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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Incredible!
I posted here, admittedly for the first time, because I felt that I had important input.
The accusations that I was posting to discredit Honda are surprising to me.
I was not driving the van when this occurred, but after being married to my wife for 15 years and knowing that she has never had an accident or ticket in her 25 years of driving cars, I have to give her benefit of the doubt and believe in her explanation of the account.
As far as the accusations that I'm a Chrysler dealer, "I'm not", but from reading all these posts, it makes me wonder if 90% of you guys aren't Honda dealers making $1,500 above MSRP for every Odyssey you sell.
It was never my intention to bash Honda or the Odyssey. I bought the Odyssey on November 02, 2000 (Vin #2HKRL18501H516982) because it was the most highly rated Minivan at the time. It replaced my 1992 Plymouth Grand Voyager that I bought new in November 1991. (It was a rattling piece of junk after 2 years and 30,000 miles, but we drove it for 9 years and put 120,000 miles on it)
I bought the Odyssey because I believe that they will be in much better condition during the second half of a car's useful life.
I work as a power plant operator (not a car dealership), hdw671 are my initials followed by the hull number of the submarine I was stationed on between 1985 and 1989 as a Navy Nuclear Trained Electrical plant operator and shutdown reactor operator.
If anyone would like to seriously discuss this incident, you can contact me by email at [email protected] and I can either phone you while I'm at work (Watts line) or correspond through email. I took pictures of the van on the side of the hill resting against the water header (not that they prove anything other than "we have an Odyssey" and "it has been wrecked") but I still have to get the film developed and scanned.
The information I quoted was from the website: http://www.autosafety.org/autodefects/HONDA.htm
And it listed only Honda vehicles, because I felt that those were the only ones pertinant to this situation.

Considering the hostile response, I won't respond to this bulletin board again, and I'll let all of you get back to important issues such as "why loose change makes a rattling noise in the change holder"
 

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In reading through the thread on your topic, I get the sense that the posters feel so strongly about the issue of unintended acceleration that they forget that your wife was in a dangerous and potentially disastrous situation yesterday.
I thought your post was fair and your question entirely reasonable, so I went googling through archives of information from the post- 60 Minutes Audi debacle.
I read that the problem of unintended acceleration is a complex one involving a number of factors, including the design of the car itself, the driver, and external distractions. The Audi Public Affairs rep., a Mr. Triano, was quoted as saying that the problem of unintended acceleration is inherent in automatic transmission cars.
I really would like to hear from other members about this issue, which is discussed with great passion but remains a major issue.
Mr. Williams, like you I am a recent member of this forum. I lurked and read the posts for a couple of months before joining after we got our new Odyssey. I would like to reassure you that the people in this forum really do go out of their way to help one another. Ironically, people who replied to your post with less than exemplary sensitivity are very willing to share their considerable expertise, and, had they been thinking about the situation--your wife in a frightening accident at an elementary school the previous day--rather than the issue--unintended acceleration--the responses would have been much different.
I hope you will reconsider your decision to withdraw from the forum. We can get so wrapped up in the minutiae of topics that we forget the larger picture and the human element, to our own regret. Sometimes we generate more heat than light. Your wife's experience and your willingness to investigate and articulate add an important dimension to this group. Stay with us.
 

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Hdw671, please don't let us chase you away. I don't think that was anyone's intention and I, for one, would not like that to be the result. Virtually everyone on this site works pretty hard not to incite that reaction in anyone, because that's when rational discourse stops.

Speaking for myself, your post touched a particular sore spot. I've been watching accusations of these types of supposed "occurrences" for years and they frustrate me no end because I know how cars work. No, I'm not an expert, but I think common sense goes a long way here.

After saying that, I hope if you re-read my posts you'll see that I realize the terror that accompanies these "events" to drivers such as your wife. They have my sympathy for how they feel, but that doesn't change the fact that the car doesn't cause them all by itself as accused. It's been the rule that the aftermath of these events is marked by a lot of sympathy for the "victim" and not much common sense regarding how they come about. I was trying to provide the latter.

Not to single you out, but your post was of a pretty common format as these things go. IIRC, all of the suspicion was automatically and instantly placed on the vehicle with no assumption of blame put on the driver. "There must be something wrong with these (fill in the blank with any make of car). Listen to what happened to (again fill in the blank)". Again, this isn't an accusation, it's just an observation of how these things are reported.

