OT Toyota

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There is the concept in the law of comparative negligence. In Jim's example, if the defense can show that it's very likely that crash injuries were significantly worse because someone was not wearing a seat belt, which is a violation of law in many states, I would not be surprised to see the judgement reduced.

No, but it could turn an accident that would have cost $10K in medical bills into one that costs $1mil. Why should the defendent have to pay the entire difference if the plaintiff was violating the law?

You don;t think not wearing a seat belt can have an effect on the severity? In the case under discsussion, the occupants were ejected from the vehicle.

Ever hear of a punitive damage award? If someone is flagrantly violating a law and causes damages, the award can contain a component for punitive damages that is above and beyond the actual cost of the injuries.

Wrong
"Countering The Seat Belt Defense By: IRA H. LEESFIELD Leesfield Leighton & Partners P.A. 2350 South Dixie Highway Miami, Florida 33133 (305) 854-4900
Introduction If you are injured in a car accident, and it is not your fault at all, you expect a full recovery. You may not get one because of the seat belt defense. This defense can reduce the amount of damages plaintiffs can recover for failing to wear their seat belts in car accidents. In most jurisdictions, a successful seat belt defense allows plaintiffs to recover only for damages they would have incurred if they had been wearing their seat belts.
Few topics in tort law have been as controversial as the seat belt defense. Perhaps that is why the following 31 jurisdictions have definitively rejected it: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.(1)
On the other hand, the following 15 jurisdictions clearly allow for the possibility of at least some reduction in a plaintiff's damages for failure to wear a seat belt: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Two jurisdictions are still not clearly decided,(2) and three others do not have fully developed laws addressing the issue.(3)
Within the jurisdictions that allow for application of the seat belt defense, a plaintiff's damages could be reduced under a "comparative negligence" or a "failure to mitigate damages" theory.
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On Mon, 1 Feb 2010 05:38:55 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I mentioned that below.

Of course it can. I mentioned below that in calculating damages, the other party's failure to wear a seat belt is relevant. But in deciding liability for the accident, failure to wear a seatbelt by D** isn't relevant unless it somehow helped to cause the accident, or make things worse for P afterwards. It's very rare that not wearing a seatbelt will *cause* an accident. And not wearing one by D*** is likely to cause greater injuries to D, not P, unless D's body slams into P and P is injured that way.
**P = plaintiff, D = defendant.
***D is the defendant and very likely to be the driver. It's possible but pretty rare that something a passenger does or doesn't do causes an accident.

Right. We heard nothing about P's body being injured by D's body.

But punitive damages won't be awarded for failing to wear a seatbelt. It's like driving without a license. That's illegal too, but it's not what causes an accident, and it's not what causes injury. Driving badly, perhaps because someone doesn't even know how to drive, perhaps to the point where he can't pass a driver's test, is what causes accidents. Not failure to have a license, and in all but some strange situation, not failure to wear a seatbelt.
Here's an unusual situation where it might. If one is hit, not stopped but thrown off course, and then he drives into something or over a cliff, maybe someone could argue successfully that if the driver had been wearing a seat belt, he would have regained control of the car and avoided the second collision or going off the cliff. In a case like that failure to wear the seatbelt can be relevant to liability, but in 99% of accidents the seatbelt can't prevent the accident. Or maybe failure to belt one's child or dog could let them run wild and interfere with the driver, but that's very rarely a cause of an accident afaik.

--------------------------

What you posted below is unrelated to *contributory negligence* rules. You'll note that "contributory" is not used in your quote below, because it is a term of art with a special meaning^^. Many states that once had the contributory negligence rule have moved to comparative negligence, because it seems more fair. I think it's more fair too. That's what is described below.

I said that.

I said that.

