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View Full Version : I had a run-away accelerator pedal incident today



The Bigfella
03-11-2010, 11:25 PM
Yep... taking a car up for its registration inspection... engine suddenly raced to full revs.

I put the foot on the clutch as I turned the key off.

Life is so simple with a VW... :D I put the hinge pin back in the pedal... it had come out and allowed the pedal to jam the linkage.

Oh yeah... its a 1973 Type 3... squareback. I've sold it but the guy wants to drive it back to Northern NSW so he needs to register it... its been sitting in a paddock for some years now.. Four actually.

See.... Toyota isn't the only one that has these little glitches.

Ian McColgin
03-11-2010, 11:27 PM
But it's profoundly different. The VW with all mechanical linkages can be turned off and has brakes that overpower the engine. The modern cars are different.

SMARTINSEN
03-11-2010, 11:38 PM
Wow, a squareback VW. We do not see any of those anymore, they all rusted themselves to an early death.

The Bigfella
03-11-2010, 11:44 PM
I must admit, I used some polyester body filler this week....

Dave Gray
03-11-2010, 11:46 PM
My squareback hit a deer. Happened at East Sleepy Hollow Drive (I seemed to think that was significant), taking my girl friend to introduce her to my folks who were living in Bend at the time.

S B
03-11-2010, 11:47 PM
But it's profoundly different. The VW with all mechanical linkages can be turned off and has brakes that overpower the engine. The modern cars are different.

Toyota has electronic gear selection?

The Bigfella
03-11-2010, 11:50 PM
Here she is... complete with a bodgy paint job by my ex brother in law. As a painter, he makes a great shearer.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff112/igatenby/iansecond/vw1.jpg

I bought this as a first car for my daughter about 10 years ago... in need of work. I put a reconditioned engine in it, cut the rust out and replaced it with metal.... but the ancillaries took a bit of sorting out... carbies and fuel pump. It broke down on my daughter a couple of times so she lost interest in it.

Would you believe it used to be a show car... and came second at the VW Nationals many years ago. It was even featured in an article in one of our local car mags... Fast Fours & Rotaries.

S B
03-11-2010, 11:58 PM
Uhhhh ...

Yes, they do.

Drive by wire ... but they are NOT very good at it!

:(

And I suppose the computer decides if the car should be running or not.

S B
03-12-2010, 12:05 AM
Uhhhhhh ... Beavis?!?

:D

Butt head more like it, these are legitimate questions. I own an older one and have had no need to research the latest offer. The possibility that a car cannot be turned off or taken out of gear seems ridiculous in the extreme.

WX
03-12-2010, 12:22 AM
Friend of mine years ago had one of those. he was driving though a cutting out in the back blocks of WA one day and a cow landed on the front of it...fell off the top of the bank just as he was driving past.
Sort of ruined it a bit. :D

S B
03-12-2010, 12:32 AM
Friend of mine years ago had one of those. he was driving though a cutting out in the back blocks of WA one day and a cow landed on the front of it...fell off the top of the bank just as he was driving past.
Sort of ruined it a bit. :D

That's it, I have toyota's problems solved, put moose on the road,they stop cars here in a hurry.

Dr.Spoke
03-12-2010, 12:53 AM
The VW with all mechanical linkages can be turned off and has brakes that overpower the engine.

I beg to differ, I doubt the brakes on any Variant could overpower the engine:rolleyes:

The Bigfella
03-12-2010, 12:56 AM
Yep... those brakes leave something to be desired... especially after driving the BMW M5....

OconeePirate
03-12-2010, 12:57 AM
I had a sticky throttle on the Comet for a while. I drove it home one night flipping the ignition on and off to control speed until I got to a spot where it was safe to stop and investigate. Turns out the cable stop on the carb end had wiggled itself to a point where it would catch underneath the choke linkage. Of course with no power brakes, steering, no steering lock, shutting off the engine didn't really make the car any harder to control.

reddog
03-12-2010, 05:40 AM
Once had a '66 VW 'notchback' sedan with a 1500cc twin carb setup.Sweet little car.The front end would get a little light at 70mph so I filled the trunk with rocks.You should have seen the cop's face when he asked me to open it up:D.
No accelerator issues other than a heavy foot.

