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Old 02-24-2010, 01:58 PM   #211
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There was never any chance that the problem was in the pedal. It has always been a computer problem and that is why they are taking so long. They have not figured out how to fix it.
Howie,

Kinda thought the same thing.
Back when GM went drive by wire I was still working at a Chevy store. Luckily we never had a random acceleration concern, but I remember we did replace several modules for a no response problem.
It just stands to reason that if you can't get off idle on one hand, that it is not out of the realm of possibility that the opposite condition just might also occur.
I don't have the gray matter of an engineer, just the common sense of an ex-knuckle buster.

Just hope everyone stays safe and the condition gets fixed ASAP.

opps.. gott'a go Mr. Toyoda on the tube right now.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:59 PM   #212
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I purchased a Plymouth Arrow pickup (Mitsubishi) in the later '70's. Great mileage and plenty of performance. Carb went south and I went to Pep Boys for a rebuild kit. Not sure if it was Manny, Moe or Jack that laughed at my request. Went to the dealer and was told that it was a sealed carb, no rebuild kits and a new one was $300 exchange. Put an Offenhauser manifold on that puppy with a set of tube headers and a Weber carb. Now I had great performance and even better mileage, but thanks to the tree huggers at the California Air Resources Board, I couldn't get a smog certificate to register the truck. I had a certificate from AAA that the engine met all emissions, but I flunked the "visual" test because of the performance equipment.

This is a round about way of taking a shot at the EPA, CARB and the rest of the alphabet outfits that have made emissions and mileage standards so onerous that manufacturers have to take extraordinary measures to meet these standards. I just sold and '04 Wrangler to a guy in CA. He had to pay an extra $250 to registered it because in came from CO and lacked CA smog equipment. Yet, it passed the smog test to get the certificate to be able to pay the $250!!!

Finally, I bought a new Wrangler and instead of paying cash, I got a zero interest loan from GMAC (right after Obama gave them another 3.2 billion dollars). I called the 800 number to set up a direct deposit payment and talked to "Brad" in Manilla PI who could barely speak English.

At this point in time, I'd rather see Obama's drivers license, not his birth certificate.

Let's get the government out of the car business.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:11 PM   #213
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Worse than a Pinto?

Wow...that's pretty depressing...

Toyoda faces lawmakers: 'I'm deeply sorry' - Yahoo! News
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:00 PM   #214
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Bill, I'd have to see the color chips, but silver or red are good choices for my new Chevy at your expense. Want the most expensive model, of course, with leather, but don't need the DVD or navigation systems. Our Tundra doesn't have a compass, so we need one. Will it be delivered here or do I have to come to Rhode Island? I hope a Chevy 1/2 ton can easily tow my trailer, go effortlessly 70 mph up Vail or Monarch Passes, handles very well, has powerful brakes, and gets better gas mileage than our Tundra (latter wouldn't be difficult). Glad you didn't offer a Ford with the flaming cruise control.

Now getting more serious, I don't understand car (or most any other) computers. But I am told that cheaper chips (the not floating point something type) can round off the numbers and build up error to the point it matters. I am also told that it is very difficult to reproduce the possible circumstances when this might happen. I imagine the electronic control module that controls speed, fuel/air mixture, etc., gets inputs of gazillions of numbers and has to make calculations millions or billions of times during the life of a vehicle. Sooner or later, it would seem, it can make a really bad mistake that is almost impossible to replicate in a lab. Maybe the possibility of this happening is reduced with floating point something chips, but it still may be possible with them, just less likely. Perhaps a supercomputer could analyze the system and come up with the answer, but I don't know.

I have been watching the hearing today with Toyota CEO Toyoda, but no one has really gotten to those questions directly.

Another issue that hasn't been asked directly is the question of consequences of installing the system that cancels the fuel when the brake is depressed. Some vehicles already have that and I believe all cruise control system cut off fuel when the brake is used. But when you have to start on a steep grade, sometimes it is safer to give the vehicle some gas before releasing the brake so you don't roll back. This can prevent rolling back into another vehicle or rolling backwards off a cliff. Using the emergency brake instead of the foot brake can achieve the same result, but emergency brakes aren't always adjusted properly. Questions about this were not asked either.

If I recall correctly, Toyoda campaigned for his job last year because of concerns the company was losing its way. He appeared to be concerned the company his grandfather founded was not living up to the family's commitments. He may be one of the good guys although he's taking the heat.

I now have an appointment to have the pedal fixed next week. This pedal gets the metal plate that's supposed to prevent the pedal from getting stuck while depressed. As much as I try to figure out how this will help, I can't. Maybe the dealer will show me and I'll certainly ask.

