Toyota to replace 2004-2009 Prius gas pedals, give new all-weather mats

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by hampdenwireless, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. ronhowell

    ronhowell Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    679
    31
    0
    Location:
    Cypress, CA.
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    I second this comment.
    In my opinion this whole affair is a total hype on the part of the media against a large fat corporate target, providing employment for so-called "investigative journalists". Remember the old mantra "if it bleeds, it leads" .... so the LA Times has a lead article in today's edition on this very issue.
    Far too many people today are in control of potentially lethal machinery on our highways with hardly a clue of how they operate or how to handle them in emergencies. I predict that the changes that Toyota makes to their cars will have zero effect on the incidence of these so-called extraneous events, because most are caused by "operator error".
     
  2. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    16,784
    4,585
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Yes, I agree that the existing Prius system behaves in a safe manner, when it is working. Prius should never experience unintended acceleration incidents.

    Yet it does. A small number of Prius owners have had this problem. I'm not so sure that all of them are "stupid" and were pressing the accelerator pedal when they thought they were pressing the brake. To the extent that the car shows brake overheating damage, then it is evident that the brake pedal was depressed for a substantial duration.
     
  3. Swingshiftworker

    Swingshiftworker Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    97
    10
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    Floor mats and gas pedals certainly don't explain all of the accidents, particularly the one that took 4 lives (including that of the CHP driver) in LA this year while the driver was recorded reporting the emergency on 911. See: Leong v Toyota - Sudden Unintended Acceleration - Examiner.com.

    There MUST be a software or electronic problem of some kind to cause these accidents and Toyota's claim that it is only related to improperly installed floor mats and gas pedals doesn't wash.

    So, if it happens to you, just try not to panic. Turn on your flashers, stand on the brake pedal, and push the start button for 3 seconds to turn off the electronics and hopefully the engine. You'll lose power steering but the flashers should still be working and try to get off the roadway without crashing.
     
  4. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    2,010
    353
    0
    Location:
    Outer Banks of NC.. Retired to play golf and poker
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A

    Sorry but this is hysterical hyperbole IOW jumping to an unconfirmed conclusion. In fact the facts of the SD tragedy are still unknown because the authorities haven't released any of the data. Without data nothing can be known.

    Your personal supposition has no data or evidence to support it.

    But one thing is certain don't do what you explained in paragraph #3. This has been explained over and over and over again on these pages. You should do what the CHP driver apparently did not do....shift to Neutral first. At the first sign of loss of control...shift to N.

    Write this on your visor...SHIFT TO NEUTRAL AND LIVE.... Compliments of Bob Wilson, PriusChat
     
  5. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    7,511
    1,140
    0
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Yes, shifting to N is the fastest option and will not grenade the engine. (See Carolyn's video.)
     
  6. roverguy78

    roverguy78 Elite Lurking Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    118
    23
    0
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Accidents? Where can factual information be found on all these other accidents that you speak of (other than the one well documented crash involving the Lexus, not a Prius) that have been caused by unintentional acceleration? Or are we going to start irrationally blaming every accident involving a Toyota/Lexus on this condition (that may very well not even exist)?

    The last paragraph in your posting makes it sound like these vehicles are all to be considered dangerous now, and that we should all be anticipating this to happen. People have been driving these cars for years without them running away on them. Show me these documented cases of accidents involving Prius that can be blamed on unintentional acceleration. Otherwise, this sounds like more rambling on the internet that can't be backed up by facts.

    Toyota says it's an issue with the accelerator pedal potentially getting stuck on an improperly secured, or incorrect floormat, so now they are talking about making the pedals shorter. That makes sense, and I'm pretty sure that they know more about it than we do. Yet here you are implying that these cars may suddenly get a mind of their own and start speeding away when we don't want them to, so we all need to be waiting for it to happen. :eek:

    If you own a Prius (or any other car) that has been trying to rapidly accelerate without you pushing the pedal, stop driving the car immediately and demand they fix it. But, if you are like the other 1.2 million Prius owners, and your car has never done anything like this, don't suddenly get paranoid based on some random person's posting on an internet forum. Just check your floormat and have your pedal replaced for peace of mind when the recall is actually set in motion.
     
