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Old 11-21-2009, 12:42 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Bicycle Bob -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycle Bob View Post
...

Gosh, my old Toyota was good for at least two full stops on the reserve vacuum when I did EOC down mountains, and I could still do a hard stop if I had to. Is this a computer issue screwing up those basics?

BTW, the guy who landed the Gimli Glider used his muscles to cross-control and sideslip a whole airliner. People get strong in emergencies. I don't think he even asked the co-pilot to help.
The article also said that if the driver knew (the car was a loaner), he could have just held the ignition button down for 3 seconds. Maybe he did know, but I don't think it "clicked" in the emergency because he used a key in his other car.

But I wonder if, under those conditions, the carputer would have honored the "3 second off" command. The carputer may have thought something like "no, your transmission is in gear, so I can't just turn the car off. You could hurt your transmission". Someone should simulate the problem on a long stretch of closed-off highway and see what happens.

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Old 11-21-2009, 01:29 AM   #22 (permalink)
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The transmission's always in gear, so I don't think it would be an issue. The computer turns it on/off all the time in gear anyway.
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:35 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Every vacuum assist brake system will lose braking assistance during wide open throttle. Brakes still work fine just gotta really use your legs.

the toyo tacoma I have in the garage has a hook in the floor and a hole in the floormat.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:28 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bicycle Bob View Post
Gosh, my old Toyota was good for at least two full stops on the reserve vacuum when I did EOC down mountains, and I could still do a hard stop if I had to. Is this a computer issue screwing up those basics?
The throttle was wide open. That affects two things: available vacuum for brake assist, and the amount of work needed from the braking system to stop the car. Cars are a lot more powerful in general than they used to be. I'm old so I remember when 100HP was a lot; these days my little Honda Fit has "only" 109HP. The Lexus probably had closer to 300.
Quote:
People get strong in emergencies.
Agreed. So why wasn't this guy able to stop the car with the brake pedal?

I read another account of the accident in which a witness reported that "the tires were on fire" before it crashed. That tells me that either the tires or the brakes were smoking hot, or hotter. Maybe the engine simply won the stopping vs. going power contest.

I like the "kill switch" ideas I've been hearing but I wonder if the answer isn't as simple as a throttle-off trip switch that activates when the brake pedal is pushed down more than a certain distance, or with more than a certain amount of effort.

And I have a whole new outlook on pushbutton starting, which I used to look at as a good thing. Now, not so much.

As for the guy using the cellphone to call 911; I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he'd exhausted other efforts. He was in a loaner car, may not have been familiar with the pushbutton start and its odd way of shutting the car off in emergency situations.

Besides the carpet malfunction, that pushbutton is where I see the problem. Shutting off a car should be -- no, MUST be -- a no-brainer.
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:25 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I read an article about this; the car has 272 HP and the brakes had been overheated. No doubt he stood on 'em for all he was worth.

Now if he'd been in a 48 HP diesel VW the brakes should have won the battle.

Why did we need that HP race again? Oh yes, that's right: the enthusiast media i.e. Rodent Track, Motor Fleeting Trend, etc. all hammered away at it until the customer thought he needed it and demanded it.
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Old 11-22-2009, 04:39 PM   #26 (permalink)
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...yeah, but he could get "...up to grid-lock..." speed faster than any other car on the freeway on-ramp!
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:09 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post



Then there's this cop, who of all people, should know how to get that thing stopped. But nooooooo, whipping out the cell phone is today's solution to EVERYTHING.

Sorry, but I've had floormats get into where they didn't belong before and what I found works in that situation is to reach down, grab that damned mat, and pull it out of the way. Then, when stopped, straighten it out all neat and tidy.
That is what I was thinking as well ; more so after having seen the pic on the investigation website (NHTSA) of the gas pedal stuck under the lip of the mat.
Either that or slip a toe of the shoe under the go pedal the flip it backwards.

Sadly it seems to be such an easily avoided but truly tragic sequence of events.

Pete.

Last edited by Peter7307; 11-23-2009 at 12:16 AM..
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:23 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
Sorry, but I've had floormats get into where they didn't belong before and what I found works in that situation is to reach down, grab that damned mat, and pull it out of the way. Then, when stopped, straighten it out all neat and tidy.
+1

On a related note I have had floor mats move in every single vehicle I have owned, a couple years ago I decided to fix the problem with every subsequent vehicle. The drivers side floor mat lives in the garage.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:37 AM   #29 (permalink)
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"Every year we make it more idiot-proof, and every year, they come up with a better idiot."

I recently learned that in pictures showing dozens of guys and horses processing grain with the original threshing machines, there is always one guy just standing on top. His job, in the days before things like chain guards, was to shout warnings to the other guys.

In Belgium, a fleet of 800 taxis converted to ABS brakes over a two year process. It was found that the accident rates were unchanged, but the average speed went up.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:55 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Making things completely automatic and idiot proof actually BREEDS idiots.

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