Earl

WX
03-12-2010, 06:35 AM
On my 1960 Kombi the cardboard kick panel in from of the floor pedals stuck out a bit. The accelerator had a lip on the front edge and sometimes if I had the pedal to the metal the lip would stick under the bottom edge of the panel. To release the pedal I'd give the panel a sharp kick. 37hp engine...talk about power....down hill with a tail wind.:D

Harbormaster
03-12-2010, 07:09 AM
The VW...has brakes that overpower the engine. The modern cars are different.

Heck, with my squareback, just dragging my feet on the road through the floor boards could overpower the engine.

Brian Palmer
03-12-2010, 07:43 AM
The possibility that a car cannot be turned off or taken out of gear seems ridiculous in the extreme.

I've been experimenting with my 2005 Prius lately. Even when accelerating on the highway, I've been able to shift it to neutral, but need to hold the shift lever over longer than if the car was stationary.

I had a 1968 Ford Falcon and once, when it was about 22 years old, I started it up and the engine raced all the way up to full RPM. I still had the clutch pushed in, so I just shut it off. A return spring on the carburator/accelerator linkage had broken. Fixed in about a minute with a spare piece of copper wire.

Brian

Paul Pless
03-12-2010, 07:45 AM
The modern cars are different.i think also that maybe the 'modern driver' is different

Flying Orca
03-12-2010, 08:09 AM
Yep. If you want a loose analogy, it's like computers. People of my generation, and a select few of a generation earlier, know what's under the hood and how to work with it; most other people don't, they just expect it to work.

(If this is how you view computers, consider that this is how a great many younger people view cars.)

Garth Jones
03-12-2010, 08:19 AM
I bought a 2010 Corolla just before all the recall madness, but I'm not worried. My wife and I both prefer manual transmissions, so in the even of a stuck accelerator, we have a clutch pedal. The car has been completely fine, though. There are many reasons to like manuals....

Popeye
03-12-2010, 08:25 AM
with the key in the ignition , i can't both open my car door and lock it

if i open the door and press on the power lock button to lock the doors , it flips back to open automatically , this is a good thing

Nicholas Scheuer
03-12-2010, 08:27 AM
Ya'had me goin' there, Bigfella!

Reminds me of one of my old Studebaker Larks with one of those very powerful L-head six-cyl engines, which was only about 3/4 as long as a Chevy Blue Flame six. This was back when the accellerator pedals were actually hinged on the floor, and the hing had deteriorated due to rust. The pedal finally broke loose and left me driving with a pedal that just "leaned against" its upper end linkage to the carburetor, which was a series of bent steel rods and bellcranks that connected one's foot directly to the carburetor in no uncertain terms.

After I got tired of repositioning the lower end of the pedal for the upteenth time, I drilled a pair of holes in the pedal, and a matching pair in the floor and installed a zinc-plated cabinet hinge from the hardware store.

Betcha ya'cain't repair a "fly-by-wire" Toyota accellerators with parts from the hardware store, eh?

Some people today would consider a hardware store hinge a menace on the highway, but you have to remember, thios was back when people understood the value of "proper interval", and drivers did not attempt to direct traffic with their middle finger.

Moby Nick

Popeye
03-12-2010, 08:32 AM
i once had a lunch pail that looked a lot like your car

Dan McCosh
03-12-2010, 09:36 AM
I seem to remember that the VW squareback was one of the first cars with a computer-controlled engine.

rbgarr
03-12-2010, 10:13 AM
I've been experimenting with my 2005 Prius lately. Even when accelerating on the highway, I've been able to shift it to neutral, but need to hold the shift lever over longer than if the car was stationary.
Brian

Some neighbors who own Priuses (Prii?) got together in a parking lot with other owners to practice that the other day.

Dan McCosh
03-12-2010, 10:21 AM
The squareback had electronically-controlled fuel injection. I remember one side effect was that misfires tended to fill up the oil sump with gasoline, leaving the impression that it was making its own oil--obviously the beginning of the theory that oil reserves are replenishing themselves.

Brian Palmer
03-12-2010, 10:22 AM
If shifting from park to drive when the Prius is stopped, you can just move the "joy stick" shifter pretty quickly and it will shift.