  7. bgdrewsif

    bgdrewsif New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2006
    497
    0
    0
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona (formerly Bowling Green, Ohio)
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    This "accelerator issue" happened to me about 6 months ago when I was driving down the Loop 101 in Phoenix... luckily it was at night with little traffic.. my pedal got stuck under my all-weather mat and my car went from 65 to 80 before I was able to get my foot under the pedal to pull it up (while also applying brakes to limit acceleration...) It was rather scary but I haven't given it much thought since until the recall issue was announce on the NBC nightly news a few weeks ago...
     
  8. Swingshiftworker

    Swingshiftworker Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    97
    10
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Vehicle:
    2010 Prius
    Model:
    IV
    The ferocity of the rebuttal against my suggestion that the gas pedal/floor mats are NOT the only explanation for reported accidents is interesting. Not sure why people are so insistent at "defending" Toyota's position.

    Yeah, the Prius is a nice car but brand loyalty will not blind me to evidence contrary to the corporation's position and I remain open to the possibility that there are still unresolved issues concerning the unintended acceleration incidents that are not clearly attributable to the gas pedal.

    As for dealing w/an unintended acceleration problem, regardless of cause, has anyone actually tried shifting to neutral while driving at speed?

    I have and neutral is difficult to find with the electronic shifter, even when not in a panic situation. So, I'll stick with just standing on the brake pedal and hitting the start button for 3 secs to shut off the engine, turning on the flasher and trying to get safely off the roadway (in that order) in case an unintended acceleration event happens to me.

    Ciao, baby! :cheer2:
     
  9. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    16,784
    4,585
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Newspapers are supposed to provide an independent voice regarding the actions of government agencies and corporations. I am glad that the LA Times is devoting as much effort to this subject as it is. How else would we learn that NHTSA ignored these complaints? See Runaway Toyota cases ignored -- latimes.com

    "Federal officials eliminated broad categories of sudden-acceleration complaints, including cases in which drivers said they were unable to stop runaway cars using their brakes; incidents of unintended acceleration lasting more than a few seconds; and reports in which owners did not identify the possible causes of the problem."

    Certainly if you systematically eliminate or ignore many of the complaints, that makes it easier to say that there's no problem. It may be true that operator error accounts for some of the incidents. However see the incidents provided below where it appears the drivers were able to identify and depress the brake pedal.

    One place where you can find information is in the NHTSA complaint database, searching for Toyota Prius, Vehicle Speed Control component. Unfortunately the database allows you to enter only one model year at a time.

    http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/complaints/results.cfm

    Here are two examples, you can find many more.

    Make : TOYOTAModel : PRIUSYear : 2005Manufacturer : TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION Crash : NoFire : NoNumber of Injuries: 0ODI ID Number : 10159914Number of Deaths: 0</SPAN>Date of Failure: June 14, 2006VIN : JT0K820U853... Component: VEHICLE SPEED CONTROLSummary:
    [​IMG] I WAS DRIVING ON A HIGHWAY AT APPROXIMATELY 65 MPH. VEHICLE SUDDENLY WENT INTO UNCONTROLLED ACCELERATION WHILE THE VEHICLE WAS IN OPERATION ON THE HIGHWAY. THE ONLY WAY THAT I WAS ABLE TO SLOW DOWN THE VEHICLE WAS BY RIDING THE BRAKES. I FINALLY SLOW DOWN THE VEHICLE WITH THE BRAKES AND TURNED IT OFF. SMOKE WAS COMING OUT OF THE WHEELS WHEN THE VEHICLE WAS TURNED OFF. VEHICLE WAS TOWED TO THE DEALER. *NM