Gene
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:50 PM   #215
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This is a direct quote from Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda in his apology to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

"In addition, Toyoda said the company is making changes so brake pedals can override a sudden acceleration and bring a runaway vehicle to a safe stop."

Guess where this override of sudden acceleration will take place. IN THE COMPUTER that they have always said was not the problem.

It is beginning to look like the problem is in the Cruse Control System. Even when deactivated at the dashboard it look like the system is calling for full acceleration as when RESUME/ACCELERATION is applied at the dash controls. The brake pedal normally sends a signal to the cruse control system to return to idle speed once the brakes are applied while cruse control is activated. Looks like they are going to attempt to use that signal even when the cruse control is not activated.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:28 PM   #216
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...But I am told that cheaper chips (the not floating point something type) can round off the numbers and build up error to the point it matters. I am also told that it is very difficult to reproduce the possible circumstances when this might happen. I imagine the electronic control module that controls speed, fuel/air mixture, etc., gets inputs of gazillions of numbers and has to make calculations millions or billions of times during the life of a vehicle. Sooner or later, it would seem, it can make a really bad mistake that is almost impossible to replicate in a lab. Maybe the possibility of this happening is reduced with floating point something chips, but it still may be possible with them, just less likely. Perhaps a supercomputer could analyze the system and come up with the answer, but I don't know.
...
Another issue that hasn't been asked directly is the question of consequences of installing the system that cancels the fuel when the brake is depressed.
...
Very very close. Fixed point math is excellent for embedded controls, but requires adherence to a particular discipline. Failure to be properly indoctrinated into this discipline, failure to follow industry standards, or shortcuts in testing product can produce (particularly in C) Undefined Behavior (decent wiki description behind the link). The exact methods of how usually involve overflow and attempted division by zero. In very simple terms, if you assign the fingers on your right hand to be one variable, and the fingers of your left to be another, what happens when you attempt to count to six on your right hand? Do you anticipate and control it, or do you not expect it and allow it to clobber whatever your left hand was counting? St Matthew in this case had it right: "let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth."

Floating point math has its own strengths and weaknesses, and requires a slightly different discipline. I wouldn't say that it is better or worse than fixed point, but just different and historically more expensive.

There are ways of processing pedal positions and mapping them to throttle positions that are more reliable than cables. Making it happen that way involves considerable work and cubic yards of intellectual property. It's either heavily patented or very much not for public dissemination, as well as being fairly complicated.

Almost nobody in the automotive or related industries is enjoying watching this. That said, I fully expect relevant Federal Aviation Regs or Mil Specs for fly by wire systems get fast tracked into the automotive realm for implementation starting around 2012 or 2014. To be perfectly blunt, given where I think the industry is headed power-train wise, this is probably OK.

The brake/throttle interaction would need some pretty careful thought in order to be "right."

On a final note, it appears today's FBI raid of some of Toyota's suppliers may have been related to an anti-trust price fixing investigation, not the topic of this thread.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:34 AM   #217
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Bill, I'd have to see the color chips, but silver or red are good choices for my new Chevy at your expense. Want the most expensive model, of course, with leather, but don't need the DVD or navigation systems. Our Tundra doesn't have a compass, so we need one. Will it be delivered here or do I have to come to Rhode Island? I hope a Chevy 1/2 ton can easily tow my trailer, go effortlessly 70 mph up Vail or Monarch Passes, handles very well, has powerful brakes,
Gene, I know you are a fan of ½ tons; at 403 hp, 417 lb-ft of torque, and 1900# payload I think even a little ½ ton would have no problem with that if the load was light enough.
I’ll let my Wife pick the color and we’ll have it sent over to you…
(Compass included...)



Quote:
I now have an appointment to have the pedal fixed next week. This pedal gets the metal plate that's supposed to prevent the pedal from getting stuck while depressed. As much as I try to figure out how this will help, I can't. Maybe the dealer will show me and I'll certainly ask.

Gene
I have to wonder what Toyota's response will be when the NHTSA starts finding "repaired" Toyotas in a ditch with stuck accelerators? The shim is a joke, you may even say an insult to Customers...ask them to show it to you...a slight increase in spring pressure is no cure for the type of failures I have seen reported.
Good luck Gene, check it out thoroughly, and be careful.

I'll even throw in "floor mats" with the new Chevy!

