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  • How Risky is Driving a Toyota?

    Toyota has seen better months than February when the automaker recalled millions of vehicles amidst a sticky pedal and unintended acceleration problem that led to sales decline of 8.7 percent. To win back the consumer, Toyota offered incentives including extended warrantees, auto maintenance plans and zero percent financing, and it appears to be working as Toyota sales in the United States are up 47 percent for the first 8 days of March compared to last year.

    David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), spoke in front of Congress today and told the Energy and Commerce subcommittee his agency did its job in handling the recall: “I don’t see Toyota as an indicative example of failure. I see it as NHTSA doing its job. I think Toyota and the wide-ranging recalls that it’s executed, that’s the kind of response I would want as an administrator.”

    Strickland also told Members that his agency would look more thoroughly into electronic throttle technologies as some lawmakers are calling for federal standards for data recorders on automobiles – similar to a black box on an airplane. But just how dangerous was it to drive around in a recalled Toyota? Statistically speaking, not very says Carnegie Mellon Professor and risk expert Paul Fischbeck. He calculated the unintended acceleration increased the risk of driving only 2 percent. To put this in perspective Fischbeck said,

    “Walking a mile is 19 times or 1,900 percent more dangerous than driving a mile in a recalled Toyota. Driving while using a cell phone would increase risk much more than the chance of having a stuck accelerator. The stuck accelerator problem does make driving riskier and needs to be fixed. But at the same time, the increased risk is very small.”

    So when Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood responded to the Toyota recalls by saying, “stop driving it”, hopefully he didn’t mean to walk instead.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to How Risky is Driving a Toyota?

    1. Billie says:

      I feel very bad for Mr. Toyota. He seems genuinely sincere. Mr. Toyota is being targeted for government dismantling. Watch out Ford!

      If a person is a conscientious driver, he would have known how to stop the car. But I believe it was more human error then this mandated recall.

      Or, maybe some of the hired staff intentionally caused the problem? Who knows with the corruption we're living in today?

    2. Tom says:

      The good news about the recent Prius accident in NYC (if there is any) is that the airbags went off. Toyota has said their black box stores data from 5 seconds before the airbag sensor detects a? crash to 2 seconds afterwards. Therefore, we all should expect Toyota to publish the data they download from the black box. I am sure they will have a press release out immediately, if the black box shows there was no pressure applied to the brake pedal. If the data shows otherwise, let's wait and see what Toyota reports.

    3. Edward Shick says:

      I feel this is electronic not floor mats, I had it happen and I could not get button to shut off motor till about third try , then when restarted ran OK

    4. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Don't we get it yet? This is just another attack by Obama and his lackeys. Regardless of whether or not it's a person, organization, or groups that dares to have a different view point than Obama, he turns loose his attacks dogs (leftwing media) to destroy any and all that apposes. Every vehicle manufacturer has

      had recalls for one reason or another. But isn't it interesting that Toyota is now in direct competition with GM (and out sells GM), but also is a NON-UNION shop.

    5. wildenberg says:

      I do own 2008 Tacoma I 'm not afraid to drive it around. I will buy Toyota in the future. why hasn't the white house come down on GM for vehicles that have been recalled. is the part of their agenda. to get rid of non union plants in America. we as Toyota should stand behind the auto maker

    6. C.Adli,NV. says:

      In the last 20 years I have been driving Toyota's different models(7 of them altogether) and have been happy with every one of them.And will keep driving rest of my life.

    7. Tim AZ says:

      This is how govt. competes with private industry. After it has taken over tow major auto companies and the people refuse to by Mao-Bama's socialist products. Just use another arm of the govt. to kill the privately held competition. Or at least send a message to the remaining private businesses.

