Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4

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Old 17 Sep 2009, 01:41 am   #1 (permalink)
john
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Default Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4

So watch those mats!

"Toyota said Tuesday it will order all dealers to inspect their cars
for mismatched floor mats after a mat was suspected of snagging a gas
pedal on a runaway Lexus, ending with a fiery crash that killed four
family members in San Diego County.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. planned to issue an order Wednesday to
about 1,400 Toyota and Lexus dealers nationwide to make sure each of
their new, used and loaner vehicles had the proper floor mats and that
the mats were properly secured, said Brian Lyons, a spokesman for the
Torrance-based company.

Customers who are concerned should also make sure they have the proper
mats.

"If there's any doubt in their mind about the security and shape of
their mat, go ahead and visit the dealer" to have them checked, Lyons
said.

California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor, 45, and three others
were killed Aug. 28 on State Route 125 in Santee, a town near San
Diego. The runaway car was doing more than 120 mph when it hit a sport
utility vehicle, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and
burst into flames.

The SUV driver was treated for moderate injuries.

In addition to Saylor, who was a 19-year CHP veteran, the crash killed
his wife, Cleofe, 45; their daughter, Mahala, 13; and Saylor's brother-
in-law, Chris Lastrella, 38.

Lastrella made a 911 call about a minute before the crash to say the
vehicle had no brakes and the accelerator was stuck.

The call ends with someone telling people in the car to hold on and
pray, followed by a woman's scream.

The family was in a 2009 Lexus ES 350 that was loaned by a dealer
while their own vehicle was being serviced.

Investigators with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have
determined that a rubber all-weather floor mat found in the wreckage
was a couple of inches longer than the mat that belonged in the
vehicle.

That could have snared or covered the accelerator pedal.

"We don't know if the all-weather floor mat was properly secured or
not," he said. "We do know that it was a floor mat from a different
Lexus."

Lyons said most Toyotas come with carpeted floor mats, but all-weather
mats are sold as accessories.

The driver could have put the car in neutral to disengage the engine
from the automatic transmission, Lyons said.

The driver also could have turned off the electronically keyed car by
holding down the start switch for three seconds, but that could have
locked the steering wheel, turned off the headlights and cut power-
assist to the brakes, Lyons said.

Lyons said the company had not had any complaints about mismatched
floor mats.

In 2007, the company did recall all-weather mats from some of its
Lexus ES 350s and Toyota Camrys after complaints that they could slip
and trap the accelerator.

However, this crash was unrelated to the mats that were pulled from
the market during the recall, Lyons said. "

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...rs+inspections


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Old 17 Sep 2009, 08:12 am   #2 (permalink)
hls
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Default Re: Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4


"john" <johngdole@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1d58c26c-4867-4f04-bad0-9d40b1fbf606@b25g2000prb.googlegroups.com...
> So watch those mats!
>
> "Toyota said Tuesday it will order all dealers to inspect their cars
> for mismatched floor mats after a mat was suspected of snagging a gas
> pedal on a runaway Lexus, ending with a fiery crash that killed four
> family members in San Diego County.


Both of our Toyotas came with special floor mats that attach to the floor
with hooks, to keep the mats from creeping upward and bunching up around
the brake and accelerator pedals. I suspect the Lexuses have similar mat
hold-downs.

I put some aftermarket protector mats in both cars (Walmart, but nice
looking)
and find that one of the sets works fine, doesnt creep, but the other does
creep up and is a potential cause of problems.

Word to the wise is to deal with this before you have a problem

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Old 17 Sep 2009, 09:14 am   #3 (permalink)
Mike
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Default Re: Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4

I'm no Toyota fanatic but that story sounds fishy to me.

I the first place what Toyota can reach 120 MPH, except while going down a
mountain?

In the second place EVERY vehicle has more brake HP than engine HP. If you
doubt that floor the throttle on YOUR vehicle and apply the foot brake with
you left foot and take note of what happens.