Bill
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:57 AM   #218
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B
I now have an appointment to have the pedal fixed next week. This pedal gets the metal plate that's supposed to prevent the pedal from getting stuck while depressed. As much as I try to figure out how this will help, I can't. Maybe the dealer will show me and I'll certainly ask.
Gene
Gene

Try and watch the recall work. You will note at the end the tech will plug in the OBD2 scanner and re-flashes the Computer. The pedal piece is just for show they need to get access to the Computer.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:51 AM   #219
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I have to wonder what Toyota's response will be when the NHTSA starts finding "repaired" Toyotas in a ditch with stuck accelerators? The shim is a joke, you may even say an insult to Customers...ask them to show it to you...a slight increase in spring pressure is no cure for the type of failures I have seen reported.
Good luck Gene, check it out thoroughly, and be careful.


Bill
Bill, I also wonder about whether there will be Toyotas in a ditch after the pedal fix. I'm skeptical about the fix.

Gene
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:53 AM   #220
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Gene

Try and watch the recall work. You will note at the end the tech will plug in the OBD2 scanner and re-flashes the Computer. The pedal piece is just for show they need to get access to the Computer.
Howie, I will be asking the questions and wanting to know about the computer. Our local dealer is pretty easy to deal with unlike big city dealers, so I'm hoping they will be flexible and not quote insurance regs.

Gene
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:11 PM   #221
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Bill, I also wonder about whether there will be Toyotas in a ditch after the pedal fix. I'm skeptical about the fix.

Gene
Gene, I have seen the shim that is supposed to “fix” the sudden acceleration problem; it can’t really do any harm to have it done. It may require you to press the pedal with a little more force, but that’s about it.

Don’t be surprised if you are back at the dealer again in the future to have the ECM reflashed.

As far as plugging in the OBD while you are there; I would think any dealer would do that to check for trouble codes while you are in the shop…

Just be careful in the future and be sure you (or anyone who drives your vehicle) are well prepared to hit neutral. Remember, if this were to happen, it may be when you least expect it; crosswalk, parking lot, etc and not in an “ideal” location like the wide open prairie!
Be careful.

I am not really sure how I would feel if this were my vehicle?
Is it hysteria?
Is it no worse than other recalls that have happened?
Would I continue to drive the vehicle in question?
I really don’t know; we are not talking about a faulty power window switch. Quite a few Folks have been killed or seriously injured.
What if my truck leaped out and ran over a child while they were crossing in front of me? I would never get over this…and would feel like a real *ss for ignoring a well documented problem.
I can assure I would not let my Wife and Son in such a vehicle until I had a high level of confidence the problem was resolved.

I am pretty upset the problem (or similar problem) has been covered up for a decade? The number of accidents being attributed to this malfunction is climbing daily as LEO and insurance investigators revisit previous cases.
That’s serious stuff and exhibits the height of apathy and arrogance toward the Customer. Much of this because importers play by different rules…

Bill
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:51 PM   #222
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Something that was asked early on in this problem was "why not just turn off the ignition?"

The Legal answer was no to because it would drop the power steering and power brakes. That is not necessarily true. Any automatic transmission that is PUSHED above 30 mph can be jump started because above that speed and above the transmission converter will turn the engine over. Now give that if you are hurling down the road at 70+ mph and the ignition is turned off you will still have steering and brakes as they are mechanical functions off the engine not controlled by the computer.

If my family was to encounter this problem I would sure tell them to shut down the ignition and let the back pressure of the engine slow them down to 35and then turn the ignition back on momentarily to see if the computer has reset. If it started to re accelerate turn it off, you will still have brakes and steering just they will be like your grandparents lived with until 1970 or so.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:08 PM   #223
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Something that was asked early on in this problem was "why not just turn off the ignition?"

The Legal answer was no to because it would drop the power steering and power brakes. That is not necessarily true. Any automatic transmission that is PUSHED above 30 mph can be jump started because above that speed and above the transmission converter will turn the engine over. Now give that if you are hurling down the road at 70+ mph and the ignition is turned off you will still have steering and brakes as they are mechanical functions off the engine not controlled by the computer.

If my family was to encounter this problem I would sure tell them to shut down the ignition and let the back pressure of the engine slow them down to 35and then turn the ignition back on momentarily to see if the computer has reset. If it started to re accelerate turn it off, you will still have brakes and steering just they will be like your grandparents lived with until 1970 or so.
Your trans has to have a rear pump for this to work. I'm not aware of any recent automoble with a rear pump on the trans. Adios,John
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:36 PM   #224
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Your trans has to have a rear pump for this to work. I'm not aware of any recent automoble with a rear pump on the trans. Adios,John
Very interesting point. Your saying a trans with a front pump would not be turning and thus not hold the clutches engaged during a shut down and thus no connection to the engine at 30+ mph.

What about a momentary shut down just to reset the computer and brake the fuel setting.
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