• Feb 2nd 2010 at 12:58PM
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2010 Pontiac Vibe - Click above for high-res image gallery

Determined to allay any concerns that the Pontiac Vibe – a clone of the recalled Toyota Matrix – has safety issues with its brakes, General Motors conducted its own vehicle tests over the weekend at its Milford Proving Grounds. "We ran the Vibe wide open at 60 miles an hour and the brakes were able to bring the vehicle to a safe stop within 169 meters, consistent with our internal requirement for brake performance," said Martin Hogan, GM director of brake systems.

While the tests may have successfully exonerated the Vibe's braking capability in a controlled unintended acceleration scenario, they did shed some light on the increased distances required to bring run-away vehicles to a stop. According to a recent Edmunds road test of the 2009 Pontiac Vibe GT, their test vehicle panic-stopped from 60 mph in just 127 feet. Converted, GM's quoted stopping distance is 507 feet – meaning the full-throttle Vibe took four times the distance to come to a safe stop when fighting both inertia and engine power.

Nevertheless, prior to the Toyota recall announcements, GM says it had not received any relevant customer complaints on its 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe models (although the Vibe is currently included in two Toyota recalls). The recent actions against Toyota did send a few Vibe customers to GM's hotline, but none have reported any crashes or injury. Even then, GM is quick to reiterate, "In the rare case of a sticking throttle, a driver should apply the brakes firmly and steadily until you come to a stop. Do not pump the brakes, which can deplete the available vacuum boost from the brake system." Park the vehicle, and then have it towed to a GM dealer for inspection.

  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe GT. X10PN_VB001 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe GT. X10PN_VB002 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe GT. X10PN_VB003 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe GT. X10PN_VB004 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe. X10PN_VB008 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe. X10PN_VB009 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe AWD. X10PN_VB010 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe AWD. X10PN_VB011 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe AWD. X10PN_VB012 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe GT. X10PN_VB005 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe GT. X10PN_VB006 (United States)
  • 2010 Pontiac Vibe GT. X10PN_VB007 (United States)

[Source: General Motors]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Wide open" and it hit 60?! wow!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wait, the concern is a sticking throttle, so they test the brakes? Isn't that a bit like having worries about a plane engine, then testing the parachutes? Seems... insufficient. Almost scary, even.
      • 5 Years Ago

        • 5 Years Ago

      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope you're not representative of the iq of the average Toyota owner.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Meant for Toyota forever.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This article confirms what's been said by all the manufacturers: the brakes will stop the car, if you mash your foot down and don't be a pansy.

      On Jalopnik there's a graph showing that the vast majority of un-intended acceleration complaints are in the 75-95 yr. old catagories. Just happens to be boring Toyotas are sold to a lot of old people. Hmmm, do you think overly-politically-correct Toyota will ever say that it's usually User Error? Never in our lives.

      Unless people start engaging their brains when driving, we're all in for mandatory black boxes and brake over rides. Those costs get passed on to us & worse yet, your insurance company will interogate the box and deny your claim.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again...

      Last Updated: February 02. 2010 11:27AM
      U.S. probes Chevy Cobalt steering complaints
      Associated Press

      Washington -- Federal regulators have opened an investigation into complaints that power steering systems in the Chevrolet Cobalt can fail.

      The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there are 1,132 complaints about the Cobalt's electric power steering, including reports of eleven accidents and one injury.

      The review covers about 905,000 Cobalts in the model years from 2005 to 2009.


      A majority of the complaints have come in the past six months. Some drivers said they couldn't stay in their traffic lane when steering became difficult.

      From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100202/AUTO01/2020395/1148/auto01/U.S.-probes-Chevy-Cobalt-steering-complaints#ixzz0eP4V2ewk

        • 5 Years Ago
        People can't stay in their lanes even with functioning power steering.
        • 5 Years Ago
        With over 1000 complaints it would appear that a recall is inevitable. While recalling 900k vehicles is never a good thing, hopefully GM will have a better gameplan than Toyota.

        If there is a bright side to that, it's that the Cobalt isn't a very heavy car. At speed, the loss of power steering, while disconcerting, is hardly the end of the world. At parking lot speeds, it's a MUCH bigger hassle, but at least the opportunity for a high speed differential crash is pretty low.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is actually old news. There was a same recall for G6 and Malibus with the EPS, not sure why they bring it up now. But it was fixed midyear, and my own 2006 G6 wasn't affected.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "You can't control a car that accelerates wildly out of control."

        Yes you can. Put it neutral and hit the brakes. Problem solved.

        As for the power steering issue, I've driven a front-wheel drive car with hydraulic power steering after the power steering belt broke, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I would have the same experience with a car that has electric power steering.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have one and the pedal assembly is a CTS unit. It means that a shim is in its future supposedly. However I got the Vibe GT with that magical third pedal. If my engine takes off I push it and I can take it out of gear. They should put that in all cars.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Seems to have done okay.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah, they probably haven't heard any complaints because they only sold 5 of them.

      Just when you thought people ran out of ammo against toyota, the firing squad reloads.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Meanwhile, Car & Driver (who also helped debunk similar innuendos slapped Audi's 5000 more than 20 years ago) just tested a current V6 Camry. Here's the relevant quote from their article...

      "Certainly the most natural reaction to a stuck-throttle emergency is to stomp on the brake pedal, possibly with both feet. And despite dramatic horsepower increases since C/D’s 1987 unintended-acceleration test of an Audi 5000, brakes by and large can still overpower and rein in an engine roaring under full throttle. With the Camry’s throttle pinned while going 70 mph, the brakes easily overcame all 268 horsepower straining against them and stopped the car in 190 feet—that’s a foot shorter than the performance of a Ford Taurus without any gas-pedal problems and just 16 feet longer than with the Camry’s throttle closed. From 100 mph, the stopping-distance differential was 88 feet—noticeable to be sure, but the car still slowed enthusiastically enough to impart a feeling of confidence. We also tried one go-for-broke run at 120 mph, and, even then, the car quickly decelerated to about 10 mph before the brakes got excessively hot and the car refused to decelerate any further. So even in the most extreme case, it should be possible to get a car’s speed down to a point where a resulting accident should be a low-speed and relatively minor event."

      • 5 Years Ago
      Perhaps the real fix is to change the badge on the front of the car. It's amazing what the press can do. Toyota cars bad, clone cars amazingly just fine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Vibe isn't just fine. It's been recalled and will be fixed when Toyota makes the parts available.

        GM is just saying that you can keep driving your Vibe. The same way Toyota says you can keep driving your Camry.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, and all 11 Vibe owners have 1976 Catalinas to drive until the recalled parts hit their local Chevy, Buick, GMC or Cadillac dealer, so GM wasn't worried.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like how GM conveniently quotes the distance in meters. Good ole metric system hiding the truth.
        • 5 Years Ago
        What, were you never taught to convert from your ancient agrarian-based, monarchy implemented system in 5th grade?
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