Skip to comments.CAFE Vs. Toyota
Posted on 03/10/2010 6:12:49 PM PST by Kaslin
Auto Safety: As a Toyota Prius with a stuck accelerator races down a California freeway, no one mourns the victims of the fuel economy standards imposed by Congress. Forced into smaller cars, thousands have died.
We can barely imagine the panic felt by James Sikes, 61, as his Toyota Prius accelerated uncontrollably while he drove down Interstate 8 in San Diego County. We can imagine the continuation of the grandstanding by the owners of "government motors" as they further browbeat a competitor of government-run GM and Chrysler.
We do not minimize the safety issues here that need to be addressed, but we feel a sense of perspective is sorely needed. Toyota has been accused of cutting corners in the name of profit. The Congress that now huffs and puffs in righteous indignation can be accused of increasing the carnage on the nation's highways in the name of saving gasoline.
Sudden-acceleration events in Toyota and Lexus vehicles have been blamed for at least 19 fatalities and 815 vehicle crashes since 1999. That's fewer than two fatalities a year in a country that makes 1.8 million cars annually. How many crashes and fatalities are caused by the use of cell phones and text-messaging while driving?
Let us take a look at the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards enacted by the federal government in response to the Arab oil embargo. Lately, supporters have sought to increase these standards in the name of fighting climate change. They have neither reduced our dependence on foreign oil nor saved the Earth.
(Excerpt) Read more at investors.com ...
Uhhh, the prius isn’t so small...
The schmuck had time and senses to dial 911? Gimme a break. I’ve driven a Prius (as a rental) and it’s all you can do to keep it OUT of neutral with the little knob for the transmission.
If the computer fritzes out, you’re not shifting anything - the Prius is shift-by-wire.
We can imagine, because he told us he was scared to put the car in neutral because it might "flip". I put my Prius into neutral at 40mph tonight, and it nicely disconnected -- I still have to try at 90mph.
Further it makes people buy cars they don’t want because the price of cars you do want is driven up by CAFE standards. D@MN Congress critters!!
I take a 2-week driving vacation with my wife and 2 kids in the Prius. It’s not big, but it’s not small.
I ran one Prius into a concrete post at 20mph, and walked away without a scratch (with some bruises from the seat belt). It’s not a dangerous car.
Does make one wonder why he didn’t put it neutral and pull safely off the road.
But then the cop car couldn’t pull up, back up to his bumper and make that great photo op, eh?
I just don't buy all these stories.
I had a 2010 Prius as a rental last month on a business trip. Aside from the styling, I was impressed.
The Camry is throttle by wire, but not shift by wire where it counts.
Also, several of the Camry/Avalons that have been affected have actually made it back to dealerships and been witnessed by multiple people, so the problem’s real.
You mean other than the fact that if the computer goes nuts, you can’t put a Prius in neutral?
He was afraid it would flip over
It seems there’s a whole lot of people that can’t remember what a *SMALL* car is!
If you go by interior space, a prius would be a full size family car and a 1986 ford thunderbird would be a compact car.
why would neutral make a car flip? Is this guy stupid or is he up to something?
He lives in California and drives a Prius.
IMHO, he’s stupid by definition.
I suspect he was faking it to ramp up his lawsuit against toyota. Call 911 and get a cop to save your life...that’s gotta really make the jurors SWOON!
True. Let me add Chevy Chevette, Renault LeCar and Datsun B210 to the list.
Maybe, and while yes, the media is blowing this way out of proportion, there really *is* a SUA problem with the throttle by wire Toyotas.
I had one when I took mine in for the 90,000 checkup, and I was quite dissatisfied with the styling. The older Prius doesn’t look like a space ship. I felt cramped, and I had trouble seeing out the front and side easily. I also thought my head was too close to the ceiling.
It just didn’t feel comfortable like my current Prius. But it was cool though, with the economy/sports settings and the backup camera.
The over the shoulder visibility in the 2010 could be better. And the rear-view look takes some getting used to with the back window wiper.
My sister had a datsun B210, it’s the car in which I learned how to drive a shift. i liked it.
My wife had a chevy chevette. at one point I took it to the shop, complaining that it would lose acceleration up hills. The guy laughed at me — “Chevettes can’t accelerate up hills”.
But it turned out there was a problem with the fuel filter — it really could accelerate up a hill if you knew how to drive and shift.
Same here. I bought a 1978 model in 1984 for $400 and taught myself.
He’s most likely a liberal, and liberals aren’t very smart
Mine was ok, but it rusted badly after several years and was weak in the clutch, and I knew how to drive a stick before I bought it. It did drive nicely for a few years, though.
I had a ‘69 MG Midget. Now that was an aptly named car. Lots of fun, though I couldn’t drive it with shoes on.
Yeah, they used to tell me my volkswagen beetle couldn’t do a hundred too.
But even at 94 mph, he was still getting 36 mpg!
