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Crash That Led To Toyota Recall ‘Inconclusive’

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 12:45 PM EST
Category: On The Road
Tags: Toyota, Recall, Sudden Acceleration, Auto Accident, Floor Mats, Tundra, Saylor, Prius

The cause of the crash that killed Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor and his family is inconclusive though indicates more than the mats caused sudden acceleration.

Saylor Report Inconclusive


IMAGE SOURCE: Prius chat Web site/ Saylor Lexus after crash

Last August 28, a fiery crash in the San Diego area killed four people including California Highway Patrol Officer, Mark Saylor and his family on their way to their daughter’s soccer practice.

Just before it crashed, a passenger inside the Lexus ES 350 called 911 and told a dispatcher the car was going 125 mph and the accelerator was stuck. The dispatcher then heard the family praying.

That crash sparked a recall of 4.2 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles, eight models in all, reported to be the largest recall in U.S. history, to replace the floor mats thought to have trapped the accelerator.

As a fix, Toyota announced its providing “smart throttle” technology which allows the brake to override the accelerator in the Camry, Avalon, and Lexus ES 350, IS 350 and IS 250 models as “an extra measure of confidence” and the company will reconfigure the accelerator pedal in 4 million recalled vehicles.

But investigators looking into the Saylor crash say replacing the floor mats may not solve the problem.

In a 61-page report from the San Diego Co. Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Times reports investigators conclude electronic or mechanical problems cannot be ruled out.

With reports of more than 1,000 Toyota sudden acceleration events from around the country in the last eight years, the investigators’ 61-page report questions whether the accident was preventable.

"Due to the catastrophic damage . . . other avenues of unintended acceleration could not be explored. Beyond the all-weather floor mat, other and/or additional factors causing a sudden acceleration event (re: electrical, mechanical or computer generated) should not be ruled out."

The Times says another customer, Frank Bernard, 61, had warned the dealership, Bob Baker Lexus of El Cajon, about the same Lexus involved in the Saylor crash.

The San Diego Union-Tribune obtain the sheriff’s report and found that Bernard did not think the 20-year-old receptionist understood him.

Bernard said he told the receptionist the gas pedal was jammed and he accelerated to 80 to 95 mph and he thought the mat caused it. “You need to tell someone” he told Jessica Martin-Dunleavy.

The receptionist says she passed the information on to a detailer who couldn’t remember being told.

The Saylor car’s black box event recorder will be given to Toyota technicians to see if they can access the data as investigators could not extract information.

The crash killed Officer Mark Saylor, 45, his wife Cleofe, 45, daughter Mahala, 13 and brother- in-law Chris Lastrella. #


Anonymous User
Posted by Steve
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 3:44 PM EST

our 2003 corolla accelerated to 80 on thur dec 3. the only way to slow down was to apply the brakes hard. finally we turned the car off but kept the key in the unlock position and coasted to a stop. when i looked at the engine, the spool that holds the accelorator cable had a missing nut. the cable had come off the spool so it could not slow down. any pumping of the accelorator pedal would result in the cable sticking at a higher speed. maybe this is what is happening to the other cars?

Anonymous User
Posted by Errol
Tuesday, December 08, 2009 6:33 PM EST

In July, my wife was about to park our 08 Prius in a parking lot next to a restaurant when the car accelerated, jumped a curb and sidewalk and crashed into a wall. She was rushed to an emergency room for xrays and serious pain medication. In reading the recall, we now understand why this occurred and in trying to get through to Toyota, we are just getting the run around.

There is no department or policy on handling these. I have written, faxed and sent trackable mail to the addresses and numbers given and have yet to get a reply.

In addition to this, I am a TM stockholder and do not think that management at Toyota is handling this.

I am considering starting a website for other disgruntled and harmed users to post their grievances.


Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 12:00 AM EST


I'm so sorry to hear about your wife. How have you paid for medical expenses? I don't think Toyota will be forthcoming without an attorney- and I'm not one, but that's just how they work....

Anonymous User
Posted by wu
Thursday, December 10, 2009 11:12 AM EST

if something like that happen, don't apply break hard and turn at the same time. best thing to do is put the trans in N and then break, but don't turn while breaking hard.

Anonymous User
Posted by Errol
Thursday, December 10, 2009 4:09 PM EST

Tell me how to put the Prius in Neutral

Anonymous User
Posted by Alex
Thursday, December 10, 2009 7:34 PM EST

Hmm, were they not smart enough to just turn off the ignition or switch gears. I thought someone was trying to help them...

