Hybrid Car crashes into Tacoma Mini-mart.

Discussion in 'Toyota Prius Family' started by xcel, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    ___While looking for News this morning, I ran into a good one. Brand new hybrid driver (probably less then an hour) in a used 2005 Toyota Prius II in which the ICE revs up, says he cannot stop the car with both the foot and E-Brakes engaged AND he cannot place it into N. Then the fire department is worried about high voltage after the fire. Is the US filled with this many incompetents? Any brake system can overcome the power of an ICE and the HV pack’s breakers trip on any crash like the one pictured. Watch the video from the story linked below to see how the news team covering the incident had added interesting commentary and proved to be just as clueless.

    ___The guy did not know how to drive the car and more then likely had his foot on the gas instead of the brake.

    Prius II - Crash and Burn.

    ___Good Luck

    Last edited: Mar 9, 2007
  2. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    When I was learning to drive, my parents did not seem to appreciate the cross-training learning curve they were throwing at me on top of Driving 101.

    The long-time family car (later commuter) was a 1961 Corvair with automatic. It's essentially a large VW and does not respond like a conventional car. One lunch break, my Dad attempted to see if I would "get" a second-hand Corvair with a stick shift. Not near enough time for me, plus walking all day drained me - left me frustrated. :) A few years later, I'd master the standards, but it took two weeks.

    Family also had a 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass with power brakes/power steering. One day I let the Oldsmobile punch a hold in the garage. Why? The brakes were so easy to press I was afraid it was the accelerator. Jumping from it to the Corvair was so confusing I just decided not to take a chance pressing the accelerator.

    Many of you probably need a slight break-in period with a rental. This guy just got his Prius, so I suspect unfamiliarity was a factor.
  3. Skwyre7

    Skwyre7 Well-Known Member

    Yes, and they were all at this mini-mart.
  4. psyshack

    psyshack He who posts articles

    What A Dufus!!!!
  5. philmcneal

    philmcneal Has it been 10 years? Wow

    great, give the prius some more bad press boo!
  6. SmittyNC

    SmittyNC Member

    It's incredible how stories of "unintended acceleration" still circulate virtually unquestioned in the mainstream press! There was an excellent article in Car and Driver (circa 1986/1987) debunking the Audi-related claims common at the time. IIRC, the two primary explanations were:

    1. Shame -- The driver could not admit fault.
    2. Pedal placement -- Foreign manufacturers tend to position pedals closer together.

    An aside: When I was a small child (7 years old), a car I was riding in was involved in a rather serious "unintended acceleration" incident. I won't go into specifics, but it involved a Volvo wagon smashing through my parents' garage door, breaking through the cinderblock wall at the back of the garage, and ending up in my father's home office. No one was hurt, but the driver's pride was no-doubt bruised. The episode bears all the hallmarks of "unintended acceleration," but the situational variables that were seared into my memory (the sound of the engine, the look on the driver's face, etc.) point towards pedal confusion.
  7. Tochatihu

    Tochatihu Well-Known Member

    There have been earlier reports that the driver's top rug could bunch up around the accel. pedal, if not restrained by the rug hook. May have happened here; with tragic results.

    Brake vs accel pedal confusion is another reasonable hypothesis.

  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Doug:

    ___I did not know there was a possibility for the mat to get bunched on top of the accelerator pedal? That might explain a few things … Was there a TSB issued about this? Brakes would still overcome the ICE and MG2 but it may have scared the guy into a panic once the scenario began.

    ___Good Luck

  9. pagemap

    pagemap New Member

    In the Civic Hybrid, there are hooks that attach to the driver's mat and keep it from creeping towards the accel and brake pedals. There is no such safety feature on the Prius?
  10. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    Of course he will blame the car....idiots get smart when they're about to lose a lot of money.
  11. Elixer

    Elixer Well-Known Member

    The biggest shame here is that the news agency immediately dictates his story as the truth. If the gas did jam and the car was accelerating, the brake petal would be able to stop it. The only way what he's saying could be true is if his brakes failed and the car's gas petal jammed at the same time - a virtual improbability.
  12. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Same old, same old. People have been stepping on the wrong pedal and blaming the car since the automobile was invented. I remember Car and Driver's debunking of the Audi 5000 scandal 20 years ago, and it nailed the problem exactly.

