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Old 11-05-2009
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Videos No Driver Ed.

Toyota is under fire for many horrific crashes resulting from unintended acceleration. I am not commenting on the cause of the problem or Toyota's responsibility. What I find incredible is the unbelievably poor driver ed and minimal requirements in the US for a license.

Video is 7 minutes, I kept watching and waiting to hear someone describe the SIMPLE life-saving step in avoiding a crash in this situation. PUT THE FREAKING CAR INTO NEUTRAL! - DUH!!!! Finally in the last 30 seconds of a 7 minute video a "professional" driver demonstrates this no-brainer step to save your life.

Many have died because they did not do this, I find it beyond belief. An off-duty Cali trooper and family calling 911 on a cell as his car races towards disaster looking for help??? A Trooper??? They all died!

"Last month, an off-duty California state trooper and three members of his family were killed in the San Diego area in a crash of a 2009 Lexus ES350. Before the crash, a passenger in the car had called 911 and told dispatchers that the accelerator was stuck and the car had reached 120 miles per hour (193 km per hour).
"

State Driver Ed? No such thing. Trio's description of what was required of her to get a license is frightening (not your driving Trio, the 'requirements' ). Read what is required in say, Germany to get a license. It is very comprehensive, time consuming and expensive. Driving is a privilege, not a right....but not in the US I guess. Thank you motor voter. Forced Darwinism

video
http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerindex?id=8990979

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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

My brother moved to Germany at the age of 23, after having gotten a driver's license here. He has talked about this issue a lot-- the difference between the US and Germany in training its drivers. When I think of what I DIDN'T know about driving before I started my SBRS training, I get cold sweats.

The Toyota problem is an ECU glitch. Unlike them to come clean on this.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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My brother moved to Germany at the age of 23, after having gotten a driver's license here. He has talked about this issue a lot-- the difference between the US and Germany in training its drivers. When I think of what I DIDN'T know about driving before I started my SBRS training, I get cold sweats.

The Toyota problem is an ECU glitch. Unlike them to come clean on this.
yeah, they are blaming floor mats, gimme a break. This is what can happen when a fully mechanical link between the accelerator pedal and the butterflies is replaced with electronics. I am a fan of the technology, but with it comes a potential increase in dangerous failures. I am still not comfortable with an electronic link between the steering wheel and the steering rack. But so far it works safely.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

This is reminisant of the "60 Minutes" Audi unintended acceleration thing back in 1986 or 87. In my opinion, all of those people had their foot on the accelerator when they thought it was on the brake. There is simply no other plausible engineering explanation. I went out and bought a 1988 Audi - got a great deal - and I never had such a problem with it.

My standard is this: From a standing start clock the elapsed time or distance to run 0 to 60 mph. Do the same thing for braking from 60 mph to 0. I believe that it would be extremely rare to find a passenger car that does not stop in significantly less time and less distance than it accelerates. This would tell you that the available braking force should exceed the available motive force. So if you are bearing down on the brake pedal with the force these folks claim, the car will eventually come to a stop, no matter what the position of the throttle.

Now, the whole deal where folks run down the highway at 100 mph+ and don't generate enough problem solving brain power to bump it into neutral or turn the ignition to the first "off" position (is that just not posible in a Toyota ?) - or is it just accelerated Darwinism at work?

I'll bet this growing storm cloud on the horizon in their biggest market played some part in their sudden withdrawal from F1.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

It took years for Audi to recover from their "unintended acceleration" I bet Toyota will find a way to handle this better. They handled the "engine sludge issue and the odometer discrepency issue and the Floor mat issue" and still they advertise that they are the "most dependable"cars in America. Even though they had more recalls in 2008 than Ford, GM, and Chrysler combined.

They have a great PR machine. I have not had a single person say a thing to me about this. Back in the Audi scam, everyone was talking about it! I thought it was very funny then. Audi had such a teeny, tiny piece of the market then and everyone was concerned.... Toyota has such a huge piece of the market, and nobody is talking. Toyota will weather this unscathed!

But, if this was an American car Company.......This would be front page news! And people would be saying, "Americans build junk. I wouldn't buy one!" We just love to shoot ourselves in the foot.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Copy all Rosso and George. Audi was certainly a different situation and I agree most were probably pedal confusion. Toyota has a true defect it seems.

Interesting Toyota recall stats George, I had no idea, they do spin well.

