Toyota: The Fix Is In

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Toyota has announced a fix to prevent gas pedals from possibly sticking and causing cars to speed up unexpectedly, which led to a massive recall and suspension of sales. David Thomas, senior editor at, discusses what the fix is, how to get it, and what's next for Toyota and its customers.


David Thomas

Comments [15]

Philip Mahnken from Brooklyn, NY

Your 'expert,' David Thomas, was the most inexpert I have heard in my remembrance. He communicated almost nothing. What we need is a clear statement of what exactly to do should such an emergency arise in these last Toyotas this family will ever own. We have 3 now, and none later. Reason? Cover-up. We have personal experience with this problem, and the Toyota dealer gave us the brush off.

Feb. 02 2010 11:46 PM
Brian from Hoboken

Amy- Do not pump the brakes. There are very few if any new cars being sold without antilock brakes. So assuming you have antilock brakes, push down on the pedal firmly. When the anti lock feature starts you will feel a pulsing in the brake pedal. That pulsing is the anti lock system working properly. This goes for whenever you need a panic stop.

Feb. 02 2010 11:13 AM
Brian from Hoboken

Do NOT turn off the car. If a gas pedal sticks you can pop the gear shifter into neutral very easily ( not sure why Donna can't do this simple action) and safely pull over. If you trn off the ignition you lose power steering, power braking, turn signals, etc. I can see every accident with a Toyota being a lawsuit. The ambulance chaser tv ads will start any day. Additionally,tests have been done on average-powered cars (4 and 6 cylinder cars) and the brakes on the card are strong enough to overcome the pull of the engine, even if you do not put it into neutral.

Feb. 02 2010 11:05 AM
Don Passantino from Queens, NY

Years ago, the Audi 5000S had a problem with unintended acceleration, and the cause was never found. They finally had to stop selling this model. My neighbor's Audi 5000S suddenly accelerated in reverse, and knocked down a cinder-block retaining wall in front of my house. Now all cars require you to step on the brake to shift out of park, as a result. Details

Feb. 02 2010 11:04 AM

What does this mean for USA car makers. Can this be used to their advantage?

Feb. 02 2010 10:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I've heard contradictory advice in different interviews about what to do if the accelerator gets stuck. One said hold the brake down steadily & *don't* pump them, another said do pump the brakes. Which is right, & if it's don't pump them, do any of the models affected have anti-lock brake systems that would make that impossible?

Feb. 02 2010 10:58 AM
Rich K from UC, NJ

Please make sure everyone knows what to do if it happens to them - shift into neutral, kill the engine if it begins to race at that point, and get to the shoulder. Review how to turn the engine off if you have a newer keyless ignition. These faults are not excusable and must be fixed, but knowing your car and how to handle failures is your best defense. As more cars drive-by-wire, there will be failures as new systems replace mature tech.

Feb. 02 2010 10:57 AM
tyler from NYC

In 1996 I had an accelerator stick in a 1988 Toyota Corolla Station Wagon while driving on an interstate at 70 miles per hour. I was able to get the car off of the interstate and stop at a gas station, and the dealer stated that it was a mechanical issue with the cruise control. Nothing more was said about it. I was not injured.

Feb. 02 2010 10:57 AM

Aren't manual shift cars safer than automatic cars, especially in this case?

Feb. 02 2010 10:56 AM
Anthony Lang from NY

Also important for future customer confidence is what steps is Toyota taking in its internal processes to prevent such serious and widespread issues from occurring in the future.

Feb. 02 2010 10:56 AM
john from office

Brian, the times has an article yesterday high lighting deaths from this problem. This is not a minor problem.

Feb. 02 2010 10:54 AM
Sahir from NYC

If an accident occurs due to this problem, is toyota no longer liable because they recalled the product. Obvious their motive for this is liability but how is the consumer protected?

Feb. 02 2010 10:54 AM
Alvin from Manhattan

Toyotas now have unique performance: They go zero to sixty....whenever they want to.

Feb. 02 2010 10:54 AM
Jack from Brooklyn

The 'fix' seems to address a sticky accelerator pedal, but many describe the problem as acceleration. Are there two problems? Are some owner misrepresenting the problem?


Feb. 02 2010 10:54 AM

Normally CEO's of Japanese companies kill themselves or resign when their company messes up. What will happen to the USA CEO of Toyota?

Feb. 02 2010 10:53 AM

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