Skip to comments.The Toyota Problem: Is It Driver Error?
Posted on 03/28/2010 5:38:29 AM PDT by raptor22
Toyota chased General Motors for years until finally passing the General to become the world's largest automaker, and now...disaster. Reports of runaway Toyotas are all over the news. The ghost of 1980's Audi is haunting Toyota. Now, we have to find out if the problem is with the car or the driver.
Walter Olson at National Review and Richard A. Schmidt at the New York Times surprisingly have the same opinion: They both believe it is primarily driver error. They blame the runaway car problem on older drivers. The over-60 generation is taking it on the chin this year -- first the threat of death panels and cuts in medicare, and now this.
In fact, I believe that driver error is the least likely cause of most of these accidents. I agree with both authors that the majority of unintended acceleration claims against Audi in the mid-eighties was more than likely thanks to driver error. The sensationalized "60 Minutes" story almost put Audi out of business. However, that doesn't mean that we are seeing the same situation now.
Elderly drivers stepping on the wrong pedal by mistake is just one possibility that investigators are looking into. The list of possible culprits includes sticking accelerator pedals, out-of-place floor mats, a computer glitch, and even cosmic rays. Let's examine each of these potential causes one by one.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
Brakes can glaze over and become ineffective when a thin layer of the lining melts over on the pad from too much heat. Now this is the older type pads I am use to when I was a kid, perhaps the new pads are different, I don’t know.
A normal brake pad has more than enough friction to stop a car, I believe it is required by law (if memory serves) but if they get too hot they do degrade considerably. Back in my youth we use to do brake torques on our cars, breaking the drive tire free while holding the car still and smoking the tires until the steel belts started sparking. You had to fry your drive tire brakes to do it with a lower horsepower car, but once you did it a couple of times it got easier and easier when you slicked the surface over.
I also remember when I was on my bus going to school way back when and the brakes caught fire because the driver had the emergency brakes on while she was doing her route, it was a diesel bus with air brakes but she had enough power in the engine to override the friction.
I still can’t figure out what burned though unless the heat melted a brake line and the fluid was what was burning, all I really remember is how bad it stunk.
The author starts with the premise that driver error does not cause the crash, but then makes repeated comments showing mistakes people make while driving. Poorly reasoned article, IMO.
“We can’t be sure that the average driver in a panic situation would react the same as the experts at Car and Driver. If the driver is not applying the brakes properly...”
“A shift to neutral is your best bet, but who can say what’s going through a driver’s mind ...”
“it’s easy to see how the average driver could panic and release the brakes or take the transmission out of park...”
Brake. Neutral. Stop.
It ain’t hard, and anyone who doesn’t is committing “driver error”!
It is right up there with Global Warming ... same crowd, same mirrors ...uh ... only they aren't using the mirrors any more so you don't have to "figure it out" ... its just right there to see.
What we learned from Mr. Toyoda is it does no good to play ball with these evil uglies on a level playing field.
My Saturn SW2 does all that, albeit the seats suck.
See if Corbeau has a version of its Sport Seat that'll fit it - you could enjoy a better seat for quite a while, then when you finally sell that Saturn, you can pull those seats out and sell 'em to a Mustang or Camaro enthusiast (they get the Corbeaus reupholstered to match the '60s style interior). Those seats are designed for daily drivers and can be obtained with inflatable lumbar supports.
Seriously, if you like the car and it's in good shape, investigate the aftermarket seat options. Beats buying a newer car just to be comfortable. I have the Corbeaus in a '65 Mustang - even the wife likes them.
When Audi had the same problen I never did hear what they did to fix it?.
Most auto computers have heavy shielding to prevent computer failure sometimes they don’t get it right.
I'm not expert on that, although I've heard that it's still not clear how much was operator error. In any event, it was some time ago, so the Audi had far less electronics--it couldn't have been a fly-by-wire problem of the software or computer flaw sort we've been speculating about with Toyota.
Yes, its driver error.. /SARCASM
The cop riding beside the driver witnessed brake lights on and the man STANDING on the seat but the car continuing to accellerate.. get serious.
They have a design flaw, either from the drawing board, or from the manufacturing in China of the parts. Take your pick, but driver error? Unreal.
Maybe but why is toyota keeping so much paper work hid about the problem anyway hope the fix the problem.