"john" <johngdole@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1d58c26c-4867-4f04-bad0-9d40b1fbf606@b25g2000prb.googlegroups.com...
> So watch those mats!
>
> "Toyota said Tuesday it will order all dealers to inspect their cars
> for mismatched floor mats after a mat was suspected of snagging a gas
> pedal on a runaway Lexus, ending with a fiery crash that killed four
> family members in San Diego County.
>
> Toyota Motor Sales, USA Inc. planned to issue an order Wednesday to
> about 1,400 Toyota and Lexus dealers nationwide to make sure each of
> their new, used and loaner vehicles had the proper floor mats and that
> the mats were properly secured, said Brian Lyons, a spokesman for the
> Torrance-based company.
>
> Customers who are concerned should also make sure they have the proper
> mats.
>
> "If there's any doubt in their mind about the security and shape of
> their mat, go ahead and visit the dealer" to have them checked, Lyons
> said.
>
> California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor, 45, and three others
> were killed Aug. 28 on State Route 125 in Santee, a town near San
> Diego. The runaway car was doing more than 120 mph when it hit a sport
> utility vehicle, launched off an embankment, rolled several times and
> burst into flames.
>
> The SUV driver was treated for moderate injuries.
>
> In addition to Saylor, who was a 19-year CHP veteran, the crash killed
> his wife, Cleofe, 45; their daughter, Mahala, 13; and Saylor's brother-
> in-law, Chris Lastrella, 38.
>
> Lastrella made a 911 call about a minute before the crash to say the
> vehicle had no brakes and the accelerator was stuck.
>
> The call ends with someone telling people in the car to hold on and
> pray, followed by a woman's scream.
>
> The family was in a 2009 Lexus ES 350 that was loaned by a dealer
> while their own vehicle was being serviced.
>
> Investigators with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have
> determined that a rubber all-weather floor mat found in the wreckage
> was a couple of inches longer than the mat that belonged in the
> vehicle.
>
> That could have snared or covered the accelerator pedal.
>
> "We don't know if the all-weather floor mat was properly secured or
> not," he said. "We do know that it was a floor mat from a different
> Lexus."
>
> Lyons said most Toyotas come with carpeted floor mats, but all-weather
> mats are sold as accessories.
>
> The driver could have put the car in neutral to disengage the engine
> from the automatic transmission, Lyons said.
>
> The driver also could have turned off the electronically keyed car by
> holding down the start switch for three seconds, but that could have
> locked the steering wheel, turned off the headlights and cut power-
> assist to the brakes, Lyons said.
>
> Lyons said the company had not had any complaints about mismatched
> floor mats.
>
> In 2007, the company did recall all-weather mats from some of its
> Lexus ES 350s and Toyota Camrys after complaints that they could slip
> and trap the accelerator.
>
> However, this crash was unrelated to the mats that were pulled from
> the market during the recall, Lyons said. "
>
> http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2...rs+inspections
>
>



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Old 17 Sep 2009, 09:58 am   #4 (permalink)
a
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Default Re: Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4

Mike wrote:
> I'm no Toyota fanatic but that story sounds fishy to me.
>
> I the first place what Toyota can reach 120 MPH, except while going down a
> mountain?
>
> In the second place EVERY vehicle has more brake HP than engine HP.



I think you have an errant view on what brake horsepower is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsepo...ake_horsepower

Plus, plenty of Toyotas have top speeds rated above 120MPh, but the Lexus
ES quoted in the article can do north of 140MPh.

a
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Old 17 Sep 2009, 11:39 am   #5 (permalink)
Jeff Strickland
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Default Re: Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4


"john" <johngdole@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:1d58c26c-4867-4f04-bad0-9d40b1fbf606@b25g2000prb.googlegroups.com...
>
> The driver could have put the car in neutral to disengage the engine
> from the automatic transmission, Lyons said.
>
> The driver also could have turned off the electronically keyed car by
> holding down the start switch for three seconds, but that could have
> locked the steering wheel, turned off the headlights and cut power-
> assist to the brakes, Lyons said.
>



Here is a serious problem, if true.

The car should not lock the steering until after Park is selected. If a car
starts to go out of control full-throttle, it is a natural instinct (at
least for me) to cut power to the engine and deal with the rest of the
issues as they come up. If the Ignition has a RUN and LOCK, but no OFF
(where the engine is not running, but the steering is not locked), then I
see this as a very serious safety flaw.

