[Masthead] Mostly Cloudy ~ 86°F  
High: 85°F ~ Low: 61°F
Thursday, July 24, 2014

Unneeded spin on Toyota crashes

Posted Monday, March 8, 2010, at 9:30 AM

Here's an example of spin control, but is it the right approach?

Toyota today plans to try to recreate an incident in which, according to a critic, its "drive-by-wire" gas pedal system can malfunction and cause uncontrollable acceleration.

Handling the "re-creation" will be an individual from an auto research center funded by manufacturers including Toyota.

According to an Associated Press story, it's "part of a broad campaign...to discredit critics."

That's the last thing Toyota needs to be doing at this point. The people I saw testifying before Congress seemed sincere, and the evidence of crashes is proof something's wrong.

I've had enough of large manufacturers -- all types, not just cars -- who run into safety problems, play nice for awhile then eventually try to discredit those who suffered.

I personally would feel comfortable buying a Toyota. I know several people with late-model Toyotas, including my parents who drive an '09 Camry to Mississippi monthly and another relative who just bought a new Venza, and none have reported any problems.

That comfort level may fall a little if Toyota shows too much of a corporate attitude. I can understand their concern about their reputation, but too much defensiveness can just cause more damage.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Speaking of unnecessary, I am not impressed with the reasons for drive by wire accelerators in the first place.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 9:54 AM

I feel we need to support as many AMERICAN companies as we can, when given the chance. That is one way the average person can assist in getting manufacturing back to America. We can not all afford to open businesses but by supporting them we will show that we want them HERE, not over seas. This is not the first time Toyota has shown they do not care about anything but profits. Buy American, and support the country our brave troops are over there fighting for. It is disgusting to see foreign car with "Proud parent of.... " navy, marine, army or which ever. Their child is over there risking their lives for America and that parent is giving their support to another country. Same goes for anyone claiming to support our troops with stickers on their non American cars. Show your support with real support if you want it to mean anything.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 12:32 PM

Toyota's manufacturing plant is in Kentucky. Nissan is in Smyrna. They are employing AMERICAN workers.

-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 1:11 PM

I'm wondering if my electronic gas pedal might be controlling another car close by. Somewhat similar to garage door openers opening another garage. The more traffic the more possible if lots of cars are on the road.Electronics is good up to a point where frequency's start bleeding over.

-- Posted by Cal t on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 1:57 PM

More demand for American made products will create more demand for American manufacturing, and thus increase the need for American workers. American businesses enhance the "American" economy, not forign ones.

Buy American, support our country not theirs.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 2:21 PM

Percentage-wise how many of the "foreign" makers had to receive bailout money?

Lots of supposedly American cars are actually produced in Canada or Mexico.

-- Posted by quietmike on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 2:34 PM

"""

Toyota Financial Services has reportedly applied for loans equaling $2 billion (200 billion yen) from the state-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Much of these funds would presumably be used to lend money to new car buyers in the United States, Toyota's largest and most profitable market. If granted, Toyota would join American automakers General Motors and Chrysler on the bailout bandwagon.""""

As reported here:

www.autoblog.com/2009/03/03/report-toyot...

So whats your point??? If they need help let them get from THEIR country.... After all that is where the profits go.

Same as the profits from our plants in other country's end up here.

Years ago it was reported that some of the foreign companies were actually selling cars at a loss to get a foot hold in this country - I don't have actual sites to back that right now but I remember well the stories going around at the time in the news. They have absolutely no loyalty to this country.

Buy American, support OUR country not theirs.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 3:50 PM

Wonderwhy,

I would gladly support your "buy American" mantra if the quality of the big three automaker's cars were on par with Japanese manufacturing. Additionally, as "quietmike" stated, many of these Toyota's are assembled in the United States by Americans. Do you care about their jobs? I would challenge you to read Consumer Reports for non-biased auto reviews. Toyota, Honda and Nissan lead the pack when it comes to quality, although I must say that Ford has made some significant strides.

-- Posted by MarcmissesTN on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 4:13 PM

I did fail to mention that the recalled Toyota cars have been taken off of Consumer Reports "recommended" list until a verified solution is produced.

