Toyota seeks to settle acceleration case for $1.1 billion

Comments (7)
montysimmons wrote:

The acceleration problem is real and I was able to prove same from personal experience.

My mother owned a Toyota Corolla, 2009 or 2010 – new at the time.

One day she was parking at our local school and the car accelerated out of control as she entered a parking place. As a result, the car went over a grassy area and left very distinctive tire marks in the grass. I have photos of the marks. She was able to stop the car before and damage was done and without injury. But she never wantd to drive the car again and she sold it soon after and purchased an Honda Accord.

She claims she had her foot on the breaks the entire time as she slowed to park but the car still accelerated forward through the grass.

I was thinking she simply hit the gas instead of the break somehow or perhaps her foot was on the break and the gas at the same time.

So I decided to put my ideas to the test.

I got into the car and pulled into the parking spot next to the one she had accelerated through. I then put my foot on the gas and the break at the same time to accelerate through the parking space and the grass.

First, it is very difficult to accelerate in such car while pressing hard on the breaks. The car will move but not that good and the tire marks I made in the grass were not the same as her tire marks – noticeably different.

So I next simply gave the car full throttle and accelerated through a parking place thorough the grass. Tire marks in the grass were noticeably different from the ones my mother made – much more spinning.

I tried several variations of break v throttle but I could not reproduce my mother’s tire marks. Something wired had to have happened.

My guess, I suspect there is a firmware code issue, perhaps something to do with the cruise control firmware code.

Consider this:

Suppose you set your cruise control to 65 mph while driving on the highway which automatically shuts off when you press your breaks to slow down. Then as you pull into a parking place, for example, the car’s firmware enters some random state where the cruise control incorrectly engages and tries to get the car back to 65 mph and pressing the breaks does not shut off the cruise control. Ouch. Could be.

But the car’s breaks are normally strong enough to stop the car from accelerating. So something very strange is going on here.

Whatever the reason, the problem is real.

Dec 27, 2012 4:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
Alex77 wrote:

The modern class action suit where lawyers collect all the money and nothing is resolved outside of closed door meeting does nothing to forward excellence or safety in society. The previous comment is as logical as it gets and what do we have in return from the company and lawyers – total silence. This kind of closed-door culture appears to have sank the entire nuclear power industry of Japan. This type of silence and feeble payoff routine is not good for investors, taxpayers, consumers, or the interests of the nations involved.

Dec 27, 2012 7:43am EST  --  Report as abuse
USA4 wrote:

This is the modern day equivalent of the Salem Witch Trials. Irrational claims and fears not supported by anything other than what people want to believe. Of course, in this case, the media and trial lawyers did everything they could to support the ruse.

Dec 27, 2012 9:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
OrSpeeder wrote:

The pastor of my church (I am from Brazil by the way) was trying to drive into the church employee park area, this is inside the church grounds, the car just decided to accelerate crazily, and even with the handbrake pulled it insisted in moving, the only way to stop it was to crash deliberately in a huge steel support of a staircase (and the crashed car kept accelerating for some time before stopping suddenly).

This was in 2006 I think.

Back then people thought he did something wrong…

And of course some fanatics thought that the devil had hijacked the car.

Only after those US-centric lawsuits happened that we found out that the pastor was not crazy (and the car was not possessed).

Dec 27, 2012 9:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

I was going to buy a Toyota, now I am going to buy a Mazda.
Toyota has real engineering issues.
I won’t buy a Nissan because of the “big Nissan scam” (the $10,000 Nissan Versa that Nissan advertises, but you cannot buy, and no dealer in my area has ever been able to get).
I would also like to see and end by all car makers to those stupid push button on off switches for the engine. Dumbest idea I have seen in years.

Dec 27, 2012 10:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
TastySalmon wrote:

Multiple courts already found that it was the driver’s fault in each and every case that there was an alleged throttle problem. Toyota is humoring the lawyers at this point.

Like another commenter already mentioned, this is just a witch hunt started by US auto manufacturing companies and facilitated and carried out by the US media.

Dec 27, 2012 3:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TNB wrote:

I had a floor mat jam the gas peddle on my Camry as I was pulling into a parking space and ended up with $1400.00 front end damage. I contacted Toyota who sent someone to inspect my car. They told me the inspection showed no leaking fluids despite the fact that the air conditioner condenser was cracked and leaking and told me they inspected the driver floor mat and found no problem, and at the time of their inspection I had removed the floor mat so it was not even in the car. They are not to be trusted.

Dec 28, 2012 1:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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