I had my car suffer a serious engine problem many years ago and I did not
have enough towing service to get it home. I set the ignition to off and the
transmission ot N, and coasted for something like 7 miles down a two-lane
mountain road. If my car had been a Lexus, I would not be able to do that
because the steering is locked. The grade was no very steep, just enough to
keep the car going. There are lots of safety issues with coasting a car for
7 miles, but hey, young and foolish is often the road to old and wise.

This story strikes me as odd though.

I have very limited experience here, but I have always thought that the
brakes on a car should be able to bring a car to a stop, or at least to a
more managable speed. I am also baffled by the report that the driver was a
CHP officer, but that he could not control the car by selecting N. I'm sure
that such an action would in all likelihood be fatal for the engine IF the
gas pedal was indeed stuck, but a fatality for the machine is far better
than the four fatalities of people.








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Old 17 Sep 2009, 11:51 am   #6 (permalink)
Jeff Strickland
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Default Re: Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4


"a" <a@thisisnotmyrealemail.com> wrote in message
news:Z7ssm.44237$Db2.40699@edtnps83...
> Mike wrote:
>> I'm no Toyota fanatic but that story sounds fishy to me.
>>
>> I the first place what Toyota can reach 120 MPH, except while going down
>> a
>> mountain?
>>
>> In the second place EVERY vehicle has more brake HP than engine HP.

>
>
> I think you have an errant view on what brake horsepower is:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsepo...ake_horsepower
>
> Plus, plenty of Toyotas have top speeds rated above 120MPh, but the Lexus
> ES quoted in the article can do north of 140MPh.
>
> a


I think you're right on both counts -- The Lexus can exceed 120mph, and
Brake Horsepower is not a reflection of the power of the braking system.

But, I think you miss the point, the brakes should be able to drag the car
down to a managable speed so that the target one selects to finally make it
stop is not so traumatic as drilling the car into a cliff, or off a cliff.
If the brakes can drag the car down to 30, say, and then the ignition is
cut, the resulting heavy pressure on the brake pedal will surely cause the
passengers to be launched through the windshield if they are not restrained
by seat belts. Certainly, the brakes will be vary hot, and might even
require major service at the end of the day, but I just do not understand
how a trained CHP Officer would have so much trouble with this car. Grandma
might not deal with the same issues very well, but for some reason I think
CHP officers are trained in high speed pursuit that ought to include high
speed stopping.

There are far too many fishy "facts" to this story.









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Old 17 Sep 2009, 12:24 pm   #7 (permalink)
ben91932
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Default Re: Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4

On Sep 17, 7:14*am, "Mike" <mikehu...@lycos.com> wrote:
> I'm no Toyota fanatic but that story sounds fishy to me.
>
> I the first place what Toyota can reach 120 MPH, except while going down a
> mountain?



He *was* going down a mountain. I live nearby and have driven that
grade many times.. even lost a master cylinder going down it several
years back... very scary...
It's a steep downhill coming off a long straight highway ending into
a 't' intersection, with a creek bed on the other side.
I have a Highlander with a similar engine (270ish HP v6) and have done
110 down that hill with throttle left over. The ES350 has a governed
top speed of 131mph.

> In the second place EVERY vehicle has more brake HP than engine HP. * If you
> doubt that floor the throttle on YOUR vehicle and apply the foot brake with
> you left foot and take note of what happens. *


The car strains and slows a little until the brakes overheat and fade
away.
I still dont know why he didnt just slip it into nuetral and let the
engine scream...(or even if the car would let him..)
Very sad situation...

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Old 17 Sep 2009, 12:42 pm   #8 (permalink)
a
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Default Re: Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4

Jeff Strickland wrote:
> "a" <a@thisisnotmyrealemail.com> wrote in message
> news:Z7ssm.44237$Db2.40699@edtnps83...
>> Mike wrote:
>>> I'm no Toyota fanatic but that story sounds fishy to me.
>>>
>>> I the first place what Toyota can reach 120 MPH, except while going down
>>> a
>>> mountain?
>>>
>>> In the second place EVERY vehicle has more brake HP than engine HP.

