Tuesday, October 7, 2014

CENSORSHIP: Toyota Camry Sudden Unintended Acceleration

"Driver error" is a catch-all excuse used by automakers to divert attention away from serious safety defects, it seems. There is insufficient regulation of safety standards in the automobile industry, especially in the area of complex electronics. For instance, Toyota is in the lead in terms of cases of sudden unintended acceleration. I'm not referring to the SUA events involving jammed floor mats, sticky accelerator pedals, or pedal misapplication. I'm referring to the unintended acceleration and erratic ELECTRONIC throttle control system behavior that occurs when a glitch is present in the substandard software. In a recent Oklahoma court case lost by Toyota, Bookout vs. Toyota, embedded software expert Michael Barr's findings of ETCS-i glitches were presented. Also noted was that a SUA-inducing glitch could also render an ineffective fail-safe. Translation? Your runaway Toyota could prove to be unstoppable until something impacts it.
Toyota, GM, and Chrysler, among other automakers, have hidden safety-related information from the public for far too long. Drivers' and their passengers' lives are at stake. In the case of sudden unintended acceleration, pedestrians have been injured and killed as well. Crashes into storefronts, buildings, and homes, are daily occurrences now and there is an extremely well-orchestrated push to conclude "driver error." Other speculative conclusions are "medical condition" (diabetes, seizures, etc.), prescription medications, driving under the influence of something, etc. A recent far-fetched speculation was that the driver's shoe (a teen learning to drive with her father beside her) jammed the accelerator causing the vehicle to "take off!" Don't most teenagers wear flip-flops? Show us how a flip-flop causes this.
In the case of GM's ignition switch, "driver error" would be the easy way out. Does GM use this conclusion despite evidence to the contrary? Are driver's (if they survive) statements discounted or discredited as they are in the cases of Toyota sudden unintended acceleration? Usually, the automakers follow the same playbook. Be sure to read Parris Boyd's "BEWARE of's next victim may be YOU" blog and Jessie Powell's "Route 44 Sold me a LEMON" blog to see how it's done.
One thing is clear. GM and Toyota aren't going to tell you anything you don't find out on your own. It seems historically and literally, the automakers like to be "unaware" of the issues customers reveal to them. They'd much rather say their loyal customers are confused and/or causing the problems themselves. That way, their dear bottom line is not impacted negatively. And now, with all the media control via advertising and more, the automakers' secrets can remain hidden for a whole lot longer...decades+ as shown! Add NHTSA in their back pockets, good reputation management companies, on-line customer complaint suppression, and a gaggle of attorneys, and you have an untouchable entities, don't you? long as the grassroots vehicle owner groups don't wise up and organize, like GM Recall Survivors, to demand answers and expect more from lawmakers and the automakers.

No comments: