Toyota to pay $1.1B in 'unintended acceleration' case


By 121212   Follow   Wed, 26 Dec 2012, 2:42pm   736 views   15 comments
Watch (0)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike  

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2012/12/26/toyota-unintended-acceleration-runaway-cars/1792477/

Toyota announced a $1.1 billion settlement Wednesday to resolve lawsuits alleging "unintended acceleration," instances in which throttles jammed open.

As part of the settlement, Toyota will create a fund for additional retrofitting of some cars with technology to make them easier to stop in a panic situation. For models that can't be retrofitted, there will be cash payouts to owners or former owners.

A Toyota spokesman says the company feels good about the settlement for having shown that the vast bulk of unintended acceleration cases were due to floor mats that jammed underneath accelerators, not because of electronic defects in the cars' engine computers. A jammed floor mat won't necessarily make the car go faster, but it can make it hard to stop because it keeps moving even when a foot is off the accelerator.

"We felt we achieved our objective, to defend the safety of the product," says spokesman Mike Michels. That having been done, the settlement is "a business decision and we turn the page on a lot of this."

The settlement comes three years after the fatal crash of a Lexus that killed an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer and his family near San Diego erupted into a full-blown scandal for the automaker. At first, Toyota said only that floor mats could become trapped under acceleration pedals, giving drivers the impression that their cars were trying to run away on them. Then, held a series of worldwide recalls involving millions of cars, including one for potentially defective accelerator assemblies.

Toyota executives were called to congressional hearings about the issue. Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration levied a 17.35 million fine — the maximum currently allowed for a single violation — for waiting too long to report the issue that led to just one of the series of recalls, one involving 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h crossover SUVs.

Viewing Comments 1-15 of 15     Last »     See most liked comments

  1. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    1   3:01pm Wed 26 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    I haven't had the problem yet - but the floor mat attachments suck.

    I wish someone with authority would tell Toyota that they should attach the floor mats with velcro - not those stupid plastic hooks that can't stay put.

    Or maybe someone will invent some kind of after market attachment that works more like velcro and is easy for even the owner to install.

  2. zzyzzx


    Follow
    Befriend (10)
    793 threads
    6,774 comments
    Baltimore, MD

    2   3:51pm Wed 26 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    Zlxr says

    I haven't had the problem yet - but the floor mat attachments suck.

    I wish someone with authority would tell Toyota that they should attach the floor mats with velcro - not those stupid plastic hooks that can't stay put.

    Or maybe someone will invent some kind of after market attachment that works more like velcro and is easy for even the owner to install.

    I agree. Velcros or something that attaches it to the seat would work better.

  3. AverageBear


    Follow
    Befriend (2)
    28 threads
    637 comments
    Boston, MA

    3   4:05am Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    The ultimate extortion. I'm surprised Jesse Jackson wasn't in on this....

  4. lostand confused


    Follow
    Befriend (9)
    461 threads
    2,929 comments

    4   6:31am Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    AverageBear says

    The ultimate extortion. I'm surprised Jesse Jackson wasn't in on this....

    Wrong thread perhaps? What has Jesse Jackson got to do with Toyota cars spontaneously accelerating by itself on the freeway??

  5. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    5   9:09pm Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    When I got my car - Toyota let me know it was a safety issue and replaced the missing plastic hooks that hold the mat.

    However, one is continuously coming out and my mat does end up over there under the gas pedal and/or under the brake pedal.

    So I periodically take it out and move it over. But that's not really the safest thing to do. So I will go check into seeing if I can anchor it with velcro loops that hang onto the metal seat bar. The trick is finding something that will actually stick onto the mat. I'll check into it more. I may have to get a whole new mat.

  6. AverageBear


    Follow
    Befriend (2)
    28 threads
    637 comments
    Boston, MA

    6   6:21pm Sun 6 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    lostand confused says

    Wrong thread perhaps? What has Jesse Jackson got to do with Toyota cars
    spontaneously accelerating by itself on the freeway??

    Extortion is the common denominator between Toyota's settlement, and Jesse Jackson. Other than the lame excuse of floor mats, there has been no proof of intended acceleration. Toyota though it would be easier to just throw up the $$ and get it over with.....What, you don't know Jesse Jackson's calling in life? Do you think Coca Cola gave Jesse's half-brother a syrup distributorship because he was a nice guy?..... It will take you two seconds to google "Jesse jackson coca cola"..... And the truth will set you free....

  7. CaptainShuddup


    Follow
    Befriend (1)
    812 threads
    10,704 comments

    7   7:52am Mon 7 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Carpet has all but been abandoned in homes for a reason, it's nasty nasty stuff. Cars should have come with a washable, hard floor surface a long time ago. Not the black rubberized rough textured stuff that came in trucks in the 80's but something more resilient and easier to clean by brushing and a quick wipe with a cloth.

  8. curious2


    Follow
    Befriend (4)
    112 threads
    4,274 comments

    8   9:08am Mon 7 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    CaptainShuddup says

    Carpet has all but been abandoned in homes for a reason, it's nasty nasty stuff. Cars should have come with a washable, hard floor surface a long time ago.

    I agree about cars but why homes? I really like residential carpeting, everywhere except kitchen and bath. As for cars, I don't know why anybody would want a floor mat anywhere near the pedals, and I agree that an easily washable surface would be much better at least for the driver's side.

  9. zzyzzx


    Follow
    Befriend (10)
    793 threads
    6,774 comments
    Baltimore, MD

    9   9:19am Mon 7 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    Has anyone here been watching Toyota's stock price to see if this had any effect on it?

  10. CaptainShuddup


    Follow
    Befriend (1)
    812 threads
    10,704 comments

    10   9:38am Mon 7 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)  

    curious2 says

    I agree about cars but why homes?

    I did carpet for 15 years. Most new homeowners replacing their carpet for the first time. Were horrified what was under the carpet, and how dirty and discolored the jute backing was when I ripped up the old carpet. Regardless how new the carpet still looked on the top.
    Ants bring in 100's pounds of sand under the padding, the oils from your feet collect and eventually make it to the backing. That is why carpet is black in high traffic areas. The Tackstrip busts up the slab around the perimeter of the room. As years go by, and the more frequently carpet gets replaced. Eventually there isn't anywhere to nail in the tack strip because of the pock marks left by the old carpet tacks, so they bring it back and start a new line of pot holes. Your pet might pee on the carpet and you never noticed but there are huge yellow stain on the underside.

    People often said, had they known it looked that bad, they would have went with some hard floor instead.

    I prefer a wood floor myself. Preferably a wood floor suspended off the ground on a wood framed house. The best floor in the world in my opinion. I never understood why assholes would carpet over them. Every time I showed up to carpet over wood floors it just felt wrong.

  11. curious2


    Follow
    Befriend (4)
    112 threads
    4,274 comments

    11   10:03am Mon 7 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    CaptainShuddup says

    I never understood why....

    Thanks for the information about what accumulates under carpet, and what (re)installation does to concrete floors. I don't have experience installing carpet onto a wood floor in a wood frame house, but I can explain why many people prefer carpet at least in other settings.

    For elderly people, a fall onto a hard surface can be lethal. The prognosis for a broken hip is within 2yrs the patient has a 50% risk of either death or permanent hospitalization in a nursing home. Carpet can make the difference between a debilitating fracture and a mere bruise, so in those circumstances it can save lives.

    Also an apartment building is like the inside of a guitar: anything striking a hard surface creates a sound that carries throughout the structure, and in some instances the structure can even amplify the sound. Upstairs/downstairs neighbor situations are notorious, sometimes escalating to violence. Carpet can be taped down, or installed into a wood layer on top of a concrete floor. It reduces impact noise by more than 90%, and ambient noise significantly also.

    I can see how pet stains and slab damage could become significant problems, especially in a single family home, but my experience (without pets) replacing my own carpets is that they're fine underneath. On the other hand I also see landlords in multi-family buildings, that prohibit pets, tearing out carpet to replace it with hard flooring because it's cheaper to clean/re-surface a floor than to replace a carpet. The consequences in those circumstances include higher turnover, higher risk of neighbor disputes, and lower quality of life.

    Back to the original topic: I hope the $1 billion payout might encourage car manufacturers to reconsider driver's side flooring and floor treatment. An easily washable surface is much better than a floating mat over carpet.

  12. CaptainShuddup


    Follow
    Befriend (1)
    812 threads
    10,704 comments

    12   10:09am Mon 7 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    curious2 says

    For elderly people, a fall onto a hard surface can be lethal. The prognosis for a broken hip is within 2yrs the patient has a 50% risk of either death or permanent hospitalization in a nursing home. Carpet can make the difference between a debilitating fracture and a mere bruise, so in those circumstances it can save lives.

    I once had to do a carpet repair in the Diplomat towers on Hallendale beach(long since demolished), back in the day. The repair was in the carpeted vanity area near the bathroom of the Master bedroom. It seemed the occupant(this was a senior only building at the time) fell and hit his had on the vanity cabinet, landing face first in the carpet leaving a bloody imprint of his face. It almost look like the shroud of tunic.
    Most seniors fall in the bathroom or shower.

  13. curious2


    Follow
    Befriend (4)
    112 threads
    4,274 comments

    13   10:19am Mon 7 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    CaptainShuddup says

    Most seniors fall in the bathroom or shower.

    I agree the bathroom is probably the highest risk area, but bedroom and stairs are also significant. Kitchens too, if little old ladies use stepladders to reach high cabinets.

  14. CaptainShuddup


    Follow
    Befriend (1)
    812 threads
    10,704 comments

    14   10:23am Mon 7 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    curious2 says

    but bedroom and stairs are also significant.

    There's not enough padding in the world to soften a plunge down the stairs. They don't call them waterfall stairs for nothing.

  15. AverageBear


    Follow
    Befriend (2)
    28 threads
    637 comments
    Boston, MA

    15   2:22pm Tue 8 Jan 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    zzyzzx says

    Has anyone here been watching Toyota's stock price to see if this had any effect on it?

    ZZ, I think Japan's gov't's "race to debase" will affect Toyota's worth, rather than the 1 billion in extortion they are willing to pay.

121212 is moderator of this thread.

Email

Username

Watch comments by email
Home   Tips and Tricks   Questions or suggestions? Mail p@patrick.net   Thank you for your kind donations

Page took 99 milliseconds to create.