Accelerated anxiety

  • Article by: SUZANNE ZIEGLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 24, 2010 - 7:25 AM

In the wake of the Toyota recall, past incidents are being re-examined and faith in the car company is dwindling. Customers are left only with frustration and few options in finding answers or compensation.

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onelesscarFeb. 24, 10 8:34 AM

I have had much better luck with domestic cars. Better quality for the dollar, not as flimsy and more ethical regarding recalls.

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fitzptjFeb. 24, 10 8:38 AM

http://video.ap.org/?f=None&pid=9FuuprYhPx5ox4T8mfkIRt4vQPavs203 Once this car started accelerating on its own she did switch off the cruise control, to no avail. She moved the shift lever to all available gear positions, including Neutral and Reverse, to no avail. She put on the emergency brake and had both feet on the brake pedal and it still accelerated to 100 mph. These new cars do not have mechanical linkages between the gas pedal and the engine throttle, nor do they have a direct mechanical linkage from the shift lever to the transmission. It is all controlled by electronic switches, sensors and the onboard computers. If they go flaky you can get a 100 mph ride like she did. She was very fortunate to not have been killed by this car possessed by the devil. The Toyota dealership belittled her husband when he brought it in for repairs. Great Customer Service, Toyota!!

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mahoneytFeb. 24, 10 8:45 AM

NO BAIL OUT! This is just another shoddy company that brought it on themselves.

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RanickFeb. 24, 1012:07 PM

is if there are no mechanical links from the brake pedal to the braking system. I definitely believe there are problems with unintended acceleration in Toyota cars and various other design problems that make the issue worse in an emergency, but there is no way...and I mean no way whatsoever, that any car Toyota makes can overpower the brakes with it's engine. The thing about this problem I find frustrating is there is no investigative journalism going on at all. Why is it that Car & Driver magazine is the only place I've seen definitive tests on this issue? Here is what they came up with: the test car is a Camry (a recalled model). Braking results from 70mph with NO throttle 174 feet. Braking results with FULL throttle from 70mph is 190 feet. Not much of a difference, and no surprise to any engineer. The brakes on any modern car are capable of producing much more power than their engines can deliver. Thinking of this in layman's terms, imagine how many feet it takes to stop your car from 60mph, and then think of the distance it take to accelerate to 60mph, even if you drive a high performance car accelerate distance will be many times greater...this is a clear demonstration of brakes being many times more powerful than the engine. When I read about someone standing on the brakes but the car didn't even slow down...I'm sorry but I just don't believe it. It is not possible. What is possible is that they panicked and pushed the wrong pedal or were so focused on steering the car and what was going on outside the car that they didn't push the brakes at all. This does not mean I think the drivers are at fault...it is definitely Toyota's fault. I think when this all comes out in the wash and the NTSB finally conducts experiments, it will be apparent that unintended acceleration caused the majority of crashes and that many of the crashes were exacerbated by driver error. I think the real concern here could be the Prius, which I think may have an electronic connection to it's brakes. That should be illegal in my opinion.

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gopher4lifeFeb. 24, 10 1:33 PM

I find it difficult to believe that if someone is 'genuinely' concerned for their safety would continue to drive that car and hope for the best? It's like playing Russian Roulette. Either they are not that concern or they are and extremely foolish. Is $10k worth risking your life if you feel you are truly in a life and death situation?

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reasonable2Feb. 24, 10 2:35 PM

"If I were you, I'd leave here and get that car. If it costs you $100,000.00, GET THAT CAR!"

wiser words were never spoken. The examination needs to be done on the culprit machine.

Is this another "Too big to fail" company? I trust they will do everything in their power to fix this, but buyers will be leery for awhile.

GM and Ford seem fine to me.

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iamtheeFeb. 24, 10 4:01 PM

Moving Forward.......FAST!

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bottomlineFeb. 24, 10 5:58 PM

As the new owners of Government Motors (GM) hopes it (the faith and trust) transfers over to them (to GM).

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purplepigFeb. 24, 10 8:05 PM

I will happily buy another Toyota (if mine ever wears out).

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purplepigFeb. 24, 10 8:09 PM

http://www.caranddriver.com/features/09q4/how_to_deal_with_unintended_acceleration-tech_dept

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