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Unintended Acceleration - Find the Cause

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    It should be remembered that Event Data Recorders are installed for the benefit of the manufacturer, not the owner. Indeed, their description is usually stuck in some nook in the back of the owner's manual, and then, its only mentioned there to avoid liability issues...

    Questions about all manufacturer's EDRs have been around for as long as EDRs have been around, so I'm sure there are unanswered questions regarding Toyota's as well.

    What I would like to see is NHTSA implement a standardization within EDRs so that one standard reader could access (not erase or modify, but just read) every manufacturer's EDR. And, indications are that we might be moving in that direction.

    From...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Event_data_recorder

    From 1998 to 2001, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsored a working group specifically tasked with the study of EDRs. After years of evaluation, NHTSA released a formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2004. This notice declared NHTSA’s intent to standardize EDRs. It was not until August 2006 that NHTSA released its final ruling (49 CFR Part 563). The ruling was lengthy (207 pages), consisting of not only definitions and mandatory EDR standards, but also acted as a formal reply to the dozens of petitions received by NHTSA after the 2004 notice.

    Since there was already an overwhelming trend for voluntary EDR installation, the ruling did not require manufacturers to install EDRs in vehicles produced for North America. Based on its analysis, NHTSA estimated that by 2010, over 85% of vehicles would already have EDRs installed in them, but warned that if the trend did not continue, the agency would revisit their decision and possibly make installation a requirement.

    The mandate did, however, provide a minimum standard for the type of data that EDRs would be required to record: at least 15 types of crash data. Some of the required crash data include pre-crash speed, engine throttle, brake use, measured changes in forward velocity (Delta-V), driver safety belt use, airbag warning lamp status and airbag deployment times.

    In addition to the required data, NHTSA also set standards for 30 other types of data if EDRs were voluntarily configured to record them. For example, if a manufacturer configured an EDR to record engine RPM’s or ABS activity, then the EDR would have to record 5 seconds of those pre-crash data in half-second increments.

    Besides the requirement that all data be able to survive a 30 MPH barrier crash and be measured with defined precision, NHTSA also required that all manufacturers make their EDR data publicly available. As of October 2009, only General Motors, Ford and Daimler Chrysler had released their EDR data to be publicly read.

    In the August 2006 ruling, NHTSA set a time table for all vehicle manufacturers to be in compliance with the new EDR standards. The compliance date was originally set for all vehicles manufactured after September 1, 2010. NHTSA has since updated its ruling (49 CFR Part 563 Update) to give vehicle manufacturers until September 1, 2012 to be in compliance with the original ruling


    No doubt, an industry standard would have been very helpful in deciphering the Sikes' Prius episode.
  • frankok1frankok1 Posts: 56
    I agree - I was just pointing out that there was no proof for some of the 3000 Toyota complaints (some are very believable) that UA - with WOT - ever happened. That would show for sure what vehicles to invesigate more thoroughly. NASA selections weren't that great in my opinion.

    Example: the Haggerty case is discussed earlier in this forum but the parts are likely in Japan:
    Toyota Response: The Toyota dealer contacted Toyota’s regional representative in Caldwell, NJ who later inspected the vehicle, but did not provide details of this inspection to Haggerty. However, Toyota Motor Sales authorized replacement of the throttle body and accelerator pedal assemblies and sensors and paid for the $1700 repairs and rental car costs. The Toyota dealer told Haggerty that the vehicle’s computer had stored no error codes and they were unsure whether the repairs would fix the vehicle.

    Wonder if others including Ford's cruise control calamities stored error codes.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    In the Haggerty case is there any other viable theory outside the possiblity of a short in the hall effect sensor chip or chips...?

    As Dr. Gilbert proved, should the two sensor outputs short together in a certain way, to the 5 volt supply source, the short would not be detectable, and the 5 volts would indicate WOT.

    Any other theories, chime in, please.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    edited March 2011
    There was no one under the hood of any of these cars "shorting" sensors together.

