News

San Ramon woman crashes car into Marketplace building

Police: No injuries reported after 71-year-old mistakes gas for brake

A 71-year-old San Ramon resident crashed her Lexus into an empty, under-renovation storefront at The Marketplace after mistaking the gas pedal for the brake Thursday afternoon, according to city police.

The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. at the shopping center, near the corner of Bollinger Canyon Road and Alcosta Boulevard.

The woman, whose name was not released, was trying to park in a handicap spot between Bollinger Canyon Animal Hospital and Bank of America, but instead of pressing the brake pedal, she hit the gas and accelerated up the curb, across the walkway and into a vacant storefront between the two businesses, according to San Ramon police officer John Goyich.

The Lexus ES 350 went all the way into the building at 420 Montgomery St., which was in the process of being renovated but was unoccupied at the time of the crash, Goyich said.

The woman was examined by paramedics on scene and released without injury, the officer added.

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Several dozen onlookers watched in the wake of the crash as police blocked off the immediate area and tow workers removed the car from the storefront and onto a tow truck.

For additional photos of the incident, visit the DanvilleSanRamon.com Facebook page.

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San Ramon woman crashes car into Marketplace building

Police: No injuries reported after 71-year-old mistakes gas for brake

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Oct 8, 2015, 7:10 pm

A 71-year-old San Ramon resident crashed her Lexus into an empty, under-renovation storefront at The Marketplace after mistaking the gas pedal for the brake Thursday afternoon, according to city police.

The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. at the shopping center, near the corner of Bollinger Canyon Road and Alcosta Boulevard.

The woman, whose name was not released, was trying to park in a handicap spot between Bollinger Canyon Animal Hospital and Bank of America, but instead of pressing the brake pedal, she hit the gas and accelerated up the curb, across the walkway and into a vacant storefront between the two businesses, according to San Ramon police officer John Goyich.

The Lexus ES 350 went all the way into the building at 420 Montgomery St., which was in the process of being renovated but was unoccupied at the time of the crash, Goyich said.

The woman was examined by paramedics on scene and released without injury, the officer added.

Several dozen onlookers watched in the wake of the crash as police blocked off the immediate area and tow workers removed the car from the storefront and onto a tow truck.

For additional photos of the incident, visit the DanvilleSanRamon.com Facebook page.

Comments

CharleneMcCarthyBlake
San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 4:18 am
CharleneMcCarthyBlake, San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 4:18 am

There is a BIG hidden secret in the auto industry...it's called ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration! I know...you thought that was just about FLOOR MATS and sticky pedals, or "driver error," right? That's certainly what TOYOTA would like you to continue to believe, BUT DON'T!

These ultra-complex new engines are completely computer driven. Software is needed to control the throttle system. You THINK you are giving gas when you press the accelerator, but you are only SUGGESTING this to the computer. In electronic SUA cases, the throttle software may be glitch-prone and NOT do as you wish.

What happens then? Well, the glitch may (and has for countless SUA victims) result in an OPEN THROTTLE situation. The brakes become INEFFECTIVE in these situations and crashes into storefronts, buildings, and homes have resulted.

What does the automaker say? They hook the vehicles up to the computer and declare NOTHING WRONG! They cite the EDR which has erroneous data and say YOU were NOT braking. They point the finger at you based on AGE, GENDER, MEDICAL history, prescription meds, etc. YOU name it, they've TRIED it!

Get the picture? And you THOUGHT the GM issue was big? Think again! This cover-up of ELECTRONIC SUA is scandalous and very well-orchestrated.

Why even a WHISTLEBLOWER has been legally harassed by Toyota as it does NOT want her Toyota internal docs posted online anymore. The automaker wants to intimidate and SILENCE her. It doesn't want the PUBLIC involved, for goodness sake!