The one thing unusual in your situation is that after talking to your wife, you both HAVE realized that it was her fault after reading your post on Yahoo --- "After talking to my wife, who wasn't prepared for this to happen, when the car lurched forward and bounced over the curb, it threw her back in the seat and surprised her so much that in the short amount of time this incident took, she didn't have time to react before hitting the water line riser a short 20 feet and very bumpy ride later." I hope you intend to post that here, also. It would go a long way toward helping the dust settle.

I won't apologize for what I wrote because I think it would be disingenuous, but I will sincerely regret it if it chases you away. Stick around, we need each other's viewpoints.



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Chuck
Click here for Ody pics, mods and fixes on FotoTime.
 

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HDW671,

I too hope that you stick around and continue to contribute to the board.

Note that the tone and content of the responses changed as the thread progressed. You could have easily avoided the more negative comments by returning to the forum sooner than the next day. If you are going to post something potentially inflammatory, don't do it when you can't reply in a more timely fashion.

Online discussions take on a life of their own. As they develop, posters contribute various perspectives. In your thread, you did not receive disparaging comments until about the 12th-15th post, which is actually pretty good by internet standards! Thread drift is real.

You didn't get flamed; some forums can get downright nasty.

It is natural for the thread originator to take the more negative comments to heart, so reread the comments and see if they are compassionate, particularly in the early stages of the thread.

It is the responsibility of the thread originator to know when he starts something that is likely to become controversial and then to set the thread straight if it gets offtrack.

Your post did not allow for any possibility of driver responsibility. You took a firm (and unverifiable) position, hence you invite similarly firm responses.

You tweaked the issue out of proportion by repeatedly citing the elementary school aspect of the incident.

Your post was an indictment of Honda. You made it sound as if Honda is insensitive to issues of safety and has been so despite years of government attention.

In short, keep things in perspective. Consider that you contributed to the response you received, which I still believe was considerate and fair.

Regards,

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Maugham

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude that we'll keep!
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
 

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As the guy who originally broached the idea of "Chrylser dealer" (and a retired Navy guy to boot) I'm happy to apologize for that. What raised my suspicions was that you had not provided any personal data accessible to the rest of us before you posted.
 

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Judging by the times of his posts, hdw671 may not be able to post later in the day. Both of his posts were early AM and he may have been surprised when he came back and saw the responses.

Frankly, for the most part, I thought they were pretty rational and objective, but different strokes for different folks.

I do hope he comes back and posts the same comments he made on Yahoo. That's the problem with these reports; now one more manufacturer has been accused of possibly building a dangerous vehicle and the stories take on a life of their own, even if the truth is later known.



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Chuck
Click here for Ody pics, mods and fixes on FotoTime.
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ckonarske:
Judging by the times of his posts, hdw671 may not be able to post later in the day. Both of his posts were early AM and he may have been surprised when he came back and saw the responses.</font>
You are probably right, but a poster in this situation has no right to whine over strong responses or get upset by "thread creep."

He probably is new to posting, as further evidenced by his closing line:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Considering the hostile response, I won't respond to this bulletin board again, and I'll let all of you get back to important issues such as "why loose change makes a rattling noise in the change holder".</font>
An experienced poster admits when he could have done something better then sticks around to share and learn even more with the forum members. He doesn't take his ball and stomp off to his room forever.

Where is Emily e-Post or Miss e-Manners when we need one?

Regards,

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Maugham

"I plan to live forever. So far, so good"
'02 RP EX-L
'85 Prelude that we'll keep!
'01 Ninja folding aluminum scooter
'00 New Balance Model 658 Shoes w/ Green grass stains and '01 White Laces
 

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Here's the first line from his post today:
"I posted here, admittedly for the first time, because I felt that I had important input." I hope he realizes that now he truly DOES have some important input now that he and his wife realize that she was at fault, not the vehicle, and he would be doing a great service by publishing the facts in at least as many places as he posted the original assumptions.

My next concern is based on some of my own assumptions and they may be incorrect. The way he described what happened was that he said his wife was flustered and couldn't respond to what the vehicle was doing.

Obviously I wasn't there, and here's the assumption, and I could well be wrong, but the description of the event as I understand it is of something that took a number of seconds, i.e. jumping a curb, traveling uphill over bumpy, wet terrain and not being able to retain control. Even if you floored a vehicle on wet, bumpy, uphill ground, you don't usually pick up much speed and normally there's quite a bit of time to respond to what's going on if you keep your head about you.

If my assumptions are incorrect, I apologize, but if that's really what happened I'd want to take my wife out driving in a safe parking lot somewhere and have her try out different emergency responses to avoid a repetition.


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Chuck
Click here for Ody pics, mods and fixes on FotoTime.
 