    Don't underestimate the effect of Chaos in our world. Events do not occur in a linear, predictable fashion all the time. Maybe Toyota has a proble with cockroaches causing the shorts; which as we all know - cockroaches are almost impossible to detect. Why do spiders like Mazdas? :D

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/03/spider-infestation-- - - recall-web-mazda6-mazda/1

    This is just 1 extreme example why designs fail. I doubt any engineering team at Mazda would have listed "spiders" as a risk in their design. And if they had they would have been laughed-out of the exec. offices.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    "A 79-year old Queenstown man Wednesday morning drove into the side of the CVS Pharmacy in Chester three times. Richard Young was leaving the CVS on Piney Road in his new 2011 Ford F150 at about 9AM when he put the vehicle in drive instead of reverse..."

    Two things to note: An elderly driver, and a new vehicle.

    I didn't include the link because you need to be a subscriber to the paper to view.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    It looks like NASA couldn't find the "glitches" that they needed for their "IA - Intended Acceleration" either. I wonder if these guys could even get us back to the moon if we wanted to go again. :(

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/2011-03-04-glory-satellite_N.htm
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    I wonder if these guys could even get us back to the moon if we wanted to go again.

    Probably not today.

    Then again, I doubt if any US company that contributed significantly to WWII production of arms could instantly restart churning out tanks, planes, ships...etc.

    Entering space is an extremely complicated function, and during the 1960's, the US pretty much gave NASA a single goal (take 3 ment to the moon and return them safely by 1970), and along with that, virtually unlimited resources to do that task.

    After that goal was accomplished, NASA's role became far more politically oriented and far less (specifically) task oriented (in other words, politicians liked NASA as long as it brought jobs/cash to their district).

    So, if the moon landing "task" was the equivalent of "Go to Sears and buy me a digital 1/2" drive torque wrench, 15-150 ft/lb. capacity with audible alarm", the post-moon-landing NASA has, in many ways become the "Go to the store and buy me a tool that does something that I might want to do sometime in the future...".

    In 1965, everyone knew and would agree what NASA's specific mission was... I doubt you would get anything even close to that today.
  • srs_49srs_49 Posts: 1,394
    That failed launch was due to the fairings on the Orbital Sciences (a private company) rocket failing to separate.

    Unfortunately, sometimes it just happens.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    That failed launch was due to the fairings on the Orbital Sciences (a private company) rocket failing to separate.

    The difference between a rocket launch and an automobile....

    On a car, multiple failures can occur , yet one can still maneuver the car to the edge of the road for subsequent repairs.

    On a rocket, just about any failure can lead to disaster...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..yet one can still maneuver..."

    No always, obviously.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    That failed launch was due to the fairings on the Orbital Sciences (a private company) rocket failing to separate.

    From the link: "The $424 million mission is managed by the NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

    Friday's launch came after engineers spent more than a week troubleshooting a glitch that led to a last-minute scrub."

    To mean when you manage something, it means you're assuming responsibility for the design , risk analysis, and execution of the systems. This part of NASA doesn't sound like they are very competent these days.

    Unfortunately, sometimes it just happens.

    My point exactly about the feasibility of UA in more hastily developed and cheaper-sourced parts, of our personal vehicles.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    edited March 2011
    On a car, multiple failures can occur , yet one can still maneuver the car to the edge of the road for subsequent repairs.

    I would believe that of vehicles 20 years ago. Every device that is electronically controlled - has a computer chip, can lockup. If you tell me the circuits for the transmission, accelerator, and braking have electronic controls, and communicate with each other, and use software subroutines, for their DSC and TC systems, then you have a system interconnected that can lockup. Sure you might still have some control, but you'd still have the issue that if you can't get the car out of WOT then you really are hoping that you can bring the car to a stop before your brakes burn-up. Do you know how long your vehicle's brakes would last if your vehicle sped up to 90mph, and your 200hp engine continues to want to go. It's one thing to hold a car at a standstill while applying WOT, but the kinetic energy of a 3,500lb vehicle at 90 and accelerating, is a whole other matter.

    There's a challenge for someone. Take your Camry or Highlander out to an airstrip, get up to 70 mph as if on a highway, smash the gas to the floor, and then a few seconds later start braking and try to bring the vehicle to a stop. Don't let up on the gas at all, while trying to pull over and come to a stop. Report back what happens. Even try and shift your vehicle into N or R while going 90 and braking. Take someone along to film it; you can post a link; that'd be fun and informative to see.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    There's a challenge for someone. Take your Camry or Highlander out to an airstrip, get up to 70 mph as if on a highway, smash the gas to the floor, and then a few seconds later start braking and try to bring the vehicle to a stop. Don't let up on the gas at all, while trying to pull over and come to a stop. Report back what happens. Even try and shift your vehicle into N or R while going 90 and braking. Take someone along to film it; you can post a link; that'd be fun and informative to see.