    Make : TOYOTAModel : PRIUSYear : 2005Manufacturer : TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION Crash : YesFire : YesNumber of Injuries: 0ODI ID Number : 10209497Number of Deaths: 0</SPAN>Date of Failure: March 6, 2007VIN : JTDKB20U957... Component: VEHICLE SPEED CONTROLSummary:
    [​IMG] MY 2005 TOYOTA PRIUS ACCELERATED EVEN WHEN THE ACCELERATOR PEDAL WASN'T DEPRESSED. THE BRAKES WERE BURNED OFF THE CAR IN AN ATTEMPT TO BRING THE VEHICLE TO A STOP. THE CAR CRASHED INTO THE SIDE OF A GAS STATION. THERE WERE NO INJURIES TO PEOPLE, BUT THE CAR WAS DESTROYED BY THE IMPACT AND A FIRE. THE SIDE OF THE GAS STATION WAS DAMAGED. *TR

    Since we know that application of the brake pedal is supposed to reduce engine speed, then you would have to conclude that either the hybrid vehicle ECU was not working correctly in the cases cited above, or else the people filing these complaints have deliberately misstated the facts. Therefore, I'd personally like to see the Prius recall extend to implementing a brake override system that makes the HV ECU action failsafe.

    I'm not interested in having my existing accelerator pedal cut by dealer service staff, but I'll take a new pedal assembly when the redesigned ones are released, so that the car is current with all applicable SSCs. I also have the Prius all-weather mats which are in excellent condition - but I don't mind swapping them for the new design when they become available next year.
     
  10. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    7,511
    1,140
    0
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius

    Yes, Carolyn made a video while driving 70 - 80 mph with the 'go' pedal floored. It takes about 1 second to shift to N vs. about 3 seconds to shut down using the Power button. I have also done both, although not at high speed. I think its easier and quicker to find N, but you do whatever makes you comfortable.
     
  11. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    2,010
    353
    0
    Location:
    Outer Banks of NC.. Retired to play golf and poker
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Yes several people herein have tried this for info and for their own safety and peace of mind. I've tried it in my 2005 Prius at 55 mph in normal traffic and I've tried it in my wife's 2004 Highlander at 65 mph on the highway.

    The vehicles do what they're supposed to do. Shifting to Neutral disconnects the wheels from the engine. The vehicle immediately begins to slow down. The rev limiter protects the engine.
     
  12. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    7,511
    1,140
    0
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Hi Patrick,

    I'm not following what you are expecting them (Toyota engineering) to implement. It seems clear that when working normally, the brake command overrides the acceleration command.

    If they had a way of identifying that a malfunction was occurring with the HV ECU, then I would think that they would fix it. But so far, no one has been able to identify the malfunction.

    I'm not arguing that there haven't been any incidents, but it seems the failure rate is so low that no one has yet identified the root cause of the problem and it is possible they never will.
     
  13. bac

    bac Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    863
    51
    0
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Vehicle:
    2008 Prius
    Re: Gas Pedal--Re-call ?

    The ENTIRE recall is being done to placate the now endless line of fools who believe propaganda over physics. :rolleyes:

    -Brad
     
  14. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    2,010
    353
    0
    Location:
    Outer Banks of NC.. Retired to play golf and poker
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A



    I respect your input and opinions and factual content a lot...and I'm not discounting that there 'might' be a programming issue somewhere...however a few key facts keep me from believing that this is the true issue:
    • no investigative agency or company has been able to isolate any such glitch;
    • I've never seen one post on any internet site from even one actual participant in one of these 'unexplainable' unintended acceleration situations;
    • while the ODI does have what seem to be compelling 'reports', many of their investigations have yielded nothing;
    • no insurance company has been able to discover any fault in any of these cases; it's the insurance companies that have the most to lose here...they lose money when crashes, injuries and deaths occur;
    • personally in all the 500,000+ miles I've driven in Toyota's and with all the people I've interacted with, all driving Toyota's, I've never encountered and noone I know has ever encountered the vehicle running away from them.
    There are 30 - 40 million Toyota's on the roads here. There are 2000 alleged reports many of which have been discounted completely or shown to be related to the mats. Can this glitch be so isolated?
     
  15. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    16,784
    4,585
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    We've already established that when the brake pedal is depressed, engine RPM is supposed to be reduced if the HV ECU is doing its job. Therefore, I do not see how changing the accelerator pedal size and replacing floormats will reduce Prius unintended acceleration incidents, if the driver doesn't forget where the brake pedal is. The recall might help reduce those incidents for the other Toyota models involved.

