As a matter of fact, we just took delivery of a Honda Pilot Touring,
after test-driving the Toyota Venza. My wife absolutely hated the fly-
by-wire steering. It's like a remote-controlled vehicle. It goes
where you point it but there is no feedback. We also looked at the
new GMC Acadia, bit too Tonka-toy for me. We have twin Jeep Grand
Cherokee Laredos, with 140K miles so need reliability for long road
trips. The Honda seemed a generation ahead of the others, and the new
Jeeps are mere shadows of the old "real" Jeeps. And the Consumer's
Report didn't help either. Remarkably, we had few problems with the
Jeeps, and I used to drive from Dallas to Sacramento for the Jazz
Jubilee, each year. The Honda is bigger, quieter, more fuel-
efficient, more automated, more seats (can snug 8 people into one.)
Just more of what we wanted and less of what we didn't want.
I still have respect for Toyota, however, a once highly regarded
reputation will now take some time to recover from this. I've been
trying to find out if Toyota utilizes Drive-by-Wire technology that
Honda uses as their throttle system. Wondering if this design is to
fault or not. Any thoughts?
You're a bit out of the loop on this. Funny that, given your advertised
ALL automakers now use throttle-by-wire. It's an aftershock of federal
emissions-control regulations. In case anybody's wondering, steering is
still steel-to-steel, as it has been since forever.
There were two problems with the affected Toyotas:
1) aftermarket floor mats (the cop that died was driving a loaner that had
aftermarket mats which had bunched up and kept the pedal down), and
2) poor-quality pedal/sensor assemblies from a Toyota supplier.
The sensor problem has to do with gas pedal assemblies supplied to Toyota
by a Canadian branch of a US company called CTS. This only affected
American and Canadian-built vehicles. Japanese-built cars have Denso-
supplied pedal assemblies. These are not subject to the sensor recall.
Note that Toyota, like Honda and all other foreign-owned makes, is forced
to buy a certain percentage of their parts from NAFTA-eligible suppliers in
order for their NA-assembled vehicles to be exempt from the various import
tariffs. Just about all of Toyota's recent recalls have involved NA
suppliers. Doesn't say much for us, that's for sure.
it really offers no advantages on emissions [other than maybe total CO2,
but that's also an economy thing]. but it does offer two significant
advantages for control:
1. cruise control is now a piece of cake.
2. automatic shifting is now a piece of cake.
for #2, old style shifting under full power meant having a transmission
with converters/clutches that could take the load/wear. not a trivial
mechanical solution, and thus, not cheap either. this was partially
addressed in the 90's with retarding ignition timing to reduce engine
output at the critical moment, which helps, but it's not a real
solution. with electronic throttle, you can have a quick and precise
power-down exactly in sync with the shift event, thus reducing
mechanical load, gas consumption, and offering the potential to make the
shift smoother. it's an excellent thing.
the dead stinking herring for me though, is why are none of the other
[domestic] manufacturers cts supplies subject to the same kind of
hysteria? you can count the number of toyota instances of "failure" on
one hand. but frod?
why is the "media" not trying to whip the proles into a frenzy of
anti-frod fear and loathing?
and another thing: i've had a stuck [mechanical] throttle [cable] once.
all you do is knock the transmission into neutral and stop the car.
instances of death, allegedly due to stuck throttles are
incomprehensible to me - the car would need to have a stuck throttle,
stuck ignition switch, brake failure and stuck transmission - those do
not all happen at once. driver error otoh, well, some people just can't
accept responsibility for their own incompetence, otherwise known as
It's more than that, I've since learned: it's primarily for VSA and
Traction Control, not emissions or cruise.
VSA and TRAC are dependent on the ECM/PCM having complete control over
And some more information I learned...
That "Smart Start" button is part of the problem. The 3-second delay
(there for liability reasons) must be terribly confusing in a panic
Those two-gate automatic shifters are another source of the problem. The
cop that died (in a loaner car) had tried to push his shifter into
Neutral, but had pulled the lever over into the "Sport" side of the
gate, which toggled between up and down in Drive only. In his panic, he
didn't realize that.
Also, apparently some people are not riding the brake /hard enough/.
They are doing it in stages, letting off between, which overheats the
brakes. If they would simply stomp the pedal as hard as possible, and
/keep the pedal down/, the brakes will overpower the engine and sto the
I appreciate your demonstration of being in the know, and true most
all manufactures use drive by wire technology, though, not all
vehicles use it, and not all vehicles use the same kind of technology;
same concept, but different technologies.