Charlene Blake


CharleneMcCarthyBlake
San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 4:26 am
CharleneMcCarthyBlake, San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 4:26 am


Let's distinguish between "driver error" and "driver TERROR," shall we? One is a mistake made by the driver that results in a fender bender or accident otherwise. The other is the experience of being catapulted forward at rapid speed in just a few seconds time and with increased force due to an ELECTRONIC anomaly than has been to date identified by several experts in the field! Drivers in "driver TERROR" have NO control over the throttle and an essentially ineffective braking system as a consequence of the sheer power of this DEADLY scenario!

Make no mistake about it, fender benders and other accidents happen when a medical event occurs. However, medical events do NOT cause a vehicle to AIRBORNE into multiple objects in sustained open throttle! Persons on a medical emergency, particularly stroke, seizure, & heart attack do NOT have increased muscle tone as REQUIRED for gas pedal depression after the event. Rather, these folks have muscle incapacity due to decreased tone or flaccidity! Translation? Their muscles go limp during the alleged medical event so that while impact may occur, the vehicle SLOWS not takes off like a missile as in sudden unintended acceleration!

Those who are using ILLOGICALLY a medical event might consider that with "driver TERROR" comes EXTREME fight or flight autonomic physical responses in humans! Adrenaline is slowing and exteme stress may ensue. This stress CAUSED by the "driver TERROR" secondary to sudden intended acceleration may actually initiate a heart attack or stroke or other extreme body reaction! ALL VICTIMS of sustained SUA say that they felt as if they were going to DIE right then and there! ASK them if you don't believe me! I've spoken to enough of them I see the pattern of response when asked to describe the terrifying episode!

This "medical emergency" excuse when the other police/automaker excuses don't fit is in most cases ABSOLUTELTY ABSURD!
Charlene McCarthy Blake


David Ernest
San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 7:27 am
David Ernest, San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 7:27 am

Very interesting comment.

Do I have the Editor's permission to copy the comment, and if so, how do I do it? Thanks in advance.

David Ernest


sponge bob roundpants
Danville
on Oct 9, 2015 at 7:43 am
sponge bob roundpants, Danville
on Oct 9, 2015 at 7:43 am

Unfortunately Charlene, even if your comments were true, they border on incoherent ramblings and are entirely non-factual. If you're going to argue or accuse, please create a logical progression of thoughts so that any sane person could clearly understand what you're trying to convey. And even if I do understand what you're trying to say, not sure whether these voltage drops and the preponderance of these incidents with "senior" drivers is a bit too coincidental? How would you respond to that? Do you have any statistics supporting your thesis in regards to these "SUA" incidents vis a vis demographics and age groups of the drivers experiencing them?
From Chicken Little's best friend Sponge Bob Roundpants


Louise
Danville
on Oct 9, 2015 at 8:41 am
Louise, Danville
on Oct 9, 2015 at 8:41 am

Maybe the driver had a mild blackout or stroke. Though the police released her she should go to her doctor to check. Also, she panicked when she continued over the sidewalk into the building. Why did it take so long to brake? She clearly lost control of her vehicle. She will be responsible for the damage she caused to the building and her insurance will have to cover this. People over 70 have to take a written exam to renew in California. Good thing no one was injured!


resident
San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 9:36 am
resident, San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 9:36 am

Or maybe....... she is just a crappy driver.


Carol
San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 9:58 am
Carol, San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 9:58 am

I agree with Sponge bob that the preponderance of these types of gas/brake pedal confusion incidents occur among elderly drivers, not necessarily drivers of cars with a particular type of operating system. Being the daughter of someone who has made this mistake and went through a storefront window while driving in her 70s, I'm thankful that no one was hurt (including my mom) and that she voluntarily gave up her driver's license immediately. It's very concerning to me that in many cases, and certainly in the case of my mom, there was no prior warning that could foresee such an incident.. Up until that point, she had no issues with driving and a clean driving record.