As GF Kane said "If the headline is big enough, it makes the news big enough"
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Interesting that when faced with imminent personal acquaintance with a bridge abuttment, someone would think to take out a cell phone and call 911.
That, by the way, is why I always have The Kingston Trio at position # 6 on the player. I can start playing Kumbaya at the flick of a finger as things start flying by at an unintended pace.
Well, it works for the gun control people.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

An interesting thing about these new cars. Has anyone noticed that when the car is in neutral, you cannot just put the throttle to the floor and rev the engine beyond about 4000 rpm? push any further and the engine just slows down. So, I'm thinking, if you throw it into neutral, the engine would NOT run at full throttle. On the other hand... Save a life, throw it in neutral, and Blow the engine!
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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Now, the whole deal where folks run down the highway at 100 mph+ and don't generate enough problem solving brain power to bump it into neutral or turn the ignition to the first "off" position (is that just not possible in a Toyota ?) - or is it just accelerated Darwinism at work?
The "pro" driver at the end of the video demonstrates the move in a Toyota (and the engine was screaming WOT, he stopped car, turned off the ignition, done). I tried it in my mom's Lex ES and it works just fine (same model trooper was driving). BTW, mom turned 80 last March, I asked her what she would do in such a situation (she still drives all the time, even into NYC, amazing) and she replied a bit unsure "Turn off the key? If I still had a clutch I would push it in....can I just put it in neutral?" WTG mom! Might be prudent to let any Toyota / Lexus drivers in your circle know about this, ya never know who it might help. Panic is definitely a factor also, easy to freeze and stop thinking rationally in a situation like this. Brings to mind one of my first experiences tracking out of the Downhill at speed....
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

I love the interviewed people:

"We survived this deadly situation, thank god etc..."

I'm thinking "How, then?!"

Then the nice producer puts the little note at the end.

By the way, the guy from Consumer Reports is their head auto tester, Jake Fisher, and he's an Improved Touring driver: http://www.racerjake.com
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

People go into panic mode on the skid pad and autocross eating a full box of crayons with some regularity during driving schools. You try to anticipate a person's response but sometimes they even surprise themselves. :-) How that trooper and his passenger had time to call 911 and not find a way to stop or slow that car is mind boggling but obviously within the realm of possibility given the outcome. When things go wrong quickly people do the familiar thing but not necessarily the right thing. When a first attempt fails panic often causes the same failed action to be repeated over and over without awareness that a different input might create a different outcome. It's both human nature and poor drivers training that sets the table for things like this to happen.

My question would be is it possible the ECU is set up not to accept or allow manually taking it out of gear above a certain speed. That would explain what happened to the tooper and also why it hasn't seemingly been repeated. The logic being to keep someone from throwing it into reverse by accident at highway speed where a loss of control would result. Wondered what speed you tried it in your mom's Lexus Doug? It didn't look like the Consumer Reports guy was going very fast when he demo'd the "putting it in neutral" procedure.

As to the woman who put her Prius in a stream it's hard to imagine the brakes not being capable of overcoming the low powered hybrid. But it's very possible to imagine a driver with little training not realizing she could overcome the motor by pressing much harder on the brakes. When we do brake exercises in the drivers schools the first obstacle is teaching people to really stand on the brakes to get the car to stop in the shortest possible distance. Most have never done it and to think they'd figure it out in a panic situation is absolute folly. She swears she stomped the brakes and her husband who wasn't there is infuriated anyone would question or doubt what she did but real time data of the incident might tell a different story.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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...I tried it in my mom's Lex ES and it works just fine ...
LOL - Sounds like high school all over again - some things NEVER change...
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Tragic outcome in this situation for sure. The obvious Neutral, or at least low gear, and Key off quickly come to mind to most reading this forum. Doing the wrong thing in a Panic is also noted by the Audi reference and Pat's comments on the driving schools. Same holds true for the racing schools in regards to doing something totally absurd and sticking with it all the way into the fence and then denying it ever happened. Had that same experience with a 3Day student at Road Atlanta in the early 1990's. Commented to the guy's wife about what he was about to do. Called him on the radio to point out the correct procedure only to have him launch it into the guardrail next lap. The wife caught it all on video and narrated as he drove it into the fence under full power. All of that in the first 30 minutes in the car...in 2nd gear. He left the first day and I think she twisted an extra Christmas present out of his humiliation.
Anyway under stress we don't rise to greatness rather we fall back to the best level of training. Thus the importance of excellent fundamentals. Sad none of the occupants in the original story had any better training.
Also think you give the brake system too much credit. Very rare for a car at sustained full throtle to NOT over power the brakes. After 2-3 applications they are done. They heat up, fade, actually catch fire (pretty cool to see brake pads flaming!!! Plays havoc on plastic wheelcovers) but they just can't stop the car. Think what a small amount of gas & brake does in the racecar. Minor point, the key is to remove the driving force.
Sad for those families.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

