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Toyota has detailed three new vehicle safety systems designed to avoid instances of unintended acceleration and high-speed crashes.

The Japanese manufacturer was forced to recall around eight million vehicles globally in 2009 and 2010 after slipping floor mats and sticking accelerator pedals prevented drivers from stopping their vehicles and caused a number of crashes.

Two of the new safety measures are intended to reduce the risk of a crash in instances where the driver hits the wrong pedal or selects the wrong gear, particularly when parking.

The first is Intelligent Clearance Sonar, which is able to detect obstacles that are outside the driver’s line of sight and automatically apply the brakes if there is a risk of a crash. The system first sounds an alarm, then reduces engine power and applies the brakes if deemed necessary.

Supporting the sonar system is Drive-Start Control, which recognises if the wrong gear (Drive or Reverse) has been selected when the driver applies the throttle, flashing a warning and reducing engine output in an attempt to avoid a collision.

“This can help … when a driver reacts to hitting an object while reversing by making a quick shift to a forward gear while still pressing the accelerator pedal,” Toyota explains.

The third system, Pre-Crash Safety system (PCS) with Collision Avoidance Assist, is designed to operate at higher speeds to reduce the consequences of rear-end crashes.

This latest version of PCS – a system already available in a number of Toyota and Lexus vehicles – uses a radar to monitor the vehicle directly ahead. If it detects a collision risk, audible and visual warnings alert the driver to apply the brakes.

If the brake pedal is pressed, the system can increase the braking force by up to twice the average level achieved by drivers, allowing the system to slow the vehicle by up to 60km/h, or by 30km/h if the driver fails to hit the brake pedal altogether.

Toyota says all three safety technologies are being prepared for implementation in its future vehicles.

Toyota is not alone in developing safety systems designed to reduce the threat of unintended acceleration, with a number of manufacturers developing similar technologies, including Nissan’s Safety Shield system, which we tested in Japan last year.




  • F1orce

    You wouldn’t have any of these problems with a manual transmission.

  • John

    I thought these unintended acceleration incidents were caused mainly by stupid people who probably shouldn’t be in charge of anything more dangerous than a spoon. How is Toyota going to create a fool-proof cars when the fools are getting more cunning in their stupidity?
     

  • youbadgesnob

    is that first diagram an airbag blowing up before it hits a brick wall?

    • Stan

      That’ll be another recall then.

  • Wile E Coyote

    What about unintended steering into parked cars,unintended braking , unintended yapping when should concentrating on driving,unintended lane hogging,unintended failure to indicate,unintended burnouts…..
    Gee Toyota has just scraped the surface.

  • save it for the track

    Funny. Try doing any kind of burnout in a Corolla or a Camry…  Anyone saying they have done an ‘unintended burnout’ in a current Corolla or Camry would be lying.

    • F1orce

      Floor it on wet surface and it will spin out of control.

    • Force-15

      You’d need to floor the accelerator from rest on a very steep hill with a wet road. (Or another loose surface such as gravel, but I doubt the average Corolla/Camry driver would go past tarmac.)

    • Phil

      On a hillstart in the rain, my grandfather frequently got decent wheelspin, even on a gentle start.  in his Crapry - particularly when first off at the traffic lights and the front wheels were just starting off from the painted line.

      • F1orce

        Yeah the old V6 Camry with 3.0L will crush the 3.0L rattly, terrible sounding SIDI KOMMI

        I’m talking 1999 Camry V6 with the 1MZ-FE engine which sounds nice and goes pretty damn nice.

        I used a GPS timing device and I keep getting 6.8 – 7.3 seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint which is good for 1999 Camry lol

        • Dave W

          That old 3.0L Camry could really pull you along once you pass 3000RPM.

          • F1orce

            Yeah it’s pretty damn good and crazy for a 90′s Camry!

            I love the look on people’s faces when they try overtaking me, I simply floor it and fly passed them hahahaaa

          • DonO

            I hav tried one of the Aurions v6 and they pretty weird to drive. when you drive normal and smooth they are very nice and soft. But once you push it up it changes gear and revs all the way to 4.5k rpm and its pretty scary the way all the power comes at once and in a big rush

          • Phil

             This hysteria by Toyota drivers probably goes a long way to explain why Toyota drivers are having these unintended acceleration crashes.
            All these comments about the 3.0 V6 Camry having such strong performance……it takes 9.03 secs 0-100kmh – drivers of other cars would find this to be average performance – and that figure is for a 5 speed manual, the 4 speed auto is even slower.
            Scared by reving a Aurion to 4500rpm? The power does not peak untill 6200rpm, so DonO, you probably would have had a crash from excess acceleration if you’d revved it to 6200!

          • Dave W

            I used to drive the 98 3.0L Camry Conquest. Besides the decent power for the time, it really was a testament to Toyota’s bulletproof reliability.

            I really neglected that car, never bothered with checking and topping up the oil, didn’t even do 5k oil change, or even 10k. But the engine always fired up on the first turn of the key. The AC was still cold. No electrical problem apart from one of the passenger’s door and even then it fixed itself. lol

            The only 2 problems were the roof lining and the back window tinting peeling off.

            You try neglect one of the Euros like that, a Golf for example. You’ll be on a first name basis with your local mechanic.

          • Stan

            Yeah and then they have a head on collision because you play childish games with their lives.
            Nothing to boast about…childish really.

