• Jan 29, 2010

This could help quell some criticism against Consumer Reports being biased in favor of Toyota when handing out its valuable "Recommended" status to vehicles. The popular consumer products review magazine announced today that it has temporarily suspended Recommended status for all eight vehicles involved in Toyota's accelerator pedal recall. Just to refresh, the vehicles involved include the Avalon, Camry (except the Hybrid and some other models), Corolla, Highlander (again, except the Hybrid model), Matrix (and by extension the Pontiac Vibe), RAV4, Tundra and Sequoia. Here's what Jim Guest, President of Consumers Union, the publisher of CR had to say:
"Although incidents of sudden acceleration are rare, we are taking this action because the vehicles have been identified as potentially unsafe without a fix yet being available to consumers, and in general our position is that you shouldn't compromise on safety."
The status suspension, however, is temporary and CR expects to reinstate their recommendation of these vehicles once the problem is fixed, though with so many questions still unanswered, we wouldn't expect that to be any time soon. The consumer pub also notes that instances of unintended acceleration are not exclusive to Toyota vehicles, and recommends their handy guide called "How to stop a runaway car" in case it happens to you. Of course, they also reported in December that 40% of sudden acceleration claims involve Toyota models.

[Source: Consumer Reports]


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  • 49 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I remember a small Ford website was the first to shout that the Consumer reports emperor had no clothes.

      they did an editorial which I found through GMinsidenews

      http://www.fomoconews.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3941

      • 4 Years Ago
      Considering the total number of incidents involving this defect in comparison to the number of vehicles on the road that are affected, this whole deal is a bit over-played by the media.
      • 4 Years Ago
      See if you're still so smug after reading this:

      “It was about 4:45 during rush hour on a Friday evening, I was driving on the highway in the center lane, traffic was very thick and I needed to get into the right lane because my exit was about a mile up. I put on my turn signal to get over but the car in the right lane did not slow down so I could not easily get over so I pushed the gas a little to accelerate and I began to get over, when I did this the pedal started to move away from my foot and accelerating without me, I hit the brake, which was like pressing a brick it did not budge, so I swerved back into the center lane because the car in the right lane in front of me was much closer than the one in the center. When I swerved it caused the car in the left lane to swerve almost off the road. At this point I had absolutely no control over the car it was continuing to accelerate and I had no brakes, the dashboard brake light was on as if I had pulled the emergency brake (which I had not). The car in front of me is getting closer and closer and I am sure I am going to slam into it because I am boxed in by other traffic. I got about a car and a half away from it when my brakes finally kicked in and I was able to decelerate, my legs were shaking so uncontrollably, I could barely push the gas pedal to pull off the road. It was the scariest thing I have ever been through, I had absolutely no control over the car.”

      One example. Read more here: http://autocoverup.com/2009/04/06/lexus-sudden-acceleration/#STS=g7dt926d.1rrb
        • 4 Years Ago
        What you have quoted there is interesting because its the combination of unwarranted acceleration and a completely failed braking system. The acceleration component is pretty much a red herring in fact -- had the engine completely cut out, a brake failure would be just as bad.

        Any fix to the gas pedal wouldn't change what happened in the scenario you quoted at all.

        Keep in mind that the last time this happened to Audi, a) it was eventually found to be completely groundless, and b) it gave them enough bad press to keep them effectively out of the US market for years.

        Also keep in mind that during the scenario quoted - which sounds scary as hell - it was over soon enough that uncontrolled acceleration of a Lexus followed by breaking happened over a short enough period of time that they didn't hit the car directly in front of them during "very thick" rush hour traffic.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It isn't just that one incident. THIS is what is causing accidents. It has nothing to do with floor mats, or gas pedals for that matter. Follow the link I posted above, read the whole entry, watch the video, and read the other accounts.

        You're right, the incident I quoted was over before it turned to a real disaster. But others haven't been so lucky.

        How about this one? Note that shifting into neutral, and even reverse, does nothing to stop the car from accelerating.

        _________________

        "On October 12, 2006, Rhonda drove her Lexus onto 1-40 Westbound from the Sevierville on ramp and started to merge. "I had sped up to about 65 miles an hour."

        Then Rhonda says something strange happened. The car began accelerating on its own. "I looked down at my speedometer. It had gotten up to about 70 and I didn't have my foot on the accelerator."

        "At about 75, the cruise light came on by itself. So I thought, maybe that's why it started to speed up. So, I took my hand and disengaged the cruise," Rhonda says.

        But she says the car kept on going faster. "And then I geared down into neutral and it did nothing. So I kept doing that. Then I just put it in reverse. "

        Rhonda says she also applied the brakes. "Then, of course, I pushed the emergency brake on. I guess I said out loud, I can't believe this is happening."

        Using the remote phone in her car, Rhonda called her husband, Eddie Smith "I've been married to her for 35 years. I've never heard the terror in her voice like I did that day," he says.

        "I told him I was going 100 miles an hour down the interstate. I asked him if he knew anything else I could do to try to stop the car," Rhonda says.

