Toyota Throttle Problem

jemdandyJanuary 29, 2010

Hello John_G:

What do you think is the cause of Toyota's stuck throttle problem?

I spoke with an aquaintence of mine who has a late model Toyota RAV 4 and he has experienced a sticky throttle. He said that he handled it by applying the brakes, moving to the side of the road and shutting off the engine. He said that pulling up on the gas pedal had no effect.

Yesterday, In Milwaukee, a fellow with a Corolla pulled out of a gas station and shot across the street ending up in the middle of the median strip before he fought his car to a atop.

The recommended action published in our local paper is to apply the brakes and shift to neutral. Isn't this a recipe for a blown engine and possibly shrapnel? Maybe those cars have rev limiters?

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I'd say they do have rev limiters, most cars do now. Still, though, this whole debacle is hardly what you expect from the makers of "the best built cars in the world". Matter of opinion, jmo

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 7:43PM
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To me it shows the reason why some things should remain mechanical in nature rather than electronic no matter what. Steering, braking, and acceleration imo should either be done mechanically or at the very least be designed so they can be over-ridden mechanically in case of failure.

Some people seem suprised that Toyota and Honda vehicles are built by humans just like chevy, ford, and dodge. Therefore they are subject to problems from time to time. I'm sure the right wingers will blame the Democrats and the UAW for it anyway one way or another.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 11:27AM
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The old setup still had this potential. I had a '79 Cavalier years ago. The throttle cable became frayed with age and got caught when I opened the taps passing a truck. It stuck the twin-choke weber carb wide open and this b*stard didn't spare the horses and kept on accellerating until I turned the ignition off.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2010 at 7:41PM
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True. I had a '67 chevelle with a broken motor mount. Step on the gas and the engine would rise on the right side and put the linkage in a bind pulling the throttle further open, which would make the engine rise more, and pull the linkage more.

Point is that that was an easy fix. A frayed cable is something that can be seen and is also an easy fix. It's also something you would most likely feel long before you just stomped on the pedal and jammed a bunch of cable strands into the housing. If 'wires' are in total control, a failure is more likely to happen without warning, and you most likely aren't going to be able to 'see' whats the matter.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2010 at 11:07PM
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we have an 2010 camry. just a leased appliance as far as i am concerned. a malibu lease was $100/month more. is there a throttle cable? not sure. might open the hood and look.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2010 at 11:26AM
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The NHTSA is advising people to continue driving their Toyotas just learn how to put it in neutral while driving. This may not be very safe with an automatic in a panic situation.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 2:39AM
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Does all of this seem confusing? Opinions everywhere, pieces of facts here and there. Even suggestions of possible fraud in some cases have now surfaced in regards to some of the crashes. From a technicians viewpoint, I have to draw the line at personal experience with these cars and this problem. I have not observed a throttle sticking on one, so therefore I have not had the chance to actually search for the cause on my own. All I can do is rely on the information that basically everyone is getting to hear both from on the news and snippets from techs around the country. Remember all of these are also going to dealers to be fixed under warranty, the aftermarket (independent technicians) are not involved at all with this. One Toyota tech even did a video of how the repair is done and you can find it on YouTube which essentially amounts to removing the pedal assembly. The tech then measures a gap between two portions of the pedal assembly, and then he/she installs a shim to take up that space and that causes more spring return pressure in the pedal assembly.

The push for years has always been to have techs that would robotic-ally simply identify a failed (failing) part, remove it and replace it. Remember its all about price, no matter how expensive one may think auto repair labor fee's are, I've said it many times it's under priced by a significant margin. Six months ago, the repair would again have been to replace the part if they found one sticking, and this may well have happened many times. I have never seen information to support or deny how often that may have occurred if it did much at all. The diagnosis and replacement of the pedal assembly likely paid a technician about 1/2 an hour's time for the job. I could very well imagine someone else at another time looking at that pedal assembly, and if they could not prove that it was faulty, they would back flag the dealership for the repair, who would in turn take back the pay that the technician got for doing the repair back off of him/her. Many people would take the position that the tech ultimately not being paid for that repair isn't their problem, and in a direct fashion that would be true on that day. But eventually these actions erode the technician talent pool, and is the fundamental cause of many of the anecdotal stories of poor service you have ever heard of, read or told.

Lastly, there have been many times that I have seen people condemn American car manufacturers about quality, and they point to recalls as their proof. It really was just a numbers game before one of the imports suffered a big issue, Toyota's quality hasn't changed because engineering underestimated what appears to be the spring tension required on one specific part. GM and Ford especially were never as bad as consumer reports wanted to make them look. JMHO.

Now the Prius brakes issue where there can be a delay under certain circumstances due to a rough road? I can picture what is occurring, the rough road bounces a wheel up and and immediately locks with almost no braking pressure. That would look like a need to begin an anti-lock function to the computer. This isn't something that a dealer technician could fix on his/her own. The fix would have to come in the form of software for the HV, and ABS computers. They could in some cases require a redesign of, or potentially add a yaw sensor if the car didn't come with one. They could even incorporate suspension height sensors to help detect road surface conditions. The wheel speed sensors alone do allow for detection of rough road conditions. There is a resonance to the lock-up that is occurring the system will recognize as not matching the anti-lock systems function, and be scored as road surface, which results in less ABS activation. In Toyota's case that time period must be significantly long which is allowing the drivers to observe it.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 10:02AM
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Thought this was an interesting story. Before its all over, will Toyota have to recall cars built as early as 1996?

'Toyota defense' might rescue jailed Minnesota man
February 25, 2010

Ever since his 1996 Toyota Camry shot up an interstate ramp, plowing into the back of an Oldsmobile in a horrific crash that killed three people, Koua Fong Lee insisted he had done everything he could to stop the car.

A jury didn't believe him, and a judge sentenced him to eight years in prison. But now, new revelations of safety problems with Toyotas have Lee pressing to get his case reopened and his freedom restored. Relatives of the victims _ who condemned Lee at his sentencing three years ago _ now believe he is innocent and are planning to sue Toyota. The prosecutor who sent Lee to prison said he thinks the case merits another look.

Lee's Camry wasn't among those subject to Toyota's recent safety recalls, but Toyota did recall some 1996 Camrys for defective cruise controls that could cause sudden acceleration.

A link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 9:41AM
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went to dealer sunday afternoon. 2hr wait but they gave me a new camry loaner. i ran some errands and was interested in driving another car like mine to see if it handled the same. i noticed right off the brakes felt firmer on the loaner. i always thought my car had soft brakes. i wonder if i should mention it to dealer?

    Bookmark   March 1, 2010 at 10:24AM
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There are now reports that unintended acceleration is still occurring even after the Toyota fix.

Why would anyone in their right mind buy a toyota right now?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2010 at 2:44PM
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