By on March 6, 2010

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.”

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45 Comments on “Toyota Discredits Gilbert. Gawker Calls Brian Ross A Faker...”


  • avatar
    mdensch

    Journalism is about reporting the facts. It is not about exaggerating them, it is not about enhancing them. If you have to resort to such devices to make your story work then you are no longer reporting news, you are creating a work of fiction.

    Ross has a lot of gall calling himself a journalist.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Wait a minute. A news show, faking something in an attempt to “prove” unintended acceleration? Surely you jest!

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    ABC “so called” News could restore some cred with a story about Exponent’s experiment on the BMW and Honda.

    Or better: ABC could offer to pay Gilbert’s expenses to test a BMW and a Honda. (If Gilbert equivocates, squirms, and refuses, make sure you’re rolling tape).

    Or best: Do both.

    Of course, all this assumes Ross is interested in getting to the truth instead of pimping an agenda.

    • 0 avatar
      L'avventura

      Brian Ross and ABC news wouldn’t do any of those things you suggested. They are rational and it makes sense, but his motives are tabloid sensationalism and fear-mongering to attract viewers. However, Gilbert on his own, based on his congressional testimony he should be required to do exactly as you suggested.

      Lets keep in mind, Brian Ross is most famous for falsely claiming that the 9/11 Anthrax bioterrorist letters were from Iraqi sources and linked them to Saddam Hussein; claiming they were linked to Iraq’s biological WMD program. You could imagine how reckless and dangerous these accusations are.

      http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/04/09/abc_anthrax/index.html

      Brian Ross also claimed that the muslim individual that carried out the Fort Hood shootings was connected to Al Qaeda.

      This Toyota fake is the least of the deceptive things ABC news and Brian Ross have done. I would call it standard practice in modern American journalism.

  • avatar
    criminalenterprise

    I guess this is the meta witch hunt.

  • avatar
    Buffs Fan

    I find it amazing how people want to give Toyota a pass in this case. They clearly have a problem — more people are alledged to have have died from Toyota’s accelerating, than did from exploding Pintos in the 1970′s. THey have recalled 8.5M for SUA, blaming floor mats and the pedal assembly, steadfastly claiming there is no electronic cause of SUA. This professor has demonstrated that he can produce an electronic fault that causes the vehicle to accelerate, and doesn’t leave a trouble code. Just because Toyota can induce the same fault in other vehicles, isn’t proof it’s not a problem in Toyota. Their assertion that many things would have to go wrong, also isn’t proof — if the fault was common, Toyotas would be taking off everywhere. It has to be a difficult to induce problem, or it would have been seen more frequently. Toyota hasn’t discredited anything — they are just blowing smoke, and hoping the problem goes away.

    • 0 avatar
      fred schumacher

      The New York Times has an article today on Japan’s appallingly poor consumer protection laws. This may be where Toyota is coming from in its dysfunctional response to a real problem, news media dramatizations not excepted.

      See: “Millions of Toyotas Recalled, None in Japan”
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/06/business/global/06toyota.html

    • 0 avatar
      JohnAZ

      @Fred,
      Thanks for posting the NYTimes story. That’s amazing.
      Just imagine what it is like in China.

    • 0 avatar
      ihatetrees

      This professor has demonstrated that he can produce an electronic fault that causes the vehicle to accelerate, and doesn’t leave a trouble code. Just because Toyota can induce the same fault in other vehicles, isn’t proof it’s not a problem in Toyota.

      Sorry. Toyota’s response is solid:

      “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.”

      Is there ANY evidence from the alleged SUA incidents that some sort of ‘virtual Gilbert circuit’ developed in their pedal mechanisms? No.

      I know. I know. The evidence isn’t recorded. The ‘Gilbert Circuit’ is a virtual ghost or demon or virus that kills and leaves with no trace.

      If the liability standard for cars becomes, in effect, “If a modified circuit can fail and not leave a trail, you are liable”, we’ll all be back on horseback in a decade.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    This is why, traditionally, newtworks had a “news division” and an “entertainment division” and although there was some blurring of the lines, the line has been gradually eroding since (and maybe even before) the launch of 60 Minutes in the late 60′s … and as news became more boring and entertainment became more, well, profitable, news started adopting some of the techniques of entertainment … stupid thing is, if you can’t demonstrate something real (Audi, or GM tanks), you shouldn’t simulate or help it along, and in the case of ABC here, they should have been much more circumspect in their description of their simulation … even though they indicated they simulated it, they shouldn’t have resorted to lazy cut-in shots of the taco in a parked vehicle (when they could have filmed the real thing).