I remember seeing something a few weeks back that said the Floor Mats were blame and Toyota was recalling many cars because of this or telling ppl to take them out

However, the Driver Ed in this country stinks, and we always make the joke in the beginning of the class asking if there any drivers ed teachers in the room. I cant count the times a new driver has totaled 2 or 3 cars before coming to the school....and after spending 5 minutes teach them stick shift, you can pretty much figure out why they crashed.

CT's rules are starting to change for the better, but we still need more of a European approach
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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My question would be is it possible the ECU is set up not to accept or allow manually taking it out of gear above a certain speed. That would explain what happened to the tooper and also why it hasn't seemingly been repeated. The logic being to keep someone from throwing it into reverse by accident at highway speed where a loss of control would result. Wondered what speed you tried it in your mom's Lexus Doug? It didn't look like the Consumer Reports guy was going very fast when he demo'd the "putting it in neutral" procedure..
I just went out and tried this in my '07 BMW (Already sold MY Moms car!) goes from D to N while moving with no problem. Don't know if it has an electronic throttle.

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As to the woman who put her Prius in a stream it's hard to imagine the brakes not being capable of overcoming the low powered hybrid.
Again, I think that is easy enough to prove.
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But it's very possible to imagine a driver with little training not realizing she could overcome the motor by pressing much harder on the brakes. When we do brake exercises in the drivers schools the first obstacle is teaching people to really stand on the brakes to get the car to stop in the shortest possible distance. Most have never done it and to think they'd figure it out in a panic situation is absolute folly. She swears she stomped the brakes and her husband who wasn't there is infuriated anyone would question or doubt what she did but real time data of the incident might tell a different story.
Don't a lot of these newer cars have some memory in their computers that records a certain amount of data?

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...Also think you give the brake system too much credit. Very rare for a car at sustained full throtle to NOT over power the brakes. After 2-3 applications they are done. They heat up, fade, actually catch fire (pretty cool to see brake pads flaming!!! Plays havoc on plastic wheelcovers) but they just can't stop the car. JP
I don't know JP - I know what you are saying, but as a mechanical engineer, keeping in mind the way the general population drives their Toyotas and the factor of safety generally designed into consumer products, I just can't believe that you can't pin the throttle to the firewall at 50 mph then hammer both feet down on the brake pedal and stop the car in some distance - albieit pehaps a very long one. For sure I don't see it accelerating to 100 mph +. In the interest of the science, I Just reserved a Hertz Toyota Avalon for next week in San Francisco - sounds like a little Napa Valley engineering testing is in order... (Wanted to rent a Hertz Corvette - but Gwen's luggage wouldn't fit...)

Back in September 1997, during the uproar over barrel-rolling Ford Explorers and other SUV,s, I had just taken delivery of one of the first Mercedes ML-320 SUV's produced. I drove it to Road Atlanta for the vintage races in late October. The odometer rolled over 1,500 miles, the designated official break-in milage, right about the Georgia -Tenessee state line. Back then, (maybe still?) they had Quiet Time on the track Sunday mornings - no unmuffled racecars on the track allowed by local ordinance (guess they figured if you could drive your racecar you wouldn't go to church services?), so they sold lapping permits for $20, which I though was cheap enough. Supposed to follow the pace car, which sounded entirely reasonable. I pulled last into line behind a line of 20 or so Corvettes, Porsches, Miatas, etc - all gridded behind the track's Pontiac Trans Am pace car. Green flag flew and the pace car dissappeared in a cloud of white tire smoke. For the next 5 laps I tried to do everything I could imagine see if I could upset the Benz - I figured "what the hey - the ambulance and wreckers are already here, perfect place to find out if it's tipsy" - And I quit when I could smell the brakes.
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Last edited by Rosso; 11-05-2009 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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I just went out and tried this in my '07 BMW (Already sold MY Moms car!) goes from D to N while moving with no problem. Don't know if it has an electronic throttle.

