Sticking throttle: NOW they tell me!
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This is a discussion on Sticking throttle: NOW they tell me! within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I got the WWQ-01 recall for my '04 Impreza WRX wagon AFTER it was in a catastrophic mishap. The good ...

  1. #1
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    Sticking throttle: NOW they tell me!

    I got the WWQ-01 recall for my '04 Impreza WRX wagon AFTER it was in a catastrophic mishap. The good news: First, no one was hurt. Second, I'm hear to tell you that that car can take a licking and keep its driver ticking (so to speak.) 3. Excellent body shop did amazing artistic restoration job, all factory parts, car looks and runs great. The bad news: 13 THOUSAND plus dollars worth of damage (not counting my $500 deductible and other related costs.)

    Why do I say it was the sticking throttle cable? The driver (my dad, God bless him) was accelerating uphill on an interstate ramp, working his way through the gears to get to interstate speed. The ramp was not only up-hill, but was of decreasing radius. He felt some looseness under one wheel, lifted his foot from the accelerator and (as he described it) it was like hitting black ice. The car didn't slow, it kept right on running.

    I post this for a couple of reasons:
    First... if anyone got a recall notice, take it seriously and get to a Subaru service department with all haste!
    Second... This is my first Subaru. I will be interested to find out how SOA deals with their customers' losses. My insurance company looked over all the materials and decided to subrogate. For them it was a slam dunk. The recall clearly states that the throttle sticking is episodic and occurs without warning. It was not in the stuck position after slamming into a guard rail. (This apparently is one way to un-stick it, but I don't recommend it.) I worry that SOA will say that the cable wasn't stuck when THEY saw it... (after two months in the body-shop.)
    Third... I have reason to believe I may be the first one with a significant claim related to this defect. But I could be wrong.

    Has anyone else out there had to deal with damage like this? If so, how were you treated by SOA?

    Ta for now
    NotDeadYet

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  3. #2
    Registered User blackshadow's Avatar
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    No offense, but why didn't your dad just push in the clutch? Just seems like speed was also a factor... which your dealer will probably like to prove. Your the first person who i've heard that has actually had serious damage because of this. Was your dad ok? I wouldn't worry too much... When insurance companies want their money they'll get it, don't think your dealer will be able to put up a suitable enough argument to not end up paying out.
    autobahn storming scooby

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    Dad was shaken up but totally unhurt. The airbags didn't deploy because all the impact(s) were glazing strikes against guard rails as the car spun. I wish I had taken a picture of the car because the damage it sustained while protecting the driver was amazing. They are tough little cars.

    I think your question about the clutch is a good one. It happened so fast he never realized the car (rather than the driver) was "in control". He really tried to analyze what he did wrong afterwards, trying to relive the events. He thought maybe he had hit the accelerator pedal instead of tapping the brake when he felt the looseness under one wheel. He couldn't understand why the car suddenly wasn't responding. I know he would have gone to clutch and brake pedal if he had known in that instant what was happening. I can imagine how much different the outcome would have been if, for example, he had been already on the interstate when the throttle stuck.

    You are probably right that speed was an issue. He was punching it pretty hard because he had a relatively short distance to accelerate to 65 mph. The gear he was in (don't know which one, but he hadn't gotten to 5th) and the amount of power going to all four wheels probably made things happen rather instantaneously. The geometry of the ramp was really bad to boot. Has a stop light at the bottom, so drivers start at zero and have to gun it to enter traffic at the top. It's an elevated highway so the ramp is an uphill pull. It takes the cars through about a 270 degree rotation with a tightening radius AND it has a sort of reverse camber at the end, pitched the wrong way for the final stretch closest to the highway. Once the skid started it was a done deal. (Makes you wonder what highway engineers were smoking when they drew up these plans.)

    I hope you're right about the clout of insurance companies. I know they have lawyers they pay to handle these sorts of things.

    It's just weird. This recall goes back to 2001 models. I can't believe my car was the first one to really get dinged. What are the odds???

    I just hope everyone is taking their cars in for the recall work.

    JMQ
    NotDeadYet

  5. #4
    Registered User pityr's Avatar
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    I had this problem happen to me once. Fortuantly I wasnt in the car. I was outside reving it by hand while I was changeing the coolant. I let the throttle plate slap back to fast and the CC cable fell off the track causing the TB to get stuck wide open. I was able to shut the car off fast.

    Good to hear your dad is OK.
    No one will truely be free until nerd persecution ends.

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    just had my reacall done today. what exactly do they do? i didnt notice any new parts under the hood. ( the engine bay is all dirty from road dust. nothn looked new and clean)
    2004 WRX WRBlue 4EAT (my wifes car)

  7. #6
    Registered User Fixxxer's Avatar
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    Originally posted by qwank
    just had my reacall done today. what exactly do they do? i didnt notice any new parts under the hood. ( the engine bay is all dirty from road dust. nothn looked new and clean)
    They just put a little retainer clip on the throttle cable thingie.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails clip.jpg  
    -Lee

  8. #7
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    thanks man. i went out an looked. yup its there
    2004 WRX WRBlue 4EAT (my wifes car)

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