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  (Source: Toyota)
Toyota says some dealers will be open 24-hours a day to make repairs

In late January, Toyota announced that it would be suspending the sale of the Camry, one of the top selling Toyota vehicles, along with seven other models. The reason for the suspension was due to an issue with the throttle pedal that could cause the pedal to stick leading to vehicles that don’t return to idle when the driver removes his or her foot from the pedal.

At the time the recall and sales suspension was announced Toyota stated, "Toyota has investigated isolated reports of sticking accelerator pedal mechanisms in certain vehicles without the presence of floor mats. There is a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position."

Toyota announced today that it has a plan to fix all vehicles covered by the accelerator pedal recall. The cause of the sticking pedals has been identified. Toyota reports that the issue with sticking pedals involves a friction device used in the pedal design to provide the proper pedal feel by introducing more resistance and making the pedal steady and stable in use. The friction device includes a shoe that rubs against an adjoining surface during normal operation. However, Toyota has determined that in some instances and environments the materials that the surfaces of the friction device can wear, and in some instances lead to the pedal being slow to return to idle or leaving the throttle partially open.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety and reliability of the vehicles our customers drive,” said Jim Lentz, president and Chief Operating Officer, TMS.  “We deeply regret the concern that our recalls have caused for our customers and we are doing everything we can – as fast as we can – to make things right. Stopping production is never an easy decision, but we are 100% confident it was the right decision. We know what’s causing the sticking accelerator pedals, and we know what we have to do to fix it. We also know it is most important to fix this problem in the cars on the road.”

The solution to the problem according to Toyota is a precision-cut steel reinforcement bar that will be installed into the friction assembly reducing the surface tension between the two surfaces of the device, eliminating excess friction that can cause the pedal to stick. Toyota says that it has confirmed the effectiveness of the new reinforced pedal assemblies through rigorous testing of pedals that were prone to stick before.

Lentz added, “We are focused on making this recall as simple and trouble-free as possible, and will work day and night with our dealers to fix recalled vehicles quickly. We want to demonstrate that our commitment to safety is as high as ever and that our commitment to our customers is unwavering.”

Toyota is suspending production of all affected vehicles for the week starting February 1 and is working with its dealer network to provide additional hours for consumers to get affected vehicles fixed. Toyota reports that some of its dealers will be operating 24 hours a day to fix affected vehicles covered under the recall.



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Software upgrade?
By DUA1939 on 2/1/2010 12:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
My questions are:
1. Would moving car out of gear from drive to neutral work when gas is stuck?
2. Would turning off ignition work?
IF the above don’t work when computer thinks the accelerator is down, then that’s a major problem and I would not set foot in a car like that. However if the above works, then it’s a matter of people thinking fast in a situation and doing 1 or 2, yes I know, easier said than done when in panic.
However there should also be some software upgrade done to automatically override the gas pedal signal if the brake is also depressed, taking the gas pedal back to idle position in the computers mind. These systems are all drive by wire, there should have been a more redundant safety system. Other than a stuck mechanical problem, what if there was a short? The software fix would cover all of the above, mechanical (rug or not) and shorts.
Personally I never cared for drive by wire and fly by wire. There has to be some extra safety built in to cover all “what if” situations.




RE: Software upgrade?
By mlmiller1 on 2/1/2010 1:42:52 PM , Rating: 1
1. The engine will ether redline or bounce off rev limiter. If it redlines you will likely harm the engine.

2. If then engine is completely turned off, and you have an automatic transmission, you will loose power bakes and power steering (while the engine is not turning). If your not a rather strong individual then this is a bad situation.

I would if driving a manual transmission, leave in gear and turn off ignition and even down shift to a stop. If an automatic transmission I would try to modulate the engine speed by turning on and off the ignition.


RE: Software upgrade?
By Thats Mr Gopher to you on 2/1/2010 2:21:28 PM , Rating: 5
1. I don't think you're too worried about harming your engine when your vehicle is accelerating to your imminent doom! :P. That said, yeah, taking the vehicle out of gear works fine to stop the vehicles.

2. With the engine turned off, regardless of automatic or manual transmission, you will lose power steering and brake assist (unless you have electric power steering). If you are strong enough to lift your own pants up in the morning than you are strong enough to control the vehicle to a stop without these systems.

Oh and @DUA1939 it's not a computer problem, it's a mechanical problem so no software fix but you'd probably have to have read the article to have known that and really who reads more than the headlines before going straight to comments?


RE: Software upgrade?
By DUA1939 on 2/1/2010 3:11:32 PM , Rating: 4
I understand it's a mechanical issue. The point is that the mechanical issue can be overcome in software in these drive by wire systems. That is if it's stuck wide open, and a person hits the brakes, it should "assume" there is a problem, and idle the gas. I think the brake signal should take priority over the gas signal as far as car computer goes. Yea, this might kill the ability to do burn outs (if even possible with these cars), but so what?

