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bob from maine
User Rank
Platinum
It's not all that easy
bob from maine   10/30/2013 5:42:19 PM
NO RATINGS
When a gasoline engine goes to full throttle, manifold vacuum drops to nearly zero, thus no vacuum assist to the disc brakes. When disc brakes were first introduced it was determined that a reasonably healthy human can generally be relied upon to apply a minimum of 60 lbs to the brake pedal. With 4 wheel discs and no vacuum assist this 60 lbs reduced braking effectiveness by 50% or more; thus a gas engine at full throttle MAY produce enough power to prevent the vehicle from slowing appreciably, especially if the brakes were hot from applying them lightly for a mile or so. Many modern vehicles have a vacuum pump because the fuel injection systems and engine timing generate relatively little vacuum, but even so - once the brakes are hot, braking effectiveness may not be enough to stop the car. A prudent driver might consider practicing key off-neutral-brake at lower speeds in a parking lot lest they become another statistic.

bobjengr
User Rank
Platinum
UNINTENDED ACCELERATION
bobjengr   10/30/2013 5:02:50 PM
NO RATINGS
 

In 2004 I worked for one of the "majors" in the appliance industry.  Our director of quality control owned a late model Toyota used in driving back and forth to work.  It was a good "ride" and he enjoyed driving it.  He was definitely a stickler on maintenance and had the car serviced every 4,000 miles.  One sunny summer day his accelerator "stuck" pushing the car forward to speeds exceeding 80 MPH.  Fortunately, he was on I-75 and not on one of Georgia's famous two lane back roads.  He knew exactly what to do: 1.) apply brakes, 2.) pull to the shoulder of the road and 3.) cut engine.  He did just that.  He then restarted the car and eased back onto the interstate thinking the problem was temporary.  It was--for about 10 minutes then the very same situation occurred.  This time, he parked the car and called AAA for a tow.  I do not know the end of the story of even if Toyota solved his problem.  I do know he traded cars fairly quickly after that.

wbswenberg
User Rank
Gold
Fly-by-wire
wbswenberg   10/30/2013 4:06:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Don't think so.  Except for auto pilot. But then the computer is flying the aircraft.  There are multiple control surfaces and a lost of or errant one is not such a big deal.  Pilot error however continues to be a big deal both for airplanes and especially cars.  It is an error to ignore the law and paint on the road.  Gee, what a change from being a teenager and pushing the limits.  

GTOlover
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Bad news
GTOlover   10/30/2013 3:53:20 PM
NO RATINGS
J. Williams, all good points. I would also add that todays drivers seem more interested in texting, putting make-up on, or yapping on the phone than driving and paying attention to their vehicle!

I had a white knuckle experience stoplight racing my 1970 GTO in my younger days. I pressed the brakes to stop for the next light and the pedal went to the floor. I quickly checked cross traffic and applied the emergency brake. I think people forget why it is called an emergency brake, and it saved me and my car that day!

Thinking_J
User Rank
Platinum
legal and human issue.. not likely a technology issue
Thinking_J   10/30/2013 2:57:45 PM
NO RATINGS
"76 year old"...  yep, I read news reports -nearly daily- reporting of an older driver accelerating (from a stop) into a store front. All the while believing they were pushing on the brake.

Obviously, the odds are much higher the issue is operator error.

And the reason for "fly by wire" throttle control? In the beginning: help meet tougher polution standards (better control of oxides during excel/decel, warm up).

Equally obvious.. this makes no difference to the legal system. And we, "the people" love to give "rich corporations" money away. After all, they can afford it.

In the end.. it all becomes a "cost of doing business" (sigh....).

Sell anything to the general public? expect significant legal costs!

Chuck_IAG
User Rank
Platinum
Still to come...
Chuck_IAG   10/30/2013 2:39:50 PM
NO RATINGS
And they haven't even begun to introduce self-driving cars yet.  The excitement is just beginning.

Pubudu
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Bad news
Pubudu   10/30/2013 2:00:27 PM
NO RATINGS
True Elizabeth, this kind of things will affect the brand for sure.  Sometimes it will lead to the same situation like Fonterra milk brand facing in Asian market, here the market leader reduce the market share less than 20% within a couple of weeks due to way protean issue. 

Pubudu
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Number of claims
Pubudu   10/30/2013 1:42:20 PM
NO RATINGS
Ttemple True you have highlighted a good point.

Numbers in parentage vice for the other vehicle will give a better idea. 

Battar
User Rank
Platinum
Technology
Battar   10/30/2013 9:05:46 AM
NO RATINGS
This has nothing to do with technology or engineering. This is about the old lawyers' motto "follow the money".

If the US can't restrain it's unfettered litigation everytime someone gets hurt - even if it is their own fault - manufacturers' will stop placing new technology on the market. Theres' no sense making 1M$ profit on a bandsaw if I have to give it all to some idiot who puts his hand through it.

Critic
User Rank
Platinum
How to Stop your Car
Critic   10/30/2013 8:58:59 AM
NO RATINGS
Please know how to do this, and practice it in a dual-control car with an expert in the other seat if you are dumb.  Brakes, ignition, neutral.  If your car accelerates unexpectedly, get on the brakes and STOP the car immediately.  Do NOT continue to drive with your foot on the brakes.  Pull over and STOP.  While you are slowing down, turn off the ignition. Yes, you might lose power steering and a few other power accesories.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but you might not be able to use your entertainment system during this incident.  You will still be able to steer.  While you are coasting to a stop, shift to neutral, just in case your car is possessed and tries to restart itself.  It is possible in some cases that the ignition switch might not shut off the engine.  If this happens, shift to neutral anyway.  No, the engine won't immediately blow up.  Modern engine controllers include rev limiting.

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