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Dangerous Uncommanded acceleration

 
Old 06-01-07, 03:59 PM
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aeroengine
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Angry Dangerous Uncommanded acceleration

I was watching my wife slowly (3-5 mph) approach our garage door when the car suddenly lurched forward and crashed into our garage door at 10-15 mph.

My wife who is a very skilled driver said her foot was hovering over the brake after transitioning from the throttle as the car was coasting toward th door. She jammed on the brake but couldn't get it stopped fast enough to keep from hitting the door. I'm a liscensed Professional mechanical engineer and own a drive a Ferrari F355 Spider for fun so I am very familiar with how a car suspension and body angle responds to acceleration and braking. It looked to me like the car launched but was immediately forced into a nose down attitude as my wife was despeately trying to stop. This all happened over a 15-20 foot space infront of the door. Unlike like the Audi problem of a few years ago had she mistakenly hit the throttle she would have never been able to hit the door in a nose down attitude and there wouldn't have been time to take her foot off the gas and onto the brake - as a result I had to believe her story - that it was an uncommanded acceleration. I immediately checked to see the pedal spacing and the gas and the break pedal are too far apart to have had an Audi problem (human factors). I called Lexus of Bellevue WA and they refused to acknowledge the problem. I then got onto the NHTSA website to see if there we any similar complaints. Turns out there have been 16 other similar incidents that have been reported some of them near fatal. Here is the link http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/pr...in/results.cfm

My question is why is Lexus stonewalling this problem? - its far worst than Audi's problem because it is clearly a software/mechanical glitch that is causing this. Make no mistake this is NOT the floormat problem and we restarted the car to confirm the cruise control was off.

Has anybody else on here experienced this problem? I bought a Lexus becuse I wanted a no questions asked treatment - I am shocked that I am not being treated that way.
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Old 06-01-07, 04:05 PM
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aeroengine
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Sorry the link was the homepage - hit the search complaints tab and enter the 2007 lexus ES 350 tree - then search vehicle speed control problems
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Old 06-01-07, 05:16 PM
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Did your wife make any movement to the steering wheel while rolling forward? How drastically did the RPMs rise?

I've noticed the car's RPMs spike to about 1K (from an idle) and the car will try to move forward quickly if I turn the steering wheel a bit (i.e. when rolling into the garage) (probably due to the electronics increasing the idle speed to avoid a stall when the power steering pump draws on the engine and pulls the RPMs lower than idle). Something we all need to watch out for but your description sounds like it may have been a bit more harsh.
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Old 06-01-07, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by sarge43 View Post
Did your wife make any movement to the steering wheel while rolling forward? How drastically did the RPMs rise?

I've noticed the car's RPMs spike to about 1K (from an idle) and the car will try to move forward quickly if I turn the steering wheel a bit (i.e. when rolling into the garage) (probably due to the electronics increasing the idle speed to avoid a stall when the power steering pump draws on the engine and pulls the RPMs lower than idle). Something we all need to watch out for but your description sounds like it may have been a bit more harsh.
She was driving straight on a flat driveway with hands straight on the wheel and the car launched in a waythat would be consistant of at least 2500 to 3500 RPM minimum. I made some very careful witness mark measurements on the broken garage door and the impact point for the liscense plate screw is 3/8 of an inch lower than its normal free standing height on the car indicating she must have had her foot on the brake by the time of the impact thus ruling out the Audi scenario. This all happend within about 15 feet of the door.
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Old 06-01-07, 07:35 PM
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Do you happen to have the all weather floor mats? There is a noted issue that if not installed properly, the mat can get tangled up with the gas pedal, causing it to stick.
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Old 06-01-07, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MD350 View Post
Do you happen to have the all weather floor mats? There is a noted issue that if not installed properly, the mat can get tangled up with the gas pedal, causing it to stick.
In his first post on this thread he says:

My question is why is Lexus stonewalling this problem? - its far worst than Audi's problem because it is clearly a software/mechanical glitch that is causing this. Make no mistake this is NOT the floormat problem and we restarted the car to confirm the cruise control was off.
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Old 06-01-07, 09:27 PM
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16 complaints? there's the problem. Basing it off the Tundra camshaft problem. Toyota wants 20 complaints before they do anything lmao!
just teasing.
AFA the wheel movement causing more rpm. The same with the A/C system, and large electrical loads.
The engine will go from base programmed idle into idle-up mode when such systems are engaged. They take a large parasitic load on the engine & would otherwise cause it to stall.
The larger style A/C compressors themselves when activated take around 9hp to drive at higher rpm's on a dyno. P/S pump is about the same. Alternator would typically be a horsepower or less, but you get the drift.




The engine does exactly what it is told to do by the software programming. The cause of the car lurching forward on it's own would be the ECU getting signals that tell it to blip the throttle open. That, being the gas pedal. It also uses that to control the idle speed (Instead of an older idle vavle, bypass valve, etc)
So I would look at it like systematic approach... There's only a set number of things that will cause the ECU to open the throttle.
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Old 06-01-07, 11:11 PM
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[QUOTE=Pheonix;2663946]16 complaints? there's the problem. Basing it off the Tundra camshaft problem. Toyota wants 20 complaints before they do anything lmao!
just teasing.

