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Officer Saves Speeder

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by DonGlock26, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. DonGlock26

    DonGlock26

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    AP

    - March 09, 2010

    Officer Helps Save Driver in Runaway Prius

    A Prius driver calls 911 after accelerating to pass another vehicle on a California freeway and finding that he could not control his car.

    EL CAJON, California -- A California highway police officer helped slow a runaway Toyota Prius from 94 mph to a safe stop on Monday after the car's accelerator became stuck on a freeway near San Diego, authorities said.

    Prius driver James Sikes said that the incident Monday occurred just two weeks after he had taken the vehicle in to an El Cajon dealership for repairs after receiving a recall notice, but he was turned away.

    "I gave them my recall notice and they handed it back and said I'm not on the recall list," Sikes said.

    In a statement, Toyota said it has dispatched a field technical specialist to San Diego to investigate the incident.

    Toyota has recalled some 8.5 million vehicles worldwide -- more than 6 million in the United States -- since last fall because of acceleration problems in multiple models and braking issues in the Prius.

    On Monday, Sikes called 911 about 1:30 p.m. after accelerating to pass another vehicle on Interstate 8 near La Posta and finding that he could not control his car, the California Highway Patrol said.

    "I pushed the gas pedal to pass a car and it did something kind of funny ... it jumped and it just stuck there," the 61-year-old driver said at a news conference.

    "As it was going, I was trying the brakes ... it wasn't stopping, it wasn't doing anything and it just kept speeding up," Sikes said, adding he could smell the brakes burning he was pressing the pedal so hard.

    A patrol car pulled alongside the Prius and officers told Sikes over a loudspeaker to push the brake pedal to the floor and apply the emergency brake.

    "They also got it going on a steep upgrade," said Officer Jesse Udovich. "Between those three things, they got it to slow down."

    After the car decelerated to about 50 mph, Sikes turned off the engine and coasted to a halt.

    The officer then maneuvered his car in front of the Prius as a precautionary block, Udovich said.

    Toyota owners have complained of their vehicles speeding out of control despite efforts to slow down, sometimes resulting in deadly crashes. The government has received complaints of 34 deaths linked to sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles since 2000.

    One of the crashes claimed the life of a CHP officer in August.

    Off-duty CHP Officer Mark Saylor was killed along with his wife, her brother and the couple's daughter after their Lexus' accelerator got stuck in La Mesa.

    The Toyota-manufactured loaner vehicle slammed into a sport utility vehicle at about 100 mph, careened off the freeway, hit an embankment, overturned and burst into flames.

    http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/auto/ci.Officer+Helps+Save+Driver+in+Runaway+Prius.opinionPrint
     
  2. HandyMan Hugh

    HandyMan Hugh NRA Life Member

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    Kudos to the officer for his quick thinking and courage. I'm not too sure that I'd be willing to get in front of an out of control car like that.
     

  3. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

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    Kudos to the CHP officer.

    I would have to be very careful. It is a dangerous thing to do, for sure. I used to know a guy who was in the army who had to have his deuce and a half stopped by another getting in front of him when his brakes went out.
     
  4. S.O.Interceptor

    S.O.Interceptor Khem-Adam

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    He's lucky the CHP apparently has cars to spare and their officers are willing to risk getting PIT-ed and dying to save this guy's ***. We would've tried to clear traffic ahead of him and dispatched fire and EMS to the impending crash, but he would've been on his own stopping the car because not only are we not allowed to contact other vehicles, we're not going to.

    Most of us would have been smart enough to try this before it got to 94 and before we endangered thousands of other motorists, not after the CHP had to make contact and risked their lives.

    Or he could have shifted into neutral. It's really not rocket science.

    But we all know that.....

    [​IMG]
     
  5. DeltaNu1142

    DeltaNu1142 Glock talker

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    WTF?!?!? I don't understand any of these accidents. This seems like operator negligence to me, more than anything--"My car won't decelerate!! Please help!!" "Have you tried turning the car off?" "No... oh, OK, it's slowing down."

    If you're going to operate an instrument, it seems to me that you should be trained in doing so, and in handling basic malfunction.

    Don't tell me you lose power steering assistance when the engine is off. You can still judge the car to the breakdown lane safely.

    While I agree that Toyota seems to have a problem on their hands, these incidents should not result in danger to the general public.

    Rant over...
     
  6. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

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    Shift to neutral, shut the engine off, apply brakes.

    Sounds like this was one case where there was PLENTY of time to do just that.
     
  7. freeforever

    freeforever

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    This is a problem with Toyotas; not drivers. Maybe I give too much deference to my fellow officers, but I have a hard time believing the off-duty California Highway Patrolman who died along with his wife, daughter and brother-in-law in a horrific crash due to a stuck accelerator did so because he didn't know how to apply the brakes. Surely they get some sort of decent training in California.

    And kudos to the officer who used his car to stop the runaway in this story so it didn’t have to end in tragedy like the last one and the many others.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  8. razdog76

    razdog76 Heavy Mettle

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    It is easy to be judgmental after the fact, but that is likely not the first thing you would think about in a sudden couple of seconds where the car accelerates.

    I doubt it happens when you want the car to accelerate either.
     
  9. whoflungdo

    whoflungdo

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    Am I the only one that is shocked that a Prius was able to hit 94 MPH without being dropped from an airplane or driven off a cliff????
     