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HDW71-Hang with us man!!! You were simply a victim of circumstance and paranoia
People on this board DO value your opinions and experiences. This board has been an INCREDIBLE resource for owners for modifications, rumors, and good and bad experiences and I hope you stay with it.
 

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Stick around hdw671. Nothing gets solved without debate. Based on the amount of information in your first post the responses were justified. Now that we have more information about you and the incident we can have a more reasonable and balanced discussion. I'm sure that nobody here is insensitive to the distress suffered by your wife in this situation but all facts must be presented.

As far as posting goes sometimes your a hero, sometimes your a fool. Don't take replies personally. We actually reprimand ourselves if a topic degrades into name calling here.

Every post wont be a winner. Heck sometimes I post a joke that nobody gets I look like an Idiot with 0 replies.
 

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HDW,

First, let me say that, in the end, thank goodness nobody was hurt during the incident. Being a family man myself, I can understand you and you're wife's consternation from the events that occurred. I hope you know that I am sympathetic to your situation.

As others mentioned, the thread did take on a life of its own later on, but it's important to note that people were really talking mostly about the heated issue itself. Anytime there is something very controversial, discussion like this ALWAYS occurs. In my case, I've learned some things in this discussion I didn't know about the issue, about the human element, and about myself.

Please do not go away with a bad taste in your mouth for this forum, for I think it's really one of, if not the best of its kind on the web.

I will also email you personally to urge you to come back, and continue to contribute. I know you will be welcomed by all of us, as we do very much value people's opinions.... If you don't believe me, take a look at some of the threads around here dealing with W20 vs W30 motor oil, and you'll see. We don't always agree, but I think everyone goes away knowing a little more than they did, and having more perspective on all kinds of issues. And, if you wanna know about safety, we've got one of the most knowledgable people around as a moderator on our safety forum. OK 'nuff said, and 'nuff plugged.

I'm gonna send you an email now, urging you to come back, and maybe some others will do the same...

-SJ

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DEP '01 EX no-navi
 

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canodyssey:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">As far as posting goes sometimes your a hero, sometimes your a fool. Don't take replies personally. We actually reprimand ourselves if a topic degrades into name calling here. </font>
Yeah, sez you. Hey--your mother said get to bed.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I understand the points that each of you make and I appreciate the replies to this post more so than in my previous post.
I also understand that human error is the "easiest" explanation and admit that it was my initial response before discussing it at length with my wife, and prior to the massive amount of research that I have done over the last couple of nights. As far as the point that ckonarske makes, "wife was flustered and couldn't respond to what the vehicle was doing", I stand by that statement but in no way do I equate that as an admission to fault on my wife's part.
I've been married to my wife for over 15 years and I know that she has never had an accident or ticket in 25 years of driving.
And in her words..."you wouldn't believe how quickly that van jumped over the curb and up the hill" What I'm saying is that she's a responsible experienced driver and although she's 42 years old (Don't tell her I told you) her reflexes aren't bad.
It's my belief (opinion), that while many of the Sudden unexpected acceleration incidents recorded, may be due to driver error, I also believe it would be naive to make an "all inclusive statement" such as "never happen" or "impossible".
During my research I read of an incident where a secret service driver had a sudden unexpected acceleration occur on the White House lawn and ran his Crown Victoria into a tree. I could be wrong, but I suspect that the Secret Service Drivers assigned to drive White House Diplomats around town are probably the best and most highly trained drivers on the streets.
Another site that I would suggest visiting is: http://www.antony-anderson.com/cruise/5-sa.htm
This guy goes into great depth explaining how cruise controls work and how sudden unexpected acceleration can occur, at any speed, regardless of wether or not the cruise control is on. Like everything else on the web, use your own best judgment disseminating the information provided.
I, myself, accept his credibility after reading his reports and I believe that he is very knowledgeable in respect to electronic circuitry. I think he states that he has a doctorate in electrical engineering, someplace on his website.
To summarize my feelings, I repeat that attributing SUVA to "operator error" is the easiest thing to do, but from life experience I've found it wise to avoid being "close minded" on any subject.
And with my knowledge of Electronics, I fully understand the possibility of mechanical failure (includes electrical)
Believe me, I've seen far stranger things while troubleshooting and repairing electrical and electronic control systems during my 17 years operating nuclear power plants and Gas turbine systems.
Let me close by reiterating that I made my initial post here because I felt a moral obligation to share our incident, and in no way was it to whine, or bash Honda. It is because of Honda's excellent reputation for reliability, that I was so surprised that it occurred.

[This message has been edited by hdw671 (edited 10-20-2001).]
 

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hdw671,

I'd find your arguement much more convincing if you addressed the issue of the brakes being more powerful than the engine.

