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Re: [vox] No electronic flaws in Toyotas?
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Re: [vox] No electronic flaws in Toyotas?

On 02/08/2011 11:16 AM, Brian Lavender wrote:
> The government says that there are no flaws in Toyotas.
> http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Government-No-electronic-apf-3420619474.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=6&asset=&ccode=
> According to the article, engineers at NASA "reviewed" 280,000 lines of software
> code to look for flaws. I wonder if that means that Toyota's code is available
> for download?

Heh, of course not.

> Or, do you have to sign an NDA that you won't reveal if you find
> any vulnerabilities?

Well publishing a report saying "no flaws" seems like a pretty good vote of 
confidence.  Or do you think there's a government conspiracy to have 
unreliable automobiles in the USA?

> Did anyone bother to ask Toyota why the F**k they took out the throttle cable? It
> doesn't take a NASA an engineer to figure that one out!

I assume you mean why did they replace a throttle cable with a drive by wire 
system?  If not ignore the below list.

Er, seems like there's lots of reasons:
* People seem to prefer linear power, yet the most efficient engines provide
   increasingly non-linear performance.
* Hybrid systems are increasingly common, so a throttle cable is a poor way
   to control both an electric and gas motor to achieve what a user expects
   with anywhere from 0-100% of the power being provided by either
* Fuel injection is the rule today, the efficiency and reliability over a
   traditional carburetor are substantial.  Long gone are the days when
   it's practical for pedal movement to be mechanically linked to air/fuel
* Increasingly sophisticated transmissions actually tinker with the throttle
   to minimize wear, maximize performance, maximize efficiency and minimize
* Traction control can be more efficient and cause less wear and tear if
   it controls throttle as well as the brakes.  After all why generate
   300 HP if you are just going to burn it off on the brakes because of
   low traction conditions?
* Reliable starting is easier if the car has some control over the throttle,
   this makes it easier to start in a wide variety of temperatures and
   altitudes.  It also allows for a lighter starter motor(cheaper and less
   weight) since it doesn't have to handle the corner cases/abuse that people
   might use.
* Engines these days will protect themselves from exceeding a maximum RPM,
   some use ignition retardation some use throttle.  Each has their advantages
   and disadvantages.

All in all cars seem better with CPU controlled throttle, transmission, and 

> BTW, you can pick up an ECM at TAP recycling in Sacramento in case anyone wants
> to hook up the computer and try to find the corner case for unintended acceleration.
> I picked up one for my Celica for two hundred bucks.

You don't think toyota and other interested parties have done this?

Has anyone found a positive result?

Is it too much to expect that people hit the brakes if they are going faster 
than they intend?  Or shift to neutral?  Or hit the emergency brake? Turn the 
car off? Or do you think it's a 5 way failure?

Is there any reason to not think that it's just idiots that hit the wrong 
pedal?   Just like happened with Audi, in the 1980s or so? (and the dozens of 
other companies investigated) Seems like some small percentage of people just 
freak when they get a surprise because they hit the wrong pedal, and of course 
in today's litigious society they blame the car maker.

So sure people like media attention and do something dramatic like have a 23 
minute call with 911 while driving an "impossible to stop" car.

So sure the media likes the fan the flames, fake tests (like 60 minutes) and 
people get excited about the horrible miscarriages of justice carried out by 
these car manufacturers.  The reality seems to be that cars are amazingly (but 
not perfectly of course) reliable.

I'm interested in any information to the contrary, but this sounds exactly 
like the audi fiasco which from what I can tell was entirely people hitting 
the wrong pedal.  Unfortunately audi marketing managed to get Americans used 
to very wide brake pedals to buy audi who had a narrow brake pedal.  There 
were plenty of horrible stories about loved ones getting run over (sometimes 
more than once), driving through the back of garages, rear ending other cars, 
crazy out of control cars flying around etc.  In reality people were hitting 
the gas instead of the brake and freaking out.
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