Rick
another community
on Oct 9, 2015 at 10:39 am
Rick, another community
on Oct 9, 2015 at 10:39 am

sponge bob: Charlene is a known internet troll that infiltrates stories like these with her nonsense. If you look at her Twitter page (@charleneblake)you will see what I mean.


Erick
San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 11:39 am
Erick, San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 11:39 am

Let's start down the checklist of contributing factors: (1) a driver with pre-existing disabilities, (2) an older driver, (3) an investigator's independent conclusion of driver error. Seems to be pretty similar to the lady in Livermore who recently did the same thing, but killed someone in the process (incidentally, that woman had a prior incident of jumping the curb and sidewalk at the same location).

Before looking for obtuse causes, why not eliminate the more obvious ones first?


Derek
Danville
on Oct 9, 2015 at 1:25 pm
Derek, Danville
on Oct 9, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Thank you Erick (and thank you SpongeMan), I was about to say the same thing. Start with the most obvious, which is Erick's #1 point, i.e. neuropathy in the legs and feet.
Or, maybe aliens did it.


San Ramon Observer
Registered user
San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm
San Ramon Observer, San Ramon
Registered user
on Oct 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm

I'm going to be 73 on Sunday and I can tell changes in my thinking and driving abilities already. It is different crossing over 70, at least for me and apparently others. I'm writing my blog about that now.

Roz


San Ramon Observer
Registered user
San Ramon
on Oct 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm
San Ramon Observer, San Ramon
Registered user
on Oct 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm


Maybe she doesn't like rock music. Web Link


Longtime Resident
San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 11:57 am
Longtime Resident, San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 11:57 am

Charlene McCarthy Blake, your explanation is the one that is "ABSOLUTELTY ABSURD!" So are you telling me that years ago as I was learning to drive, it was electrical demons and driver terror that took over my car when I popped the clutch and it wasn't actually my fault that I drove up onto the sidewalk? I'd better get you in touch with my father so you can explain it to him.

By the way, a quick google search of your name was rather enlightening.


Catherine
Danville
on Oct 10, 2015 at 5:29 pm
Catherine, Danville
on Oct 10, 2015 at 5:29 pm

I agree about that Google search. Very informative and I feel a "it wasn't my fault" lawsuit coming on! LOL Although happy the driver is OK.


azar Brannan
Walnut Creek
on Oct 10, 2015 at 9:24 pm
azar Brannan, Walnut Creek
on Oct 10, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Charlene excellent comments. Public needs to learn about sudden unintended acceleration which is very common in Toyota/Lexus. people need to Google and read about Toyota being charged with wire fraud, lying to congress about sudden unintended acceleration and defrauding consumers. Automakers do not care about us they care about our money. They are all crook and Toyota/Lexus is right on the top. Do not trust these greedy automakers who would and have blamed and put innocent consumers for their defective cars in prison..


Rick
another community
on Oct 10, 2015 at 9:44 pm
Rick, another community
on Oct 10, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Just in case anyone here is interested, Azar is Charlene Blake's cohort. A couple of you did a google search for Charlene, now do the same for Azar. Her Twitter account is @interest1959. I freely admit I'm not from around here, unlike Charlene and Azar who are pretending to be a neighbor of yours. Charlene lives in Brandy Station Va. and Azar Lives in San Francisco. They are known internet trolls who stick their noses in where they don't belong. Neither has an education in science as you would see of you check them out.


CharlebeMcCarthyBlake
San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:11 pm
CharlebeMcCarthyBlake, San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:11 pm

Toyota is #1 in cases of sudden unintended acceleration and FORD is #2. The current unintended acceleration plaguing newer vehicles is the electronically-induced type. The engine throttle control systems depend on computer software to command them. Sometimes glitches occur...like in some of your other electronic devices...which can cause the command to be different than what you desire. The evidence of the glitch is often undetectable after the vehicle is restarted. Unfortunately, the EDR (black box) is not always accurate as shown by expert Dr. Antony Anderson in his analysis of a 2012 Toyota Highlander. The EDR results indicated the driver was not braking when she was doing so. The EDR results are inconsistent.