        Eddie says he told his wife to put the car in park. Rhonda says she couldn't do that.

        "The good Lord just helped me out here cause I wasn't doing anything different and the speedometer started backing down just a little bit," Rhonda says.

        She had gone about six miles when the car began slowing down and she finally stopped it. "It's just times like this that it all comes back to me." Bringing up those terrifying moments still makes Rhonda feel shaky.

        _________________
        http://www.wate.com/global/Story.asp?s=6459687
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maybe JD Power can benefit from this.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "40% of all sudden acceleration cars are Toyotas"

      Well, duh. 40% of the cars on the road are Toyotas.
        • 4 Years Ago
        David Woodbury
        "40% of all sudden acceleration cars are Toyotas"

        Well, duh. 40% of the cars on the road are Toyotas


        If 40% of the sudden acceleration of all cars would be toyota's are you implying that all toyotas have sudden acceleration?
      • 4 Years Ago
      "This could help quell some criticism against Consumer Reports being biased in favor of Toyota when handing out its valuable "Recommended" status to vehicles."-----------Reasonable people do not question CR. Only those who call themselves "journalists" like John Neff question CR.

      John, i can sum up your journalistic integrity in few sentences, you have NONE. Zero, zilch, nada................ You came up with this lie that CR is somehow biased because they claim that Toyota's and Honda's are more reliable than D3. You being a groupie with zero credibility it is impossible for you to understand that there's a reason D2 filed for BK, there is a reason people do not buy their cars. There's a reason there's a large % of Americans who do not even consider cars from D3.

      Now hop to the nearest phone and beg some low level GM exec to let you take photos of Cruze.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The FDA is a federal agency (that doesn't work all that well). Consumer Reports is a private magazine that relies on 'donations'.

        CARB and the EPA are restrictive towards auto companies, in particular towards Detroit.

        And Ethanol? That's a pretty minor complaint compared to Toyota killing people, don't you think?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Farris

        They know i only write the truth. I am not biased in any way, i do not work for CR or Toyota so i write what i see as the truth.

        To deny the fact that a person who's source of income is to test latest cars and information related to them, which can usually be had by having good relations with executives is silly. If anyone is biased in here it is John Neff.

        I gave an example several times in here, an editor in here made a negative coment about Wagoner so i asked him why weren't you so critical when he was running the company and taking it to BK. He said i was wrong and provided Autoblog podcast him questioning Wagoner. The only issue was.................at the time Wagoner was begging Congress for money, at that point there was no denying that the guy did not know what he was doing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        CARB and the EPA are restrictive towards auto companies, in particular towards Detroit.-----------They regulate all automakers, not just D3. D3 happen to be very backward so that is why they often have nothing else but lobbying and complaining.

        And Ethanol? That's a pretty minor complaint compared to Toyota killing people, don't you think?-------------Minor, all cars in the future will have to be built in a way that allows them to run on it, every gallon of gasoline will have some ethanol in it, every gas station has to buy new equipment to dispense ethanol into cars. World had to change just for D3.............all at the expense of everyone else and the taxpayer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        CR is biased in regards to Toyota. The fact that this is a 'temporary suspension' and not a 'total revocation', as it should be, is evidence of it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yawn, let's move on from this boring Toyota news already...I wanna see some shiny new cars on AB!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have very little respect for CR. I have owned several cars of various makes and models in the last 15 years, some where better than others, but none were given fair evaluation by CR imo. Hondas and Toyotas were always rated higher by CR, even if most other car reviewers disagreed. I could pretty much predict the rating of a car by the brand. CR has stopped dismissing Hyundai and Suzuki out of hand, but their bias is still palpable. There was a CR rep/apologists on cable yesterday claiming that consumer confidence in Toyota has NOT been affected by recent recalls and safety concerns. Yeah. Uh huh. Right.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Consumer Retards: Lookin like a fool with ya pants on the ground, repeat!
      roger
      • 4 Years Ago
      japanese car makers always get a free pass on consumer reports when their cars are reviewed. The japanese own part of the magazine. American cars can have perfect scores in all the reviews except maybe the trunk dosen't match up exactualty to the fender and it becomes not recommended.I don't beleive in anything consumer reports recommends and doesn't recommend. You can throw that magagazine in the trash can.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's painfully apparent that no one here reads Consumer Reports because if they did they would know that they don't recommend or give high ratings to all Toyota's. As for them being bias towards certain makes, Honda etc.., it's because they are better. American cars have just plain stunk until recently. Ford still the only one of the big three to make a decent car. Unless you are compensating for certain physical inadequacies and need to drive a big truck there has been no reason to buy American cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      wasn't it just a couple years ago that consumer reports stopped AUTOMATICALLY "recommending" toyotas. meaning they actually had to base their conclusion on some facts rather than whose writing the checks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Today might be the day they put a nail on that "automatic reliability" coffin. CR needs to move to a more scientific basis for recomending vehicles.
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