Monday, February 01, 2010

Toyota acceleration

I've been reading about new Toyotas accelerating out of control and killing everyone inside.  (Imagine that the car just starts accelerating and you can do nothing to stop the acceleration.)  I was imagining how scary it must be, and what you're suppose to do when it happens.   Here are the best ideas I've seen.
  1. Turn the engine off.  
  2. Put the car in neutral.
It's obviously hard to remember this when it's happening.  Solution 1 is a bit scary since you would lose your power breaks and power steering.  If you're going fast the steering wouldn't be a big deal, but I'd be nervous about the breaks.  Is there even a physical connection between the break pedal and the actual breaks in modern vehicles?    Solution 1 is problematic for new cars with keyless ignition.  

Solution 2 will destroy your engine, but not you.  A benefit of a manual transmission is that it is easy.  In fact, just push the clutch in.  I'm not sure if it's always possible with an automatic.  I know on my mom's accord there is a locking mechanism to keep you from putting it in reverse when you're moving forward, but I don't think it applies to neutral.  It seems low-tech cars are the way to go.  One reason to stick with my  1998 Civic.  

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