The key to avoiding a horrific crash during a SUA event is whether or not the vehicle has an effective fail-safe in the event a glitch occurs. If it does not, as in the case of the glitch-prone Toyota ETCS-i, then the vehicle may become a runaway with an ineffective means to stop it. Unfortunately, the safety standards aren't as strict in automobiles as they are in airplanes. Some manufacturers have more effective fail-safes than others. In the case of Toyota, an embedded software expert, Michael Barr (see Oklahoma Bookout vs. Toyota court case involving a 2005 Camry) found that an electronic glitch could induce a SUA event. Another expert, Dr. Henning Leidecker, found that a SUA event could also be triggered by "tin whisker" formation, particularly in 2002-2006 Toyota Camry vehicles.

SUA events have been DEADLY for vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians and people in storefronts, buildings, and even homes. The numbers of such crashes are ever-increasing with the advent of the very complex ELECTRONIC throttle control systems.

With the increase in such serious vehicle crashes, there is a concerted effort to show driver "pedal misapplication" or a "medical condition" or some other reason for the incident...anything other than a vehicle defect. Investigators aren't scrutinizing the buggy electronic throttle control software or other conditions that can elicit a terrifying sudden unintended acceleration incident. They usually just examine the *mechanical* causes which tend to be just red herrings in these cases. Investigators simply don't have the expertise to find such electronic glitches. In fact, the staff at the NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, do not have this very specialized training!

Think of it...the next step in electronically-controlled vehicles seems to be so-called "self-driving cars." Do YOU want to be in a such a vehicle when there is no evidence that strict safety standards, particularly in the throttle control system's software, have been adhered to? Will you just BLINDLY trust the automaker (criminally-investigated and nearly-prosecuted Toyota and soon-to-be GM and others?) to come through for you and your family's safety *on its own*?

A recently published Huffington Post article by Jonathan Handel,
How Do We Know Driverless Cars Are Safe? Google Says 'Trust Us'
Posted: 07/01/2014 7:23 pm EDT Updated: 07/02/2014 1:48 pm EDT speaks to these very issues and poses tough questions about Google's "driverless" vehicles. Educate yourself carefully before you put your faith in automakers who have knowingly lied to their customers and the government for decades. Study the issue of vehicle electronic sudden unintended acceleration and ask WHY we aren't seeing it addressed publicly. WHY is blame placed on the driver with little more than speculation about which pedal was used or with little more than an assumption on medical condition. This is being done *even when the drivers steadfastly cite a VEHICLE PROBLEM as the cause of the crash. Absence of proof is not proof of absence of a serious ELECTRONIC computer glitch or other electronically-caused SUA.


CharleneMcCarthyBlake
San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:15 pm
CharleneMcCarthyBlake, San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:15 pm


Singer/songwriter, Kris Kitko did an AWESOME job on her YouTube video, "Toyota Where Are Ya?" The video was directed at Toyota regarding her own real world experience with Toyota SUA, sudden unintended acceleration. With her satirical approach, she completely destroyed the Toyota and NHTSA myth about SUA, namely “pedal misapplication” by drivers. Unfortunately, Kris Kitko’s YouTube video is no longer available for viewing online.

In the wake of the NHTSA/DOJ $1.2 BILLION settlement following a CRIMINAL investigation, Kris should be encouraged to use her finely-honed musical skills to do a sequel to her first Toyota SUA YouTube video. The U.S. Federal Government allowed Toyota “deferred prosecution” in this settlement provided it follow the steps outlined in the terms of the agreement. No one…not one single Toyota executive…is going to serve any prison time for knowingly withholding evidence that could have saved many lives and ensured public safety on the roads.Toyota ADMITTED that it LIED to both the Toyota customers and the government.

