Toyota, from James Lackey

February 6, 2010 |

 Toyota is sure it's a pedal problem and not drive by wire. This reminds me of my dad's not liking the feel of two springs on the throttle stop the NHRA mandated. I said "Um, dad, if the throttle sticks on this 1,000 horsepower bad boy…" "I'll shut it down, son." "Not if you're sliding sideways, pop – leave the heavy duty springs on the carb…"

Anyway, drive by wire must be 100,000,000 times safer than an old throttle linkage when a motor mount breaks. Everyone who ever owned a Lincoln Town Car knows what I mean. That was the clunking sound you heard when you stepped on the gas. The engine falling back down into place. You shouldn't have let your grandson drive the car on spring break. Push hard enough the engine rises up and the linkage goes to WOT and won't shut down.

I forgot all about Ford's cruise control WOT wide open throttle problems they had for a decade. Moisture would get into the cruise control box, short it out and any random time the car would go to full throttle. They had to admit the problem was real after a few Secret Service agents ran their cars into trees at the White House. So now I am cracking up that Toyota's problems are now good for Ford.

Yet I am not laughing about the Lexus floor mat deal. Even if it's just the mats. (Lexus hasn't had a pedal recall) What you're saying is if you drop a newspaper, your new iPad, or a bottle of Coke while driving, the rebound on the pedal is so weak (no two springs. or very strong rebound mechanism that NHRA mandates, that my dad and everyone must hate the feel) you're at full throttle trying to slap it into neutral and holding an ignition switch/button for three seconds to kill the engine.

So now I am like the old curmudgeon who says all new tech is bad because kids can't write an essay, just a paragraph. The oral tradition was lost to the Gutenberg press. All hope for a strong memory is lost with Google search. No one will know how to parallel park once drive by wire is in all new cars. I can hear my dad now… "First they made it so you couldn't work on a car without computers, now you can't drive with out one." ha ha.

Ford blamed the floor mats for years.


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