Toyota’s electrifiying truth

Alright, so we all know Toyota’s had some serious issues as of late. It’s been in the news, on the radio and even on television. The media has taken Toyota’s shortcomings and splashed them across the headlines – for the benefit of the consumer, right?

Well, I spent this afternoon listening in to a press conference titled “Toyota TRUTHS” to discover the “truth” behind the mishaps in Toyota vehicles.

I have to admit, it wasn’t the most riveting of press conferences. However, it was eye-opening and as I search the internet looking for mentions of “Toyota truth” nothing surfaces, not even on my beloved Google News. So, what gives?

I wasn’t the only one listening in on this conference, in fact there was a question and answer period and a dude from CBS was extremely vocal, and a bit rude I might add. Well, I have some speculation about why no one is mentioning much at the moment;

Toyota has blamed its sudden acceleration (SA) cases on faulty floor mats. In fact, I just had a Lexus test vehicle and the mats were twist-tied to make sure no movement. However, this panel of experts at the “Toyota TRUTH” press conference were all about proving this fault a “myth.” The real reason your Prius decided to accelerate and run wild on the highway is an issue with the EMI (elctromagnetic interference). What’s happening with Toyota’s “sticky” accelerator pedals has nothing to do with too-big floor mats or cables snapping or what-not and has everything to do with the technology now housed in modern cars.

And where things get even a bit scarier is that Toyota isn’t the only one who could experience such problems.

Electronic throttles pose a threat to any and all drivers because they are not properly protected from electromagnetic interference (yes, you cell phone could cause your car to run wild on the road). Toyota isn’t the only one on the road with electronic throttles – in fact most car companies have just that.

So, why not blame EMI for your faulty vehicles? Because it can’t be tested. One of the panel experts broke it down and it was some ridiculous number like 36,000 cars would have to be tested for 24 hours straight over 7 days to get one test case result, or a single vehicle would have to be driven for 200 million miles.

Um, somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen.

And why aren’t Toyota execs seeing computer issues when they diagnostically test their vehicles after a runaway car is caught? Because when you turn off said faulty vehicle, you are essentially rebooting the computer; voila the error is gone.

So, where does Toyota go from here? They are facing serious repercussions from the American government for false claims and from the highway safety board and God knows who else. It seems almost hopeless.

But, if caught my attention when this panel of experts were open to say that Toyota really isn’t the only one out there who could suffer the same fate.

The more the auto manufacturers stuff their cars full of electronic doodads and gadgets, the more to break! Sure, your car can see in the dark, has a back-up camera, auto-adjusts your seat when you get in and even rev matches when you shift so your ride is smooth; but then all of those bits and pieces can break at any moment and, more importantly, the CPU (the mother computer of the vehicle) that controls it all could go “poof” at any moment, and then what? Think of how often your personal computer has brain farts throughout the week.

I don’t remember reading stories about runaway Ford Model Ts back in the day…just saying.

Drive on,
– M.

Panel of experts at the Toyota TRUTH press conference today:
– Clarence Ditlow, Center for Auto Safety
– Dr. Keith Armstrong, CEng FIET SMIEEE ACGI [Electronics and EMI Expert]
– Dr. Brian Kirk, CEng MBCS MACM [Software & Safety Expert]
– Dr. Anthony Anderson CEng FIET MIEEE [Electrical failure expert]
– Thomas J. Murray, author of the eBook “The Truth About Toyota: It’s The Electronics, Stupid!,” sudden acceleration expert, and attorney.
– Frank Visconi, survivor of Toyota sudden acceleration accident.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on March 23, 2010.

2 Responses to “Toyota’s electrifiying truth”

  1. Toyota is definitely not the only car manufacturer that has/will have these problems. My guess is that other car manufacturers/car insurers have already settled out of court with multiple victims of auto-related malfunctions with gag orders as part of the deal, and it’s probably been happening for years and years. I propose a slightly more dubious reason behind the recent public attacks on Toyota: a smear campaign covertly coordinated at the highest level to coerce the Japanese government into buying more U.S. Treasury securities…
    How else will they be able to pay for Obamacare?

  2. The more computerized my car the more I fear it! I have trouble enough just coping with windows platform upgrades let alone dealing with a car that suffers chronic brain farts. I wonder if that would qualify as ‘Auto Colic’….what a thought!

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