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The message from NHTSA on Toyota should be...

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:38 pm
by MSI
The messages emanating from the press and NHTSA on the Toyota situation are confusing and inflammatory.

There are a couple of important points which have been left out of the whole Toyota discussion:
  • 1) The braking system in 'modern day' vehicles will slow and stop most, if not all, vehicles with a Wide Open Throttle (WOT). I have seen demonstrations of the brakes overcoming WOT at various starting speeds and with a number of different vehicles. I have not seen it tested with the specific Toyotas, however I expect the Toyota braking system can overcome the WOT.
    2) Many WOT cases involve misidentification of the pedal (see information on the Audi 5000). The driver simply continues to 'slam' on what they think is the brake, but what is actually the gas pedal, so the vehicle does not slow down and stop.
    3) Pumping the brake with anti-lock brakes is wrong. Anti-lock braking systems already pump the brakes for you. For low friction cases some drivers trained on pre-anti-lock braking systems had instructions to pump the brakes (to prevent brake lockup in the older vehicles). DO NOT pump the brakes with anti-lock brakes (you might lift your fiit off once to see if 'the brakes' are actually 'the gas pedal' (per item 2 above)
    4) Using the `parking brake' may also be a wrong. It is not an `emergency brake' as has been identified in many articles related to the Toyotas. Using the 'parking brake' may result in the vehicle swapping ends (a locked end wants to lead! see information on the GM X-Cars) depending on the type and configuration of the vehicle and how the `parking brake' is implemented..
    5) Turning the vehicle off does not disable steering and braking. It merely disables the power assist for steering and braking.
    6) Before driving ANY vehicle you should familiarize yourself with the On/Off system and the shifting system. How do you turn it off while in motion? What happens? How do you shift into neutral while in motion? What happens? Do these things in an open parking lot or long street wihout traffic to familiarize yourself with the vehicle.
With these items correctly conveyed to the Toyota (and other vehicle) driving public by the Press and NHTSA, then the whole stigma/panic of WOT will be reduced to a possible inconvenience which is all it should be.
I have investigated many 'unintended acceleration' cases over the years.
I have also been in several different vehicles where the gas pedal has become stuck and the vehicle remains or goes into Wide Open Throttle (WOT). In those cases (from 10, 20 & 23 years ago) I was able to reach down and untangle the gas pedal and then proceed as usual.

Re: The message from NHTSA on Toyota should be...

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:18 am
by MSI
in reference it item 1) above: The braking system in 'modern day' vehicles will slow and stop most, if not all, vehicles with a Wide Open Throttle (WOT
Car & Driver ran some tests as part of their article How To Deal With Unintended Acceleration - Tech Dept.
"With the Camry’s throttle pinned while going 70 mph, the brakes easily overcame all 268 horsepower straining against them and stopped the car in 190 feet—that’s a foot shorter than the performance of a Ford Taurus without any gas-pedal problems and just 16 feet longer than with the Camry’s throttle closed. From 100 mph, the stopping-distance differential was 88 feet—noticeable to be sure, but the car still slowed enthusiastically enough to impart a feeling of confidence. We also tried one go-for-broke run at 120 mph, and, even then, the car quickly decelerated to about 10 mph before the brakes got excessively hot and the car refused to decelerate any further. So even in the most extreme case, it should be possible to get a car’s speed down to a point where a resulting accident should be a low-speed and relatively minor event."
With respect to item 3 above "Pumping the brake with anti-lock brakes is wrong"
From another article by Car&Driver Toyota Recall: Scandal, Media Circus, and Drivers - Editorial "if the accelerator is floored and the car is in gear, repeated stabs at the pedal and modulation of speed with the brake will eventually overheat the brakes and cause them to fail. Pumping the brakes is a bad idea beyond the overheating issue. When the throttle is stuck open, the engine isn’t producing sufficient vacuum to enable power assist for the brakes, so press the brake pedal firmly once and don’t let up. (Some allege that electromagnetic interference could be causing the electronic throttles in Toyotas to become stuck open; this is completely unsubstantiated. It’s also possible that alien tractor beams are to blame.) "

Re: The message from NHTSA on Toyota should be...

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:00 am
by MSI
Be sure to also see the thread Toyota Disputes critic Gilbert who blamed electronics for a detailed presentation on the parlor trick used by Gilbert in the shamefull ABC News 'parlor trick' demonstration.
Such irresponsible news reporting is in keeping in line with other legendary parlor tricks presented as facts: Shame on these news organizations!

Re: The message from NHTSA on Toyota should be...

Posted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 9:36 pm
by MSI
Great summary of some of the other shameless staged 'news' stories over the years are contained on an article from Walter Olson, National review from June 1993 It Didn't Start With Dateline NBC
highlights include:
  • JUNE 1978, at the height of the Ford Pinto outcry, ABC's 20/20 reported "startling new developments" See the link for how they staged Fords in the crash films burst into flame: there was an incendiary device under it!

    December 1980, 60 Minutes reported that the small army-style "CJ" Jeep was dangerously apt to roll over--not only in emergencies but "even in routine road circumstances at relatively low speeds." skillful stunt drivers can tip over many sorts of vehicles on purpose. Chrysler/AMC, which makes the Jeep, sends out a tape in which this trick is performed on various stock cars and trucks, including a Toyota Corolla, a Ford Bronco, and a Datsun 4 x 4 pickup.

    March 1981,Emmy-winning 60 Minutes segment in revealing how the most common type of tire rim used on heavy trucks can fly off, killing or maiming tire mechanics and other bystanders.

    1986 60 Minutes's attack on the Audi 5000