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CHP Officer's Fatal Crash Prompts Lexus Inspection Order

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  • CHP Officer's Fatal Crash Prompts Lexus Inspection Order

    Click the link to hear the 911 call and read more...

    http://www.sandiego6.com/news/local/...Q.cspx?rss=800

    SAN DIEGO - Toyota USA is directing all its dealers to inspect their new, used and loaner vehicles in response to a Santee-area car crash that killed a California Highway Patrol officer and three members of his family, apparently after an improperly installed floor mat caused the vehicle's accelerator to become stuck.

    In a prepared statement released Monday, the carmaker announced that all Lexus and Toyota dealers would immediately examine their fleets "to assure that any floor mat, whether factory or aftermarket, is correct for the vehicle and properly installed and secured."

    Preliminary evidence suggests that the wrong model of all-weather rubber mat was in place on the driver's side of a 2009 Lexus ES 350 being driven by CHP Officer Mark Saylor at the time of the Aug. 28 accident on state Route 125.



    The crash killed Saylor and his wife, Cleofe, both 45; their 13-year-old daughter, Mahala; and Cleofe Saylor's brother, 38-year-old Chris Lastrella.

    About 6:30 that evening, a 911 dispatcher received an emergency call from back-seat passenger Lastrella, who reported that the sedan's accelerator was stuck.

    Moments later, the Lexus, a loaner vehicle from an El Cajon dealership, careened through the T-intersection at the end of state Route 125 at Mission Gorge Road at high speed, struck a Ford Explorer, plowed through a picket fence, went over an embankment and came to rest in the bed of the San Diego River.

    The car then burst into flames, burning the occupants beyond recognition.

    In 2007, Toyota, which manufactures the Lexus line of vehicles, conducted a safety recall on all-weather floor mats for late-model Camry and ES 350 models, due to the potential that the accessories could interfere with the cars' accelerator pedals if improperly used, according to the automaker.

    "Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. takes public safety very seriously and will fully cooperate with any investigation," the company stated.

  • #2
    Thats a sad story.....RIP

    Comment


    • #3
      What a tragedy. Slam it into neutral or park..

      Comment


      • #4
        I heard that part of what contributed to this accident was the keyless start. Ignition couldn't be just shut off & if the remote is in the driver's pocket, it would be hard to get to to throw it out the window. There was some other issue about not being able to get the car into neutral.

        Comment


        • #5
          I listened to the 9-1-1 tape of the guy and his family's last moments of life.

          Truly both riveting and sad, knowing what is to come.
          "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

          Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

          Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

          Comment


          • #6
            Guy survives working CHP for umpteen years, and gets killed by a frakkin doormat that shouldn't have even been in the car.......
            The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

            "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

            "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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            • #7
              What a story..RIP.

              Comment


              • #8
                In a car like that, shift the transmission into Neutral and let the engine bounce off the rev limiter all day long...use normal braking to stop the car. Simple quick thinking like that can make a difference. Tragic...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 0341 View Post
                  In a car like that, shift the transmission into Neutral and let the engine bounce off the rev limiter all day long...use normal braking to stop the car. Simple quick thinking like that can make a difference. Tragic...
                  Flames were already seen coming from the tires....at 120 MPH the shoes won't last long.
                  "You're never fully dressed without a smile."

                  Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

                  Three things I know for sure: (1) No bad deed goes unrewarded, (2) No good deed goes unpunished, and (3) It is entirely possible to push the most devoted, loyal and caring person beyond the point where they no longer give a 5h!t.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
                    Flames were already seen coming from the tires....at 120 MPH the shoes won't last long.
                    If you do what I mentioned the moment it sticks, your speed will be very manageable. It would be like braking normally from highway speed or less, depending on when it happened. No big deal really. It's likely the brakes were on fire due to them being applied against full engine load, which is no surprise. At that point, the resin binders in the brake pads give up the ghost and catch fire. Seals in the calipers let go too, which can cause a loss of fluid...which is flammable. Again, once the accelerator pedal sticks...throw it into Neutral immediately and it's a safe and easy recovery (while the engine bounces off the rev limiter continuously). If you do that ASAP, your brakes won't be saturated with heat and there shouldn't be a lot of drama. You can then pull over, stop the car, and shut the engine off in safety.

                    If the car is a manual transmission, same thing applies. Clutch in, put it in Neutral and depress the brake. If it's not a newer ignition (keyless with a start button) like that Lexus, simply turn the ignition key to the OFF position and stop the car using the pedal brakes and E-Brake (you'll lose hydraulic assist on the pedal, but you can still stop the car by pressing hard enough and using the cable E-Brake). Do not turn the key all the way counter-clockwise though, since you'll then lock the steering column and lose the ability to turn the car.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Damn. Does anyone know more about the '09 lexus es 350 gear shifter? FTA it seems like he had to resort to hard braking which didn't stop the vehicle and I bet he ran across the same problem with attempting to shut-off the engine by pressing the button... since it was a loaner he wouldn't have spent the time discovering that it's a 3-second hold to shut it off. Trying to throw it in neutral would have been one of the first things he tried I bet.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kieth M. View Post
                        I listened to the 9-1-1 tape of the guy and his family's last moments of life.

                        Truly both riveting and sad, knowing what is to come.
                        There was more, they just didn't release the whole tape.
                        Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There must be some trick to getting that thing into neutral when underway. If it was as simple as moving the gear selector to N I am sure he would have tried that. I am very curious, I know that a 19 year Chippie would not likely lose his cool in a situation like that..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by marty33 View Post
                            There must be some trick to getting that thing into neutral when underway. If it was as simple as moving the gear selector to N I am sure he would have tried that. I am very curious, I know that a 19 year Chippie would not likely lose his cool in a situation like that..
                            +1

                            I have a push button start car...and mine is easy to get into neutral while underway.....but I am sure he tried everything he could think of during this horrible incident

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              From a manufacturer standpoint, the problem resides with the engine control unit (ECU) calibration. All cars from about 2000 are drive-by-wire (DBW) throttle. The German automakers using Bosch Motronic ECUs don't have to worry about this, since the ECU will kill power to the engine if you both the brake pedal and the accelerator pedal are depressed at the same time for more than about 1.5 seconds. It's a great safety feature built into every late model Audi, VW, Lambo, Bentley, Porsche, etc. (it would have saved lives in this case). You can bet the "unintended acceleration" that Audi was blamed for in the '80s for this safety feature in Bosch Motronic DBW equipped cars. The Lexus line probably uses Hitachi ECUs that obviously don't have the safety feature enabled that the Bosch Motronic DBW system does.

                              Since I have a history of racing said German makes around tracks, it's very frustrating to attempt left-foot braking (to get an understeering car to rotate through a turn) when the ECU kills engine power. You can't brake and give any throttle input at the same time for more than just over a second, or the power falls off ASAP.

                              Comment

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