-- Posted by MarcmissesTN on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 4:14 PM

May I point out how reliable those "reports" are to have had those cars on the top of those list to begin with? These cars have had the problems for many years, yet those "unbiased Consumers Reports" have put them in top spots, how reliable is their information if they have been doing that? They are either paid off or unreliable to do proper testing and consumer research. Obviously those top cars were very flawed, very unreliable. Sound like the reports are not all they are cracked up to be. Very odd don't you think? Toyota has known and covered up the problems, and you trust your family to them. What other test are they covering up? What other safety issue are there? If they had fixed it when they found out and not hidden it that would be different but they CHOSE to endanger our people out of their greed. They do not deserve any AMERICAN LOYALTY they threw that away when they intentionally covered up the dangers and knowingly allowed our people to be hurt by doing so.

It is true for a while car quality was down, THAT WAS A LONG TIME AGO, and that is not the case anymore. When was the last time you actually owned an American car? We have always, and have never had a bad car. But then again we take care of them, we do not abuse them. Any car will break down when not properly maintained. All companies have lemons from time to time, and all cars need to be taken proper care of or they will have problems.

Many of the reports rely on consumer opinions and there has for years been a huge bias against American companies. There is a a huge movement to break the unions, and a lot of money spent to do so, one way to do that is to bring down the big 3. We know that money can influence just about everything. Money can buy just about anything,including "unbiased reports".

I am very concerned about the workers of all the car plants,and the millions of related jobs, where was your concern when it was the AMERICAN CAR WORKERS? Did you ask about what would happen to them, or is your concern biased?

Those who have bought the lobbyist and media agenda to break the big 3 will not change,those who are not willing to admit to fact that American cars are good reliable vehicles and refuse to buy one, they have their bias firmly planted. They follow the pack and will not step out and take a stand for America's best interested.

To them I say drive what you want, support the county that bombed Pearl Harbor, Germany who kill millions of innocents, or Korea, proudly drive and show where your loyalties lay.Maybe they will get lucky and Ben Laden will start a company for them to back also. BUT DO NOT INSULT OUR BRAVE TROOPS AND THOSE LOYAL TO AMERICA BY PUTTING OUR AMERICAN FLAG ON YOUR FOREIGN CARS.

BUY AMERICAN WHEN IT'S AVAILABLE,AND CREATE THE NEED FOR OUR MANUFACTURING JOBS TO RETURN, AND SHOW THE ONES STILL HERE WE WANT THEM TO STAY. DON'T SELL US OUT TO OTHER COUNTRIES ANY MORE THAN WE ALL READY have been..

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 8:44 PM

Oh and had Toyota not been found out and forced to take action your "reliable" reports would still put them on the tops of their list wouldn't they -

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, Mar 8, 2010, at 8:47 PM

Wow Quietmike: 1 plant in Kentucky and 1 in Smyrna. How many people are employed in those two plants? In my area we had 4 GM plants and 12 auto suppliers working full throttle at one time. (pun intended Toyota) They employed "thousands" of workers. Now we have 2 suppliers and no GM plants left open. Imagine the impact on this area and so many others in this country. Do I say "Buy American"? Of course I do. Just like wonderwhy I support "OUR" auto industry. Why not ask Mr. Toyoda" (funny he spells his name differently-hmm)where the profits from his so called "AMERICAN" plants go. I'm sure he puts them right back into our economy, right? If you believe that there's a bridge to Japan he would like to sell ya!!! Oh sure, those few american workers you speak of may spend their paychecks here ( groceries, gas etc) but the big money is going right back to good old Japan. Really boosts our economy huh ! Come on, get real here. Oh, by the way, do a google search. Very intresting as to how much those awesome foreign auto companies gave their support during 9-11 or Katrina. Yep, go buy that foreign car!!

-- Posted by up north on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 5:51 AM

I was watching a news special one night about 2 weeks ago. It was about the Toyota car. A man and his family were coing home from chruch when his car would not stop. He hit another car and killed all the family but the father. He keeped telling them that it was not his fault and his car wouuld not stop. He went to prison and he has been in there for 3 years I believe. Now that this has come out about the Toyota they checked his car and he was telling the truth. They are tring to get a new trial to get him out of jail.

