Oh the Irony of it All... The Pulitzer Prize Story that the LA Times DIDN'T Get

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by DeadPhish, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    we've owned camry, hycam and prius. never took any in for the pedal modification or mat clips because when you get down there and look at it, you'd have to stack a heck of a lot of mats to interfere with the pedal. and we don't stack mats anyway. and our carpets never slipped. now maybe, if you stack mats, the top one will slip on the bottom one. that, i don't know. as for the sticky pedals, i guess we have been lucky not to get one.
     
  2. Okinawa

    Okinawa Senior Member

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    I had a 2007 Camry. I got a recall on it for the mat and accelerator. I took it in and had it done. There was nothing wrong with that car. The accelerator was fine.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    a lot of revisionist history at gm, that's fine. it's the future that counts. will they commit to some type of fuel saving line of vehicles like ford, toyota and others, or will they go the route of chrysler hemi gear heads? or perhaps keep stumbling along with quasi fuel efficient technologies.
     
  4. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    There are plenty of 5-10 year old Toyotas on the road.

    This story (from 2010) says 99% are driver error:
    Toyota Planted WSJ "Driver Error" Story. So What?

    Today's WSJ (can't find link) has an article that concludes the same thing...(IIRC 2 of the 40 or 50 investigated NHTSA cases were pedals physically jammed by mats...the remainder were driver error).

    The case being made is for driverless cars, if anything.

    Mike
     
  5. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    I don't trust any megacorp. And I don't understand people who do. They are all pretty scummy when it comes to pushing profits higher, even when people are dying.
     
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  6. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    I don't question the 99%. It's just another reason these are no longer news worthy.

    Toyota's insistent that 100% were driver error to the point even obfuscating info they had to the contrary is why they got fined.
     
  7. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Back then toyota was hiding data from the american public, american dealers, and the NHTSA. You can't assume a news article is true, when information has later come up from a cover up. The most heinous part of the cover up was 2 men rotted in prission for years after toyota testified that the people they ran into died from operator error, and juries believed this must have been on purpose (manslaugher) instead of equipment failure.

    The most common source of unintended acceleration appears to be pedal entrapment. The second common source faulty pedals. Both of these problems would have been remedied if toyota had been more vocal about the problem, instructing dealers to actually investigate customers problems instead of covering them up. Dealers routinely doubled matts. The NHTSA remedy of a brake unterlock, was politiced against by toyota because because they did not want to spend the money. Toyota also made sure black boxes could not read so drivers would be blaimed and equipment problems could not be identified. These things have been mostly remedied even on older cars ( pedals shaved or drivers well aware of pedal entrapment, replacement of faulty pedals, software brake interlocks on cars that had hardware to implement) and unintended acceleration has decreased.
    Of those cars that don't actually cause injury, driver error is often involved. How many deaths are acceptable to save money, by ignoring problems and covering them up when they are forced in your face by large numbers of lawsuits.

    In the case of toyota it was probably $10 a car they bragged about saving. In the case of GM its less than a $1. I would like the people that made, then covered up these decissions to surve jail time.
    In toyota's case we know they refused a brake interlock that would have likely saved most if not all of the lives. We can tell from the court documents that they also lied about adequately designing and testing the electronics and software. Let's not pretend anymore that these fatalities were all driver error.

    There definitely a place for safety systems that automatically brake when they see a collision coming on. To do that first you need the brake interlock to over ride driver input, or mechanical failure (pedal enrapment, faulty pedals), which would have likely gotten rid of all of the pedal related fatalities. A driverless car is going to be much more expensive than one with a driver today if it is going to be as safe. IIHS gave toyota's systems low marks for accident avoidance, these need to be improved before they are mandated. I think we do need accident avoidance measures available. My grandfather was an awful driver with macular degeneration. My parents and aunts and uncles did not take away his keys, they had us ride with him. Finally luckily, he ran into anouther car and no one was injured, and they talked him into giving up driving. With better safety systems older drivers can keep their mobility longer without harming the rest of us. It won't do anything good if companies like toyota and gm keep lying to the safety agencies.