The problem as I see it is that a camshaft problem just shuts you down - if you went to the link you'ld see its a life threatening failure totally self contained within the confines of the vehicle and not induced or precipitated by the driver or passengers whatsoever. This sort of failure is rare in my field of large commercial aircraft where we have tripley redundant systems. We call them "hardovers" and the 737s that spiral out of control for no reason occaisonally kill a bunch of people. How many people is Lexus going to have to kill before they accept that they have a problem? I think there is a reason why some of the push button start cars still require you to put the key in the ignition to provide an on-off function the Ferrari F430 is no exception. Even this feature would not have prevented somebody from being killed this afternoon by our Lexus if they had been standing infront of the car at a crosswalk as my wife was coasting to a stop. See the photo of the broken heavy wooden garage door. A small child standing infront of the car would not have survived.
Attached Thumbnails Dangerous Uncommanded acceleration-lexus-006r.jpg  
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Old 06-02-07, 06:55 AM
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You might try to get a printout from your ECU to see if there are any abnormal codes listed before it is reset.
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Old 06-02-07, 02:27 PM
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Just an update the Service Mgr of Lexus of Bellevue got back to me after I left a message for the manager of the firm and I dropped the car off and they were very careful not to give me a ES350 loaner so I'm now driving a no charge 330 loaner while they investigate. Maybe they will address my concerns in a proper fashon now so I'l be in a position to strike my prior remarks about their service response.
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Old 06-03-07, 01:13 PM
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A little over two weeks ago my car went out of control with what I am beginning to think was a sudden acceleration problem. The car's cruise control light kept coming on when not engaged and when the brakes were tapped to turn it off the car lurched forward. The driver and passengers continually tried to stop the car, the more the driver braked the faster the car went. The car traveled at speeds of over 90mph for over 5 miles on a 2 lane highway- shifting to neutral did nothing, the emergency brake didn't work, pushing the push button stop did nothing- the driver literally stood on the brakes with both feet and the car continued to accelerate. Finally the car was thrown into park at 90mph to stop it before approaching a busy intersection. Lexus told me it was a floor mat issue. Lexus has multiple problems with this situation and are playing a dangerous game with the consumers lives (and the lives of those we meet up with on the road) by not addressing the problem and denying it is anything but a floor mat issue. Please refer to SaferCar.gov and click on "ongoing investigations" under defects and recalls. Enter in 2007 Lexus ES 350 and you will find a copy of the letter sent by the US Dept of Transportation Chief Investigator of Defect Investigations Jeff Quandt to Toyota announcing the opening of an investigation of this car due to the numerous safety complaints. On Friday, June 1st I spoke with Scott Yan, an investigator for the US DOT who happened to be on his way back from inspecting an ES350 that caused a 7 car pile up. Lexus has many problems with this car, including the 3 second delay required to stop the car when utilizing the push button start/stop. That is too long to hold it in an emergency, and according to my Lexus Service Mgr he had NEVER heard of this and couldn't find it in the manual- neither can I. Why do so many people report sudden acceleration? Why do so many report cruise control light coming on when not being engaged? WHY WOULDN'T MY CAR STOP??? Lexus still has my car, and after being inspected by Field Tech people they determined the car acted as designed and they had no fault- the repair expenses for a new transmission and new brake system (the brakes essentially melted) and wouldn't be covered under warranty. After lodging my complaints they have now offered to repair the car at no cost to me. I no longer want this car. I expect a factory buyback or factory assisted trade in (but not the ES350 model.) I have found over 23 documented situations like my own and am sickened by how many more are to come. Read the stories on the NHTSA website...now imagine how upset I am that my new Lexus ES 350 almost killed my 17 year old daughter and her girlfriends as they were on their way to go shopping for my daughter's birthday. I do not want a long protracted battle with Lexus. I want a safe car that I thought I got when I bought my car last year. I don't think thats too much to ask.
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Old 06-08-07, 09:15 AM
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The computer records everything. Should of had the data downloaded. That is a Automotive requirement. Hopefully dealer did not clear it
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Old 06-08-07, 09:16 AM
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If she hit the gas, it should show it. Did air bag deploy?
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Old 06-08-07, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by GS2006 View Post
If she hit the gas, it should show it. Did air bag deploy?
That's a good question. If the car was traveling over 15mph when it hit an object, the airbag definitely should have deployed!
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Old 06-08-07, 12:26 PM
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Anyone else find don's story getting abit far fetched the more it went on?






When you shift that transmission lever into a drive gear, neutral, reverse, or park. That physical connection re-routes all the fluid through the valve-body. It is not a function of ECU control.
Drive = third gear, Reverse = reverse, Neutral = Neutral, park = neutral with the parking prawl set.
If he shifted out of a drive gear. Then the transmission was no longer able to supply the enigne's power to the ground. (unless it was reverse, which the ECU will not allow engaged from D (and vice versa) above a 15-20mph differance. Give or take some.


On a second note. Anyone wanna hit their gas & their brakes to the floor at the same time? Until the fluid in the caliper boils out stock ES 350 brakes > stock 2gr-fe.
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