Again, I think that is easy enough to prove. Don't a lot of these newer cars have some memory in their computers that records a certain amount of data?

I know ANY Toyota that has a normal mechanical shift linkage, like the ES etc. CAN be knocked into neutral at ANY speed. I've done it myself plenty of times.

MAYBE SOME cars that just have an electronic shifter. Like the tiny lil switch in some Mercedes and such are different. The only Toyota I've driven with something like that was the CVT in the Prius and I've actually knocked that one as well into neutral at legal road speeds. I'll be working another Toyota program in a couple weekends. I'll check it out on whatever models we happen to have there. IT IS mindboggling that state trooper didn't have the presence to figure out something. Aren't they trained to deal with extremely stressful situations and make the safe and prpoer choices, with a firearm none the less????? Scary on many levels.
An absolute tragedy for sure. I hope culprit / solution is found.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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IAren't they trained to deal with extremely stressful situations and make the safe and prpoer choices, with a firearm none the less?????
THAT'S IT! - HE SHOULD HAVE SHOT OUT HIS OWN TIRES! Maybe a couple of rounds into the engine compartment?
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Jim's point is absolutely correct about brakes going away quickly at speed. I was the one exhibiting brain fade. (eating crayons for sure) in recalling the old Audi unintended acceleration argument when it was demonstrated the motor couldn't overcome the brakes from rest and extrapolating it backwards incorrectly. I would still suspect she didn't use all her options (including braking) to stop the car before the rock filled stream did it for her... but we'll never know.

Rosso, I'd be suprised if your BMW didn't have fly by wire. Pretty sure my '03 has it too. They were early adopters of the technology. Here's an interesting headline from March 11, 2006 on that theme:

Malfunctioning BMW Traps Driver In Own Car At 130mph For 26 Minutes
telegraph.co.uk A motorist was trapped in his car driving at almost 130mph for 60 miles after the accelerator jammed in his automatic BMW. He then traveled 60 miles in 26 minutes, passing through three counties.

Suspect many cars now have some form of data acquisition . There was an uproar a few years ago when rental agencies started checking the data and charging customers for car abuse and speeding. No idea which cars do and don't have it.

One of my favorite data stories was the M5 brought in for it's first service interval a couple of years ago and the service manager came out in a somewhat agitated state with data in hand wondering how a car with so few miles during its break-in period could have an average speed of use close to 100mph. What he didn't know was that car was the new pace car for Lime Rock Park.
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Old 11-05-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Don't a lot of these newer cars have some memory in their computers that records a certain amount of data?



I know at least GM has had a version for quite awhile now..

http://www.gm.com/corporate/responsi...ata_recorders/

http://www.airbagcrash.com/


http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3513_7-6731442-1.html



THAT'S IT! - HE SHOULD HAVE SHOT OUT HIS OWN TIRES! Maybe a couple of rounds into the engine compartment?

spike strips???
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Old 11-06-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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Jim's point is absolutely correct about brakes going away quickly at speed. I was the one exhibiting brain fade. (eating crayons for sure) in recalling the old Audi unintended acceleration argument when it was demonstrated the motor couldn't overcome the brakes from rest and extrapolating it backwards incorrectly. I would still suspect she didn't use all her options (including braking) to stop the car before the rock filled stream did it for her... but we'll never know..
If Hertz does actually give me a Toyota Avalon next week I think I'll test my theory. 50 mph - peg the throttle - hammer the brake pedal. See what happens. Napa, CA, probably on Monday when I'll have time on my hands. Anybody wanna ride along? I could use a throttle man.
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Old 11-06-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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If Hertz does actually give me a Toyota Avalon next week I think I'll test my theory. 50 mph - peg the throttle - hammer the brake pedal. See what happens. Napa, CA, probably on Monday when I'll have time on my hands. Anybody wanna ride along? I could use a throttle man.
I am a big fan of real-life testing. Sorry I can't be there. While you're at it, you should see if it will let you knock it into Neutral at 80-90mph, and also what happens if you just turn off the key while you're crusing at 70. Data! We need data!
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Old 11-06-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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I am a big fan of real-life testing. Sorry I can't be there. While you're at it, you should see if it will let you knock it into Neutral at 80-90mph, and also what happens if you just turn off the key while you're crusing at 70. Data! We need data!
Really the perfect scenario - if I get tagged for speeding I can plausibly plead unintended acceleration. Normally, this wouldn't pass the 'giggle test', but CHP should be very open to this after losing one of their own.