-- Posted by rebelrosecountrymom on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 9:21 AM

I'm curious where your TVs, clothes, cell phones, etc come from if you only "buy American."

-- Posted by Chad O on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 9:28 AM

Now Chad, common sense tells us we do not always have a choice, you know that. You also know that this is a weak excuse to not hold yourself accountable for your choices. When was the last time you even attempted to choose American over other?

Now go back and reread the posts, you know no one said they only buy American. You are manipulating the messages intentionally. What I said was to buy American where we can and by doing so we will creat the need for more manufacturing to return to America.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 10:24 AM

yet another run away Toyota, yet some of you still sell out to them.......... sad.

Runaway Prius Takes Driver for 94 MPH Ride

Updated: 4 hours 26 minutes ago

Print Text Size

E-mail More

AP

EL CAJON, Calif. (March 8) -- A California Highway Patrol officer helped slow a runaway Toyota Prius from 94 mph to a safe stop on Monday after the car's accelerator became stuck on a San Diego County freeway, the CHP said.

Prius driver James Sikes called 911 about 1:30 p.m. after accelerating to pass another vehicle on Interstate 8 near La Posta and finding that he could not control his car, the CHP said.

"I pushed the gas pedal to pass a car and it did something kind of funny... it jumped and it just stuck there," the 61-year-old driver said at a news conference. "As it was going, I was trying the brakes...it wasn't stopping, it wasn't doing anything and it just kept speeding up," Sikes said, adding he could smell the brakes burning he was pressing the pedal so hard.

A patrol car pulled alongside the Prius and officers told Sikes over a loudspeaker to push the brake pedal to the floor and apply the emergency brake.

"They also got it going on a steep upgrade," said Officer Jesse Udovich. "Between those three things, they got it to slow down."

After the car decelerated to about 50 mph, Sikes turned off the engine and coasted to a halt.

The officer then maneuvered his car in front of the Prius as a precautionary block, Udovich said.

In a statement, Toyota said it has dispatched a field technical specialist to San Diego to investigate the incident.

Toyota has recalled some 8.5 million vehicles worldwide - more than 6 million in the United States - since last fall because of acceleration problems in multiple models and braking issues in the Prius.

Toyota owners have complained of their vehicles speeding out of control despite efforts to slow down, sometimes resulting in deadly crashes. The government has received complaints of 34 deaths linked to sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles since 2000.

One of the crashes claimed the life of a CHP officer last August.

Off-duty CHP Officer Mark Saylor was killed along with his wife, her brother and the couple's daughter after their Lexus' accelerator got stuck in La Mesa.

The Toyota-manufactured loaner vehicle slammed into a sport utility vehicle at about 100 mph, careened off the freeway, hit an embankment, overturned and burst into flames.

Filed under: Nation, Top Stories

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 10:25 AM

http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/art...

-- Posted by quietmike on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 1:36 PM

I think the editorial "quietmike" posted says it all. Thanks for sharing.

-- Posted by MarcmissesTN on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 4:21 PM

Toyota HID the problems for YEARS, they KNOWINGLY allowed the cars to be sold, KNOWING people wold be hurt or killed. TOYOTA had to be forced to be responsible. GM was up front, they came forward and did what was right, they did not have to be forced into it, they did not try to hide it. BIG DIFFERENCE. All car companies have had problems that needed to be called in and fixed, but not all of them cover it up at the expense of American lives.

Once again go drive and support the country that bombed us, show everyone where your loyalties lie every time you turn that key and pull out on the road. BUT DO NOT INSULT THE TROOPS THAT ARE RISKING THIER LIVES FOR YOU AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE AND RESPECT AMERICA BY PUTTING OUR AMERICAN FLAG ON YOUR FOREIGN CARS, THAT WOULD BE THE SAME AS SPITTING IN THE FACES OF THOSE WHO LOVE THIS COUNTRY ENOUGH TO STAND BY HER.

You can come up with all sorts of the puppet rhetoric but the fact is when you buy their cars you support their economies. Like I said before hang in there maybe Ben Laden will build a car company so you can back that country too, they did after all bombed our country too, just like Japan.

