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Toyota 219 articles

Panel of engineers says Toyota problem is electronic, not mechanical

The problem with Toyota vehicles that is causing them to suddenly speed out of control is likely not a mechanical error but an issue with the electronics, say a panel of European experts. Their opinion is based on observations of electronics in other industries, a theory that is backed up by scientific standards and peer-reviewed papers. The panel’s observations were announced during a press conference last week in Washington, D.C., aimed to gain insight into what may be causing the widely reported problem of sudden and unintentional acceleration in several Toyota vehicles. “Electronics have weaknesses and can go wrong in many ways. ... Read More

Legislators seek sweeping overhaul of NHTSA

The recent Congressional hearings that took Toyota to task for the sudden unintended acceleration problems that trouble so many of its cars also exposed how ineffective the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has become in protecting American consumers from defective automobiles. Now a number of legislators are calling for an overhaul of the broken agency, saying it is woefully understaffed, underfunded, and much too complacent with the automakers it’s supposed to regulate. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), whose family has been close friends with the Toyoda family for decades, is one of the lawmakers leading the charge to reform NHTSA. “We ... Read More

Driver complaints to NHTSA reveal Toyota recall repairs aren’t working

Quality Control Systems, a statistical analysis and research firm based in Crownsville, Maryland, has been publishing new complaints of sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles as they are received by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency has taken a special interest in sudden acceleration incidents that occur after the vehicles involved have been “repaired” under one or more of the safety recalls. Make : TOYOTA Model : COROLLA Year : 2010 Manufacturer : TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION Crash : Yes Fire : No Number of Injuries: 0 ODI ID Number : 10318389 Number of Deaths: 0 Date of Failure: ... Read More

Toyota gives contradictory and confusing advice to Prius drivers

Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem has been splashed all over the news for months, leaving many drivers worried that their vehicles may one day race out of control without warning. Recently, much attention has been focused on the Prius, thanks to a growing number of incidents — some real and others apparently false – of the popular hybrids racing out of control. To help drivers who may one day find themselves behind the wheel of a runaway Prius, Toyota issued a press release on March 12 outlining the steps to take to bring the vehicle to a stop. The problem is ... Read More

How reliable are investigations into runaway car claims?

Glenda Whitfield says she tried to stop her 2007 Toyota Camry by mashing her foot on the brake pedal, but the car just kept accelerating. The vehicle didn’t stop until it had driven through a plate glass window of a Lee County, Ga., salon. Whitfield’s story is frightening, but what’s more disturbing is that stories of sudden and unintended acceleration in some Toyota and Lexus vehicles are making headlines since the major car maker announced a recall of more than 8.5 million Toyota vehicles worldwide. The recall is to replace and modify brake pedals and override software to automatically reduce ... Read More

Can cosmic rays compromise Toyota’s electronic systems?

In the quest to discover the cause of sudden, unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles, some scientists are looking to the sun. Subatomic particles bursting forth from our sun and other stars occasionally make it through the earth’s atmosphere, propelled by cosmic blast waves to the earth’s surface, where they can sometimes wreak havoc on our terrestrial electronic systems. All cars manufactured these days rely less on mechanical systems for most of their functions and more on sophisticated electronic microcontrollers, which form the vehicle’s brains and govern basic functions such as throttle or speed. These complex devices, however, can be scrambled ... Read More

Toyota expands Tundra recall to 30 more states

Toyota announced yesterday that it is expanding its recall of 2000-2003 Tundra pickup trucks to include all of the trucks in the U.S. The original recall, launched last November, recalled about 110,000 trucks in 20 cold-weather states only. The recall was limited to cold-weather states only because the Tundras are especially vulnerable to corrosion caused by the salt commonly used to melt snow on roadways. Exposure to road salt caused the frames of some Tundras to corrode in the rear section. Rusting and general corrosion of the rear crossmember could cause spare tires and gas tanks to separate from the ... Read More

Prius drivers continue to experience sudden acceleration

Another Toyota Prius that had already been serviced under the floor mat recall accelerated suddenly Wednesday when its owner, a 56-year-old New York housekeeper, was leaving a driveway. Police in the town of Harrison, New York, just north of New York City, say that the 2005 silver-gray Prius accelerated suddenly, shot across the street, and careened into a stone wall. According to police at the scene, the woman was fortunate to have escaped serious injury because damage to the car was extensive. Investigators haven’t been able to determine yet how fast the car might have been traveling when it collided ... Read More

Former Toyota lawyer claims car company covered up safety issues

It was a stress-induced nervous breakdown that convinced Dimitrios Biller to leave his job in 2007 as top in-house defense attorney for Toyota. He says he just couldn’t continue fighting for the car company in product liability and negligence lawsuits when he believed the company was performing “criminal acts” by withholding information it was legally required to turn over to plaintiffs’ attorneys during litigation. When he left, he took about 6,000 memos, e-mails and other internal documents that he calls “very damaging” to the car company once recognized for its outstanding customer care. The documents reference “Books of Knowledge,” highly ... Read More

Second Prius runaway follows on heels of Monday incident

The news had barely surfaced about a runaway Toyota Prius incident in California, which occurred Monday, when reports of a Prius crash due to sudden unintended acceleration came to light. This second incident happened Tuesday in Harrison, New York. According to news reports, a 56-year-old woman was pulling out of a driveway Tuesday morning when her 2005 Toyota Prius suddenly sped out of control, carrying her across a roadway until she crashed into a stone wall.  The woman, whose name has not been released, received minor injuries in the crash and was take to a local hospital for treatment. Monday, ... Read More