Last week, Professor David W. Gilbert testified at a house hearing and said he had replicated the unintended sudden acceleration in Toyota’s vehicles. Toyota, and their testing lab Exponent tried Gilberts method and said he was right. “But Toyota said it also created the same response in vehicles made by competitors, which it said rendered Mr. Gilbert’s findings misleading,” writes the Washington Post.
In a statement, Toyota says: “The analysis of Professor’s Gilbert’s demonstration establishes that he has reengineered and rewired the signals from the accelerator pedal. This rewired circuit is highly unlikely to occur naturally and can only be contrived in a laboratory. There is no evidence to suggest that this highly unlikely scenario has ever occurred in the real world. As shown in the Exponent and Toyota evaluations, with such artificial modifications, similar results can be obtained in other vehicles. “ When Exponent applied Gilbert’s test to five models, including a Honda Accord and a BMW 325i, all five vehicles reacted similarly.
The WSJ says that Toyota had to cut and breach the insulation on two wires to achieve the same results. Toyota spokesman Mike Michels described Mr. Gilbert’s research as “misleading and irrelevant.” Gilbert was “gaming the system,” Michels said.
ABC, which ran a video with Brian Ross behind the wheels of an out of control Toyota – conveniently a few days before the hearings – reports the finding under the headline “Toyota-hired Engineering Firm Attacks Professor’s Sudden Acceleration Demonstration.” Attacks come from yet another corner: Gawker analyzed the video and was as surprised by “the cheesy cut to the tachometer when he induces sudden acceleration,” as our commenter Ion when we ran the story about the video.
Gawker proved that ABC’s “tachometer footage is faked.” Says Gawker:
“As you can clearly see, the dashboard lights indicate that the car’s doors are open and its parking brake is on. The first shot shows the tachometer beginning at below 1,000 RPMs—or idling speed, as opposed to the 20 mph that Ross said he was driving when the acceleration began. On the right of the images, the speedometer appears to show a reading of zero miles per hour. And to top it all off, the transmission indicator shows that the car is in park. In other words, Ross took footage of a parked Toyota’s RPMs taking off and falsely portrayed the shot as having taken place while he was driving the car.”
ABC confirmed the Gawker findings. They fixed the video, “and made it faker” says Gawker. “The ‘fixed’ video still doesn’t use footage of the tachometer taken while Ross was driving the car as seen in the report.” Gawker calls the video “a deliberately arranged collection of footage that is designed to make you think you are being shown something that either doesn’t exist or is being deliberately withheld by ABC News—footage of the tachometer that Ross was driving in the report—and is therefore staged. And fake.”