When the car is moving, you have to hold it only for about 2 seconds and it will go into neutral, longer than in regular driving. The folks that said they could't get theirs into neutral may have just not held it long enough. The Prius also has a "lower gear" that you can shift into on the fly if you are going up and down a lot of hills so you don't need to ride the brake as much, just like a regular automatic. This will slow you down noticeably when you shift to it.

Brian

Paul Pless
03-12-2010, 10:24 AM
If shifting from park to drive when the Prius is stopped, you can just move the "joy stick" shifter pretty quickly and it will shift.

When the car is moving, you have to hold it only for about 2 seconds and it will go into neutral, longer than in regular driving. The folks that said they could't get theirs into neutral may have just not held it long enough. The Prius also has a "lower gear" that you can shift into on the fly if you are going up and down a lot of hills so you don't need to ride the brake as much, just like a regular automatic. This will slow you down noticeably when you shift to it.

Brianand what's the ignition switch like? is it easy to just turn the car off?

Brian Palmer
03-12-2010, 11:49 AM
Paul,

It is a button on the dash that says "Power". I have keyless fob so I can start the car with the fob still in my pocket. My sister has the same thing on her Nissan Maxima.

I have not tried hitting "Power" while the car is moving, but I guess it may not shut the car off it is still in gear and moving. It will not turn the car fully on unless your foot is on the brake. If your foot is off the brake, only the accessories come on (e.g., radio, fan etc.)

Brian

Wayne Jeffers
03-12-2010, 12:03 PM
Well, on an all drive-by-wire car, if the on-board computer has decided that it wants to run at full-throttle, why would you think it would permit you to shift to neutral or turn the ignition off?

Visions of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey – but more likely software written by Microsoft or Apple. :rolleyes:

I take comfort from that third pedal on my car and truck. The wife’s Camry has a mechanical shift linkage that goes to neutral with a forward bump of the console lever.

Wayne

andrewe
03-12-2010, 12:12 PM
A client had one of the early Jeep Cherokee limited 4lts, quite rare in europe then. Started speeding up to 90kph all by itself. Freeked him out. Renault owned Jeep at the time but wouldn't look at it as they had never seen one and had no manuals. So I had a Haynes manual Fed Exed over from the states. Very easy to follow, turned out it was the idle control. Had one couriered from the Swiss agent. Arrived a day later, problem cured.
Certainly drivers of the earlier era had far more understanding of how things worked, and what to do if they didn't.
A

George Jung
03-12-2010, 01:58 PM
Has anyone been following/heard more about that most recent 'runaway Prius' in California? The HP had to get in front of the car, and ride it to a stop, with his cruiser.

But that's not the interesting part. Apparently the investigations are picking up steam - and I believe I heard a warning in those comments. They noted that, since the publicity, the number of reported incidences has skyrocketed- they've had more in the past few months than all of last year. What I take from that - a few folk are trying to game the system, maybe anticipating a CALS.

Never boring - and isn't it interesting how fast folk are to 'pile on' when someone is down. A year ago, Toyota was golden - and now look. I haven't followed their stock price, but suspect opportunity may be knocking.

Wayne Jeffers
03-12-2010, 02:08 PM
. . . and isn't it interesting how fast folk are to 'pile on' when someone is down. A year ago, Toyota was golden - and now look. . .

I've thought very highly of Toyota for a long time. But their response to this latest round of problems doesn't smell so good to me. Seems like they've tried to quell the problem on the cheap, rather than effect a proper remedy. And their determination to keep any "black box" information secret gives the impression that they have something to hide.

My next car will probably be a Honda.

Wayne

Nicholas Scheuer
03-12-2010, 02:26 PM
Prius owners getting together on a parking lot to practice techniques for staying alive while driving their cars?

Now that is funny. The way to stay alive is to walk away from it and then phone Toyota to tell them where to go to get it off the street.

George Jung
03-12-2010, 02:27 PM
Toyota certainly could have done a better job with this one - but I was of the impression the US Govt. knew of this a few years back, already, and didn't pursue it at that time. Is that correct? But yes - arrogant, certainly.

The 'piling on' was meant as a general observation - not just the Toyota case.

