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Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 7:04 PM


If your accelerator sticks, wouldn't common sense alert you to put the vehicle in neutral immediately? Or just plain turn it off?

Headylamar  (Level: 154.1 - Posts: 740)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 7:22 PM

Yep. Common sense would tell you to do just that. However, I think common sense goes right out the window when your vehicle starts behaving as if obsessed. If one's car suddenly begins accelerating at a very high rate of speed, I think sheer panic sets in for many people. I think many, many people are absolutely terrified and their first thought goes to somehow stopping the car by braking. I've read that braking (emergency and pedal) had very little effect on the speeding vehicle. I also read that putting the car in neutral had absolutely no effect whatsoever.

Asor  (Level: 162.1 - Posts: 594)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 7:51 PM

And if you shut off the engine, you can't steer.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 7:56 PM

Well, you can, but it's tough. And it's a lot better to not be able to steer easily as you coast to a stop than slamming into something at 90 mph.

Kaufman  (Level: 267.7 - Posts: 3941)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 7:58 PM

And the Prius is probably among the easiest of cars to put into neutral. It's literally a well-placed flick of the finger.

Smaug  (Level: 144.7 - Posts: 2765)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 8:02 PM

I would think if you just held up a mirror the Prius would die of embarrassment.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 8:24 PM


1mks  (Level: 219.4 - Posts: 5925)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 8:27 PM

If I'd had anything in my mouth when I read that Smaug, it would be all over my computer.

Winddancer41  (Level: 63.3 - Posts: 1113)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 8:44 PM

I agree whole heartly my brother-in-law just brought one and that is one ugly car. charlotte

Mplaw51  (Level: 184.4 - Posts: 1581)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 10:17 PM

My understanding is that you can't shut off a car if its going any kind of speed. Should it begin to accelerate, shutting it off is no longer an option. I think that goes for taking it out of gear as well. That's the problem in a nutshell, there's no resolution once you find yourself fully engaged in this nightmare.

Jerrys  (Level: 198.6 - Posts: 334)
Tue, 9th Mar '10 10:26 PM

Incorrect. You can shut a car off at any time, and can shift to neutral at any speed. As for steering - if you just turn the key enough to shut off the engine (1 click), you will still be able to steer, although you won't have power steering. If you the key to where you can remove it, however, the steering wheel will lock.

A lot of people don't understand that when this happens, the best thing to do is shift to a lower gear and turn the engine off, just as if you were to lose brakes (what do they teach in Driver's Ed these days?).. But also, when you're panicking, it's hard to think straight.

Jank0614  (Level: 67.1 - Posts: 4593)
Wed, 10th Mar '10 5:11 AM

Just for the record too, it has happened in my son's work pickup - which is a Ford 250 pickup. He's the one who told me when it happened to him, he immediately shifted to neutral. So that made me think there's more to this problem than one company.

Surreyman  (Level: 272.1 - Posts: 2771)
Wed, 10th Mar '10 6:04 AM

Are US cars different to UK cars?
Depress the brake/clutch and you have a controlled stop - our clutches simply disengage the engine, don't yours?!

Kaufman  (Level: 267.7 - Posts: 3941)
Wed, 10th Mar '10 6:06 AM

Too many Americans are too lazy to learn/use manual transmissions, and they're hard to find here these days. The cars in question are automatic and clutchless.

Mplaw51  (Level: 184.4 - Posts: 1581)
Wed, 10th Mar '10 6:09 AM

Thanks, Jerrys, I asked early on why not shift into neutral and/or shut off the car and was told no go. I imagine the panic factor has alot to do with this. At this stage of the game, I'd feel unsafe driving in a Toyota that has been one of the recall models.

Surreyman  (Level: 272.1 - Posts: 2771)
Wed, 10th Mar '10 6:22 AM

Oh well, you're just too advanced!
You've forgotten the joys of driving if you don't have manual - maybe still used 50/50 alongside automatic in UK (I don't have the actual figures).
And I've long bemoaned the loss of my starting handle to get me out of flat batteries! Not joking, my 1960s cars had 'em!

Asor  (Level: 162.1 - Posts: 594)
Wed, 10th Mar '10 8:38 AM

I *tried* to learn to drive a manual/standard one day. I'm pretty sure I'm the reason automatics were invented

Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Wed, 10th Mar '10 9:05 AM

British cars have never had a sudden acceleration problem because with their Lucas electrics you couldn't get them started,,,,period. Reminds me of an old joke; Why do the british drink warm beer? (a) Because Lucas makes their refrigertators.
Does Lucas still make stuff? Just wondered.

Lowiq  (Level: 216.3 - Posts: 1953)
Wed, 10th Mar '10 9:14 AM

Never was one to ride a motorcycle and sure won't be starting anytime soon. But I remember seeing a humorous ad for Triumph motorcycles. This device would spread a little oil dry under the cycle every time you hit the kick starter. Guess they were known for oil leaks. (I know Triumph cars were!)

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