The reasoning behind this tends to support what i've said. These states reject the seat belt defense, because failure to wear a seat belt is not what causes accidents. Although it often increasess the injury, these states have decided that the person should be free to ride safely with or without seatbelts.
^^^

I agree with that, and I suggested that it might happen.
^^More about contributory negligence: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contributory_negligence "At common law, contributory negligence is an absolute defense. If a defendant successfully raises the defense, he would not be liable for the tort. An undesirable result may occur when a plaintiff is completely barred from recovery even if his own negligence was slight.
"Most jurisdictions in the U.S. have modified the doctrine, either by court decision or by legislation, to comparative negligence. Under comparative negligence, the jury reduces the award to the plaintiff by the extent of the plaintiff's contribution to the harm."
^^^Although it's not relevant to this thread up till now, fwiw, I take the opposite view about seatbelt laws. I think that neither drivers nor passengers whould be required by law to wear seatbelts. It's not the place of the government to tell us what to do do in order to protect us from ourselves. And the idea put forth that the government *may* have to pay medical bills for someone injured could also have them regulating what we eat, what we dont't eat, how much we exercise, and much of entire lives. It's no good.
OTOH, I do think a driver's liability for injury to others should be reduced for the ones who weren't wearing seatbelts, if they would have been less injured if they were wearing their belts. AFAIK "mitigation of damages" has always referred to things done afterwards, so I wouldn't use the term to refer to wearing seatbelts in advance of any accident, but I still think it should limit liabillity.
So, to lessen injuries in the first place, I insist that hitchhikers wear the seatbelt in my car. It's enough I'm giving them a lift, I don't want to be sued later.
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Must of got a cramp in his leg, before he died.
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You mean the shift lever she isn't supposed to... engage?
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wrote:

Actually they can ALL be shifted into neutral, and the ECU will limit the RPM in neutral to a safe limit by cutting the injection. IMPOSSIBLE to over-rev any OBD2 equipped vehicle in neutral or with the clutch depressed.
Try it some day. Start the car. In neutral. Floor the accellerator. What happens??? At about 4000 - 4200 RPM the engine cuts out and it just sits there, bouncing between about 3500 and 4500 RPM until you lift your foot. The engine protects itself from driver stupidity and gives the driver a safe "out" if a throttle malfunctions.
This has been true since at least 1995 on most vehicles, and since 1996 on all vehicles officially sold in North America.
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mm wrote:

I couldn't find the article I saw this in again. The problem is moisture getting into the accelerator somehow. Symptoms of a possible problem include the accelerator being harder to depress, not operating smoothly, and or not returning to the upper position.
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There was a clip on CNN today that had a driver who said that he got a toe under the gas pedal and pulled it up with no effect. Could this be related to something like cruise control that pulls the pedal down as it rengages? The worry is that new or revised gas pedals will not turn out to be the right answer.
Charlie
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wrote:

If that's the case and it's a mechanical problem then the design of the pedal mechanism must be such that there is not a fixed connection between the pedal and the "sensor" gizmo inside the pedal assembly, i.e. the pedal an push it down ok against a coil spring that makes the "sensor"gizmo push back and make the pedal return. But if the gizmo itself is sticking down then it won't return the pedal AND the pedal will not be able to pull it back. I can easily envision such a design, it would make it easier to have one "box" that could be used with many different pedals in different cars. Only problem would be that the designers failed to anticipate that anyone would ever have a desire to hook a toe under the pedal to make the darn thing return to "zero", figuring instead that the spring would always be able to return it.
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On Sat, 30 Jan 2010 19:46:43 -0600, Dean Hoffman

Well none of that is the pedal. They were still talking about the actual pedal on Friday, the thing your foot rests on, right?
Then today Saturday they announced something but it's still about the pedal, right?
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wrote:

The pedal is not just the pedal any more. It is an electronic device with a footpad that tells the computer how fast you want to go and some other servo motor opens and closes the throttle as needed.
In the past, metal rods or cables worked the throttle and a spring pulled it closed. It is now a drive by wire system that should failsafe to a closed mode, but evidently is not.
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Dang, new-fangled English. If God wanted us to have new words, he wouldn't have given us a big supply of old words.