I've tried braking and flooring it at the same time in my 200HP sedan.... very little happens other than a bunch of (scary) noise.

Have you tried this in a vehicle, Odyssey or otherwise? Do you believe your Ody's brakes failed at precisely the same time as the throttle opened on it's own?

No offense intended -- I just see a whole lot of posting w/o any attention paid to this very important detail.

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2002 Mesa Beige EX-L-RES - on order
2001 Mesa Beige EX - recently sold
 

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As pummal points out above, there are laws of physics involved here that are being ignored. They either apply or they don't. They do in my world.

I read the site that hdw671 pointed out and it's basically a discussion of mechanical failures possible in modern cars. Who could deny that such things happen? Not me. Never did and never will.

We'd serve the discussion best by pointing out that we're talking about two different things here and we need to focus on only one of them. What rational person could deny that "Sudden Unintended Vehicle Acceleration" exists? I didn't and won't. Its happened to me and probably most of us many times for many different reasons. Linkages breaking and mats sliding around and trapping gas pedals are among hundreds or maybe thousands of potential reasons.

But SUVA IS NOT "Sudden Unintended UNCONTROLLABLE Vehicle Acceleration". There's a BIG difference and just because one exists does not mean the other does.

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Chuck
Click here for Ody pics, mods and fixes on FotoTime.

[This message has been edited by ckonarske (edited 10-20-2001).]
 

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hdw671,
Glad to see you made it back to the forum.

So has any failure analysis been done on your vehicle? I'm curious to know what if anything was found out about the vehicle.
Probably many here are particularly interested in a thorough exam of the braking system. You probably, based on your previous post, would be interested in the cruise control system, etc.... Is there a plan to collect some data on this vehicle so that some resolution can be made on this particular case? Or has someone already examined it?

I think that would be the one thing that would provide some basis for a good discussion on your particular case, as oppossed to just the general topic.

-SJ

p.s.- Thinking about this, where is the vehicle now, and are you planning on getting rid of it based on your wife's experience? (I think I know the answer to this question)

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DEP '01 EX no-navi

[This message has been edited by shinjohn (edited 10-20-2001).]
 

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I've thought this through and can only assume that the incident caught his wife by surprise and she was unable to apply the brakes before hitting the water header.
Now if we assume that the brakes aren't in play here what caused the initial unintended acceleration. I would be interested to know what position the cruise control switch was in and if any of the steering wheel buttons could have been pressed. Is it possible that a malfunction of the Ody cruise control could cause such an incident? I don't know.
It would be nice to have the information from an incident investigator. Is the van being checked by someone who can determine mechanical/electrical failure properly. ( I don't mean a lawyer or a hired "expert".)
 

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Give this woman a break! Maybe some of you folks out there are super heroes and would have reacted in the NHRA certified .400 sec., but I subscribe to the idea that the initial reaction, in such a case, is delayed by a degree of disbelief. It would be interesting to rig a vehicle so you could make it go to WOT and then let someone who is a known great driver drive it, without knowing what is to come. Slam that throttle open at some unlikely moment and see how many feet the vehicle travels before he/she is able to rein it in. You might be surprised......

Jerry O.

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2001 Odyssey GG LX
 

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Give this woman a break! Maybe some of you folks out there are super heroes and would have reacted in the NHRA certified .400 sec., but I subscribe to the idea that the initial reaction, in such a case, is delayed by a degree of disbelief.</font>
I'm not yet believing that anything in the car malfunctioned so as to rev the engine and cause it to run fast while in gear.

The simplest explanation is probably the correct one.

Probably.

And the simplest explanation is human error. She thought she was hitting the brakes but hit the gas instead.

For example, we don't know if she was using both feet to drive (bad idea). How many people do you see driving down the road, the freeway, with brake lights on? Plenty. WAY too many. They're driving with both feet and are dragging a foot on the brake without realizing it. These people are dangerous for a whole lot of reasons. And my hunch is that they're more likely to hit the gas when they don't want to, just like they're hitting the brakes when they don't mean to.

Could she be one of those people?

The simplest explanation is probably the correct one. It would take serious effort to convince me that the car "just started going fast" without any human cause.

And the guy's initial reaction was to look for fault somewhere else--to the point of going to a lot of effort to find dubious sources on the net that would back him up.

People screw up. Now if we could only get them to admit it.

I'm not saying she did it; I'm saying I *won't* immediately assume the cause is in the car and then go looking for evidence to support that theory, all the while dismissing any evidence that might point to the fact that she did it.

And if she caused it by her physical actions, she probably had no idea what was going on.
 
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