Thinking Tech

Accelerator teardown finds Toyota fix a "band aid" on a flawed design

Accelerator teardown finds Toyota fix a "band aid" on a flawed design

Posting in Design

Thetruthaboutcars.com's teardown shows the limitations of Toyota's fix to the CTS accelerator and has called upon the company to use the Denso accelerator.

Thetruthaboutcars.com has conducted an extensive teardown of Toyota's CTS and Denso accelerators and has called upon the beleaguered company to use the latter's or another's part.

Thetruthaboutcars.com concluded that Denso's completely different design better handles pedal friction that purportedly causes the sticking problem in the CTS unit. Denso is a $32 billion Japanese company and makes automotive powertrain products.

Toyota yesterday announced a fix to the CTS unit by installing a metal shim that promises to reduce the friction that causes the sticking.

Thetruthaboutcars.com replicated the action of Toyota's shim repair with a screwdriver. credit: Thetruthaboutcars.com

"We are calling on Toyota to replace all CTS-friction arm type gas pedal assemblies with either the Denso unit, or another proven design that lives up to Toyota’s legendary quality and the longevity expectations of its loyal owners. “Propping up” an intrinsically inferior and historically-proven inferior design with a piece of metal stamping is not going to restore Toyota’s tarnished reputation," according to Thetruthaboutcars.com.

Thetruthaboutcars.com teardown concluded while that Toyota's fix reduces friction and hence the likelihood of sticking, it is far from an ideal solution for owners of the affected Toyota vehicles. On Jan. 21, Toyota announced the recall of 2.3 million calls with the affected accelerator.

"Undoubtedly, this fix will profoundly reduce the likelihood or possibility of the pedal being stuck or slow to return. But the trade off may not be immaterial. Undoubtedly, Toyota’s intended degree of friction will be compromised by this fix, to one degree or another. And drivers may find the fix unpleasant or uncomfortable, also to some degree or another. Clearly, this fix is a band aid to fix the intrinsic limitations of this design," Thetruthaboutcars.com concluded.

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John Dodge

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor John Dodge has written for the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, PC Week (now eWeek), EDN, Design News, Electronic Business, Bio-IT World, Health-IT World, Lowell Sun, Haverhill Gazette and Newburyport Daily News. He is based in Massachusetts. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure