Run Away Prius a Hoax

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

  1. kbeck

    kbeck Active Member

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    There seem to be two diametrically opposed set of facts here.

    First: They have brakes worn down to a fare-thee-well, where they had to be replaced before the car was driveable.

    Second: They have other outlets stating that the brake wear was minimal.

    Somebody does not have their facts straight. Or they're lying.

    As to those who say that their working cars have no problem with brake override: That's a working car. If it was a failing car, you'd be on the national news, being called a liar.

    As to the doubts that Sikes is getting death threats: Given that a fair number of people on this forum have rushed to judgment and called him a fraud, and these people might even be considered calm, what do you think about the people who might have a stake in Toyota being called a maker of faulty automobiles? Like, say, the tens of thousands of people who sell, service, and market the cars? What makes anybody think that they're not human out there?

    At this stage I can't figure if this is a fraud or not. And, frankly, I don't think that anybody here knows, either.

    Next It was Fox that broke that story. Uh-huh. Those guys. Does anybody really trust Fox? (Well, if you want a partisan, right-wing viewpoint, I guess yes. But otherwise?)

    Finally. I've been reading other forums. It's funny: First, a bunch of fanboys. Then, EE's and CS majors kicking in, along with Sudden Outbreaks of Common Sense.

    I wonder if CNN or Fox will put a real EE or CS prof with a background in electronic reliability on the tube? It's not like they're not available.

    KBeck.
     
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  2. robbyr2

    robbyr2 New Member

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    As far as the brakes, Mr. Sikes lives 90 miles one way from San Diego. If he makes that trip even just 4 times a week we're talking more than enough miles to wear down his brakes a bit (70K). Of course, given that despite his attorney's statement, Mr. Sikes he only leased the Prius, he might have a bit of a problem in a couple of months when he turns it in (if he had a 12K per year allowance).

    Mr. Sikes' attorney, Mr. Gomez, (at least as of the day following) is also representing Officer Saylor's survivors.

    The CBS article is a bit out of date.

    And Dr. Anderson is an expert witness for plaintiffs' attorneys.

    I do have to admit that I have issues with confusion between saying the officer and/or Mr. Sikes was/were wrong and saying they're lying.
     
  3. civicdriver06

    civicdriver06 Active Member

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    Well you must admit that it is very strange that only the US seem to have "runaway Priuses" and it was also strange that only the US had "runaway Audis" !
    And why is it suddenly happening to the 2. Generation Priuses which have been driving around in your country for years without any problems of sudden acceleration reported ?
    Just beats me,this seems to be an even better mystery then your fantastic tv-show LOST !
    Ok,so perhaps there have been some 2. G. Prius drivers in the US who claimed that their Prius tryed to "run away" without them but honestly were is the proof of that ?
    Next time i make a driving error (i did not up to now ! ) i will just tell the officer it wasn`t my fault because the car suddenly accelerated without my doing !
    Come on,anyone can say that and blame it on the car !
    The thing is you wouldn`t get away with that here and you most certainly wouldn`t get a new car on top of it all nor would you get a million Euro of compensation !
    So to make it simple,it would`t be worth pulling off a stunt like this here in Germany as Sykes clearly did in the US !
    The only reason he says he won`t sue Toyota is that he allready knows he went to far and people are now looking a little closer at his story !
    The reason people try to do pull of these things ín the US is founded on the system you have .
    I wouldn´t get a milliion dollars over here just because someone spilled too hot coffee all over me at a Mc. Donalds restauraunt !
    The Juge would just laugh into my face !
    I`d probably get just enough to get my clothes cleaned !
    I hope nobody feels offended by me saying this but everything seems to be blown out of porportion in the US and it simply dosn´t seem justified getting a million of Dollars for something like that but thats exactly what ceeps encouraging people doing that kind of stuff were talking about !
     
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  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    This has been tested with instrumentation. Read Hobbit's post if you don't believe me. Light braking keeps the ICE running and adding power. Step on the brakes and the override kicks in.

    Hobbit has instrumentation attached to the brake solenoids. He can read when and how much braking action is asked for by the ECU.

    Really, it's pretty simple, and it makes sense. You don't want an overly touchy override system, where it kicks in when not needed or wanted. In an emergency, you don't play with the brake, you stomp on them (not that it takes a stomp to get the override to function.)

    Tom
     
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  5. longjohn931

    longjohn931 New Member

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    Lets take the officer and his judgement about the brakes out of the equation. He may have smelled the odor of brakes but to say they were worn down is highly unprofessional on his part.
    #1 the 08 Prius has front disc and rear drum brakes.
    Unless you pull the wheels it is almost impossible to guage the wear to discs, impossible to see the drums.
    #2 when breaks wear, they don'l leave little piles under the wheels when you stop, they spray it everywhere. You might have a dirty coating on your wheels but no neat little piles of debris where you stop as stated by this chp office.
     
  6. patsparks

    patsparks An Aussie perspective

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    Where did he say the brake lights were on?
     
  7. PriusSport

    PriusSport senior member

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    I'm still trying to figure out what happened in Roswell, New Mexico. Was that a hoax, too?

    Considering the media covers about .001% of everything significant that happens every day, you have to wonder about what the real reality is.
     
  8. 32kcolors

    32kcolors Senior Member

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    Of course not, his wife caused it :D
     
  9. CharlesJ

    CharlesJ Member

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    Yes, the breaks overrides the pedal when the car is operating normally. But, who is to say that it will respond this way when at gremlin is on the prowl? That is not a guarantee until it can be shown under that gremlin active condition.
    No wonder it cannot be reproduced at will otherwise this problem would be history by now.
     
  10. CharlesJ

    CharlesJ Member

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    That is why this issue has not been solved, impossible to reproduce on demand to date. An unusual cause. Why is the computer programming not investigated more???
     
  11. dr_d12

    dr_d12 Member

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    Associated Press quotes Gomez (Sikes'attorney) as saying the CHP officer smelled brakes and saw the brake lights, and that this is evidence that Sikes was trying to use the brakes.

    I tried tonight to have the brake lights on while accelerating and I can do it, but I have no way of knowing if my friction brakes are engaged.
     
  12. Hozz

    Hozz New Member

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    It's not the drivers age, it's that material between their ears. Hozz
     
  13. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    One of the messengers in the message change has altered Toyota's words, in a way that will change some reader's interpretations:

    "All Prius vehicles have a brake system program that reduces gasoline engine power if both the throttle and brake pedals are depressed at the same time."

    [emphasis added in both quotes]
     
  14. justlurkin

    justlurkin Señor Member

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    Actually, it's not just the computer system that ensures power will be cut to the wheels.

    It has to do with how the Power Split Device transaxle works mechanically.

    The PSD is a planetary gearset. The electric motor/generator ("MG2") that drives the wheels is turned by the planetary gearset's outer ring gear. The gasoline engine ("ICE") spins the planetary gears. The small countertorque balancing motor/generator ("MG1") is turned by the planetary gearset's inner sun gear.

    If the front disc brakes are heavily engaged, you are preventing the outer ring gear and MG2 from spinning, because that is directly drivechained to the front drivewheels of the car. That means the rotations of the planetary gears driven by the ICE will have to spin something else in the gearset rather than the outer ring gear that is being braked. The only other gear that can be spun in the planetary gearset is the central sun gear, which turns the small countertorque MG1 motor/generator. That will cause the MG1 motor/generator to be OVERTORQUED (i.e. exceed its RPM limits and becomes electrically OVERLOADED) and BURN OUT if the hybrid computer did not command the gasoline engine to reduce its revs.

    So if the hybrid computer was on the fritz and not limiting the gasoline engine revs while the front disc brakes are heavily engaged, one of the electric motors in the PSD transaxle will get burnt out, and the car is going to stop. PERMANENTLY. And will not run again until after the transaxle is replaced. That's what the Toyota tech meant when he said "the engine would have seized."

    In normal operation, the computer system will automatically cut power to the engine to prevent MG1 from being overloaded and burnt out when when the front disc brakes are heavily engaged. In failure mode, if the front discs brakes are heavily engaged but the engine is not commanded to slow down, it will over-rev MG1 and cause a transaxle failure, and the car will stop too.

    Obviously MG1 did NOT burn out in Sike's Prius (the car was still drivable, with a functional transaxle). Which means the sun gear/MG1 was not being overtorqued/overloaded and the hybrid computer was doing its job properly. Which means the hydraulic brakes were NOT retarding the ring gear/MG2. Which means Sikes wasn't "laying on the brakes" like he was claiming because the engine would have shut down to prevent MG1 overload and the car would have stopped.

    And for reference, this website shows you how the PSD gearset mechanically mesh. http://www.eahart.com/prius/psd Try the interactive simulator on that webpage to see what happens when you brake MG2/outer ring gear down to zero RPMs while having the ICE/planetary gears at max RPM, and its effect on the central sun gear/MG1.
     
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  15. Iceman123

    Iceman123 New Member

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    I see that Toyota's quote might have been changed from reading a similar sentence..But that doesn't necessarily mean its the same quote.Tell CBS to correct their quote if that's where they took it from.

    But even if the quote you're using is correct...How is the car going 94 ?..according to the officer he saw the brake being applied before he got to give instructions..according to your link's quote "It reduces gasoline engine power" if both are being applied... The car is going 94 on ECO ?..Something is still very puzzling... . The Wyzniak dude has had problems too, he need more money?

    Repeat: Until the smoke clears people..stop rushing to judgment !

    I hope for all of us that indeed there is a logical explanation for all this !
     
  16. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    If you are talking about the wsj report, there isn't oppoesed facts.

    They said leaked information said the pads were shot, worn out, but the brakes did not have wear that would be expected from sustained high braking at high speeds. They also talked to a "toyota expert" that said that if the brake overide was not working, then the engine should have seized. The leaks from the investigation said the car operated normally.

    So two possibilities, software problems and not heavy breaking, or hoax. note both toyota and the nthsa say that they are still investigating so I would not take these leaks as facts.

     
  17. civicdriver06

    civicdriver06 Active Member

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    Ok,i give up !
    Let´s say this has not been a hoax then please would you explain to me why the hell these kind of incidents with a Prius only seem to happen in the US or maybe Canada(dont know about that,do they ? ) but not in the rest of the world where Priuses are sold!?
    We have the exactly same 2. Generation Priuses in Germany as you have in the US !
    The only difference is that we have slightly other konfigurated head- and breaklights by law but i guess you`ll agree with me that should have nothing to do with those "dangerous" cars "running away" in the US but not in Germany or elsewere !
    And by the way there is infact another difference whe don`t get the break overide system but still they just don`t seem to want to "run away" here and what seems to be even more strange they break when their drivers demand it !
    Maybe the Priuses in the US don`t like some of their drivers ?
    If i really am wrong about this i`ll be the first to apology!
     
  18. orracle

    orracle Whaddaya mean "senior" member?

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  19. robbyr2

    robbyr2 New Member

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  20. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    Yes, Wozniak doesn't know how is Package V, DRCC works, lol.

    When the vehicle in front of you gets out of the way, the car goes to its "set" speed, which maybe much higer than what the DRCC slowed you down to for the proper following distance... geesh Steve, RTFM, RTFM !

    [ame=http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/02/02/tsr.wozniak.toyota.owner.cnn]Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com[/ame]
     
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