Yes, floor mats are an issue, however, after your post, Toyota
what the actual problem is.
I have no cogent thoughts. I am old. Seventy-one years old. The
first car that I drove was a 1938 Packard 120. The second car was a
1948 Buick Roadmaster. The third was a BMW Isetta, and the fourth was
a 1959 XK-140 Jaguar, which I raced at Laguna Seca. Along the way
there was a Jeep Wagoneer, and a 1962 E-Type Jaguar, toured around
Europe, followed by a 455 Pontiac Bonneville, and, going back to
Europe, a VW Dasher, and some others.
My only real thoughts are that (and I flew airplanes) that you really
can feel things by the "seat of your pants" and that people who do not
have that ability do not have "the right stuff."
Fly-by-wire is a neutral technology. You get it or you do not get
it. The key thing is,does it work? As an aside and an insight into
design, there was the case of an American aircraft which had the
instructions for blowing the canopy written on the canopy. There were
five lines and, if you followed the instructions, you blew the canopy
at the third line, and then never knew what the following lines had to
say. Better than a German WWII aircraft that had the instructions to
pull, with both hands, the latches, and when the pilot did that, the
explosive bolts went off so fast that both of the pilot's hands were
pulled off. More than anyone wants to know.
I do not know what Honda uses as their throttle system, but my
experience leads me to always have another "out." All cars can have
"surges" and it is a poor driver that does no know how to stop a car.
Now, saying that, I realize that my daughter-in-law, carrying our
grand-kids, is pretty unknowing about how to do most anything in a
Incidentally, just yesterday I had to take the mandatory California 70
years old driver's test. The eyesight was 20/20 and I got 100% on the
test, so I am thinking about this Ferrari......
22 seems good to me. The Jeeps got 17, when we were in Texas. Now
retired, and in California, they only get 15, because the gas is
diluted with corn alchohol. The politicos love it because they get
state tax on every gallon, so the more gallons that you burn, the more
taxes that they get. Few people understand this.
That can't be right. Surely the steering is a mechanical linkage.
Toyota steering can be pretty numb. Maybe you mean electric power
steering. Honda has that too. I'm not a big fan of it but I would
expect the Honda system to have more road feel than Toyota.
Hmm. Well, I do not know. All I know is that we had a short test-
drive, and my wife hated the steering. The salesman said that the
Toyota Venza had the latest "fly-by-wire" as they had in the latest
airplanes. What that meant, I did not know, but I associated it with
my wife's hating the steering. Of course salesmen say a lot of
things, and I should have looked under the hood, and I could have
determined what it was, but you know how it is....if your wife says
that she hates it, then that's it! So we left.
The amount of total bullshit that permeates Usenet is amazing. Is Usenet
the CB radio of the 21st Century? So it would seem.
Fact 1: ALL cars to this very minute have ordinary (and quite mechanical)
steering just like any vehicle since the very day steering was introduced.
Fact 2: This "fly by wire" thing refers to the THROTTLE, not the STEERING.
The newest power steering systems use electric motors rather than
hydraulics to effect the power-assist that makes it easier to turn the
steering wheel. This is the source of the confusion that results in the
mis-identification of electric assist as being "fly-by-wire".
Well, the problem appears to be in an American made part.
I've always been "afraid" of my wife's Camry. When I punch it, it
almost feels like a turbine powered aircraft. Sort of thinks and
starts to spool up. Real mushy.
Her's is "one of the ones", but she has long known how to get out of
that kind of mess. Toyota says to stick the car in neutral and pound
the brake with both feet. Once it's in neutral it's not going to go
any faster. If you're in a turn a little too hot, that puppy is going
to step around on you in a FWD car.
I own both Honda and Toyota vehicles.
Toyota owners tend to want comfort while Honda owners tend to want
While it might seem that potential Camry buyers would go for an
Accord, I'd guess the numbers will be less than you think. The Accord
will be too noisy and rough riding for many Camry buyers.
The Toyota floor mat issue has been around for a while. That didn't
stop me from buying a new Sienna after putting 250K nearly trouble-
free miles on a 1998 Sienna.
Interesting comparison. I always wondered if newer Toyotas were quieter
than Hondas because I sure find my '94 Accord pretty noisy. But then, I
had an '84 Corolla before and that was also noisy as hell. True though
that it was not in the same class as Camry or Accord. But how are
Toyotas more comfortable besides the road noise?
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