I like Hondas, as well. Which one you looking at? (I rather like the looks of that new Accord model - Crosstour? - but don't know any specifics, haven't seen one in person. The CRV is nice, as well. And I'd be happy to garagesit anyones S2000)

Wayne Jeffers
03-12-2010, 02:38 PM
I'm not in the market for a car right now, George.

My current car is an S2000. :D

Next purchase will be a new pickup, no doubt. Most likely a 3/4-ton Chevy or Ford for towing the land yacht. I might have considered a Tundra until these recent events.

Wayne

The Bigfella
03-12-2010, 04:59 PM
The squareback had electronically-controlled fuel injection. I remember one side effect was that misfires tended to fill up the oil sump with gasoline, leaving the impression that it was making its own oil--obviously the beginning of the theory that oil reserves are replenishing themselves.

Not mine thankfully. I'm not sure that any of the Aussie-delivered cars were for that matter. Twin solex carbies thank you.

Just thinking about yesterday and Toyotas.....

.... my Type 3 failed its registration inspection because two lights were out... and indicator and a parking lot. In both cases, it just took a couple of wiggles of the bulb and they lit up - so, it was a minor bit of corrosion on the terminal.

.... think about what all those electronic devices in cars will be like in a couple of decades.

WX
03-12-2010, 05:22 PM
think about what all those electronic devices in cars will be like in a couple of decades.

And all made to minimum specs.

S B
03-12-2010, 10:57 PM
Once had a '66 VW 'notchback' sedan with a 1500cc twin carb setup.Sweet little car.The front end would get a little light at 70mph so I filled the trunk with rocks.You should have seen the cop's face when he asked me to open it up:D.
No accelerator issues other than a heavy foot.

Earl

The local booze smugglers used to send a car,with a trunk full of cinder blocks, heavy on the road to amuse the authorities, while the load went through unimpeded.

reddog
03-13-2010, 08:48 AM
SB,booze smugglers in Newfoundland? Shocking!!:D I'm sure someone had a good supply of cinder blocks.

Earl

OconeePirate
03-13-2010, 09:50 AM
When the car is moving, you have to hold it only for about 2 seconds and it will go into neutral, longer than in regular driving. The folks that said they could't get theirs into neutral may have just not held it long enough.

2 seconds is an eternity in heavy traffic.

Seems that there should be some sort of master kill switch that leaves nothing but the brakes and steering active if you're going to have too much controlled by computer. I mean, what happens when Skynet goes online? Will Toyota drivers be the first against the wall?

Oldsalt
03-13-2010, 11:48 AM
Perhaps we should go back to steam.

http://www.jaylenosgarage.com/at-the-garage/steam-cars/1909-model-r-stanley-steamer/#more

Typhoon
03-14-2010, 02:55 AM
I've never driven a vehicle where the brakes couldn't overpower the engine at full throttle.
I've had the throttle return spring come off 5.3 litre V8 powered car, the brakes stopped it. And that was a 70's Valiant, hardly the pinnacle of braking technology.
If a car with 70's disc/drum brakes and 460Nm of torque can be stopped by merely using the foot brake, I am sure a Prius can be stopped......
Toyotas/ new cars are very easy to shut down whilst driving, just hold the start button down or shift into neutral. But I spose that's hard when you are steering with one elbow, whilst jamming the mobile phone up to one ear with one shoulder, drinking a coffee with one hand and playing with the radio with the other hand.
As for how computers will be on 20 years, probably like they are now in 20 year old cars, dead reliable and efficient. I've owned several computer controlled cars 20+ years old, and they are lower maintenance and cheaper to maintain that carbureted vehicles.
I think it's time for proper personality/mental assessments before allowing people the privelige of driving something so complex.
A modern car is way more complex than a light aircraft, but to fly one of them, I needed to complete extensive emergency situation training, stuff much more complex than stopping a car with a stuck throttle.
To obtain a car licence, you get in and don't hit anything for 10 minutes...pass!

Regards, Andrew.

George Jung
03-14-2010, 11:29 AM
Sounds like the suspicions of 'gaming the system' are well founded. The yahoo in California has a nasty trackrecord, of scamming/stealing. Toyota has said the scenario he claimed isn't possible, and they've found nothing on examining his car that would substantiate his claims. His former neighbors have nothing good to say about him, either.

