Tuesday, February 23, 2010

6 miles of Terror


begin quote:
– Rhonda Smith's story of six miles of interstate terror, as her Lexus suddenly zoomed to 100 miles per hour, will set the mood Tuesday for the first congressional hearing on Toyota's acceleration problems.

The Sevierville, Tenn., woman shifted to neutral. She tried to throw the car into reverse. She hit the emergency brake. Nothing. Then, her Toyota-made car miraculously slowed down before she crashed.end quote.

I wrote a solution to this problem. First, here is the web address.


And since this is so serious a problem here is a reprint of the article.


Put it into Neutral

If you are driving any Toyota made vehicle (with the possible exception of the Prius) and your accelerator pedal sticks simply shift into Neutral with your shift lever.

Don't turn the ignition off because your driving wheel will lock. Though your engine might rev up above red line, you will still be able to use your brakes to stop the vehicle. Once the vehicle stops in a relatively safe place then turn your ignition off. Don't worry about the screaming engine because your life (lives) have been saved.

I had an experience with a 1956 Ford stationwagon on the Glendale Freeway when I was 16 in 1964 and almost crashed at over 95 mph when my accelerator pedal stuck. My best friend(a year older than I) simply turned the ignition key off. However, you can't do that now with the locking steering wheels on vehicles. So, the only thing to survive a stuck gas pedal is to put your vehicle into neutral and just let it scream into red line while stopping your vehicle and then as soon as you are stopped turn the ignition off and be grateful you all survived.end reprint.

Note: I noticed it said that Rhonda put her car into neutral. However, unless there was a problem with her transmission all power to the wheels should have stopped almost immediately. However, the engine should have been screaming and redlining. The one danger to this is that if it redlines hard enough and fast enough too long there is a slight chance the engine could blow up. Even so, likely you will survive it which you would not if you left it in gear. To shift into reverse is sort of suicidal at freeway speeds. Imagine going 70 mph and putting your foot full on the brakes so all you do is slide. This likely would be lethal to you and any car or truck around you. So, even though it sounds really scary and even though there is a slight chance the engine will blow up before you stop, still putting the Toyota or Lexus in neutral is likely the only way you will survive this sequence of events. Just remember to turn off ignition as soon as you come to a complete stop.

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