But, despite my complaint above, apprarently this accounts for it.
Now, of the millions of people in the US who have Toyatas, and the 100 million+ other car owners in the US, and many millions elsewhere who have heard about this, how many do you think know what you just said, and how many think they are still talking about the actual pedal? Both because of the word and because they were talking about that before, since it actually might have caught on a floor mat (but didn't).
Their PR depeartment is sleeping.
I'm still amazed and outraged. :) On my '95 Chrysler, the pedal is still the pedal. There is a throttle position sensor near the end of the accelerator cable, and a few other sensors unrelated to the pedal, but I think everything else is in the computer, so there is no greater meaning to pedal. So people with old cars -- I don't know how old -- are even more likely not to know what you said.
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wrote:

motorbikes now have throttle by ware too. And pretty soon most automatic transmissions will be getting rid of the shifter to select or change gears and will have a dial or buttons to select gears. Many high end cars already have electronic transmissions.
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wrote:

On the news today they were still talking about the pedal "sticking". If they were referring to the computer not failing in safe, closed mode, or anything remotely like that, I would think they would say the pedal "malfunctioned". That makes their language even more confusing.

Hey, like the '55 DeSoto, with the push button transmission.

Interesting.
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I don't know whether they are suffering from 'we never had this problem before' syndrome, or if it is a culture or language thing-- but Toyota has certainly blown the PR end of this whole fiasco.

Mid 60s dodge's had that too. When I was 16 my girlfriend's dad said 'take my car' one day. At about 50, I went to downshift to pass a car [because I was that cool] and hit the reverse button by mistake. We came to a rather abrupt halt & the car stalled. After I cleaned the crap out of my pants I got the nerve up to see what the damages were. It started up & was none the worse for wear.
Jim
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Guess they made it too complicated. Maybe the old Model A Fords had some advantages, after all.
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Years ago working on my camry under the hood I reved the motor and released the half round cable holder that I reved it with, the motor stayed at Full Rev, the cable did not slide back into the sleeve at the top of the motor fast enough, the plastic cable holder binded up, folded over in a kink, until I reved it or yanked on it again. Didnt Audi "supposidly" have an issue years ago, Anybody who hits anyhing now in a toyota says their car did it, not them, but the non accident claims of acceleration are what make me wonder since they are not finding beer cans wedged in the pedals, or the drivers quickly remove them.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Drive by wire is still against the law. A cable runs from the pedal to the throttle body. Brake by wire is also illegal. Steering by wire is illegal too.
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On Sun, 31 Jan 2010 13:12:24 -0500, Van Chocstraw

Totally not true.

To the best of my knowlege this may still be true. However, the early Citroen D19 had a full pressure hydraulic braking system where a "buuble" on the floor actuated a valve that controlled the brakes. Also, electricall brake operation would be no less "positive" thanthe current hydraulic system - which has NO mechanical linkage from the foot to the wheel.
What the law DOES require is 2 totally independend brake actuating systems - the service brake and the "parking" or "emergency" brake. The 1949 VW did NOT technically pass this requirement as the same cables operated all 4 wheels when the pedal was pushed OR the handle pulled.

And also this. Full Servo steering IS used on construction equipment and farm equipment.
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On 01/31/2010 03:56 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I had a DS21 with the same brakes. Best car I ever had. Too bad they don't import them. The new ones get 80mpg. Something American car makers are incapable of producing. This IS a dumb country.

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wrote:

It is the pedal ASSEMBLY - which includes the pedal, proper, a bellcrank type linkage with a damper, on a pivot, with a return spring and a throttle position indicator.. This whole assembly fits into a separate case, or box, that goes through the firewall
Apparently, if all the right (or wrong) conditions occur, condensation can form and get into the damper mechanism part of the pedal assembly, causing it to swell or deform, increasing the friction to the point eventually the return spring cannot ovcercome it to return the pedal to idle. They are working on a "field fix" to avoid having to replace all the throttle assemblies of this type currently in the "wild". Apparently it may be as simple as inserting a stainless steel shim into the damper assembly to prevent the clearance from closing up and increasing the friction.
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