    This excerpt is from the Toyota press release:

    Toyota Vehicles : Toyota Announces Details of Remedy to Address Potential Accelerator Pedal Entrapment / Toyota

    "The brake override system will be made standard equipment throughout the Toyota and Lexus product lines starting with January 2010 production of ES350 and Camry and is scheduled to be incorporated into new production of most models by the end of 2010." <emphasis added>

    If the 2011 model year Prius is going to have a "brake override" system installed, then it would be reasonable for that system to be retrofitted to the 2010 and 2G models.

    If Toyota decides that Prius does not need a brake override system, then how do they explain the unintended acceleration incidents where there is clear evidence that the brake pedal has been depressed (that evidence includes brake heat damage, reports from bystanders that the brake lights were visible, etc.? See the NHTSA complaint reports for details.)

    I agree that the failure rate is exceedingly low. There might be ~40-50 complaints in the NHTSA database out of ~600K 2G Prius in the US.

    There's one case where a woman Prius owner had reported the incident happened to her three times and then she traded the car in for a BMW.

    Toyota to fix 'very dangerous' gas pedal defects -- latimes.com

    She said that the problem was attributed by the dealer and the factory rep to the accelerator pedal, but we know that the pedal assembly is just composed of two Hall-effect sensors.

    Maybe Toyota could have bought the car from her and then instrumented it heavily. Then have one of their engineers drive the car as his/her personal car for several months to see whether the problem would reappear.
     
  16. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    19,602
    9,313
    0
    Location:
    Huntsville AL with 2014 BMW i3-REx
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus


    This is a very rare event and there is evidence of floor mat causes. Adding brake deactivation of the accelerator is not a bad idea ... or at least I see a great loss except possibly loss of user "forced charge."

    When dealing with rare, intermittent problems, it is not uncommon to find more than one source (and I'm not claiming there is a second beyond floor mats and possibly operator error.) Regardless, you have to eliminate the know failure mode before the less frequently seen problem can be diagnosed.

    What I'm saying is if there is some 'control law' problem or other obscure accelerator problem, we have to remove the known, "floor mats" from the ambiguity group. Then as Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective once said, "Whatever remains, however improbable, must be it."

    So calm down folks. It is a process, one step at a time. The next step will take about 6 months to a year. Then we can focus on "Whatever remains ..."

    Bob Wilson
     
  17. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    16,784
    4,585
    0
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Vehicle:
    2015 Prius
    Model:
    Two
    Well, here's a recent PriusChat posting:
    http://priuschat.com/forums/gen-ii-...nintended-uncommanded-acceleration-issue.html

    You'll note a number of unhelpful comments posted in that string including the immediate response that the OP was a troll. It doesn't surprise me that few owners would dare to post here about this topic.
    There might be only 40-50 incidents out of 600K 2G Prius in the US, so I wouldn't expect many posts on the subject, anyway.
     
  18. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    7,511
    1,140
    0
    Location:
    Carmichael, CA
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Hi Patrick,

    You are saying that Toyota decided that the 2G (and early 3G) Prius does not need "brake override".

    I'm saying that 2G Prius already has that feature as evidenced by Carolyn's video.

    I haven't seen any technical details of how Toyota will add "brake override" on the other Toyota models, but I am assuming it will work similarly to how the 2G Prius works now.

    Have you seen something different?
     
  19. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    2,010
    353
    0
    Location:
    Outer Banks of NC.. Retired to play golf and poker
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Good point. I missed that post earlier this year. That's the first I've seen.
     
  20. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    10,150
    3,774
    90
    Location:
    Western Washington
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Yes, it can. There are likely numerous fault mechanisms down in the 1-in-a-million, 1-in-a-billion, 1-in-a trillion range that are never identified. I have been on the design team of many products, and none was perfect. With infinite fault possibilities and finite time and resources, perfection is very unlikely to occur, and impossible to verify.

    Don't think of faults as only software glitches. There are other failure mechanisms.
     
Loading...