General Toyota lawsuit/recall/problem thread

rickhamilton620

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New Sienna no longer top rated minivan:

Autoblog said:
It's generally accepted that every new iteration of any vehicle is somehow better than its predecessor. And that's true of the 2011 Toyota Sienna minivan, which is festooned with more goodies (like a 16.4-inch widescreen monitor for rear-seat passengers) and a sportier flair (complete with a sporty SE trim) than the previous generation Sienna. The only question that remains, then, is this: Do those improvements automatically equal a better vehicle?

According to Consumer Reports, the answer is no. And surprisingly, it's not even close, with the new Sienna's overall test score of 80 paling in comparison to the 2010's overall score of 94. The main culprits cited by CR for the plummeting score are poor fit and finish and excessive interior noise ? bad enough that CR claims it's not possible to have a proper conversation between front and rear passengers.

From the moment I saw the interior in press photos, I knew it was going to be disappointing. Nasty shiny plastic from the third row back, a rock hard plastic dash that doesn't even try to emulate the soft, squishy stuff, but instead has a odd, almost woodlike grain to it. To be fair, Odyssey and Sedona also have hard plastic dashes, but at least they do a credible job of looking like soft touch plastic. In any case, regardless of brand, when paying upwards of 40K for a minivan on the high end, I'd better get some nice interior materials.

It sucks, because overall, Sienna would seem to be a great all rounder. It's finally nice to drive, with the SE handling better than the prior "sporty" (relative term) handlers, Ody and Sedona, looks great, and has a wide variety of seating, powertrain, and trim level options.

The 2011 Quest's interior looks amazing, nearly Infiniti like. It'll be interesting to see how it fairs in real life.
 
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avidvideo

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Minnesota judge frees man convicted in acceleration crash of Toyota

By Jim Kavanagh and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

August 6, 2010 4:42 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- A Minnesota man sent to prison after the deadly sudden-acceleration crash of his Toyota Camry has been freed by a judge, and the local prosecutor says he will not be retried.

Ramsey County, Minnesota, District Court Judge Joanne Smith on Thursday ordered Koua Fong Lee released from prison pending a new trial related to the 2006 crash that killed three people. Ramsey County Prosecutor Susan Gaertner immediately said she would drop the charges.

"Mr. Lee will be a free man," Gaertner said in a written statement.

Outside the courtroom after the ruling, Lee, 32, said he wanted his four children, one of whom was born after he was jailed, to know what "Daddy" means.

"It's a long time," he said with tears in his eyes. "They don't know me."

Lee had always maintained his innocence, saying the 1996 Camry accelerated uncontrollably before it crashed into two vehicles, killing a man and his 10-year-old son and a 6-year-old girl.

On Thursday, Lee asked the family to forgive him and believe his story.

In fact, the family of the victims had long ago become convinced of Lee's innocence and joined the effort to free him. They are suing Toyota.

"It's a bittersweet victory," Bridgette Trice, whose daughter died of injuries suffered in crash, told CNN affiliate KARE-TV on Thursday. "I'm happy for the Lee family, that they're getting their justice. We want answers, and they're coming slowly but they're coming surely."

Mae Adams, whose nephews died in the accident, told KARE, "Our day is yet to come. ... We couldn't let this man sit in jail, no matter how much we wanted to know what happened."

Lee was driving home from Sunday services with his pregnant wife, and father, daughter, brother and niece. He told investigators that he pumped the brakes as he exited Interstate 94 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and approached an intersection, said his new lawyer, Brent Schafer.

But Ramsey County prosecutors asserted at trial that Lee had his foot on the gas as he approached cars waiting at a red light. The car was moving at 70 to 90 mph when it struck the other vehicles.

Two mechanical engineers examined the car before trial on behalf of the state and the defense, Gaertner said earlier this year. Both concluded the brakes were operating and there were no problems with the acceleration, she said.

"Bottom line, two experts -- one for each side -- said there was nothing wrong with the car," she said.

A jury convicted Lee of criminal vehicular homicide in 2007, and he was sentenced to eight years in prison. But he continued to maintain his innocence.

"I know that lives were lost that day, but I did everything within my power to try to stop that vehicle," Lee said in a prison interview with KARE last spring. "I never intended for this to happen."

The 1996 Camry is not a part of Toyota's recall.

Lee's accident is among the first of a growing number of cases getting a second look since Toyota announced the recall, acknowledging that problems with sudden acceleration were more extensive than originally thought.

In testimony before Congress, company executives apologized for underestimating the problem.

Toyota recalled more than 8 million vehicles, prompting Schafer to seek a re-examination of the vehicle in the 2006 accident.

