By now we’ve all heard about the tragic accident in San Diego involving an off-duty CHP officer losing control of his car. Here is the initial story in the San Diego Union-Tribune:
CHP veteran among four thought to be victims of Friday crash via SignOnSanDiego.com
Toyota attributed the inability to stop to the floor mats:
Read the initial NHTSA and Toyota releases here (via AutoBlogGreen)
Over two months since the accident, sympathy for the Saylor family has given way to media sensationalism and speculation. Here’s an example of such an article:
Toyota Executive Denies “Cover Up” In Probe of Runaway Cars via abcnews.com
More speculating from the LA Times:
Toyota’s runaway-car worries may not stop at floor mats via latimes.com
Since the campaign involves the Toyota Prius, LG customers have had many questions about our experiences with floor mats and what we recommend. Here is our response:
1. Two of our customers have experienced unintended acceleration due to floor mat interference. Both cases were Prius with aftermarket floor mats. Both were able to avert an accident by pulling the floor mat back.
2. I have not removed the floor mats in the shop Prius, a 2007. (Note plenty of pedal clearance with all weather mats, held in place by the factory clips.)
3. We are making note of floor mat installation on cars coming in. We are happy to inspect your floor mats and make sure they are installed properly, free of charge. We are always available to answer any questions via email or phone.
Yesterday I received the Safety Recall Campaign letter, direct from Toyota, for the shop car. In it they offer four suggestions on how to react if your vehicle continues to accelerate rapidly after releasing the accelerator pedal.
1. Pull back the floor mat
2. Step on the brake pedal
3. Shift into neutral
4. Hold the power button down for 3 seconds (safety override)
As the media whips up anxiety surrounding electronic failure of cars (rather than floor mat interference), I’ve heard speculation that the vehicle will not actually apply the brakes when the accelerator pedal is fully depressed, or that it won’t shift into neutral, or uncertainty on how to shut the car down with a push button start mechanism. Since we at LG want you to feel empowered and informed in your car ownership (rather than afraid or powerless), we filmed examples of actions 2-4 to reassure you how the Prius behaves:
Shifting into neutral works anytime
Pressing the brake will stop the car (quite quickly) when the accelerator is still held down
What happens when you hold the power button down for 3 seconds?
The Saylor accident, like all car accidents, is a reminder of how deadly cars can be and that we shouldn’t take them for granted. Don’t be afraid to practice shifting into neutral or pressing the power button under controlled conditions, to reassure yourself how the car works.
Any other questions, comments, or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact us.