BonFre

89 deaths tied to Toyota acceleration

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Unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles may have been involved in the deaths of 89 people over the past decade, upgrading the number of deaths possibly linked to the massive recalls, the government said Tuesday.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that from 2000 to mid-May, it had received more than 6,200 complaints involving sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles. The reports include 89 deaths and 57 injuries over the same period. Previously, 52 deaths had been suspected of being connected to the problem.

Toyota Motor Corp. has recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide since last fall because of problems with gas pedals, floor mats and brakes. The Japanese automaker paid a record $16.4 million fine for its slow response to an accelerator pedal recall and is facing hundreds of state and federal lawsuits.

Toyota said in a statement that it "sympathizes with the individuals and families involved in any accident involving our vehicles. We are making an all-out effort to ensure our vehicles are safe and we remain committed to investigating reported incidents of unintended acceleration in our vehicles quickly."

The automaker said "many complaints in the NHTSA database, for any manufacturer, lack sufficient detail that could help identify the cause of an accident. We will continue to work in close partnership with law enforcement agencies and federal regulators with jurisdiction over accident scenes whenever requested."

In the aftermath of the recalls, Congress is considering upgrading auto safety laws to stiffen potential penalties against automakers, give the government more powers to demand a recall and push car companies to meet new safety standards.

Toyota's U.S. sales chief, Jim Lentz, told Congress last week that dealers have fixed nearly 3.5 million vehicles under the recall and the company and its dealers have conducted 2,000 inspections of vehicles. Lentz said there was no evidence that electronics are to blame for the sudden acceleration reports.

NHTSA administrator David Strickland told lawmakers the agency had spoken to nearly 100 vehicle owners who said they had unintended acceleration following a recall fix but NHTSA had not seen pedal entrapment or sticky accelerators in any vehicles that have been properly repaired.

The government is investigating acceleration problems in Toyotas and a separate 15-month study by the National Academy of Sciences is scheduled to begin in July.

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Off topic but here buy the logan in India faces the same problem. The floor mats can foul with the accelerator pedal and cause the pedal to get stuck to the floor. This has happened to me on a couple of long drives.

Its highly unlikely that it'll be fixed anytime soon - So I've removed the driver side floor mats from my car.

Thank heavens that this is a manual transmission so pressing the clutch is a safe way out.

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That's news! Nice observation there, will be really helpful to Logan users.

Have you heard other customers also complaining or was the matter brought to Companies notice?

 

Try & get in touch with Logan consumers, form a group, educate/make them aware about the issue.

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Haven't seen anyone else complain about this.

A couple of people on the Logan forum did complain about the opposite though (poor acceleration because the mat prevents the pedal from being pressed fully).

I emailed Mahindra about it - didn't get any coherent response and left it at that.

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Well its not only Logan the Hyundai OE mats for i20 are really slippery and even I think of it as a potential hazard but it doesn't slip upwards were the acclerator pedal is there.

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@DT, that's the problem with Indian consumers at large. Though the market has matured in terms of consumers asking for more features, good designs, etc but are so over-whelmed with the final products that give the shortcomings/defects a deadly slip. I pointed out the same in Toyota's India offering - Innova but sadly other customers failed to realize the faults.

 

Another problem with Mats is when either the car is new or after service, paper covers are placed over carpet/rubber mats to save them. I can just not drive with paper covers over Mats, the foot slips & slides & sometimes can even get entangled when paper gets teared. I mean what's the logic over here, to save the mats which are there for a purpose & risk the vehicle & above all ones own life!

 

Rssh, good that you could this in the i20, more & more consumers need to be aware of such minor issues which if not dealt in time can turn serious & maybe lethal.
BornFree2010-06-01 07:10:13

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Haven't seen anyone else complain about this.

A couple of people on the Logan forum did complain about the opposite though (poor acceleration because the mat prevents the pedal from being pressed fully).

I emailed Mahindra about it - didn't get any coherent response and left it at that.

You can try tweeting about it to @anandmahindra on twitter. From what Ive seen, he usually responds & gets people acting on complaints.

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Nice posting by Bornfree to show the underbelly of Toyota which is making new for the wrong reasons now.They still reported profits for 2009, despite all these happenings, bad publicity and negative sales.

I am wondering how come so many cars are reporting the same floor mat-accelerator pedal problems  now? Even my friend Bornfree has sighted the probable floor mat-accelerator pedal goof-up in Prof sgiitk's new Civic?

Logan, i20',Fords, Civic (probable) and more may be added to the list.

This malady can be aptly named as Corollaphobia or Priusphobia to give credit to its inventorssmiley1.gif.

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http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128519779

Mr. RAMSEY: Well, we have been saying several dozen, all of them that were -fit the criteria, were found to have the brake not depressed and the accelerator wide open. So 100 percent of the incidents where it fit that criteria, that's what was found.

NORRIS: One hundred percent?

Mr. RAMSEY: Yes.

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http://blogs.automobilemag.com/6674074/editors-soapbox/toyota-is-the-new-audi/index.html

 

NHTSA now says that in ALL 58 cases they have examined, it is driver's fault.

 

Today, I read that NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, examined the computers in 58 Toyota cars accused of unintended acceleration. The results are in:

35 cars: the driver didn't apply the brakes at all

14 cars: the driver applied "partial" brakes

  8 cars: the driver applied the brakes, but only at the "last second" before impact.

--------

35 + 14 + 8 = 58 cars total. Wait! So that means in every case, the driver is at fault for not stopping the car. Wow.

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