Michael Barr, renowned embedded systems expert, after studying Toyota’s ETCS-I far longer than NASA did, found the existence of faults in the software which could lead to a real-world, potentially-catastrophic SUA event with a number of potentially ineffective failsafes. Imagine flying down the road in a Toyota with no functioning brake override to exit a software task-death! Isn’t that a bit like being on a high-speed roller coaster and having the track fail to keep you on? And want to know the most SHOCKING part? Toyota reportedly didn't have a copy of the code in their OWN monitor chip! Michael Barr and company had to SHOW them! Can we just say, “Scary!”

Toyota cites that there is no electronic cause for SUA in its vehicles based on the short-duration investigations by NHTSA and NASA. Michael Barr and other experts have shown these studies to be scientifically seriously flawed. First, the ETCS-I software investigation was extremely limited. Only a SMALL FRACTION of the embedded software was tested by NASA.

Secondly, Toyota misrepresented the presence of EDAC RAM (error detection and correction random access memory) while indications of this issue were apparently redacted in the original NHTSA report. This misled NASA into NOT LOOKING INTO a number of potential sources of failure – which they may otherwise might have.

According to NASA expert, Dr. Henning Leidecker, some Toyota's can grow "tin whiskers" within certain electronic components. This can result in short circuits which can lead to yet another type of electronically-induced SUA event. Dr. Leidecker and associates actually DID FIND and study a case of "tin whiskers" found within the accelerator pedal assembly; rendering a Toyota vehicle UNDRIVEABLE.

Dr. Leidecker suggests driving the affected Toyota vehicles is "a game of Russian roulette." Dr. Leidecker is most concerned about 2002-2006 Toyota Camrys with their potential to grow "tin whiskers." He indicates the risk of this condition increases over time.

Meanwhile, whistleblower Betsy Benjaminson remains scared for Toyota drivers. She is convinced Toyota's own internal documents strongly indicate SOMETHING IS WRONG with their ETCS-i ELECTRONICS . She says "ghosts" indicate glitches can cause a runaway car. Betsy now blogs on a Blogger website where she continues to EXPOSE key documents that she says open the company's PR KIMONO. Betsy's goal is to reveal the true inside story of Toyota's SUA problem and to demonstrate and expose the differences between the company walk and company talk.

How did Betsy turn whistleblower? As a Japanese-to-English translator, Betsy was hired by Toyota's legal team to translate documents for the criminal investigation of Toyota. Just like the DOJ, Betsy SMELLED A RAT. After checking with top experts, she came forward to alert the public to the major safety issues involved.

Toyota owner, turned consumer activist-blogger, Parris Boyd has been blogging about what he calls “The Recall King” (a.k.a. Toyota) for years. His blog, “Beware of Toyota. Their next victim may be YOU…,” was initially an outlet for his frustration with Toyota--after his MR2 Spyder’s engine disintegrated at low mileage. What Parris faced was an unresponsive, stonewalling company operating within a state of denial.

During the height of Toyota’s engine oil SLUDGE debacle, Parris created his blog with the goal of using his free speech to help other similarly-affected Toyota owners. He also wanted the public to know just how Toyota and its dealerships treated their “valued customers.” Parris’s Blogger website currently receives over 100 views a day!

So, WHY is Toyota trying so hard to CONVINCE its own customers and the public that its vehicles suffer from SUA caused only by 1) improperly placed or type of floor mats (huh?); 2) sticky accelerator pedals (like those pesky sticky Sienna minivan sliding doors?); or 3) pedal misapplication (oh...the little old lady theory?). Why does it IGNORE the recent findings of the electronic experts? WHY isn’t it currently LISTENING to its own customers?

Well, YOU be the judge. The FACTS are before you.


Longtime Resident
San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:23 pm
Longtime Resident, San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:23 pm

Rick, you are correct. I googled several of Charlene's distinct phrases and found that she's posted the exact same thing on hundreds of other websites.