    About 15 years ago I witnessed this phenomenon. As I'm getting out of my car at home, I hear tires squealing half a block away. Older '70s car accelerating under full throttle with smoke pouring off the tires, crashes into a storefront. The little old lady behind the wheel got out and said, "I don't know what happened. All of a sudden I couldn't stop." Yeah, no ****e lady, when you're stomping on the accelerator!

    5 years ago I was victim of this. As I was stopped at a light (in a Civic VX), I got clobbered by a Chevy Tahoe whose driver stomped on the wrong pedal. It was a rental car and the driver wasn't familiar with it. She seemed unsure of what happened too, but I was very sure of what happened. Still have some residual neck pain to this day.

    This happens with every vehicle made, though some cars seem more susceptible to it than others (probably due to pedal placement, as suggested by the C&D article). The fact that it was a hybrid is 100% irrelevant.
  13. Neicy

    Neicy Well-Known Member

    Yes there are clips. There is a TSB issued on it and it warns people not to double up on carpeting. Any chance he was so engrossed in the MFD that he forgot to look where he was driving?:rolleyes:
  14. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to point something out. Most cars DO NOT have brake systems that can stop a car at half-throttle or over. The size of brakes needed for this would be prohibitive. However, even if they cannot be stopped, there would be a VERY noticeable resistance as well as smoking and screeching that would indicate a truly stuck pedal. Also, shifting into neutral would obviously bypass the engine and bring the car to a halt at the cost of a blown engine.
  15. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    I liked this line:
    because hybrids are so much more dangerous with all that nickel and deadly voltage everywhere, right? :rolleyes:

    Edit: I just thought of something. The Prius has throttle-by-wire, right? Many throttle-by-wire vehicles ignore the throttle signal if brakes are applied, as a failsafe in case the throttle circuit malfunctions. If this person had truly stepped on the brakes, I would have expected the Prius to cut power and come to a stop.
  16. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    I remember a report showing how the Audi and the Jeep, which had similar "unintended acceleration" issues both had a large driveshaft bulge which put the accelerator further to the left relative to the centerline of the steering wheel.

    The vast majority of the "acclerations" came from new owners, temporary drivers, or attendents such as carwash, valet, common denominator - not used to the pedal location.

    I had a 1992 Jeep that was retrofitted with a lockout that wouldn't allow shifting out of park without the brake firmly pressed. I think it's mandatory on all automatics now?

    After switching from the Jeep to a Honda Element I had a few "unintended brakings" before acclimating.:rolleyes:
  17. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    My 2007 Prius with OEM mats has hooks for the mats to keep it away from the pedals.
  18. msantos

    msantos Eco Accelerometrist

    Hi Brian;

    There's simply no telling which car/driver has an unsafe setup. Yes the Civic and the Prius have hooks, but even that will not help much in some cases because many folks buy after-market all weather mats that don't use the hook points... sad indeed.

    By the way, welcome to CleanMPG !!!!


  19. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    Good question about the Prius. Tonight when I went to the store I did some test.

    Condition 1) Stopped Full brakes, Full throttle Car stabilizes at 2100 RPM in Force Charge Mode (This is already know)

    Condition 2) 20 MPH applied full throttle followed by full brakes. The car immediately applied nearly full braking action and the RPM was reduced. I did not take it to a full stop, but the braking action would have stopped the car quickly.

    Condiiton 3) 40 MPH same result as condition 2.
  20. mparrish

    mparrish Rosie the Riveter Redux

    A Boeing 727 crashed today on landing when its thrusters were accidentally engaged instead of its flaps. Pilot Smith indicated that he did indeed raise the flaps, but instead the thrusters came on accelerating the plane. Obviously, the FAA will need to look into the epidemic of "Flap switches engaging the thrusters by mistake", so that this technical problem can be corrected before it happens again. ;)

    90% of all airplane accidents are pilot error, but 90% of all Prius accidents are HSD related apparently.

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