NOW JUST WHO DO YOU THINK IS MAKING MONEY ON THIS? – AT 8:34 A.M. ET: We now have some actual engineering tests on that menace of the road, the Toyota. Remember Toyota? Unintended acceleration? The end of civilization?
Think again. From The New York Times:
DETROIT — The government’s investigation into complaints of sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles has found no evidence of flawed electronics in 58 of the vehicles that crashed, federal regulators said Tuesday.
An examination of the crashes also found only one instance in which an accelerator pedal became trapped under a floor mat, and none in which a pedal became stuck or sprang back too slowly, according to a preliminary report to Congress.
Oh dear, what will a trial lawyer do?
Toyota has recalled nearly nine million Toyota and Lexus vehicles worldwide to correct problems involving floor mats and sticky pedals, and lawmakers and some drivers have long suggested that a malfunction in the electronic throttle control system of the vehicles might explain some of the reports of sudden acceleration.
Though federal officials said the investigation was continuing and they had not yet drawn conclusions, the raw findings support Toyota’s contention that electronics were not at fault and that many of the reports of sudden acceleration might actually have been instances of human error — drivers mistakenly pressing the gas pedal instead of the brake.
Yeah. Maybe that's why we don't hear much about "unintended acceleration" any longer. The accelerators have had their 15 minutes of fame.
Ah, but the other side:
Toyota’s critics remained skeptical. Sean Kane, a Massachusetts safety consultant working on behalf of plaintiffs in lawsuits against the carmaker, said the event data recorders in the crashed vehicles — known as E.D.R’s and the primary source of information for the federal investigators — were unreliable and not scientifically validated.
Lawsuit? Did I hear lawsuit? Why do I think that's what this whole "scandal" is about?
The public wants to believe that E.D.R.’s are independent witnesses,” Mr. Kane said. “These are not aircraft black boxes, and they rely on the same electronic systems that are suspect to begin with.”
It's the black boxes! That's what it is! Let the lawsuits begin!
There are millions and millions of Toyotas on the road. If they really had a problem with the dreaded unintended acceleration, we'd be hearing of cases every day.
I'd also like the names of those drivers who don't know that you can stop a car by putting it in neutral and applying the brake, or even shutting off the ignition.
And, by the way, I've never heard of a case of a reporter's Toyota going out of control. It's always those people out there, who want money damages.
August 11, 2010