        • Phil

           What does any of that have to do with the price of fish?

          Their Crapry was the earlier wide bodied one with a AWFUL, AWFUL sounding 2.2 4 cylinder. Much much worse sounding than the SIDI “Kommi”. Thankfully it died from the classic Toyota blown headgasket.
          A freind did also have one with the 3.0 V6 and it most definately did not do 0-100kmh in 6.8 secs. About 10 secs dead as a auto and it could not even go over 200kmh.

          • F1orce

            Yeah the V6 model was the one to get.

            The one your friend had was probably the old old one with the infamous iron block 3.0L 3VZ-FE and even that was more of a 9 sec car than 10

          • Phil

            Ah F1, always way off the mark.

            Motor Magazine, Sep 1999 has a road test of a 1999 Toyota Camry 3.0 V6 with your lovely 1MZ engine.

            0-100kmh 9.03 secs & 0-400m 16.52 secs

            Way, way off your claim of 6.8 secs 0-100 hahahaha. No doubt their notes about the poor handling and steering also doesn’t agree with your thoughts, which I’m sure shower the Camry’s handling with positive praise.

          • F1orce

            Trust me i drive such car on a regular basis and being a car enthusiast I know what I’m doing. The GPS system which measures speed maybe wrong? But I highly doubt that because the 1999 V6 Camry is plenty quick. I guarantee you it’s faster than all the 4-cyl midsize cars le today.

          • Phil

             BAHAHAHA!
            What kind of car enthusiast goes GAGA over a old Toyota Camry?

            I repeat: Motor Magazine Sep 1999.
            1999 Toyota Camry TOURING (the supposed SPORTS model!) with 5 speed MANUAL!

            0-100kmh 9.03 secs, 0-400m 16.52 secs.

            That is SLOWER than today’s mid sized 4 cylinders, case in point:
            VW Passat 118TSI: 8.7 secs 0-100kmh from Wheels July 2011.
            Suzuki Kizash: 8.8 secs 0-100kmh from Wheels Oct 2011.
            I’ve seen Accord Euro and Mazda6 times under 9 secs too.

        • Guest21

          The car’s 13 yrs old and you’re still timing it?
          Come on F1, get a life mate…stop flogging that dead horse.

          • F1orce

            @ Phil hahaaa Kizashi? Yeah right. The 1999 Camry will walk all over every single mid-size 4-cyl.. Perhaps the best of the best will slightly keep up till about 90km/h or so.. But they will eventually will fall behind. 

            btw i don’t rate cars based on badge, but on substance. 

            The 1MZ is popular engine.. Type 1MZ on google and you get the rest 1MZ-FE.. Just proves the popularity of these motors 

             Guest21 .. Who cares how old it is. It’s good, comes with leather seats, power everything and even has wood trim 

          • Golfmother

            I cant stop laffing , is he serious , a car enthusiast in a camry, wheres camry lover when you need him .

    • Wlle E Coyote

      Could easily happen in the LFA

  • svd

    Un intended acceleration is not always the driver.  This can be caused by EMF spikes in the control circuitry. The problem has been swept under the carpet as most manufacturers do not want to go back to the old mechanical cable because to do so would mean throwing away a lot of other must have features that the consumers demand.  I have read a number of reports by owners into investigations into the phenomena including Ford, Audi (which had the first instance) and recently Toyota. Many of these owners were not idiots and some were engineers who suspected that the accelerator was sticking and put the floor mats in the boot only to find that the vehicle still did the same thing some time later.  There is still a lot of un explained issues over this.

    • F1orce

      I’ve always felt that the mechanical throttle cable were so much more responsive, accurate and reliable than electronic throttle / DBW

      • Karl Sass

        You can dial in exactly what you want with the mechanical set up. The feeling of the car ‘guestimating’ the acceleration you want feels strange underfoot.

        • F1orce

          Yeah exactly.

          Feels very artificial and disconnected these electronic throttles.

    • Richard

      if that was the case then it should be far more common and across all manufacturers.

  • Sonic

    One of the more recent ‘Sticky accelerator pedal’ incidents caused fatalities, because nobody in the car was wearing a seatbelt. Accidents like that happen to people who are too retarded to understand basic physics. Toyota somehow needs to find a way to idiot-proof their cars. 

    • AndrewF

       As the saying goes, “whenever you try to make something idiot-proof, somebody goes and makes a better idiot”. It is impossible to idiot-proof the world. All you can do is trust natural selection and let the idiots kill themselves, preferably before they reproduce.

    • Stan

      So that settles it then.
      Idiots buy Toyotas.

    • Not behind a camry. ever

      Not with their demographic. Good luck idiot proofing that mob.

  • Chubbs

    Not all idiots. This happened to a friend of mine in an auto forester GT from around 2002. Sitting stationary at an intersection with foot on brake when engine suddenly reved and launched into intersection – thankfully empty so no crash. The brakes were still on and the acceleration stoped by itself in a matter of seconds.  Subaru could not identify the problem or re-create but bought the car back from them at a good price.  They got the dealer to sign a document stating that they did not think it would be safe for the dealer to sell the car on.

  • Not behind a camry. ever

    Oh the sheer irony of it. Toyota drivers (generally) need MORE acceleration.
    Ever get stuck behind some dawdler in a camry/corolla/ prado as they press the accelerator down ever so slightly, fearing if they press it any harder the world will end.

    FFS, its the pedal on the right.