CharleneMcCarthyBlake
San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:26 pm
CharleneMcCarthyBlake, San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:26 pm

Wow! Someone doesn't like Toyota & Lexus sudden unintended acceleration VICTIMS and their advocates commenting here! Allow me to provide some background information. I've consulted experts in the field of SUA.

I was the subject of an Automotive News article on May 13, 2002 regarding Toyota engine oil sludge. The title of the article was "Charlene's Web..." My efforts to network with similarly-affected vehicle owners online was highlighted. During that time, I was visited by Bruce C. Ertmann, then CEO of Customer Relations at Toyota. He flew out to speak with me. Hew also flew out to buy out a Highlander owner who had SLUDGE w/ just 12,000 miles in the odometer. I had hoped he would be open to hearing about the growing engine oil sludge problem in Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

Alas, he was NOT interested in hearing about the thousands of other Toyota and Lexus owners who were coming forward to speak up about this engine-destroying condition. I tried to interest him in what the others were saying about the engine condition that was costing the owners thousands of dollars in repair when their engines had to be replaced.

He told me the engine information was "proprietary"....you know, like the much-coveted information about Toyota's ETCS-i...and that he couldn't discuss that aspect. I felt he needed to know that upon OIL ANALYSIS, the engine oil was shown to be prematurely breaking down even with just 2,000 miles in the oil. I felt he needed to know that thousands (roughly 10,000 complaints in the Complaint Station under "Toyota" at the time) of other Toyota owners were going online to find answers. I wanted him to know that these vehicle owners were NOT happy to be BLAMED for improper maintenance and causing their own engine oil sludge.

I couldn't help wondering WHY Mr. Ertmann traveled all that distance to visit with me...first at a local park I chose as a neutral location and then for nine hours at my local Toyota dealership in Fairfax, VA...IF he was not interested in hearing about all these seriously-impacted vehicle owners. WHY did he come that far then?

Obviously, his mission was to intervene in my singular situation. He wasn't there to help the consumer-networked group. Perhaps he wanted to end my online presence in the engine oil sludge matter? Perhaps he was there for damage control? Perhaps he was there to help Toyota bury its head in the sand further? Perhaps he needed to keep up the corporate denial mode? Perhaps he didn't want to reveal the real reason Toyota and Lexus vehicles were FRYING the oil (yes...it looked just like goopy, burnt oil)? After all, WHY would a CEO of Customer Relations go to the trouble to single out a very online-vocal vehicle owner?

I thought it was interesting that Mr. Ertmann, in addition to holding a business degree, holds an IT degree as well. His internet technology expertise is impressive! I wasn't so impressed, though, when while online in real-time via e-mail with Mr. Ertmann much later (because I guess I didn't shut up?), I experienced a strange computer intrusion which caused me to have, in effect, a computer crash. Yes, my internet security software program indicated lots of attempted malicious intrusion attempts previously, especially originating from California. BUT, that one intrusion put my computer out of commission at the time.

So the big question is, does Toyota welcome information about a large group of vehicle owners experiencing major failures? Does it seek to uncover the real cause in these instances OR does it take an easier BLAME THE OWNER approach?

Additionally, when Toyota comes out with "voluntary programs" or is forced to act after class action lawsuits, does it do so to the satisfaction of its customers?

I sought to answer that question when I created the online Toyota Engine Oil Sludge petition long after Toyota claimed to have just 3200 affected sludge victims. The results of that petition...which gathered 3318 signatures despite DDoS on the site and petiton saboteurs...showed that Toyota was not honoring its public promises. It was STONEWALLING its loyal customers.

Is that what it's doing in the sudden unintended acceleration debacle NOW? Is the Robert & Kathy Ruginis case just the tip of the iceberg? Have the voices of the victims not been yet heard publicly? Is there an urgent need to have public disclosure about an ETCS-i problem?

Let's find out...