Harsha, I used have a company car - Dodge Intrepid - whose cruise control computer would occasionally lock-up and stop functioning. Only way to fix it was to turn the ignition off and on, essentially rebooting it. Out on the highway I would do just that - bump to neutral, ignition switch switch to first 'off' position, restart, part throttle, shift back to drive, re-engage cruise control. Did it a couple of times a week.
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Old 11-06-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

the Lex ES slips into neutral easily at 70 MPH (with throttle fully open), my test speed. Ignition could be turned off before car came to a full stop. Didn't do the brake / WOT test, why beat up moms car?

I would be very surprised if this is not the case with all cars.

Sorry for these tragedies but come on, how could that trooper have let this happen? Makes no sense other than failure of the part between the seat and the steering wheel.
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Old 11-06-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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the Lex ES slips into neutral easily at 70 MPH (with throttle fully open), my test speed. Ignition could be turned off before car came to a full stop. Didn't do the brake / WOT test, why beat up moms car?
what happens if you just turn off the key without putting it in neutral? I must confess that was my first instinct.


Quote:
Sorry for these tragedies but come on, how could that trooper have let this happen? Makes no sense other than failure of the part between the seat and the steering wheel.
Just confirms what happens when we panic, and that it can happen to everyone. I've read anecdotes of accomplished F1 drivers who, when flying off the track, admitted later that they panicked to a certain extent, froze, and rode the brakes all the way to the tire wall in what was in hindsight a savable situation had they put in the correct input. Trooper was in an unfamiliar environment for crisis, ie off duty with family. Was probably overwhelmed by anxiety over the fact that his family were in the car. Anxiety/panic causes the sensation of time compression and impairs our ability to think logically and systematically. A cardinal rule from medical residency: "When confronted with a cardiac arrest, first take your own pulse." I am practiced in medical situations, it doesn't always translate to other environments.
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Old 11-06-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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...what happens if you just turn off the key without putting it in neutral?...
Hafta add that to my checklist...
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Old 11-06-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

The engine should die, cutting assist to power steering and brakes and the steering wheel should lock. Other than that no big whoop at 80mph. :-)

Don't forget to call and tell us how things are going real time.

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Hafta add that to my checklist...
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what happens if you just turn off the key without putting it in neutral? I must confess that was my first instinct.
Not sure but I imagine like other cars (with twist ignition keys) the key clicks to first detent, but not all the way to off since that locks the steering. That is a guess. Loss of power steering and brake assist of course, but certainly better than a huge crash.

Some newer cars are using a start button as a marketing thing (any other reason?). In the latest Minis you press this button for a few seconds to kill ignition. That could certainly add to the problem with a panicked driver, or if driving a borrowed car with one. NEUTRAL

When I was 16 and driving with my 18 y.o. brother, without saying a word he jammed his foot on my right foot, pinning the throttle to the floor (giant Ford LTD wagon, auto). First reaction was to put it in neutral. Funny, I hadn't thought of that in 37 years but it is as clear as yesterday. Long Beach Island, NJ, August '72....can't remember anything important tho...

Speaking of panic - here is panic at MT, last lap, Marconi had just gotten by me in 10, I thought "cool, just get inside him in Namerow and I have the position"...or not . Stevie D was at the corner, he just shook his head at me, don't blame him, my usual stupid temper flared up after since I thought Marconi changed his line a second time to block (and I thought it cost me a podium, it didn't). Bottom line is it didn't matter if he did or not since there was no way I was going to make it (but it looks to me like he does a last minute shuffle, hell he probably saved me from t-boning him). My thought was "ten freaking seconds of racing left for '09, don't get that damn overpriced nipple CD charge"! (mmmmmmmmmmmm, overpriced nipples - Homer).

Multiple chances for continued hijack, sorry

Panic - video - 30 sec, check out these smokin' flapjacks!

JINX DD
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Love the smell of BFGoodrich flapjack rubber wafting up off my computer screen.
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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Hafta add that to my checklist...
since we are discussing rental abuse, here is an old but meaningful joke

Q - What is the difference between a rental car and a HUMVEE?

A - You can drive a rental car anywhere

(just imagine a rented HUMVEE )
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Love it CDH.

