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CHP Officer's Fatal Crash Prompts Lexus Inspection Order

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  • xdrcx
    replied
    listened to the 911 tape when it was released last week and don't wish to hear it again to check the one linked here. It was one of the worst things I have ever heard. You can clearly hear Officer Saylor calmly giving directions to the 911 caller and then telling them to hold on before you hear the last moments. It was reported Saylor was not just a chippie, but was in a position where he inspected vehicles for safety. He was probably the most qualified person to be in that position and he couldn't stop it. The combination of the push button start, that takes knowledge of a three second hold to stop, and an electronic shifter that you can't force into neutral (from what i heard if any Lexus expects can verify) and his unfamiliarity with this vehicle caused the inability to stop it.

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  • MarioS
    replied
    Post has been edited.
    Last edited by MarioS; 02-18-2011, 04:57 AM.

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  • 0341
    replied
    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.

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  • VChopefull
    replied
    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

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  • marty33
    replied
    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..

    Leave a comment:


  • willowdared
    replied
    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.

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  • lapd4me
    replied
    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.

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  • 0341
    replied
    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.

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  • Kieth M.
    replied
    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.

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  • 0341
    replied
    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...

    Leave a comment:


  • SDPDApplicant
    replied
    What a story..RIP.

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  • LA DEP
    replied
    Guy survives working CHP for umpteen years, and gets killed by a frakkin doormat that shouldn't have even been in the car.......

    Leave a comment:


  • Kieth M.
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • eagleI
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • marty33
    replied
    What a tragedy. Slam it into neutral or park..

    Leave a comment:

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