Wikinvest Wire

More bad timing for Toyota

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

On the same day that company officials mounted a defense of their handling of Toyotas' acceleration problems, a Prius in San Diego has to be corralled by a California Highway Patrol officer, the driver clearly petrified and just thankful to have survived.

At about the 1:55 mark, check out that lady CHP officer with what looks like a mullet. Is that Garth from Saturday Night Live? With a few extra pounds?

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disinter said...

Why would the driver not simply turn off the key or take the car out of gear? Are American drivers so stupid that they only know one thing; how to call 911? Maybe so, but I don’t buy it! Anyone who believes this story really happened as reported should contact me immediately because I have some oceanfront property for sale here in Montana!

Chuck Ponzi said...


My Corvette has the same problem. It's constantly accelerating out of control. Sometimes as high as 130 before I can calm it down and control it.


Dan said...

If you remove your key, don't you also lock the steering column?

Tim said...

As I understand it, you're supposed to practice putting the car in neutral so that, when it does accelerate out of control, you will be more likely to be able to overcome your overwhelming natural inclination to step on the breaks as hard as you can and when that doesn't work to step on them even harder.

Anonymous said...

Load of nonsense. "Unintended acceleration" claims pop up about every ten years. Audi had to deal with similar claims in the 80s and almost gave up marketing in the US because of it. We're now in the stage of hysterical news stories and various cranks testifying about supposed causes. If Toyota was a UAW shop they'd be getting a bailout, not an investigation.

disinter said...

Another good point:

"if the driver of the “out-of-control” Prius called 911, one also wonders why the cops did not instruct him to put the car in neutral and apply the brakes instead of sending out a squad car and alerting the local media."

John S said...

My understanding is that the shift lever also is fly-by-wire. Put the selector in neutral, the computer ignores it and stays in gear. Also many newer cars are keyless, the same button starts and stops the engine – if the computer feels like it. Ironically, it’s probably electronic leakage from the cellphone that causes the computer to go haywire.

If I owned a Toyota, I’d quicky rig up an under dash toggle switch to short out the ignition system. There’s much to be said for manual transmissions, carburetors, throttle cables, and BIG ASS throttle return springs. I'm just getting old, but there's no reason for a Toyota Corolla to be twice as complicated as the Space Shuttle.

Anonymous said...

I rented a Toyota Yaris on a trip and I noticed that it would accelerate sometimes when I didn't want it to (this happened before all this news last year).

When it did that it was a little alarming and to stop it I would have to push the accelerator even more and take my foot off to get it to "reset".

Having experienced it first hand I would guess the problem is a faulty sensor that doesn't always detect the "reduced pressure". Or perhaps data loss to the computer. Dropped "decelerate" packets.

Anonymous said...

Also if the brakes are fly by wire as well, you'd think that the software would be smart enough to slow the engine to idle when the brakes were pressed.

disinter said...

It looks like this was a hoax of the balloon boy variety:

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