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Vehicle Maintenance and Repairs Tips for maintaining your car, boat, and all things mechanical.

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Old 03-12-2010, 11:59 PM   #26
rc
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I do not see how it is dangerous to shift into neutral while the vehicle is in motion, so long as you use common sense.

And I am unaware of any law anywhere in America that makes it illegal to put a vehicle in neutral while it is in motion. Got a link for an example of that?
Well, yes, my point was that the computer takes care of the common sense for you, so that's not required any more.

I thought it was illegal in this state, but I could be mistaken. Actually, coasting downhill in neutral was what I was told was illegal. But I don't have a specific cite, so maybe it's just an urban legend.
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:24 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ought Six View Post
rc:I do not see how it is dangerous to shift into neutral while the vehicle is in motion, so long as you use common sense.

And I am unaware of any law anywhere in America that makes it illegal to put a vehicle in neutral while it is in motion. Got a link for an example of that?
New Hampshire:
TITLE XXI
MOTOR VEHICLES
CHAPTER 265
RULES OF THE ROAD
Special Rules
Section 265:99
265:99 Coasting Prohibited. –
I. The driver of any vehicle when traveling upon a downgrade shall not coast with the gears of such vehicle in neutral.
II. The driver of a truck or bus when traveling upon a downgrade shall not coast with the clutch disengaged.
III. The fine for a violation of this section shall be $100.

Source. RSA 262-A:80. 1963, 330:1. 1981, 146:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1982. 2005, 177:25, eff. July 1, 2005. 2006, 259:25, eff. one day after passage of state operating budget for biennium ending June 30, 2009. 2007, 263:66, eff. June 29, 2007.
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/...265/265-99.htm

Rhode Island:

Coasting downhill in neutral is illegal in Rhode Island

Tuesday 23 February 2010
Rhode Island 31-22-6

Coasting prohibited.

(a) The driver of any motor vehicle when traveling upon a down grade shall not coast with the gears of the vehicle in neutral.

(b) The driver of a commercial motor vehicle, when traveling upon a down grade, shall not coast with the clutch disengaged.
http://public.getlegal.com/daily/crazy/2-23-2010

Maryland Driver's Handbook says:
Coasting
Never drive with the gears in neutral or the clutch pedal depressed
longer than is needed to shift gears. If you need to react quickly,
you may not be able to get the vehicle in gear.

but that leaves it up in the air as to whether it's illegal or just inadvisable.
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:55 AM   #28
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That's my understanding of what the law in Minnesota is, so thanks for the cite.

In general, it's a good law, for two reasons that I can think of. First of all, you might need the power to avoid an obstacle. Second, it makes engine braking immediately available if the brakes fail.

But there might be rare exceptions when I would want to do it anyway, so I don't want that particular provision of the motor vehicle code hardwired into my car.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:42 PM   #29
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Looks like the NTSB and Toyota are going to crack the black box on that Prius to see if the guy's story is true.

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Old 03-16-2010, 06:22 PM   #30
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Interesting. Thanks for the legal citation.
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:57 PM   #31
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http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2010-03...prius-incident

The California Highway Patrol is saying there is nothing to indicate that James Sikes's story about his runaway Prius is false. According to what I just saw on CNN, the CHP found very large amounts of brake dust in his wheel wells consistent with Sike's story of riding the brakes for miles to try and slow the vehicle. Toyota had claimed there was nothing wrong with Sikes's vehicle after they ran tests on it following the incident.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:29 PM   #32
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NTSB said that after examining the "box", there was repeated pumping of the brakes AND THROTTLE, over a much longer period of time than claimed by Sikes. They guy is a fraud. I don't think he realized that there as so much data collected by the car. NTSB also found that even as worn as the brakes were, that constant pressure on the brakes would have stopped the car, and the engine.
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:47 PM   #33
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100405...10040 5214528

DoT is seeking the maximum possible fine of $16,375,000 against Toyota for failing to notify the NHTSA about the problems.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:09 PM   #34
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Update looks like Toyaota has been cleared.

http://www.bankrate.com/financing/ca...-acceleration/

Toyota cleared on acceleration
By Claes Bell · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Posted: 7 am ET
Remember that whole unintended acceleration thing that supposedly happened with Toyota cars? No, not the one caused by the accelerator pedal getting stuck down; that was legit. I'm talking about the allegation that Toyota cars were plagued by faulty electronics that could cause them to accelerate on their own.


Toyotas like this second-generation Prius were found to be free of deadly electronic defects.
Well, turns out the claims were baloney, at least according to a 10-month government investigation. From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

NASA engineers found no electronic flaws in Toyota vehicles capable of producing the large throttle openings required to create dangerous high-speed unintended acceleration incidents. The two mechanical safety defects identified by NHTSA more than a year ago -- "sticking" accelerator pedals and a design flaw that enabled accelerator pedals to become trapped by floor mats -- remain the only known causes for these kinds of unsafe unintended acceleration incidents. Toyota has recalled nearly 8 million vehicles in the United States for these two defects.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, "We enlisted the best and brightest engineers to study Toyota’s electronics systems, and the verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas."

For owners of the cars alleged to have been faulty, this is a win. Not only can they get behind the wheel of their cars without worrying their car will go berserk, but their resale values won't take the hit that would have come had the investigation gone the other way.

This finding probably comes as cold comfort to Toyota, which has seen its reputation and sales numbers seriously damaged by the aforementioned massive recalls. Toyota's U.S. sales were down 16 percent year-over-year in January, and it's hard to see how this verdict will change things, at least in the short term. I mean, it's not like you can sell a lot of cars by saying, "Remember those out-of-control Toyota crashes in the media the last couple of years? Not all of them were our fault!"

Still, Toyota can finally put some of its nagging safety concerns behind it and go forward, and maybe the media won't give so much credence to every Toyota critic who comes out of the woodwork claiming they can prove Toyotas are animated by an evil robot intelligence that seeks to run its passengers into the nearest concrete barrier. This verdict is a stark reminder that not every allegation of dangerous faults in autos should be assumed to be true, and those of us who cover autos in the media would do well to remember that.

On the other hand, the company probably never would have been the target of this 10-month probe, authorized by Congress, had it been more forthcoming about its original gas pedal issues, and been less aggressive about trying to put off investigators and evade responsibility for its mistakes. I hope Toyota's learned from the struggles it's had these last few years and will someday return to the kind of bulletproof reliability that once defined its vehicles.
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