"This never seemed right. A man with his family in the car -- his pregnant wife -- goes on a suicide mission? Then, the recalls started, and the complaints sounded just like what happened to Mr. Lee," Schafer said in March. "It sounds just like a case of unintended acceleration."

In the end, though, the conviction was vacated not only because of evidence of mechanical failure, but also because Judge Smith determined Lee's original attorney, Tracy Eichhorn-Hicks, had failed to defend him adequately at trial.

Eichhorn-Hicks had stated in court that Lee must have had his foot on the accelerator, even though Lee himself always maintained that he had pumped the brake to no avail.

"Compelling evidence was produced at Mr. Lee's evidentiary hearing on the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel," prosecutor Gaertner's statement said.

"I wish Mr. Lee and his family the very best."

CNN's Ann O'Neill contributed to this report.


Linky for video
 
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GRtak

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At least he is free.
 

katwalk

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Shit. The issues are now going back to 96'? I thought those toyotas still worked correctly :confused:
 

avidvideo

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Shit. The issues are now going back to 96'? I thought those toyotas still worked correctly :confused:

That's what surprised me. It makes me wonder how far back a car company might issue a recall. Would a '96 model still be on their radar?
 

nist7

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Shit. The issues are now going back to 96'?

No. That particular car was examined and the brakes and acceleration were deemed to be working fine. Keep in mind this is way before any sort of drive-by-wire technology. Everything was still mechanically linked. Of course unless we're now suggesting that Toyota had faults in their electronics AND mechanical throttle designs. ;)

I'm always amused that the one unfortunate crash that blew this whole thing up was due to pure user-error (dealer installing double floormats from wrong vehicle, driver unable to switch to neutral/pull throttle back up). But of course it was reported everywhere as simply a "Toyota floormat defect." Yes, if you double up on floormats from the wrong car then yeah you will have a "defect." A defect of your damn brain.

While a majority of these UIAs are likely pedal-misapplication and other stupid non-sense, I'm still curious to know if there is some possibility for a true unintended acceleration mechanism to develop that would be more than just a very remote possibility to have impacted a fair number of drivers.
 
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katwalk

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I thought it sounded a bit off as 90's toyotas were still good. Maybe it was just something going because the car was old.
 

Blind_Io

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http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/07/...autoblog+(Autoblog)&utm_content=Google+Reader

For years, Toyota was seen as an infallible, safe choice for consumers seeking high-quality, reliable and safe vehicles. That may still be the case, but recent events have made it abundantly clear that Toyota is as capable of making major mistakes as any other giant automaker.

Perhaps some of that lost image will be restored after a series of independent investigations into Toyota safety are concluded, assuming of course that the findings are favorable for the automaker. Steve St. Angelo, Toyota's North American quality chief, believes they will be. At the Council for Automotive Research's annual Management Briefing Seminars, St. Angelo said, "I can't find a technician who has found a sticking pedal... I am 100-percent confident that there is nothing wrong with our electronic throttle control system."

St. Angelo continued, saying that 80 percent of all owners of vehicles recalled for sticky accelerator pedals and bad floor mats have had their vehicles repaired. Interestingly, the quality chief added, "Recall is not a four-letter word," suggesting that it's best to admit to issues up front and repair them in a timely fashion ? a practice Toyota hopes will keep customers returning to its showrooms.
 

GRtak

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Recall is not a four letter word, much like fucked.
 

GRtak

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http://cars.about.com/b/2010/08/11/...ed-acceleration-cases-due-to-driver-error.htm

An article in Automotive News (login/subscription required) says that a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation into Toyota "unintended acceleration" crashes found that in most cases, driver error was to blame.

The investigation was based on reports from the "black boxes" -- data recorders that are triggered by the airbag sensors (which means they are recording at the moment of impact). Data from 58 crashes supposedly caused by unintended acceleration showed that in 35 of them (60%), the driver had not depressed the brake pedal at all. Fourteen showed "partial braking" and in nine cases the brake was depressed at the last second. NHTSA is saying that based on these findings, they do not believe there are any defects beyond those previously discovered -- those being sticky accelerator pedals or pedals trapped under a floor mat.

Despite the findings, a Toyota spokesman cautioned that the black boxes should not be considered the final word. The black boxes did not function in five of the cases, and the box does not record data for low-speed crashes. Toyota began installing the data recorders in 2007 model year vehicles.

This report would seem to exonerate the electronic throttle systems used in Toyotas and other vehicles, and put paid to the theory that a mysterious electronic glitch is causing cars to crash. -- Aaron Gold

Maybe it is not in the electronics themselves, but the programing. And if the programing is bad, maybe the info that is being recorded is faulty as a result.
 