  10. freeforever

    freeforever

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    I think braking would be your first reaction. It would be your first reaction in almost any uncontrollable situation which is why so many people get into trouble when hydroplaning or in a situation when you aren't supposed to brake.

    This has happened too many times for me to automatically assume driver error. It's only inevitable that the next time a Toyota suddenly accelerates it will be too late to stop and an innocent driver is going to get clipped.
     
  11. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

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    If you need a cop coaching you how to slow down your runaway car, you are an idiot. Cmon, how do these people manage to survive?
     
  12. .357 Glocker

    .357 Glocker

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    Call me cynical but I have a feeling this was a stunt. Maybe he was upset because the dealer wouldn't "fix" his car so he decided to manufacture a high profile incident. I most definitely could be wrong but this story just doesn't sound right.
     
  13. DonGlock26

    DonGlock26

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    I thought that to.
     
  14. steveksux

    steveksux Massive Member

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    If your car suddenly accellerates out of control... Trust in Jesus. BUT! Try the brakes.

    Don't believe me?

    Check the zero to 60 times for a Prius.

    Check the 60-zero times for a Prius.

    Then tell me how the engine can overpower the brakes. Especially at high speeds when the engine is fighting the gear ratio to deliver power to the wheels, while the brakes face no such impediment.

    Back when Audi's had "sudden unintended accellerations", one of the car mags brought this up. Took an Audi on the freeway, got it up to 70, put the gas pedal to the floor. Hit the brakes. It stopped. Took a little longer than normal.

    Can't change the laws of physics. If the brakes didn't fail, the driver failed to brake. When you eliminate the impossible....

    Only possible thing I can think of is if you play around with the brakes at first and overheat them, like if you tried braking down a steep grade or something, might be able to mess up the brakes and be in trouble.

    Exactly. And worse yet, it can hit 94 mph WITH the brakes applied?

    Yeah... that's a great price for a bridge... I just don't recall hearing the Brooklyn Bridge was for sale...
    Randy
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  15. OLY-M4gery

    OLY-M4gery

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    Apparently the only driver control that has direct input from the driver is the steering.

    The brakes, shifter, gas pedal, all go through the computer. Meaning when the driver steps on the brake pedal, a signal goes to the computer with the control input, the computer then acts on the "request".

    In fact, there have been reports that on some of the Lexus cars that full braking will not be applied when the gas pedal is at WOT.

    If you shift it to neutral, you are just moving a stick on the dashboard, the computer will assess your request, and if approved act on it.

    The problem is, like the start/stop button, which functions with a push at 0mph, but must be pressed and held for several seconds to work when the car is above parking lot speeds, is that some controls in the car work differently depending on the speed of the car.

    5 mph "D" to "R", you are going backwards.

    50 mph "D" to "R" nothing might happen, or it might go into "N", but it won't go into "R".

    The computer is programmed to keep the driver from doing stuff that can damage the car, or cause it to go out of control. Unfortunately those are some of the things people may try when the car ism't responding properly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  16. .357 Glocker

    .357 Glocker

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    The brakes are not controlled by the computer. There is a some aspect of computer control but full braking is available through the mechanical/hydraulic system. However, at WOT there will be no vacuum assist after two or three applications and full braking will require quite a bit more effort at that point.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  17. OLY-M4gery

    OLY-M4gery

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    Yes, some Lexus have electronically controlled brakes.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Electronically Controlled Brake (ECB) developed by Toyota Motor Corporation initially for its hybrid and Lexus models, is the world's first production brake-by-wire braking system.[1] The ECB went on sale in Japan in June 2001,[2] first appearing on the Toyota Estima hybrid (first generation),[3] and making its North American debut with the launch of the Lexus RX 400h SUV in April 2005. The ECB is an integral part of the company's Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management stability control system, by allowing for automatic brake adjustments, which work in conjunction with variable gear-ratio electric power steering systems.[4]

    Applications
    2001 Toyota Estima Hybrid
    2002 Toyota Alphard
    Listed by (US model year):

    2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
    2006-2009 Lexus RX 400h
    2005-2007 Lexus GS 430
    2007 Lexus GS 450h
    2007 Lexus LS 460
    2008 Lexus LS 600h
    2008 Lexus GS 460
    2010 Lexus RX 450h
    2011 Lexus LFA

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronically_Controlled_Brake

    Mercedes Benz "sensotronic" is also braking by wire.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  18. .357 Glocker

    .357 Glocker

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    Sensotronic and Toyota ECB are the only "drive-by-wire" brake system I know of on the market. However, neither of these systems are completely electronic. The car will still stop without any electrical power.
     
  19. OLY-M4gery

    OLY-M4gery

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    Yeah, the car in the article had electrical power.

    Prius' have regenrative braking, beside the mechanical braking, there was just a recall due to issues with that system.

    I'd like to stick with all mechanical/hydraulic brakes please.

    FYI, we are talking about Toyota and Lexus cars, which have the ECB. Something just a few posts ago you claimed they didn't have.
     
  20. .357 Glocker

    .357 Glocker

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    I said they have "some aspect of computer control". That may have been an understatement as far as ECB goes but the point is that they don't need electronic control to stop. Although ECB is considered a "drive-by-wire" system I think that overstates it a little.