May 4, 2011

User Error

          In the June 2011 Car and Driver, they address the Toyota recall that started in October 2009.  Basically, people were having difficulty with “pedal misapplication,” Department of Transportation’s term.  There were a few incidents of the wrong floor mats causing accelerators to become stuck (which the media reported non-stop, along with every little fault that Toyota might have), but the study found user error to be the case for most sudden accelerations.  Thanks again main stream media…
         The DOT even had NASA scientists bombard Toyota’s electronic throttle to find any reason to cause acceleration.  Every time NASA did something that would interfere with the throttle, the engine would stall or cause the engine to go into “limp” home mode.  NASA went to such extremes as to completely fry one of the engine-management computers. 
          My wife and I have a ’05 Toyota Tacoma, which while Toyota is doing its due diligence and continues to send us request after request to get the modified accelerator.  We don’t have Toyota floor mats.  We have Husky Liners, since we knew children would be in the vehicle.  The service to fix the recalled accelerator is half a day long…  Needless to say, we will be keeping our accelerator the way it is and making sure we both remember what to do if the engine suddenly accelerates, which is always good to “recall” no matter what type of vehicle you drive. 

Be sure to remember these simple steps to ensure your safety following a sudden acceleration:

1. Remove foot from accelerator, if car doesn’t slow proceed to step 2.
2.  Apply firm, steady pressure to the brake, if still no change, step 3.
3. Slide the gear shift to Neutral and turn off the ignition.
4. If you have to proceed to Step 4, skip it and execute Emergency Procedure 5.
5. Bend over, head between legs, kiss butt goodbye, your car is possessed, enjoy life on Mars.

                But seriously, taking your foot off the accelerator is a great first step.  Applying the brake should follow; if it still is revving hard after the brake application, slip it into neutral and let it blow itself up or you could turn it off.  A very knowledgeable engineer once told us that it is more cost effective to replace an engine than to replace your life.  I used to turn off my ’04 Jeep Wrangler while driving to unlock the center console and then restart it to keep driving.  If no one’s around, it’s not a bad idea to try, so at least you’re comfortable controlling your vehicle without power steering and brake pressure.  Be safe.  Seriously, be safe, we don’t have a lot of readers and can’t afford to lose any of you…

No comments:

Post a Comment