Blind_Io

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http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/20/...autoblog+(Autoblog)&utm_content=Google+Reader

Well, the event data recorders from Toyotas involved in those SUA claims clear everything up right? Not so fast, Sparky.

According to a report in The Washington Post, the event data recorders the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration used to investigate claims of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles have a history of problems. In one incident, a Toyota pickup that struck a tree in a single car accident was recorded as going 177 mph ? far faster than any T100 we've ever seen. A separate reading from the same device put the truck's speed at a more feasible 75 mph. The article even says that Toyota itself has warned about the reliability of data collected from the so-called black boxes by stressing that the recorders were not intended to be used as crash-reconstruction devices. In the recent past, Toyota has already been accused of being 'secretive' about providing access to their black box data.

The EDRs in question apparently also have a history of being inaccurate about more than just speed. In another case, the device onboard recorded that both passengers had their seat belts unbuckled at the time of impact when in reality, one individual was safely buckled in.

Unfortunately, government researchers have little other recourse when it comes to substantiating or refuting claims of runaway Toyota products. NHTSA just recently released a preliminary report saying that over half of the instances in which the vehicles seemed out of control were actually attributable to the driver applying the wrong pedal at the wrong time. The Washington Post has indicated that the unreliability of the EDRs leaves some question as to the validity of those findings. They may have a point.
 

GRtak

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Are the computers interconected so that one uses information from the other to operate? Or do they have more than one computer at all?
 

Blind_Io

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If I recall, one of the problems with the low-end Toyota models is that Toyota tried to get one computer to do everything instead of installing multiple dedicated computers the way most other automakers do. This has cause some reliability problems as the computers are more prone to failure because they are being overloaded, this also contributes to some complaints of slow ABS and traction-control responses relative to other similar cars.

I don't have a source on this and it has been quite a while since I heard about it, so if anyone can find any information on it one way or the other, I would appreciate it.
 

awdrifter

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Someone need to overclock the ECU then. :p But seriously though, if the ECU is the problem then all the data recorded is unreliable. The EDR is just recording whatever the ECU feeds it, it doesn't have independent sensors.
 

GRtak

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Another recall??? WTF! Did they even try after 95?


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/business/27toyota.html

1.1 Million Toyotas Recalled to Correct Engine Problems


DETROIT ? Toyota Motor, the Japanese automaker, said Thursday that it would recall 1.13 million compact cars, days after federal safety regulators upgraded an investigation into numerous complaints about the cars stalling.

The recall, which covers the 2005 through 2008 Corolla sedan and Matrix hatchback, is the 15th this year for Toyota, which has found itself battling widespread questions about the quality and reliability of its vehicles. Toyota has recalled about 11 million vehicles worldwide since November, including about eight million in connection with complaints about sudden acceleration.

The latest recall is not related to the problems with Toyota?s accelerator pedals and floor mats, but rather to reports of the vehicles? engines stalling or failing to start. Toyota said it was aware of three crashes that drivers claimed were caused by a stalled engine, one of which resulted in a minor injury.

In December, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into complaints about stalling on the 2006 Corolla and Matrix. The agency began a new inquiry, known as an engineering analysis, last week and broadened its range to include the 2005 through 2007 model years.

On Thursday, Toyota attributed the problem to improper manufacturing of the vehicles? engine control modules, which allowed cracks to develop at certain solder points or in a protective coating on the circuit board. Dealers will replace the control modules, which were made by the Delphi Corporation, a process expected to take about 40 minutes for each vehicle, Toyota said.

Owners can expect to receive a recall notice in mid-September. The affected vehicles had not been included in any of Toyota?s other recalls this year, though the 2009 and 2010 versions of the same models were part of the sudden-acceleration recalls.

The pace of recalls across the auto industry has increased in 2010 as more automakers voluntarily issued recalls in the aftermath of Toyota?s quality problems. About 23.5 million recall notices have been sent to vehicle owners in the United States, with about half of them coming from Toyota.

The highway safety agency said this week that it had begun an investigation into whether three million Jeep Grand Cherokees from the 1993 to 2004 model years had gasoline tanks that could catch fire too easily after a crash. Chrysler is cooperating with the investigation but has not yet determined the vehicles to be defective or issued a recall.
 

GRtak

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What does a Ferrari recall have to do with Toyota?
 

bone

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^nothing

but starting a new thread for it would be stupid as well :)
 

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Automotive Random Thoughts is that way -->
 
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