BUY AMERICAN WHEN YOU CAN, IT WILL HELP BRING THE MANUFACTURING JOBS BACK TO AMERICA,(even though we have so many who really just don't care about AMERICA ,OUR country, they will continue to sell us out to those who would just as soon bomb us, and then complain about the condition of our economy) IF WE MAKE THE DEMAND FOR AMERICAN PRODUCTS THEN THERE WILL BE A MARKET FOR THE MANUFACTURING TO RETURN.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 5:49 PM

wonderwhy,

I'm an American, who drives a Nissan. Most of my family does. Toyota has multiple plants in the United States, as does Nissan, Honda and now Hyundai and Kia. You shouldn't forget that each of the manufacturers not only employ American's in their respective plants, but they employ American's in all of the supplier manufacturing facilities, and all of the dealerships who sell these cars. It's not a sin to buy a "foreign-made car" whatsoever, however, we all know that many of the "foreign automakers" are made with more parts, sold to more people and made more efficiently, all in America.

Btw, each of these companies have already "brought manufacturing jobs to America" while the domestic automakers CHOSE to build their factories in other countries.... nobody forced them to do that. You act like Japan and the United States are still enemies. If we were to truly live by the prejudices and grudges you seem to hold, progress would never happen. If we were to somehow "avoid" business or products with every country we have had a qualm with, our capitalist economy wouldn't exist. Btw, we were at war with Germany, Japan, and the Korea's; hell we were at war with OURSELVES (Civil War), so by your logic we shouldn't buy any car, period.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 8:25 PM

I think I found something I agree with darrick_04 on. I'm all for buy American, which is why I own my Nissan pathfinder, most likely made over in Smyrna.

-- Posted by Sharon22 on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 8:45 PM

You still seem to forget, that the profits go to those countries not ours. You are backing their economy at the expense of Americas.

I have nothing against those countries, but we need to back OUR country first, we need to bring manufacturing (whose proceeds go to America) back to America, we need to create jobs here. We need to back our countries businesses. Just because a company assembles a car here does not make them an American company. I hold no prejudices and grudges, I just prefer to support the country our troops are fighting for,

Again, we need to support America, we need to buy American when we can to help bring the manufacturing back and create more jobs. As we make the demand for American made products known there will be more businesses opening up to produce them for us. Any time you buy a foreign car, or product the profits go to their country, you are contributing to their economy rather than ours. Demand creates the opportunities.

Buy American, support OUR country not theirs. It's about loyalty to America.

These foreign cars do not actually have more American content, they ship parts to Canada then on to here so they can claim them as North American content.

It your choice to back our country or theirs. Just don't complain about the job situation if your not willing to back this country and help bring manufacturing back. BUY AMERICAN.....SUPPORT AMERICA......if we don;t no one else is going to do it for us.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 9:21 PM

"When was the last time you even attempted to choose American over other?"

-wonderwhy

I owned 3 Chevy trucks before buying a Nissan Titan in 2005. I have been alot happier with my Nissan than any of the Chevys.

Also here is some food for thought...

"The Chevy Aveo, for example, is built in Korea with 1 percent domestic parts. Chrysler's recently discontinued PT Cruiser was built in Mexico, with a domestic-parts content of just 27 percent. Its GM doppelganger, the Chevy HHR, also hails from south of the border, with a domestic-parts content rating of 50 percent. Detroit's latest muscle cars, the 2010 Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro, have a middling 60 percent domestic content, while their crosstown rival, the Dodge Challenger, comes in at 56 percent. Of the three, the Mustang is the only car built here; the Challenger and Camaro are assembled in Canada."

from this article

http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?...

-- Posted by Chad O on Wed, Mar 10, 2010, at 10:09 AM

They are still AMERICAN owned companies, thus at the end of the day the profits go toward our economy vrs other countries. Support what ever country you choose. I choose AMERICA.............BUY AMERICAN, BRING OUR COUNTRY BACK

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Wed, Mar 10, 2010, at 10:35 AM

wwonderwhy,

It's clear you are no economist and have no clue how corporations work.

**Newsflash** Manufacturing is NOT coming back to the states - at least until there is a reversal of tax policies and labor costs. Any corporation that would pay $20/hr +for line labor doesn't deserve to stay in business anyway.

