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Old 02-03-2010, 06:31 AM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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Toyota hit by over 100 Prius brake complaints - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100203/ap_on_bi_ge/as_japan_toyota_prius - broken link)

What's going on with what was once the world's most reliably auto maker?
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Poway, CA
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your thread title is a bit misleading. there is no recall as of yet.

now, as to your question, i think the article's underlying theme says it all. Toyota, like any other car company, has problems. what they've been doing a good job of so far, though, is not acknowledging them. it's not so much 'what has happened to Toyota?' as it is 'how did we never know this about Toyota?'.

case in point, this issue with the Prius has been known for some time. read here:

http://www.houstonpress.com/2009-04-23/news/wild-rides/

Mike

Last edited by whiteboyslo; 02-03-2010 at 07:14 AM..
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:05 AM
 
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Apple Founder: Toyota Problem is Software.
Quote:
The day after Toyota insisted problems with random acceleration in its cars had been fixed by a recall that will replace gas-pedal assemblies, Apple computers co-founder Steve Wozniak told ABC's Brian Ross that he believes the problem with his Toyota was not gas pedals, but software. Wozniak also said he been trying to get the attention of Toyota and the government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for several months without success.

Wozniak said when he uses cruise control in his 2010 Prius, which is not on Toyota's recall list of models that may have "sticky" gas pedals, the car sometimes goes into an "unlimited speed up." "I tap the cruise control lever to increase the speed and it basically goes into an unlimited speed up," said Wozniak. "If I hit the brake it disables my cruise control and it goes back to normal."
That's my suspicion as well. Japanese companies are known for the quality of their hardware. Software is their Achilles heel. Further, I think most of these Toyota drive-by-wire systems share the same code base.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:15 AM
 
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Default Toyota execs to Congress: Sticky gas pedals not the cause of unintended acceleration

Waxman reveals the gist of a meeting with Toyota officials:
Quote:
Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Stupak, chair of the Investigations Subcommittee, said that during a January 27, 2010 meeting with committee staff, Toyota executives said sticky gas pedals were probably not the cause of the more extreme incidents of acceleration, and that the actual causes of random acceleration were hard to pinpoint.

"Your public statements are different than the representations that Toyota officials made on January 27, 2010," Waxman and Stupak wrote in their letter. "When Committee staff inquired whether Toyota could be certain that floor mat entrapment and sticking accelerator pedals fully explained reports of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles, the Toyota officials present responded that causes of unintended acceleration are 'very, very hard to identify."

Furthermore," continued the letter, "Toyota officials indicated that sticking accelerator pedals are unlikely to be responsible for the sensational stories of drivers losing control over acceleration as their cars race to 60 miles per hour or higher. The officials said that condensation build-up in a 'sticky pedal' can cause the accelerator to become lodged in a slightly depressed position, but they said that this would not lead to full-throttle acceleration.

"The Toyota officials did tell the Committee staff that accelerator pedals entrapped by all-weather floor mats could cause high-speed acceleration. There are, however, well-publicized, high-speed unintended acceleration events in Toyota vehicles that do not appear to have been caused by all-weather floor mats."
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
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As has been pointed out, the title of the thread is misleading. Also, I found the title of the article to be misleading (and unfortunately, there are plenty of people who don't read the story but rather go just with the headline).

The problem with Prius brakes is being reported only on the 3rd generation of Prius, those sold since May of last year.
"The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has received about 100 complaints involving the brakes of the Prius new model."
I have an '06 Prius and have had no complaints, about the brakes or anything else with the car.

About the software ... I think there's a lot to what Wozniak says. Certainly, it's something that should be looked at carefully. Cars these days seem to be more computer than mechanical device, and the computers can make things happen so quickly that humans may not have time to respond appropriately.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:26 AM
 
Location: New Jersey
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Common folks let's give Toyota the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:29 AM
 
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The Truth About Cars takes apart CTS and Nippon Denso accelerator pedal assemblies, and finds cheap plastic parts in the Nippon Denso assembly:
Quote:
Subjective impressions of taking these two units apart are the opposite of what one typically would assume. The Denso unit feels “cheaper” in that the whole pivot bearing area is all plastic, and feels relatively more flimsy (that doesn’t necessarily mean it actually is). The CTS unit relies on very traditional steel and brass sleeve bearing that took some effort to take apart. The CTS pedal has no play or wiggle when assembled.

The big question is why Toyota completely redesigned the CTS unit from the older Denso unit. Perhaps they were actually trying to design a sturdier assembly because the Denso unit was in question. Perhaps the Denso unit is actually inferior in certain ways, but Toyota didn’t want to pay for new tooling to bring the Denso unit up to the newer CTS design? Source have told me that the Denso unit is likely to be recalled shortly, and the LA Times is reporting that there are known claims of pedal issues with the Japanese Denso unit.

From our perspective, it seems possible but rather highly unlikely that condensation is somehow causing the very solid CTS bearing pivot to lock up, given the spring tension and the units solidity. CTS claims it has only experienced a very limited degree of stiction at or near the idle point on a very few examples.

A key question is which unit was designed first. The CTS unit was used in Avalons since ‘05 MY. Apparently Denso units have been in use before that. The question being: why did Toyota design two such fundamentally different units, and is the latter one designed to address any deficiencies of the older one?
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Old 02-03-2010, 07:30 AM
 
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Well, I'm not a fan of Toyota, will never own one, but isn't electronics the 21st century car's achilles heel in general? You know, it's all good and great when it all works, but fast forward 10 years and it's prohibitive to overhaul electrics in vehicles. Windows, locks, wipers, ignition, sound, lighting, power profiles, the whole cotton-picking thing is a windows computer waiting to crash (no pun). Modern cars suffer the same issues as 5th generation fighters. They're fancy but aren't battle hardened and are mx-prohibitive. I rather drive my 00 jeep cherokee with power nothings and not have to buy a car worth of repairs everytime a plastic sensor goes kaput after being weathered for a decade. Manual window handles don't catch on fire and don't mke you look like a broke fool when attempting to go into a drive through window.....

As to Toyota, it's been noted before their production expansion was too fast to keep up with the qualitiy control industrial engineering processes they were known for in the 90s. As such, the new Toyota was cranking models and numbers at faster paces that their process could QC. Toyota is entering a decade of vehicles similar to the Ford of the 90s. You know, lighter weight, 5-year car-by-design crapola, front axle tire sagging ford explorer death traps. This time is not crappy tooling but shoddy electronics. Same symptom, different decade and thence different manifestation of the same process problem. They'll figure it out eventually, but they'll take a hit.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:09 AM
 
3,698 posts, read 10,760,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfrisco View Post
Common folks let's give Toyota the benefit of the doubt.
I'll be sure to do that as I am careening out of control with a wide-open drive-by-wire accelerator, unable to shift into neutral with my electronically controlled transmission, unable to turn off the engine with the push button on the dashboard, and unable to stop with the electronic brakes.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:08 AM
 
1,329 posts, read 3,266,406 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean98125 View Post
I'll be sure to do that as I am careening out of control with a wide-open drive-by-wire accelerator, unable to shift into neutral with my electronically controlled transmission, unable to turn off the engine with the push button on the dashboard, and unable to stop with the electronic brakes.
But of course. You wouldn't want your last thought before a fiery oblivion to be (in reference to Toyota) "a******s", would you?
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