Posted by Charlene Blake
Wednesday, December 16, 2009 9:50 PM EST

Toyota has had serious vehicle problems for over a decade now. How is it that Toyota can get away with blaming the owners for known engine problems? Ask any engine oil sludge victim to tell you how serious (and dangerous) this Toyota malady is!

I've been following the engine oil sludge matter for nine years---yes, nine years now! I first exposed a link on the Toyota Financial Services website about this problem in auctioned vehicles. Toyota removed that link in less than 48 hours later.

I exposed this problem on Edmund's Town Hall and was immediately banned by the administrator. However, over 5,000 postings resulted on that site after my departure. I've been dogged by Toyota supporters online for years as they have attempted to deter my postings about the engine oil sludge problem.

Toyota has denied an inherent engine problem. The NHTSA allowed them to send a letter to the owners asking them to do proper oil changes. In the meantime, engines have failed in the wake of better than recommended oil changes! Serious incidents have occurred on highways with this problem, too. One woman's Sienna caught fire and almost killed her---it did kill her two show dogs!

The NHTSA or some *effective* agency with appropriate resources needs to monitor Toyota's follow through. We, the buying public, are at risk, IMO. Toyota's tactics are below the belt, I feel, and I am far from alone in this opinion. There are now over 3,000 who have signed the Toyota Engine Oil Sludge petition. The Toyota engine oil sludge YouTube video is being viewed around the world.

Someoone needs to call Toyota to task. Someone needs to make Toyota take responsibility for its defective vehicles. What is happening is unconscionable!

Anonymous User
Posted by soli Chung
Friday, February 05, 2010 1:43 PM EST

I felt like the lone ranger till I read some the comments above. In Dec 2008 my wife in a RX330 entering a off ramp the accelerator excelled and at first she thought she had lost her brakes but in actuallity the vehicle was accelerating. She pump the brakes several time and meshed on it as hard as she could. Of course the since the veheicle was accelerating there was no maifold vaccum which the brake power booster was not working. Consiquently she hit a vehicle in front of her rolled over a few time Killed my sister and broke some vertabres of my futre sister in law, My wife had a cracked sternum, The pisser part is she is being arraigned for manslaughter it's bad enough we lost my sister now she has to go through this all over again in court. But I guess we are luckier than some of the others who had their gas pedal stick in prior years. As I stated ours was a Lexus not a Toyota so Lexus is just as dangerous as a Toyota

Posted by Charlene Blake
Friday, February 05, 2010 2:14 PM EST

Soli Chung, what model year RX330 was your wife driving? Please let us know.

Toyota blaming a victim is nothing new! Let's see how much longer Toyota can get away with this!

What is the NHTSA doing about the CONTINUED engine oil sludge failure rate? Why is it just taking Toyota's word for it in most cases? Why isn't it getting public opinion on the matter?

What is the EPA doing about Toyota's emissions-control component failure rate? Why isn't more being done to protect the Toyota vehicle owners as well as the environment? Toyota claims it is a GREEN automaker....REALLY---with all those emissions-control components failing, engines using inordinate amounts of oil, and oil blowing all over the highways when Toyota engines throw a rod through the block?????

Does Toyota just want to buy more time? Is this what it does in all cases of major engine/vehicle issues? It came out with the CSP "Customer Support Program for Engine Oil Gelation" back in 2002. Toyota told the NHTSA that it would take this "unprecedented" and "generous" move to satisfy its customers. THEN, there was NO follow through---correct me if I am wrong, NHTSA!!

Toyota began to stonewall owners in its dealerships and on its corporate customer service phone lines. Toyota owners had to jump through hoops with documentation filing only to be told, "Sorry, you don't qualify for the CSP." WHO is checking up on Toyota??? If no one is, WHY NOT???

Check out the online petition entitled "Toyota owners Unite for Resolution" where over 3,000 have come forward to complain about Toyota's actions or lack thereof. WHY is Toyota requiring owners to do this???

Check out uc2blogspot dot com for some TRUTHFUL commentary on the Toyota situation. For more information on the engine oil sludge matter, go to toyotaoilgel dot com. Check out the YouTube video on Toyota engine oil sludge, too.

Get educated on what this automaker is doing to its customers!! All would-be customers need to do their own research before deciding, too!!

Toyota VICTIMS, now is the time to come forward to tell your story publicly!! You won't regret doing so!!

Charlene Blake

Anonymous User
Posted by Charlene Blake
Friday, February 05, 2010 2:26 PM EST

Make that uc2 dot blogspot dot com above. Absolute phenomenal commentary on this blog!

Comments for this article are closed.

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