My bet - an overwhelming majority of these recent claims will be found 'lacking' - I wonder what the legal backlash, if any, will be.

LeeG
03-14-2010, 12:38 PM
turns out these unintended accelerations hit old folks coming out of parking places a lot.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/OpEd-Contributor/I-am-not-afraid-of-my-Toyota-Prius-87361597.html

Dan McCosh
03-14-2010, 02:36 PM
I've never driven a vehicle where the brakes couldn't overpower the engine at full throttle.
I've had the throttle return spring come off 5.3 litre V8 powered car, the brakes stopped it. And that was a 70's Valiant, hardly the pinnacle of braking technology.
If a car with 70's disc/drum brakes and 460Nm of torque can be stopped by merely using the foot brake, I am sure a Prius can be stopped......
Toyotas/ new cars are very easy to shut down whilst driving, just hold the start button down or shift into neutral. But I spose that's hard when you are steering with one elbow, whilst jamming the mobile phone up to one ear with one shoulder, drinking a coffee with one hand and playing with the radio with the other hand.
As for how computers will be on 20 years, probably like they are now in 20 year old cars, dead reliable and efficient. I've owned several computer controlled cars 20+ years old, and they are lower maintenance and cheaper to maintain that carbureted vehicles.
I think it's time for proper personality/mental assessments before allowing people the privelige of driving something so complex.
A modern car is way more complex than a light aircraft, but to fly one of them, I needed to complete extensive emergency situation training, stuff much more complex than stopping a car with a stuck throttle.
To obtain a car licence, you get in and don't hit anything for 10 minutes...pass!

Regards, Andrew.

How fast were you going when the engine went to wide open?

Dan McCosh
03-14-2010, 03:16 PM
turns out these unintended accelerations hit old folks coming out of parking places a lot.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/OpEd-Contributor/I-am-not-afraid-of-my-Toyota-Prius-87361597.html

The article is mainly blowing smoke at the issue. The main problem with this studying this kind of safety issue is its extreme rarity, which make it very difficult to duplicate in a controlled environment. That there are many false reports does not imply that there is nothing wrong with the system. The Prius, in fact, has a modified brake-by-wire braking system that combines the effect of regenerative braking with hydraulic brakes. It is speed sensitive, although exactly how this affects the hydraulic system is a good question. The early complaints were about the low-speed transition from regenerative to hydraulic brakes. How the system reacts to a WOT situation is another issue. The engine does not turn off easily, either. It doesn't have a conventional transmission, which raises another issue about getting it into neutral. The old issues mentioned--such as the Audi 5000--were never actually resolved.

thedutchtouch
03-17-2010, 12:07 AM
another thing about toyotas- they have an accelerator override. hit the gas and the brake at the same time (like hitting the brake while the accelerator is stuck) and it cuts the engine power.

40k miles so far on my 07 prius, it's a great car.

MiddleAgesMan
03-17-2010, 07:30 AM
I believe many of these accidents would be avoided by adapting to left-foot braking in all automatic transmission vehicles.

Dan McCosh
03-17-2010, 08:45 AM
another thing about toyotas- they have an accelerator override. hit the gas and the brake at the same time (like hitting the brake while the accelerator is stuck) and it cuts the engine power.

40k miles so far on my 07 prius, it's a great car.


No, they don't. They are beginning to retrofit an accelerator override system to their cars.

Paul G.
03-17-2010, 03:39 PM
I too had a runaway accelerator pedal incident, I was minding my own business on a quiet stretch country road in Waiwera valley when suddenly the accelerator pedal jammed on full in my 01 530. I had to flick through the gears and engage a few 4 wheel drifts through sweeping 190k corners, worse still on the straights it keep hitting redine all the the way to top gear, boy they take a while to get to 240ks but by carefully downshifting and keeping the revs close to 7 I managed to slide my way through a series of bends and straights for about 25 minutes untill finally I got it under control. I hope that never happens again until next week.....

The Bigfella
03-17-2010, 04:16 PM
Yeah... BM's are like that. I've had several of those in the M5.

OconeePirate
03-17-2010, 05:21 PM
Triumphs have that problem too.