‘Tin Whiskers’ and Other Discredited Unintended Acceleration Theories

January 25, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Over the past two years, major government investigations of Toyota vehicles and technologies undertaken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and engineers at the National Aeronautics and Safety Administration (NASA) have been clear and unequivocal in their conclusions: there are no real-world scenarios in which Toyota electronics can cause unintended acceleration. Last week, a report by the National Academies of Sciences put another nail in the coffin of this discredited theory, concluding that all the data available indicated that there was no electronic or software problem in Toyota vehicles and that NHTSA was justified in closing its investigation.

National Academy of Sciences: Electronic glitches in cars untraceable, more oversight needed

National Academy of Sciences: Electronic glitches in cars untraceable, more oversight needed

January 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Technology , Toyota “We couldn’t find anything, but we’re still blaming the car.” That’s the gist of the statement from a National Academy of Sciences panel headed by New Jersey Institute of Technology physics professor Louis Lanzerotti. The NAS supports U.S. regulators shutting down investigation of Toyota unintended acceleration incidents without finding electronic faults that would cause the behavior. However, at the same time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is planning to call for further oversight and more study to attempt to rule out electronic causes. About the only thing that’s concrete is that crashes happened. To be fair, electronic faults can be tricky to pin down, even with far simpler systems than the networked-computing setups that modern cars universally employ. That’s why event data recording is already part of many automotive systems, along with a high degree of redundancy and fault tolerance. Many carmakers also already program engine management to douse the throttle with brake application in certain situations. Few are more interested in catching intermittent, potentially catastrophic problems than the companies building the cars, and most have already implemented the systems these organs of the state are calling for. Even so, the NAS and NHTSA appear keen to write these tendencies into law.

Toyota Comments on National Academy of Sciences Report Concerning Unintended Acceleration

January 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) National Research Council will release today its independent review entitled “The Safety Promise and Challenges of Automotive Electronics: Insights from Unintended Acceleration.” The comprehensive 162-page report was commissioned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to explore the broad issue of claims of unintended acceleration (“UA”) and their aftermath.

NHTSA proposing panic stop system for keyless ignition

NHTSA proposing panic stop system for keyless ignition

December 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Technology , Lexus , Toyota In the wake of the heavily publicized fatal crash involving a Lexus ES 350 with keyless ignition in California, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing standardizing keyless ignition systems. The government regulator wants all vehicles with keyless ignition to turn off after a button press of just half a second, according to a report by Bloomberg . The proposal states that among the concerns are “drivers’ inability to stop a moving vehicle in a panic situation,” according to the report. That’s what happened in the Lexus crash that killed four people in 2009, in which a three-second button press was necessary to turn off the engine, according to Bloomberg . The incident was one of many that led to recalls of Toyota vehicles in 2009 and 2010. Automakers have already discussed standardizing their keyless ignition systems, according to an Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers spokeswoman. The half-second delay falls within a range recommended by the Society of Automotive Engineers . While this new regulation is clearly a good thing, we do wonder what was wrong with just using keys? NHTSA proposing panic stop system for keyless ignition originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 12 Dec 2011 07:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .

Fiat 500 nets three-star NHTSA safety rating; Toyota Camry and Cadillac CTS get five

Fiat 500 nets three-star NHTSA safety rating; Toyota Camry and Cadillac CTS get five

December 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Etc. , Government/Legal , Safety , Cadillac , Toyota , Fiat The 2012 Toyota Camry and 2012 Cadillac CTS have joined the ranks of vehicles that have earned the coveted five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration . The vehicles mark the 15th and 16th models to nab the top rating under the tougher NHTSA crash test standards enacted for 2011 models. Last year, the 2011 Camry took home four stars in the evaluations. Toyota reminds us that the 2012 Camry is built with high-strength steel to help protect the passenger cell against deflection in the event of an accident, and that the vehicle comes standard with 10 airbags, all of which contribute to the new model’s superior score. The Fiat 500 , meanwhile, didn’t fare so well under the range of crash evaluations. The tiny hatchback collected just three stars overall. The side-impact test was particularly cruel to the Italian compact, with NHTSA awarding the vehicle two stars in that category – a somewhat surprising result considering that Fiat went to the trouble of redesigning the 500 for U.S. crash test compatibility. The 500 finds itself in the company of the Dodge Caliber and outgoing Ford Escape as the only models tested so far to receive the three-star designation.

Statement from Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Regarding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Five-Star Composite Rating for All-New…

December 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

We are very pleased that the all-new 2012 Camry has earned a five-star composite safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The fact that the Camry earned this five-star overall score after enduring a more rigorous NHTSA testing procedure targeted at raising the bar for overall vehicle safety is testament to the strong design, and safety-focused engineering consumers can expect in the nation’s top-selling car.

Report: Fed mulling standardizing keyless ignition systems

Report: Fed mulling standardizing keyless ignition systems

May 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Government/Legal , Safety , Technology , Toyota Five years ago, if you owned a vehicle with push button start, you probably owned a luxury vehicle or high-end sports car. For 2011, there are 189 vehicles with push start technology, including many vehicles that retail for less than $20,000. But while the technology has proliferated to nearly every vehicle segment, each automaker has its own keyless ignition mechanism. Automotive News reports that the Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) International isn’t crazy about this, and it’s looking to standardize keyless ignition systems. The move can be at least partially viewed as a reaction to unintended acceleration issues faced by Toyota . Some Toyota owners who reported reported the UA phenomenon were unable to turn off the vehicle because Toyota’s programmers necessitate that the star/stop button must be pressed for three or more seconds to cut off power to the engine. According to Automotive News, the SAE proposes that drivers should be able to stop the vehicle by pressing the button for .5 to two seconds, or by briefly pressing the button two or three times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also reportedly added that it may propose a rule this year to standardize the systems, leading at least one automaker to consider waiting to redesign their systems until uniform standards can be agreed upon. Interestingly, a poll by AN revealed that while General Motors , Ford , Volkswagen , Honda , Nissan , Chrysler and Hyundai planned to comply with the SAE standard – only Toyota says that it won’t follow the guidelines until it learns if NHTSA will chime in with its own regulations, as well. [Source: Automotive News – sub.

Scion tC Receives Five Star Overall Rating for Crash Tests

April 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif.

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