Heard that joke for the first time about 13 years ago by a Jim Russel instructor who had just taken us out to the corkscrew with some school participants. His version of the punchline had a slightly different nuance that always made me smile in its subtle implication of the mentality of the driver.

Q. What's the difference between a rental car and a HUMVEE?
A. A rental car will go ANYWHERE

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdh View Post
since we are discussing rental abuse, here is an old but meaningful joke

Q - What is the difference between a rental car and a HUMVEE?

A - You can drive a rental car anywhere

(just imagine a rented HUMVEE )
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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...since we are discussing rental abuse...
Please, gentlemen, this is RESEARCH...
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Old 11-06-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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Please, gentlemen, this is RESEARCH...
potentially lifesaving research
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Old 11-06-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

The whole drive by wire technology has been circumspect in my mind since it was introduced as the next wave in automotive technology. I am with CDH that I would rather use proven simple mechanical technology for things like throttle, braking and steering. The elemental technologies that make us control the machinery and not the machinery controlling us. The whole thing reminds me of Space Odyssey 2001 where HAL goes haywire and takes over.

As far as the Toyota Lexus problem they will sort it out. The number of units they have out there is astronomical compared to the Audi fiasco of the eighties. I cannot imagine the logistics to get this recalled. The tragic deaths all could have been avoided with good training.

On a lighter side, I can vouch that my Lexus goes very well over 100MPH and that the brakes work damn good particularly when the Valentine One is smoking off the dash! Have not had to shift to neutral or pull the key as of yet. Shifting to neutral is the obvious choice but based on the way the majority of the drivers out there drive I doubt there is much upstairs to overcome hysteria.

I know one thing, none of my kids have been allowed to drive until I have taken them out many many times in various weather conditions with much discussion on the operation of a vehicle. Living in the Northeast I have always made it mandatory that the first snowfall with their permit in place we drive to a local parking lot and do the car control thing. No Winter driving until they got it down. Now that SBR is in the mix for us my youngest will be smoking it around the skid pad next spring with our good friends at LRP!
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Old 11-06-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Copy that on snowy parking lot skid training Chris. Good stuff. The other point with some relevance in the recall argument is the percentage of cars that have had a problem. Toyota is one of the largest manufacturers and the number of cars that have had a problem vs total numbers of that model built may not be a significant number. Obiviousoly one is too many but the numbers may not be statistically significant... (except to those who were in them when it happened)
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Old 11-07-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

1 - Research?? That is FUN - and no research needed!!! NEUTRAL (but I'm looking forward to hearing your test results!)

2 - Snowy parking lots!

3 - The simple life saving steps we have been been discussing wouldn't look too good in the car's manual...

Chapter 24
What to do when your car accelerates out of control


Then in your manual...

Chapter 33
Getting in touch with your lawyer
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Old 11-07-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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Originally Posted by LimeRockRacer View Post
The whole drive by wire technology has been circumspect in my mind since it was introduced as the next wave in automotive technology. I am with CDH that I would rather use proven simple mechanical technology for things like throttle, braking and steering. The elemental technologies that make us control the machinery and not the machinery controlling us. The whole thing reminds me of Space Odyssey 2001 where HAL goes haywire and takes over.

I know one thing, none of my kids have been allowed to drive until I have taken them out many many times in various weather conditions with much discussion on the operation of a vehicle. Living in the Northeast I have always made it mandatory that the first snowfall with their permit in place we drive to a local parking lot and do the car control thing. No Winter driving until they got it down. Now that SBR is in the mix for us my youngest will be smoking it around the skid pad next spring with our good friends at LRP!
Devil's adocate here...but when the 'drive by wire' system (read: throttle cable) stuck wide open coming out of nine at NHIS in the '59 Turner, neutral was second choice - no - third, as the engine was new. Instead of my life, the bills flashed before my eyes. The brakes couldn't overcome the engine (all 80 hp at the time), but even while screaming like a little girl, the kill switch worked just fine. Turned out smacking the throttle a couple more times probably would have worked as well but time was a'wastin'. In other words, if it can go wrong, it will. There's nothing like being prepared.
And whiile I'm on my soap box...remember that the snowy parking lot is great for correcting but my granddaughter still wasn't prepared for recovering because there was zero traction. We had to wait for dry roads and the sponsor's tires. Thanks, BFG. You're doing the right thing by your youngest, Chris.
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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Originally Posted by cdh View Post
Chapter 33
Getting in touch with your lawyer
Hey! Maybe instead of a Skippy decal with the "help. I'm spinning" # on it, Toyota could replace the dangerous airbag warning sticker with one that says 1-800-CALL MY LAWYER.
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Old 11-09-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Apparently not the first instance of this happening.
Another complication: A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that some Lexus drivers with stuck accelerators tried to turn off the car with the engine control button but didn't know the button must be held for three seconds.