Charlene McCarthy Blake


CharleneMcCarthyBlake
San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:34 pm
CharleneMcCarthyBlake, San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:34 pm

"Driver error" is a catch-all excuse used by automakers to divert attention away from serious safety defects, it seems. There is insufficient regulation of safety standards in the automobile industry, especially in the area of complex electronics. For instance, Toyota is in the lead in terms of cases of sudden unintended acceleration. I'm not referring to the SUA events involving jammed floor mats, sticky accelerator pedals, or pedal misapplication. I'm referring to the unintended acceleration and erratic ELECTRONIC throttle control system behavior that occurs when a glitch is present in the substandard software. In a recent Oklahoma court case lost by Toyota, Bookout vs. Toyota, embedded software expert Michael Barr's findings of ETCS-i glitches were presented. Also noted was that a SUA-inducing glitch could also render an ineffective fail-safe. Translation? Your runaway Toyota could prove to be unstoppable until something impacts it.

Toyota, GM, and Chrysler, among other automakers, have hidden safety-related information from the public for far too long. Drivers' and their passengers' lives are at stake. In the case of sudden unintended acceleration, pedestrians have been injured and killed as well. Crashes into storefronts, buildings, and homes, are daily occurrences now and there is an extremely well-orchestrated push to conclude "driver error." Other speculative conclusions are "medical condition" (diabetes, seizures, etc.), prescription medications, driving under the influence of something, etc. A recent far-fetched speculation was that the driver's shoe (a teen learning to drive with her father beside her) jammed the accelerator causing the vehicle to "take off!" Don't most teenagers wear flip-flops? Show us how a flip-flop causes this.

In the case of GM's ignition switch, "driver error" would be the easy way out. Does GM use this conclusion despite evidence to the contrary? Are driver's (if they survive) statements discounted or discredited as they are in the cases of Toyota sudden unintended acceleration? Usually, the automakers follow the same playbook. Be sure to read Parris Boyd's "BEWARE of Toyota...it's next victim may be YOU" blog and Jessie Powell's "Route 44 Sold me a LEMON" blog to see how it's done.

One thing is clear. GM and Toyota aren't going to tell you anything you don't find out on your own. It seems historically and literally, the automakers like to be "unaware" of the issues customers reveal to them. They'd much rather say their loyal customers are confused and/or causing the problems themselves. That way, their dear bottom line is not impacted negatively. And now, with all the media control via advertising and more, the automakers' secrets can remain hidden for a whole lot longer...decades+ as shown! Add NHTSA in their back pockets, good reputation management companies, on-line customer complaint suppression, and a gaggle of attorneys, and you have an untouchable entities, don't you? Maybe...as long as the grassroots vehicle owner groups don't wise up and organize, like GM Recall Survivors, to demand answers and expect more from lawmakers and the automakers.

Charlene Blake


CharleneMcCarthyBlake
San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:36 pm
CharleneMcCarthyBlake, San Ramon
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:36 pm


You may be unaware of it, but the NHTSA investigations into the Toyota SUA problem, one of which included a very short-duration study by NASA, were found to be flawed for a number of reasons by more than one expert electronics engineer. First, the study was very time-limited. Therefore. testing was inadequate/incomplete.

Secondly, Toyota did not supply a critical piece of information (intentional?) to NASA and as a result, NASA omitted some important testing. Because of the flawed nature of that study, the conclusions drawn are erroneous. Aside from this fact, NASA did not find a defect within the scope of its investigation. NOTE: NASA did not and could not conclude that one did not exist.

Those of us who are very concerned about Toyota sudden unintended acceleration rely on the findings of such reknowned embedded systems experts as Michael Barr, independent electrical engineering consultant Dr. Antony Anderson, Dr. Henning Leidecker, Dr. Ron Belt, and Dr. David Gilbert, among others.

Michael Barr's study of Toyota's electronic throttle control system was not the time-limited one that NASA's study was. In addition, far more testing of possible code errors was done. A critical finding was that when a specific error in code occurred in the ETCS-I software, it could not only cause an open throttle condition but it could also result in a no fail-safe situation. That is a deadly situation, I'm sure you will agree!