    8. matt says:

      I have own Toyotas for many years and they are by far better than any so called American made car which are mainly made in Mexico or Canada. Just because the UAW does not have ther grips on this company the government has to try to destroy Toyota to apees the unions,

    9. Brad, Detroit, MI says:

      As a local "spectator" of this recall (I work for a company that supplies all of the automakers) – I find it alarming that the conspiracy theorists believe that the governement is out to skewer Toyota because they are non-union or that the government involvement in resuscitating GM and Chrysler is the reason. You know as well as I that the US Government is just not that smart. They are trying to cover their own butts because this acceleration problem has been going on for far longer than the bankruptcy issues of the 2 domestic OEM's in April of 2009. Yes – Congress was WAY over the top on bringing Mr. Toyoda in and grilling him. But they were WAY over the top when the executives of the Big 3 were in Washington DC asking for financial assistance as well. I don't remember seeing anyone complain about that . . . . Look, Toyota has received a free pass for the past 20 years as the 'infallible' automaker and they simply are not. They made mistakes in not addressing the problem with their first recall on this issue in 2007, and now it's time to pay the piper. Blind faith in Toyota or any automaker is just as ignorant as blind faith in anything (Obama, Democrats, Republicans, etc.) Please think before you post.

    10. Tricia, Arizona says:

      The problems that Toyota is experiencing appear really fishy to me. Something else is going on.

    11. Smo, Boonville India says:

      Anyone wondering why a 2006 and a 2008 Prius went out of control (for the first time ever) within a week of each other just after the "two car company owning, pro union" Obama administration's trumped up crimianl investigation into Toyota car malfunctions. This whole thing is a scam to discredit the compatition. Don't think for a second the private heath care industry will not suffer the same fate if goverment heath care is passed..

    12. Charlie on the PA Tu says:

      I have had 3 Toyota's in recent years:

      – 90 Corolla, sold in 2002 at 320K miles

      – 01 RAV-4, currently at 280K miles

      – 06 Highlander, somewhere around 75K

      None of these have the 'drive by wire' technology, but I still have to question these claims of being unable to stop a car should it experience a run-away condition.

      = Drop it into neutral: true, you're free-wheeling, but you'll coast to a stop. Now if the gear mechanism is like the 'drive by wire' technology, this could be equally ineffective.

      = Shut off engine: yeah, you'll lose power steering, but at +90MPH, you won't need it. Yeah, you'll lose power brakes, but again, you won't be going 'faster'. Anything that decreases acceleration is better than speeding out of control.

      I have to agree with Smo, above: the coincidences of these occurences is pretty much of a stretch to believe they aren't being engineered on purpose.

    13. Lloyd in California says:

      I would be more concerned to have one run into me or cause an accident I could not avoid.

    14. Fredrick says:

      Toyota has been cutting costs and resources to the bone for a few years now. This includes the quality of the parts they purchase from their suppliers. I know, I work for Toyota. This recall doesn't surprise me and as far as I'm concerned they deserve it. They push their employees around, give them more responsibilities than one can handle, stall their wages, squeeze their benefits, suspend bonuses, then brag about how they cut down the development time on new models. The jig is up. Arrogant manufacturing at its finest. Once the quality is gone, Toyota has nothing else to offer the consumer.

    15. j dease,,,,virginia says:

      I was going to leave a comment but i can't express my feeling any better than the people preceiding me, (Billy,Wildenburg,Mat,Tricia,Smo) about the UAW and government has taken part in this. (they are taking advantage of a crises to pull this company down.)

    16. Jeanne Stotler,Woodbridge, Va says:

      Don’t know about Toyota but I DO KNOW about GM cars. I have been driving for almost 60 yrs, most of the cars we owned were GM’s once we bought a Ford, it spent more time in the dealers for repair than it did in our driveway. I’ve had buicks, Chevolets,Pontiacs and cadillac and never had a problem with them other then routine maintance. My mother and stepfather had a ’39 Chevy when WWII broke out and drove it until ’48 with over 100,000 miles, the ’48 they traded in on a Pontiac and my step-father drove it until he stopped driving. Yoday we have a 2006 Caddy, a 2009 Buick Enclave and a 2009 Malibu, my son has a GM Yokon, we will continue to BUY AMERICAN, and I know my car is safe as well as comfortable on long trips. I rode in my one son’s Toyaota and it’s back seat is hard as a brick on a long trip.

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