    On the gm problem, all of the 13 fatalities were driver error. Unlike toyota the NHTSA did not find any statistical anomolies, but gm did investigate the problems. The faulty ignition switches stopped airbags from being deployed, that could have saved some of these drivers lives. Only GM, not the NHTSA knew that the brakes and steering worked, but lost the power boost. Simply the boost could have saved some drivers. GM knew the switches were faulty, yet did not issue a recall. It kept this information from the NHTSA which would have, if operating correctly forced a recall. The number of likely fatalities are likely a order of magnitude lower than toyota's but it involved the same bad illegal decission making.
     
  8. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Just to add a little perspective, there were specific Toyota models, non-Prius identified as having problems. The documented Prius unique problems:
    • 2004-09 accelerator shaving
    • 2010-11 brake software patch
    • 2010-current inverter temperature 'safe home' mode
    • 2001-03 accelerator encoder 'tin whiskers' with 'safe home' mode
    The 'cover up' vehicles that involved in court case accidents were Camry and Corolla . . . unless there are some I'm not aware of.

    The reason I bring this up is during the 'run-away acceleration' brew-haha, more than a few of us took our Prius to the highway and holding down the accelerator, proved we could stop the car. Not as fast as some might want but I did my test at 75 mph on a downgrade and the brakes slowed the car down to the point I was becoming a hazard for following highway traffic.

    So I'm fairly calm about such things but think accuracy should identify specific models and problems, not just blanket all of Toyota and all models.
    [​IMG]

    Bob Wilson
     
  9. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Because of the different software involving the accelerator and brakes, none of the toyota hybrids had the full unintended acceleration possibilities. This made them inherantly safer. None of the toyota hybrids had the falty accerator pedals.

    As you mention the Gen II prius had accelerator pedals and dealer training that made it prone to pedal entrapment. Toyota acted unethically when it came to hiding information about these entrapments for the whole range of toyota and lexus vehicles. They kept information learned in Japan about this away from the NHTSA for many years. The court did not find this violated the letter of the law, but this unethical behavior contributed to toyota acting illegally later on, and contributed to many accidents and deaths. The court did find that toyota falsly testified in some court cases about this. Because of the different software and electronics, it is unlikely that this problem resulted in deaths in the hybrids, but yes the gen II prius was part of the illegal activity. It also is likely that given past behaviour toyota was considering covering up the brake software problem on the gen III prius, but the japanese government forced the issue in their own investigation.


    It ran the gammut of many models. The most famous incident involved a Lexus ES. As mentioned about the hybrid vehicles had partial or full overide of the accelerator with braking. This was the remedy that toyota refused to implement to same money. As such the hybrids, like the prius, were safer.
    Yep, but you did not go to the dealer after a pedal malfunctioned or was trapped, and have the dealer send you off again with damaged brakes to get in a possibly fatal accident. We know this happened in at least 4 cases.
    Absolutely, but unfortunately people seem to make excuses for Toyota doing this behavior, and there is no excuse other than it is a gready corporaion that put sales growth ahead of lives. Here is one of the lawsuits about entrapment.
    Las Vegas widow sues Toyota over floor mat in crash - Las Vegas Sun News




    Do you think toyota was ethical about delaying the recall in the US? Do you think it is alright for them to keep safety information secret from drivers and safety agencies? Of course you don't. This was a large corporation keeping quiet because they wanted to sell more vehicles and down playing publically that there could be anything wrong, as it was costing lives.

    Unfortunately we have documents saying ford has done this too, and the congressional grilling of GM going on right now makes the toyota grilling seem tame. From what I understand GM deserves all the bad press it gets from the ignition switch cover up. It would be nice in my mind if someone from gm goes to jail, but ofcourse the CEO getting grilled Barra likely had nothing to do with it, this happened under the watch of Rick Waggoner and Bob Lutz.
     
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