Why was the NHTSA's study so limited in scope? Why haven't the findings of the above expert engineers been factored in? Why has the emphasis been totally on mechanical or external causes of Toyota SUA? Why the media spin that there is no electronic cause for Toyota's SUA when the spin is based on flawed studies? Is it because Toyota doesn't want to bow to public pressure to do the right thing?


Charlene McCarthy Blake


Rick
another community
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:38 pm
Rick, another community
on Oct 10, 2015 at 10:38 pm

Longtime resident: She and her friends will accuse anybody who disagrees with them of being "Toyota Guard Dogs" They have included TV stations, reporters, even the police under that label. One reporter had this to
say about her and her friends: "For those of you who don’t know, which
is everybody really except for me and the gracious Twitter follower who
alerted me, since I had blocked these lovely ladies long ago, Charlene
and Azar have bombarded their own Twitter feeds with hundreds of
abusive, toxic, defamatory posts about me. These posts measure in the
hundreds, possibly more than a thousand-but seriously, you stop reading
at some point.
And so on…. hundreds of them, screaming like banshees with a hashtag
disorder."
Just sayin'..


Terry
San Ramon
on Oct 11, 2015 at 1:30 am
Terry, San Ramon
on Oct 11, 2015 at 1:30 am

I think the comments section has been hijacked to the maximum extent.


Resident
San Ramon
on Oct 12, 2015 at 8:23 am
Resident, San Ramon
on Oct 12, 2015 at 8:23 am

Charlene,

For those of us that get bored very quickly, can you summarize your rambling dribble into one sentence for me. Is there a point to your rambling?


Rick
another community
on Oct 12, 2015 at 10:24 am
Rick, another community
on Oct 12, 2015 at 10:24 am

Resident: Charlene is a troll that lives in a fantasy world. She alternately claims sudden acceleration is due to a software glitch, "tin whiskers", or a plastic pulley that jams when heated. She claims she knows exactly what happened in an accident even though she wasn't there, then chastises a husband for trying to verify his wife's story about hitting the wrong pedal because HE wasn't in the vehicle. Her latest comment is the best: On a story about an elderly lady hitting a building injuring herself and her elderly passenger she has this tidbit: "PLEASE EXPLAIN how two elderly women could create & maintain this FORCE? "Pedal confusion" conclusion inappropriate! "
Please ignore her comments.


C. R. Mudgeon
Danville
on Oct 14, 2015 at 10:56 am
C. R. Mudgeon, Danville
on Oct 14, 2015 at 10:56 am

My advice to Charlene (unsolicited) is:

Stop buying Toyotas! (And Lexus cars, as well.)


Phil
San Ramon
on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:04 pm
Phil, San Ramon
on Oct 14, 2015 at 9:04 pm

You know, as a scientist, I would have given short shrift to Charlene's comments a few months ago. But after this recent Volkswagen scandal, one doesn't know who to trust anymore.
I still get a kick out of the TV ad where someone says "I read it on the internet so it must be true".


Pedal Power
Danville
on Oct 15, 2015 at 12:50 am
Pedal Power, Danville
on Oct 15, 2015 at 12:50 am

I cannot speak to how likely tin whiskers are to have caused any of the problems that Charlene is ranting about but they are a real phenomenon. Twenty years ago they were often associated with the switch to lead-free solder and the use of nitrogen blankets to prevent oxidation during wave soldering printed circuit boards although this article claims "Tin Whiskers are formed out of pure tin under high stress, such as applications which experience sub-zero temperatures." So it might be interesting to know how many of these cars had spent much time in Mid West winters, or up in Tahoe.
Web Link


Avy
San Ramon
on Oct 15, 2015 at 7:12 am
Avy, San Ramon
on Oct 15, 2015 at 7:12 am

Is this a conversation about older people driving?

Certainly 16-20 year olds have their share of single car and fender bender accidents.


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