Having three passengers who were probably, with best intentions, shouting what to do can definitely have a role in the drivers decision making ability. If someone asked did you try A,B & C after the driver already did, he may try it again in response to their question instead of going on to X,Y &Z. I still find it hard to believe that it is the result of a floor mat but that's Toyota's story and their sticking to it. A much cheaper option than searching for the ghost in the machine.
My Dad had a 64 Buick that used to have the linkage hang up and you would have to pull the gas pedal off the floor either by hand or by foot. I've had a snapple bottle roll under my brake pedal and the first thing I did was look down kick the bottle out of the way and re-apply brake. If it was the floor mat I find it hard to believe the guy didn't look down to see if something was interfering with the inputs.
Where are the CSI guys to dig into the CPU on this car and discover if it was a programming glitch?
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Old 11-09-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

The 3 second button hold for shutdown would be a deal breaker for anyone who didn't have back brained knowledge of it ahead of time. 3 seconds is an eternity in an emergency situation like that. I'd press multiple times and use more pressure with each stab. Doubt I'd have held for 3 full seconds as it falls outside of my sense of a normal response to a button press.
The whole point of having a delay like that is so someone doesn't accidently or mishieviously activate it while driving but if you aren't educated about the feature it would be very hard to discover it under stress.

If memory serves the traction control for the IS-F has 2 or 3 different levels of disengage, and to de-activate fully requires multple button pushes and holding of the button for at least 3 seconds so it can't be done accidently. You'd never figure it out without education.

Heck, My cheap Casio digital watch will do everything but make coffee for me in the morning but the sequence of button pushes and holds required to access the features is only known by Stephen Hawking on alternate Thursdays.

The problem is the manufacturer's race to out-feature each other with bells and whistles of every possible kind creates a more and more complex interface unique to each manufacturer. It's great having the new features but a genuine challenge when learning an unfamiliar vehicle.



This seems more and more like a case of outsmarting ourselves with technology. My '03 BMW starts with a key twist but the key starts an automated start program that is the equivilant of the current separate start button. A key twist used to only determine how long the starter motor was engaged but that's not the case with this car. It's automated program does everything. I'm fine with that but it does make me wonder about the value of a separate start button. The button is cool and a throwback to earlier times but is there any benefit other than adding additional steps and complexity to the process of starting and turning off the car?

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Originally Posted by grady192 View Post
Apparently not the first instance of this happening.
Another complication: A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that some Lexus drivers with stuck accelerators tried to turn off the car with the engine control button but didn't know the button must be held for three seconds.

Having three passengers who were probably, with best intentions, shouting what to do can definitely have a role in the drivers decision making ability. If someone asked did you try A,B & C after the driver already did, he may try it again in response to their question instead of going on to X,Y &Z. I still find it hard to believe that it is the result of a floor mat but that's Toyota's story and their sticking to it. A much cheaper option than searching for the ghost in the machine.
My Dad had a 64 Buick that used to have the linkage hang up and you would have to pull the gas pedal off the floor either by hand or by foot. I've had a snapple bottle roll under my brake pedal and the first thing I did was look down kick the bottle out of the way and re-apply brake. If it was the floor mat I find it hard to believe the guy didn't look down to see if something was interfering with the inputs.
Where are the CSI guys to dig into the CPU on this car and discover if it was a programming glitch?
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Old 11-09-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

So does anyone think there is any value in a Skippy Driving School course titled "What to Do If..." that covered unexpected low probability stuff like this? Should it be a chapter in an owner's manual (doubt that would ever happen)? Or is this best left to the individual due diligence of every car owner and the principles of Sir Charles Darwin?

On the other hand, I once dated a girl who insisted that we roll up all the car windows every time we went over a bridge over water. Every time.
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Re: No Driver Ed.