    Any amount of fakery in reporting is a disservice to the body publique and should be punished. If ABC can’t back-up their simulation with facts, and Dr. Gilbert as well, I hope TMC sues them both.

    That said, Toyota did have problems, seemingly schemed to minimize them and delay remediation (at least as far as entrapment is concerned), responded sluggishly to sticky ePedals, and exhibited questionable behaviour regarding the ‘prototype’ EDR reader … so the heat still needs to stay on here and all the questions are run to ground.

    Problem is, as such ABC manipulation is exposed it, gives rise to sympathy and cries of Toyota-bashing and, diverts attention from the legitimate issues at hand.

    @Buffsfan: +1. I agree 100%. You posted as I was writing my comments.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Ed, After saving an edit, the panel does not return the poster to the previous page… Is it intended that the poster has to use the “back” key? Current set-up is astetically better, but seems to have a disadvantage here functionally (i.e. “Muda”).

    • 0 avatar
      john.fritz

      Same problem.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Robert, I think I know what the problem is. Are you pressing the correct mouse button to finish the edit? It’s not uncommon for users to hit the wrong mouse button and get unexpected results.

      The other possibility is that your mouse button is sticking. Check the tech support database for your mouse and see if there are any reported cases of sticky buttons. They may be able to add a shim to resolve the problem.

      If it happens again, hold your keyboards “break” button down until your computer slows down enough for you to safely move your mouse pointer to the side of the screen. Important – don’t pump the key. Once you do that, let me know and I’ll be there with a camera crew, a college professor, and a pyrotechnics team. You know, this never happened when we used ASR 33 teletypes.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Hi mcs: thanks for the suggestion…

      What do i do if I am using a 1-mo old HP dv3 Touchsmart touch-screen laptop running Window 7 64-bit?

      I tried shifting into Neutral and pressed firmly on the screen but to no avail … I’d send you the EDR data, but HP tells me they have only one prototype reader and it is as yet unverified…

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    CBS had a transmission full of compressed air, NBC had fuel tanks rigged with explosives. ABC, not wanting to be left out, has faked electronics and disingenuous video. My guess is they’re all trying to outdo Fox, which fakes everything.

    And people wonder why a) I give the media about as much credence as I do most PR departments and b) try to avoid watching the news at all.

    I’m starting to think that news is something that should be publicly-funded. Profiteering is not exactly helping improve ethical standards.

    • 0 avatar
      crash sled

      We’ve already got publicly funded news, and that’s no more ethical than the privately funded blatherings, so that’s no panacea either.

      ABC is dying, like all of the dinosaur media. Good.

      And good if the publicly funded dinosaurs die off as well.

    • 0 avatar
      johnthacker

      CBS had a transmission full of compressed air, NBC had fuel tanks rigged with explosives. ABC, not wanting to be left out, has faked electronics and disingenuous video. My guess is they’re all trying to outdo Fox, which fakes everything.

      Except that most of your examples predate the existence of Fox News.

      And there’s Operation Tailwind on CNN, the faked Food Lion accusations at ABC, the ridiculous Microsoft Word typed Bush National Guard memos supposedly from 1972-73 on CBS, etc.

      Perhaps you should come up with some actual examples about FOX first. Most of FOX’s sins come from putting egregious spin on stories, not from wholesale faking.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Fox has a habit of repeating something that’s inaccurate, but just shy of libellous, so often and so loudly, that it’s audience is bludgeoned into believing it’s true. It’s lying in spirit; and it’s certainly inappropriate to twist the news when you’re the provider, let the headline run for a few days, and then issue a really quiet retraction.

      CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC aren’t nearly as shrill, but give them time because they’ve jumped into the wholesale race to the bottom that Fox (and to a lesser degree, CNN) initiated.

      PBS/NPR and the BBC will, at least, hold actual civil discussions on topics. