Run Away Prius a Hoax

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by GeoDesign, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. GeoDesign

    GeoDesign Who, Where, What, Why ?

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    It appears that the run away prius story plastered all over the news is a hoax. Here is a link to Fox News which broke with this story a couple of hours ago.
    Opposing Views: Runaway Toyota Prius Scare in California a Hoax?
    Makes you wonder what other truths about the Toyota complaints and re-calls will reveal.
    Any one remember the run away Audi's back in the 80's? Many law suits, media frenzies and re-calls that nearly put Audi out of business was found in the end to be driver error.
     
  2. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Yes, this one is absolutely a hoax.

    For the other Prius accidents that claimed of unintended acceleration.... DMV should require a road test to renew the license for drivers over 50s. Car inspections are done annually. So why not the driver (at least once every 5 years)?
     
  3. Harold Bien

    Harold Bien Member

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    No need. People just need to take personal responsibility for their own actions. Accidents are inevitable - but accept them as simply that: accidents. There is no need to find fault with anyone or anything, and while blaming an inanimate object or non-personal corporation may be satisfying, it really doesn't change matters.

    Drivers, like pilots, should be considered "Driver In Command". As a driver, you should take full responsibility for the actions of your vehicle including a safe outcome in the event of an operational failure.

    Had the bird strike encounter resulting in a forced ditching in the Hudson come out to a different outcome, do you think the pilot would have blamed Airbus for a faulty aircraft? [Never mind the mass public, I'm talking about a pilot who understands and accepts his role as PIC]

    People should have learned from that event - that in the event of an operational failure (even as unexpected as a bird strike), the operator is responsible for safely handling the situation, not the car manufacturer or anyone else (including ATC/police/911 operators).
     
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  4. GeoDesign

    GeoDesign Who, Where, What, Why ?

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    Very well put Harold Bien. Thank You !
     
  5. hlkc

    hlkc New Member

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    Hallelujah
     
  6. tstreet

    tstreet New Member

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    There was a comment on the article that said that putting the Prius in neutral going fast would destroy the engine. Is this valid. This is important because we have been advised by Toyota to put the car in neutral. At a relatively low 40 mph, I put my Prius in neutral with no apparent bad results. But would like this issue clarified form someone out there.
     
  7. nwprius

    nwprius Member

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    usbseawolf So, as I understand it you want to start taking a test every five years after you arrive at the age of fifty. I assume that you believe that your ability will start downhill rapidly at that age or if you are presently that age or older you now realize your deficiencies.:D

    For the other Prius accidents that claimed of unintended acceleration.... DMV should require a road test to renew the license for drivers over 50s. Car inspections are done annually. So why not the driver (at least once every 5 years)?[/QUOTE]
     
  8. JimN

    JimN Let the games begin!

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    No, shifting to neutral does nothing at any speed.
     
  9. pdth

    pdth Member

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    Yes, you can put it in neutral at any speed and it won't hurt anything. Simply move the shift lever to the left and hold it there for about 5 seconds. You can also shut off the car by holding down the power button for about 5 seconds. In the latter case it is a bit more difficult to steer and brake, but not as big of a difference as you might expect. It's not a very heavy car.

    When I first learned to drive many many moons ago, all of us were taught how to perform these steps on the cars of that century if the car should accelerate out of control, which apparently was a more common occurrence then. I tried it myself on my 2010 Prius when I first bought it last July, just to make sure I knew how. So this is nothing new. Maybe the only difference is that drivers today don't get the level of quality in Drivers Ed that we used to.
     
  10. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    I believe the previous study indicated that the age 50 was the magic number, if I recall. A new study has to be redone to determine that number.

    My point is that there should be a limit. You can't assume all drivers of different age will have the same performance. Hardware (cars) are inspected but no the driver. They are missing out on the most important and error prone part of the car (driver).

    P.S: I am still in my early 30s.
     
  11. DaGeek

    DaGeek New Member

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    Then why does my 2009 owners manual specifically say never under any circumstances place the car in neutral or power off when the car is moving?
     
  12. Harold Bien

    Harold Bien Member

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    As others have posted - there is no problem in putting the Prius into neutral (or any other car under controlled conditions). Why do people not understand how the transmission works, and what are the potential problems with "N"?

    FWIW, I drive a manual VW and I frequently "coast" putting the car into neutral when I'm on a downgrade and I do this even at highway speeds >65mph (easier to do this on a manual than an automatic).

    If you learn the fundamental operating principles of a car including the transmission, then you will be able to quickly figure out the potential ramifications of shifting into Neutral.

    Regardless, would saving the engine be a major considering as you're "rocketing down" a highway with a wide-open throttle condition?
     
  13. Harold Bien

    Harold Bien Member

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    I believe that's a translation issue. In some places it may be illegal to "coast" or place the car into neutral, the fear being that in an emergency you will not be able to accelerate to avoid an accident.

    The only potential mechanical issue with putting the car into neutral would be the concern to over-rev the engine, and even then, with today's modern engines, that's not a real concern anymore with engine governors.
     
  14. GeoDesign

    GeoDesign Who, Where, What, Why ?

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    Let's say hypothetically that your car be it a prius or other wise is speeding out of control and that you would damage the transmission by putting it in netural at high speed.

    What do you value more, your and the lives of others, or your transmission?

    This is a no brainer for me. What say you all ?
     
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  15. bac

    bac Active Member

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    Duh.

    -Brad
     
  16. Tom183

    Tom183 New Member

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    Forgive me for not buying into whatever Fox News has to offer - I won't believe either story until I see some corroboration...
     
  17. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    This link is also found in the OP's link. It's an article based on the video, cause watching the video was painful....

    No shit Neil.

    Anyway, Mike's article is easier to read without having Neil in the way.

    Michael Fumento: Toyota Hybrid Horror Hoax
     
  18. GeoDesign

    GeoDesign Who, Where, What, Why ?

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    Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) is a tactic of rhetoric and fallacy used in sales, marketing, public relations,[1][2] politics and propaganda. FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative and dubious/false information designed to undermine the credibility of their beliefs. An individual firm, for example, might use FUD to invite unfavorable opinions and speculation about a competitor's product; to increase the general estimation of switching costs among current customers; or to maintain leverage over a current business partner who could potentially become a rival. FUD techniques may be crude and simple, as in claiming "I read a paper by a Harvard professor that shows you are wrong regarding subject XXX", but the paper does not even exist. (If the paper exists, then it is not FUD, but valid criticism.) Alternatively FUD may be very subtle, employing an indirect approach. Someone who employs FUD can in general not back up his claims "Oh, I dont remember which professor or which year the paper is from". To dispel FUD, the easiest way is to ask for details and then provide well researched, hard facts which disproves the details. For instance, if it can be shown that no Harvard professor ever has written a paper on subject XXX, then the FUD is dispelled.
     
  19. San_Carlos_Jeff

    San_Carlos_Jeff Active Member

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    While I tend to believe Sikes story is fishy, Fumento's column is equally suspect. His main premise is that you can't reach the accelerator with your hand while driving. After reading the column I went out to my car to try it and had no trouble at all. I could easily reach the pedal (and down to the firewall below the pedal) while having both eyes on the road and my left hand steering the car. I'm a little above average in height (6'-1") but far from an orangutan.

    Jeff
     
  20. bac

    bac Active Member

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    You're right.

    The main premise of the article should be that the brake will ALWAYS stop the car even if the accelerator is WIDE OPEN. Speaking of anything else just confuses the real impossibility of this man's claims.

    -Brad