>>
>> I think you have an errant view on what brake horsepower is:
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsepo...ake_horsepower
>>
>> Plus, plenty of Toyotas have top speeds rated above 120MPh, but the Lexus
>> ES quoted in the article can do north of 140MPh.
>>
>> a

>
> I think you're right on both counts -- The Lexus can exceed 120mph, and
> Brake Horsepower is not a reflection of the power of the braking system.
>
> But, I think you miss the point, the brakes should be able to drag the car
> down to a managable speed so that the target one selects to finally make it
> stop is not so traumatic as drilling the car into a cliff, or off a cliff.
> If the brakes can drag the car down to 30, say, and then the ignition is
> cut, the resulting heavy pressure on the brake pedal will surely cause the
> passengers to be launched through the windshield if they are not restrained
> by seat belts. Certainly, the brakes will be vary hot, and might even
> require major service at the end of the day, but I just do not understand
> how a trained CHP Officer would have so much trouble with this car. Grandma
> might not deal with the same issues very well, but for some reason I think
> CHP officers are trained in high speed pursuit that ought to include high
> speed stopping.
>
> There are far too many fishy "facts" to this story.
>



I know, I just thought I'd point out the factual errors. I agree on the
fishy smell. Turn the ignition back to "Acc" or whatever it's called on
that car? Brake hard - pull up the emerg./parking brake?

a
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Old 17 Sep 2009, 12:44 pm   #9 (permalink)
a
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Default Re: Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4

a wrote:
> Jeff Strickland wrote:
>> "a" <a@thisisnotmyrealemail.com> wrote in message
>> news:Z7ssm.44237$Db2.40699@edtnps83...
>>> Mike wrote:
>>>> I'm no Toyota fanatic but that story sounds fishy to me.
>>>>
>>>> I the first place what Toyota can reach 120 MPH, except while going down
>>>> a
>>>> mountain?
>>>>
>>>> In the second place EVERY vehicle has more brake HP than engine HP.
>>> I think you have an errant view on what brake horsepower is:
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsepo...ake_horsepower
>>>
>>> Plus, plenty of Toyotas have top speeds rated above 120MPh, but the Lexus
>>> ES quoted in the article can do north of 140MPh.
>>>
>>> a

>> I think you're right on both counts -- The Lexus can exceed 120mph, and
>> Brake Horsepower is not a reflection of the power of the braking system.
>>
>> But, I think you miss the point, the brakes should be able to drag the car
>> down to a managable speed so that the target one selects to finally make it
>> stop is not so traumatic as drilling the car into a cliff, or off a cliff.
>> If the brakes can drag the car down to 30, say, and then the ignition is
>> cut, the resulting heavy pressure on the brake pedal will surely cause the
>> passengers to be launched through the windshield if they are not restrained
>> by seat belts. Certainly, the brakes will be vary hot, and might even
>> require major service at the end of the day, but I just do not understand
>> how a trained CHP Officer would have so much trouble with this car. Grandma
>> might not deal with the same issues very well, but for some reason I think
>> CHP officers are trained in high speed pursuit that ought to include high
>> speed stopping.
>>
>> There are far too many fishy "facts" to this story.
>>

>
>
> I know, I just thought I'd point out the factual errors. I agree on the
> fishy smell. Turn the ignition back to "Acc" or whatever it's called on
> that car? Brake hard - pull up the emerg./parking brake?
>
> a


PS - Or as "ben91932" points out - just plonk it in neutral. Was the CHP
officer driving?
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Old 17 Sep 2009, 01:03 pm   #10 (permalink)
hls
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Default Re: Runaway 2009 Lexus ES fiery crash kills family of 4


"a" <a@thisisnotmyrealemail.com> wrote in message
news:Z7ssm.44237$Db2.40699@edtnps83...
> Mike wrote:
>> I'm no Toyota fanatic but that story sounds fishy to me.
>>
>> I the first place what Toyota can reach 120 MPH, except while going down
>> a
>> mountain?
>>
>> In the second place EVERY vehicle has more brake HP than engine HP.


I dont know how fast our Avalon would go, but it has a good tranny and
268 horsepower to pull it. Speedometer indicates 160, but I have no idea
how fast you could really push it.

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