As far as power brakes and steering? Once engine is off there is also the emergency brake. I don't think anyone going to do a uturn when all they want to do is stop. So not a lot of steering effort would be needed especially if car is in motion. I've had my share of failed power steering systems, it's not that bad.


RE: Software upgrade?
By DUA1939 on 2/1/2010 3:25:05 PM , Rating: 2
I did say "However there should also be some software upgrade done " operative word being "also". I never said the problem is caused by software, but a software fix might help.


RE: Software upgrade?
By DUA1939 on 2/2/2010 6:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
Last post here, regarding "software" and Toyota:

http://www.tomsguide.com/us/Steve-Wozniak-Prius-Ac...


RE: Software upgrade?
By IcePickFreak on 2/1/2010 8:37:11 PM , Rating: 2
While this obviously needs to be fixed, if something like that happens in any automatic car, throw the car in neutral and then gently brake/pull off the road. An automatic should let you shift in neutral for this reason - I've never come across one that wouldn't.

Yes, it's not good for the car especially if the is accelerating (transmission probably won't like it), and obviously not for the engine since it'll bounce off the rev limited. But hitting something at 100+mph isn't going to save the motor/transmission either.


RE: Software upgrade?
By sigmatau on 2/1/2010 11:08:47 PM , Rating: 2
You can actualy just press the brakes and the car will stop just a little bit longer than if the engine was not trying to accelerate. On a Camry, if you just ignored everything else going on in the car, if you just used the brakes, you can stop the car about 10-20 feet longer than if you tried it without the car's engine going crazy.

Many of these cars have push ignitions so it may not be obvious how to turn it off during an emergency. You have to hold the ignition button for about 4 seconds to cut the engine which could be an eternity in an accident.

Shifting to neutral would be the obvious thing to do. All cars kill the engine's power transfer to the wheels when you go into neutral. Your engine may still be revving if you do this but who cares?

So best bet is neutral/brakes imo.


RE: Software upgrade?
By kkwst2 on 2/2/2010 1:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Apparently in some instances people are claiming that they could not overcome the acceleration with the brakes, but these are the same people who couldn't think enough to put he car in neutral, so I'm not sure I believe it.

This is obviously a problem, but the lack of common sense out there is a little disappointing. Didn't we all take a couple minutes to think out what we'd do in this situation the first time we heard about this. I know I did.

In order...brakes, neutral, e-brake, kill ignition, and last ditch effort look for a sand pit or barrier to grind the side of the car against if all else fails....but I have a hard time believing you'd ever have to come to that!


RE: Software upgrade?
By Finnkc on 2/2/2010 10:09:59 AM , Rating: 2
what? redline does not mean the car blows up. The rev limiter is there for a reason. if the car was to be harmed because it bounced on the limiter for a few moments then they would set the limiter lower wouldn't they?
Also this is Toyota ... they can make F1 motors last a few hours at 19,000 rpm ... I think they have a knowledge to keep a Corolla from burning up at 6800 rpm for a few mins.

ultimately - if you can't work around sticky peddles while in motion, then please drop your license off at the nearest garbage bin and go back and get some driver training.


RE: Software upgrade?
By theapparition on 2/1/2010 3:53:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
However there should also be some software upgrade done to automatically override the gas pedal signal if the brake is also depressed, taking the gas pedal back to idle position in the computers mind.

You've just effectively eliminated most cars from staging properly at the 1/4 mile track. Auto cars stand on brakes, give it gas until RPM's hit the sweet spot, and then wait for the tree. Manual cars even need the front brakes for burnouts.

But then again, don't see too many Toyotas at the track.


RE: Software upgrade?
By EasyC on 2/3/2010 12:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
My track car is a Toyota, but is also stick.


RE: Software upgrade?
By Souka on 2/1/2010 3:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
My questions are:
1. Would moving car out of gear from drive to neutral work when gas is stuck?
2. Would turning off ignition work?


Well some people might actually do this...but some don't.

I recall a news story on TV a few weeks ago in which a 911 call was played back...3 people in a Toyota, passenger called 911. Conversation lasted quite a while...the 911 operator told them to turn off ignition, apply brake, put into neutral... The driver didn't...car crashed, killing all three.

If driver hadn't paniced, they would've been fine....likely the driver probably braced themself against the gas pedal and resulted in a crash.

That story really hit home for me... just pure amazement that the driver had THREE quick fixes to the problem, but did nothing...and had PLENTY of time to do it. Not a second or two... but I seem to recall the passenger and 911 operator having a conversation for 15+ seconds before the crash.

So add 15seconds..plus time to call...just amazing..

And the front pasenger could've done something too...but didn't.

oh well... just thoguht to share my ramblings... dont hate me.

:)


RE: Software upgrade?
By Souka on 2/1/2010 4:01:10 PM , Rating: 2
Oh here... 51 second conversation

"we're going 120"

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=7017760


RE: Software upgrade?
By piroroadkill on 2/2/2010 3:43:53 AM , Rating: 2
Toyota has reintroduced natural selection!


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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