I think it's just the cost of doing business in a technological age. Shorter and shorter cycles between learning any new system and its wholesale update or obsolescence. Watches, TV's, DVR cable boxes, cars, computers, telephones, PDA's, etc. etc. You don't bother learning everything because it's all going to change in a week, month or year. Makes things like corners on a race track sacred because those are the only things that never (or at least very seldom) change.
Don't think there's a whole Skippy course in this but there might be a few minutes in the street driving lecture of the things you want to make sure you know about an unfamiliar car before you set sail.

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So does anyone think there is any value in a Skippy Driving School course titled "What to Do If..." that covered unexpected low probability stuff like this? Should it be a chapter in an owner's manual (doubt that would ever happen)? Or is this best left to the individual due diligence of every car owner and the principles of Sir Charles Darwin?

On the other hand, I once dated a girl who insisted that we roll up all the car windows every time we went over a bridge over water. Every time.
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Old 11-10-2009
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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On the other hand, I once dated a girl who insisted that we roll up all the car windows every time we went over a bridge over water. Every time.
Even without a picture, is there not a caption contest in here somewhere?
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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Even without a picture, is there not a caption contest in here somewhere?
I DIDN'T MARRY STUPID?
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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Originally Posted by dalyduo View Post
The 3 second button hold for shutdown would be a deal breaker for anyone who didn't have back brained knowledge of it ahead of time. 3 seconds is an eternity in an emergency situation like that. I'd press multiple times and use more pressure with each stab. Doubt I'd have held for 3 full seconds as it falls outside of my sense of a normal response to a button press.
The whole point of having a delay like that is so someone doesn't accidently or mishieviously activate it while driving but if you aren't educated about the feature it would be very hard to discover it under stress.

If memory serves the traction control for the IS-F has 2 or 3 different levels of disengage, and to de-activate fully requires multple button pushes and holding of the button for at least 3 seconds so it can't be done accidently. You'd never figure it out without education.

Heck, My cheap Casio digital watch will do everything but make coffee for me in the morning but the sequence of button pushes and holds required to access the features is only known by Stephen Hawking on alternate Thursdays.

The problem is the manufacturer's race to out-feature each other with bells and whistles of every possible kind creates a more and more complex interface unique to each manufacturer. It's great having the new features but a genuine challenge when learning an unfamiliar vehicle.



This seems more and more like a case of outsmarting ourselves with technology. My '03 BMW starts with a key twist but the key starts an automated start program that is the equivilant of the current separate start button. A key twist used to only determine how long the starter motor was engaged but that's not the case with this car. It's automated program does everything. I'm fine with that but it does make me wonder about the value of a separate start button. The button is cool and a throwback to earlier times but is there any benefit other than adding additional steps and complexity to the process of starting and turning off the car?
No. And the answer is funnier without the other 7 characters.
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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No. And the answer is funnier without the other 7 characters.
I think its funnier WITH these 7 characters:
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldredracer View Post
No. And the answer is funnier without the other 7 characters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowhands View Post
I think its funnier WITH these 7 characters:
I guess I ate a stupid pill - wtf is the 7 character ref from DD's post

solution is still...
!

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Re: No Driver Ed.

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I guess I ate a stupid pill - wtf is the 7 character ref from DD's post

solution is still...
!

The other 7 characters required to make a minimum length post. A lot of pithy humor has fallen by the wayside because of that little rule.

And it was oldred. Maybe you took the pill that makes you see funny too.

Nice valley. I'll be seeing sights like that soon, I hope...
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Re: No Driver Ed.

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The other 7 characters required to make a minimum length post. A lot of pithy humor has fallen by the wayside because of that little rule...

________
7____

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Re: No Driver Ed.

magic..............7 - actually I think it is 10 characters

slowhands, not a travel pic, the message dude, the message
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Re: No Driver Ed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowhands View Post
The other 7 characters required to make a minimum length post. A lot of pithy humor has fallen by the wayside because of that little rule.

And it was oldred. Maybe you took the pill that makes you see funny too.

Nice valley. I'll be seeing sights like that soon, I hope...
I have been called many things, Obiwan, but pithy?
Thanks....I think.
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QUALIFICATIONS 1987: Davidson: "Sammy Swindell's car runs a normally aspirated stock-block engine with Pontiac heads. It was developed by John Buttera." Palmer: "Wow, yeah, he used to play the sax with Louis Prima." Davidson: "That was Sam Butera." Palmer: "Oh, yeah."
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