    Why?

    Edmunds already has done your test...

    http://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/could-you-please-stop.html

    From the link...

    The third test simulated a racing engine causing the car to speed out of control and the driver reacting by just hitting the brake pedal as hard as possible. Even though in this case the brakes had to overcome the motive force of the engine, they did. The car came to a halt in 148.8 feet, a distance that perhaps a large, heavy-duty pickup might make under normal maximum braking. With practice (this is, after all, a non-standard test), Josh was able to whittle this distance down to 129 feet. In other words, even if the driver of a runaway car (well, a Camry, anyway) doesn't think to put the transmission into neutral before hitting the brakes, it is still possible to stop the car within a reasonable distance if sufficient pedal force is applied.

    The take-away from this is that it is possible to stop a runaway car (or at least a Camry) even if the racing engine is left powering the drive wheels. But to do so takes maximum-effort braking. As this isn't something people practice, they may think they're hitting the brakes hard enough when they're not. To overcome the engine's force, you must stand on the brakes for all you're worth. It's actually worse to just continuously use the brakes moderately hard, as this will not cause the car to stop; instead, the brakes will quickly overheat and fade, becoming ineffective. Think of somebody riding their brakes as they descend a long, steep hill — the telltale smell of burning brakes (and the subsequent fading of their ability) is unmistakable.
  • frankok1frankok1 Posts: 56
    Edmunds' test: .....if sufficient pedal force is applied.

    ...To overcome the engine's force, you must stand on the brakes for all you're worth....


    Not all have the worth - the strength to do that including weak old farts especially female who hit the right pedal. Again I ask why are drivers mainly applying wrong pedals in Toyotas compared to others?

    From all the publicity, the Saylor crash, Gilbert's tests, NHTSA hearings and forcing mat recalls and EDR access out of Toyota - besides faster use of brake override, more people know to check those mats, drive with one foot, make sure they know how to get into neutral and don't pump the brakes.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    edited March 2011
    Um, because 60 mph is a lot different then someone trying to brake a car from 90mph. If poeople are on any sort of a highway we can assume they are at 60mph or more even before UA begins. If I'm cruising along at 70 - 75mph, in 2-3 seconds by the time I realize what's happening I'm near 90 mph. What's the difference in energy between 60mph and 90 mph?

    I had a Firebird Formula, and I know I could hold the car with the brakes while stopped, and giving it almost full throttle. But I don't have much faith that if that vehicle is at 110mph + the additional torque from a WOT, that the standard brakes on that car would have stopped the car before overheating the brakes. and then you're back to accelerating. It doesn't take much to overheat the few pounds of brake material you have at each wheel.

    I believe some of these crashes were over 100 mph, right? Run the test at those speeds.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Your Firebird was RWD, you could have TREMENDOUS engine torque applied to the rear wheels while holding the car stationary via the front, primary, most "robust", braking.

    Not so easy with a FWD or F/awd wherein the engine will drive, directly DRIVE, the front wheels in oppostion to your primary braking resource.

    Then add in the momentum, inertia, of a car moving along at 90MPH...
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    As you often seem to do, you are once again adding assumptions to support your argument.... basically, pulling hypotheticals out of thin air.

    The car came to a halt in 148.8 feet, a distance that perhaps a large, heavy-duty pickup might make under normal maximum braking. With practice (this is, after all, a non-standard test), Josh was able to whittle this distance down to 129 feet. In other words, even if the driver of a runaway car (well, a Camry, anyway) doesn't think to put the transmission into neutral before hitting the brakes, it is still possible to stop the car within a reasonable distance if sufficient pedal force is applied.


    So, we know the stops were done multiple times... On the same car. Since there is no mention that pads/rotors were serviced/changed during the testing, there is no indication that the braking system was damaged in a way to prevent it from doing the same thing at a higher speed..... say, 90 MPH.