-- Posted by gottago on Wed, Mar 10, 2010, at 11:29 AM

Workers whining that $25+/hr isn't good enough, that someone else should have to pay for all their healthcare as well or they'd all go on strike. Workers who lost sight of the realities of free market competition in the world and thought they could ignore hard work and quality for decades are now reaping the crop they sowed years ago with massive layoffs and plant closings.

A smart person would see the parallels between this and the current obamacare debate.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Mar 10, 2010, at 1:16 PM

YOU SAID THEY SHOULD FIND BETTER JOBS SO THEY DID NOW YOUR WHINING ABOUT THAT... Go back to the pencil factory or where ever your from. You just want to complain

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Wed, Mar 10, 2010, at 6:39 PM

I am not the one demanding someone else subsidize my foolishness. I have been very consistent on these blogs that everyone should be left alone to suffer the consequences of their actions, whether good or bad.

-- Posted by quietmike on Wed, Mar 10, 2010, at 10:30 PM

Why didn't the driver's of these "runaway vehicles" have enough sense to shift into neutral, turn off the ignition, or hit the brakes?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiSQeaeWx...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II_03lbr-...

-- Posted by quietmike on Thu, Mar 11, 2010, at 12:48 PM

quietmike,

I have been wondering the same thing. It leads me to think the problem is electronic in nature. All it would take is a glitch in the programming for the car not to recognize that the driver is breaking, shifting, or even turning off the key. It seems in most of the stories they have at least tried hitting the breaks. And I assume some "runaways" hit another car or barrier before the driver could react. Sudden acceleration in a parking lot could be disaster even if the brakes are applied in response to it.

-- Posted by Chad O on Fri, Mar 12, 2010, at 9:10 AM

Some drivers claim they hit the brakes, but it is very hard to believe that five separate systems failed at one time(acceleration, brakes, emergency brakes, transmission, ignition).

But there is also more to the story of Mr. Sikes, like that the official police statement is that the car began to slow as soon as the cruiser pulled along side, and slowed further when it pulled in front. some suggest that the cars did not make contact until the speed was quite slow and the cars nearly stopped. it is also alleged that Mr. Sikes is over $700,000 in debt.

-- Posted by quietmike on Fri, Mar 12, 2010, at 1:33 PM

Mike you pick and choose your parts of the report, you left out where the officer felt nauseated from the smell of the hot breaks. Where is the story that gives the points you have here? Was it rumor from rabid fan of un American owned car companies or true factual information? The breaks did not fail or the officer would not have smelled them, they just were not strong enough to counter act the run away car.

As for "suffer the consequences of their actions, whether good or bad." Then I say every fool who chooses to support economy of the country who bombed this country, should not benefit from the benefits of the loyalty troops who sacrifice for THIS country. They do not deserve them. Get yours from Japan since that's where your bragging loyalty to. We are suffering the consequences of not backing American businesses and American products. I say lower taxes on American products, and raise those on foreign imports.

BUY AMERICAN WHERE YOU CAN, HELP BRING JOBS BACK TO AMERICA. WHERE THERE IS DEMAND FOR A PRODUCT YOU CREATE DEMAND FOR THE MANUFACTURING TO PROVIDE IT. SUPPLY AND DEMAND.

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Tue, Mar 16, 2010, at 10:46 AM

Boston, Massachusetts (CNN) -- Auto manufacturer Toyota warned dealerships in 2002 that Camry owners were complaining about throttles surging and recommended adjustments in an electronic control unit to fix the problem, according to a document obtained by CNN.

The technical service bulletin went to every U.S. Toyota dealership in late August 2002 after some customers reported their vehicles were speeding up unexpectedly.

"Some 2002 model year Camry vehicles may exhibit a surging during light throttle input at speeds between 38-42 mph," the bulletin states. "The Engine Control Module (ECM) calibration has been revised to correct this condition."

-- Posted by wonderwhy on Mon, Mar 22, 2010, at 10:33 PM


Respond to this blog

Posting a comment requires free registration. If you already have an account, enter your username and password below. Otherwise, click here to register.

Username:

Password:  (Forgot your password?)

Your comments:
Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic.


David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.