Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Toyota/Lexus stuck accelerator crash

Saw this article about an extremely dangerous suddenly-stuck-on-accelerator problem in the Lexus ES 350. The awful headlined crash in the USA involved a driver realising his accelerator was stuck on and the car speeding out of control toward a busy intersection, so he called 911 and prayed that they would be ok, which they weren't.

This is tragic, but surely in this situation, you would try the following things:

1. Knock it into neutral/reverse
2. Handbrake
3. Stamp on the footbrake anyway, maybe it actually does work
4. TURN THE ENGINE OFF so it doesn't keep accelerating at least

Rather than these things:

1. Call the police and expect them to somehow help
2. Pray
3. Nothing else

Certainly, Toyota/Lexus is at fault for allowing a car out to market with a severe and dangerous problem which was reported and dismissed many times, but that doesn't help this guy and the other three people who died in the crash - surely there was a better option to avert or mitigate a high-speed collision than dialling 911 and praying that everything would be ok. The fact that the driver was an off-duty highway patrol officer just makes the outcome even more incomprehensible.

Why didn't they knock it out of gear and/or turn off the engine? How is calling 911 going to help avert a crash that is seconds away?

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