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Electronics not involved in runaway Toyotas

I also am tired of the story but it is important as lives have been lost. USA Today Aug 11 2010, in 4000 on-site vehicle inspections not one has ended up with the cars electronics being found to be the cause of the unintended acceleration.

In 58 field inspections there were 35 cases where the data showed that the brakes were never applied and only partial braking in 14 more.

At the same time of being tired of the story I really wonder what is going on.

After reading a story about the amount of redundancy in the vehicles data transmission system I was not suprised as too the finding. This data is in contrast to the video provided by a Professor of some discipline showing how a simple short circuit of some system caused a full throttle event, details of this Professors testing have not been easy for me to find.

It was not at all a simple short circuit. He cross wired sensors in a combination that could never happen except when done on purpose by someone who knew what he was doing.
It’s even worse than saying the old mechanical throttle design was defective because some one could fashion some parts and reconnect the linkages such that the brake pedal worked the gas and the gas pedal worked the brakes.

If the electronics that control the throttle & braking are suspect, then why would anyone assume that the field inspection would be trustworthy? I don’t care how many cases have data showing this or that. The data come from just another part of the system that has a problem. This is like asking the fox to report on events at the hen house.

This is consistent with the rapid drop in these reported cases. If it had actually been electronics, the throttle and carpet pad fixes would have done nothing. That professor was shown to have been manipulating the system beyond all reason, as Tardis said.

From everything I saw about the “professor”, his theory is way, way out on a limb. Creating short circuits in wiring proves nothing about what actually happened unless one can prove that the short circuits can happen by themselves.

I personally don’t think we know what actually happened yet. I think there were some that were caused by the internal friction problem that was publicized, I think there were some that were driver error, I think there actually were some floormat problems, and I still think there’s a “glitch” in the electronic portion of the pedal assembly that’s not yet been made public. It’s a gut feeling I have.

I have said from the start that this problem was one that was caused by the Toyota driver…not the Toyota. Humans have a tendency to turn a small problem into a big problem by way of simple panic. I drove a wrecker many years ago and was called on several occasions to people who had driven through the front of stores. In one incident, the woman was still in the vehicle and screaming at the top of her lungs while pressing the accelerator to the floor. She claimed afterwards that she was pressing on the brake pedal and the vehicle would not stop.

Unintended acceleration has been around for a long time and has involved other vehicle makers including the infamous Audi cases in the mid-80’s. Some of the blame has to go to the auto makers for poor design and engineering but all the unintended acceleration incidents revolve around a single common denominator…the driver. I may be wrong but I still believe the problem is drivers who panic in an emergency situation. Statistics simply do not lie.

“Humans have a tendency to turn a small problem into a big problem by way of simple panic.”

Yep, Mass Hysteria is a real phenomenon.

I like the one line in the movie “Men-In-Black”: “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”

(According to the service manual) the gas pedal on my 2006 Matrix operates two potentiometers.
Their output voltages ramp up with pedal position.
Their outputs have to closely agree with each other and stay within ~25-75% of the supply voltage.
Otherwise the system goes into a limp home mode with a very conservative throttle response.
Any shorts, opens or output glitches should all trigger the same response: limp.

When electronics and software is involved it’s anybody’s guess as to what went on. How many years has Windows never been fixed?

My feeling is that it’s possible to have an electronic, intermittent glitch that could cause this. The fact that someone is trying to locate a ghost after the fact may not mean much.

On the the other hand I think many, or most, of those complaints were caused by driver error with a smaller percentage due peripheral issues like floor mats, etc.
The guy who sped along at 100 MPH for 11 minutes while calling 911 twice and claiming he could do nothing should have his license revoked forever along with the lady who testified before Congress that even shifting into neutral did not stop her car.

Speaking of ghosts, apparently Ford Explorers quit rolling over too.

Ford does a little better than that. They have a third potentiometer. It works the opposite of the other two. The voltage goes down as the pedal is pressed. The two rising outputs have to agree, and the third falling output has to be at the right calculated value to match the first two.

I beg to disagree. Windows has been fixed. And fixed again. And fixed again. And fixed again. And fixed again…

Back in 1996, a year after Windows 95 had come out, the lord summoned Bill Clinton, President of the U.S., Gorbachov who was the leader of the Soviet Union and Bill Gates to a meeting. “Gentlemen”, said the lord. “The world is in terrible shape. I am going to put an end to the world in 90 days. Go back and tell your people”.

Gorbachov went back to the Soviet Union and announced to his people, “There is bad news and worse news. The bad news is that there is a supreme being and the worse news is that he is going to end the world in 90 days”.

Clinton came back and announced to a joint meeting of the House and the Sentate. “There is good news and bad news. The good news is that there is a supreme being. The bad news is that he is going to end the world in 90 days”.

Bill Gates called his staff together. He said, “There is good news and even better news. The good news is that the world is going to end in 90 days. The even better news is that we won’t have to debug Windows 95”.

Win 7 is a joy to use, makes up for all the bad times. If Dell had not sold millions of “Vista ready” PC’s with 1gb RAM things would have turned out very different. take a look at a Dell brochue these days, hard to find a Dell desktop offered with less than 4gb.

I also use Vista everyday, it just needs to be equipped correctly and not all of your “legacy” items are going to plug and play.

Or you can learn Linux, hey now thats a plan.