    Add to that, the increased forces working against a car's speed at 90 MPH .vs. 60 MPH...

    The onus is on you to prove the car wouldn't be stopped at a higher speed and that the Edmunds test doesn't apply.

    However, Frankok1 made an excellent point. For this to work, it means the driver must really exert a tremendous amount of force on the brake pedal, and keep it there until the car stops.

    I have personally been at the BMW Performance Center during braking demonstrations (showing the braking features to new owners) and seen drivers thinking they had full force on the pedal, when in fact they did not. Most were able to do so after a few tries, but I think its doubtful that many drivers would apply the necessary force in a panic situation to stop a runaway vehicle.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...I think its doubtful...necessary force.."

    That's why BA has been pretty much standard for a number of years now.

    Detect(***) when the driver is reacting to a panic situation and activate BA, Brake Assist, to apply FULL braking.

    Detect: Rapid foot movement from gas pedal to brake..? Initial rate of depression of the pedal..? Others...?

    But Edmunds or not, I'm still not buying into the idea that at 60MPH and WOT the brakes can bring a FWD vehicle to stop in anything like an reasonable distance in comparison to a normal stop with the engine at idle.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
    How many times would Edmunds have to repeat the test before you believed it? Ten? Twenty? There should be some number which gives you confidence.

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  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    To answer - a car going 90 mph has 225% of the energy of a car going 60 mph. A car going 120 mph has 400% of the energy of a car going 60 mph.

    Let me see proof, just as you guys have asked of us, that someone going 90 mph with the throttle held WO can bring a vehicle to a stop and then get out of it, without resorting to Evel Knievel type maneuvers or wearing a flak-jacket and all sorts of padding. The Edmunds test at 60 mph is not anywhere near the worst case of what people have experienced.
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    edited March 2011
    How many times would Edmunds have to repeat the test before you believed it? Ten? Twenty?

    Why repeat it? it was shooting fish-in-a-barrel. Did Toyota sponsor it, and give you their prepped vehicle, too?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
    from WIKIPEDIA:

    n, ad hominem (Latin: "to the man"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the opponent advocating the premise. The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy.

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  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Just my opinion here, but we have run this banner up and down the flagpole how many times now???

    In the end, even if you demonstrate clearly that the brakes on a Toyota would safely stop it at full throttle at 200 MPH, the counter argument you would most likely get would be .... "Yeah, but that assumes a completely functional braking system, and we all know that electronic UA would prohibit that from being the case...".

    Its impossible to have a reasonable discussion when reason is eliminated from that same discussion...
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Why repeat it? it was shooting fish-in-a-barrel. Did Toyota sponsor it, and give you their prepped vehicle, too?

    Are you serious???
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,614
    Just my opinion here, but we have run this banner up and down the flagpole how many times now???

    So, we're moving from ad hominem to ad nauseum? :shades:

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    Somebody...QUICK!!!

    Give that gentleman a cigar!!!!

    No more calls, please.... We have a winner!
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    Jedipedia: "Who's more foolish, the Fool, or the Fool who follows him?"
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Convince me that the throttle was "wired" or mechanically blocked wide open and I'll believe. I just can't see a human driver doing something so un-natural as keeping one foot firmly on the gas pedal and the other, LEFT foot, firmly on the brakes.

    I'm pretty sure I couldn't do that without hours of repetitive practice to unlearn 50 years of driving history.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "...electronic UA would prohibit.."

    I don't know that anyone has taken that position. Other than maybe the HSD system, I know I certainly haven't.

    And other than Sike's Prius none of the 5 well reported/covered UA incidents indicate a failure of braking.

    The Prius braking comes into question since frictional braking is completely disabled until/unless it is determined that regen braking is inadequate for the level of braking required.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,678
    I don't see any reason why Edmunds would not do precisely what it said it did--if anything, proving critics right about the car not being able to stop would be a far juicier story than proving them wrong.

    I don't know as anyone needs special training to stomp on two pedals at once...

    Let's face it guys---the attack on Toyota's UA is completely in shambles at this point. For every clay pigeon put up (so far) by critics, some tester or another has shot it down "in the real world".

    However, invisible targets have been elusive, I must admit.

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