I rear ended a rusty old mufflerless midget with a 60s era chrysler once. the rear bumper guards made two little tiny dents in my METAL grill. The midget flew apart like a bomb and the driver started screaming about being blind and dying when his glasses flew off his face and over the windshield, over the hood and into the car in front of him. He was fine after we got his glasses back to him.
It’s the Toyota Lottery.
Come on all you Toyota apologists, the problem is real. Sure the media is capitalizing on it but hey.
how about turning the ignition key off?
Ship all the toys back to Toyotaland.
But was that when you were push-starting it?
Hey, I push started that thing by opening the door and putting one foot on the ground and pushing backwards then popping the clutch while in reverse.
Prius doesn’t have a key, it has a start button and a proximity chip.
Reverse. That’s an interesting solution. At college, we’d get out and push while my roommate would steer and pop his clutch in.
I couldn’t push-start my car.
Normally you have to do it in second gear. Getting the engine to pop off in first or reverse is tricky...takes lots and lots of practice and a low compression engine. Having the engine over the drive wheels helps too. It just might be that a VW beetle is the only car that it can be done with.
BTW, people die from going in reverse with one foot out the door. If the car is small enough, the front wheel will run over your foot when your leg is fully extended...it pulls you out of the car and under the wheel. At least on a front wheel drive it does.
20 mph frontal crash and the airbag didn’t deploy?
They sent me to the hospital to have an EKG, but everything was fine, and they made me go home for the day because I was a bit woosie -- I just think i was in shock, the car was 2 weeks old.
It all worked out. I had to wait 4 months on the waiting list to get a replacement, but the insurance totaled it and covered it in full because it was so new. Only accident I've ever caused in my life, so didn't effect my insurance premiums either.
The snow was from AFTER The accident. The pole was unharmed. I did not back up the car -- that's how far it bounced back after it hit the pole.
I was thinking about this, and I think I actually did manage to push-start my car a couple of times, by parking uphill. It was a 1972 Olds Vista Cruiser with automatic transmission, so it certainly wasn’t easy to push-start. I didn’t think you could push-start an automatic, but my wife swears we did it, and I remember doing it.
I’ve push started an automatic with a weak battery. You can’t do it with a totally dead battery. The automatic transmission won’t push hard enough on the transmission to turn it over, but it does help. You need to do both, roll in gear AND use starter. Together the two will start up your engine. Sometimes. I’ve done it before. It’s really not worth the risk(imo) because if it doesn’t work, your car is stranded. I’d rather leave it in it’s parking spot and jump start it.
The other thing is, you need to get moving pretty fast...like down a long hill.
Also, you need to disable the neutral start switch. Doing so on a modern car is probably impossible. actually, push starting anything with fuel injection is impossible as well, unless you have enough battery power to pressurize the fuel lines. And now that I’m thinking more about it, there is a lock on the gear selector lever on modern cars that won’t let you shift out of park without depressing the brake. If there’s no battery power at all, you may not be able to get it out of park.
I suppose it is theoretically possible to push start an automatic with a totally dead battery if you got moving fast enough...but I’ve never tried it and I’ve never heard of people doing it.
The Toyota MR2 of its day.
ON the other hand, I can “jump-start” my Prius with a 12-volt hand drill battery, and a couple of 24-gauge alligator clips.
Are you sure? I would think it would take more than that.
i didn’t know that when i made this post.
You would also have to have an automatic that has a rear pump. You cannot do this with any car built in the last 20 years.
Sure. I do it all the time. The Prius doesn’t use the “auxilliary battery” to run a starter. It’s just used to power up the computer. Once the computer is online, the computer-controlled inverter/regulator generates 12 volt and other power levels off the main traction battery. The electric motor/generator (smaller electric motor) is used to spin up the gas engine to idle speed if it needs to start the gas engine, and then it is fired to run it.
So all you need if your auxilliary battery is dead is enough power to get the computers to come online. The only reason you need more than a 9-volt transistor battery is that 9v is just a little too low a voltage, and the aux battery does draw down some power for recharging when you jump it.
THe 24-gauge wire gets pretty hot; I’d use 20-gauge, but 24-gauge allligator clips is what I have sitting around. I’ve heard others who use a 12-volt AA pack, but they disconnect the aux battery to start the computer.
You wouldn’t even NEED an auxilliary battery to start the car if it wasn’t for the fact that you need the computer to run the electronics to step down the traction battery voltage.
The reason I’ve jumped the car fairly often is that in the original Prius (2002 model), the aux battery was very small, and there are several things that draw power even when the car isn’t run at all. If you leave the original Prius sitting for 2 weeks, it will run down the battery (stupid design). People either start it up for a few minutes once a week, or disconnect the battery.
If you leave the indoor lights on in the car overnight, it also kills the battery.
In the hatchback version, the aux battery was bigger and you could leave the interior lights on overnight without killing the battery.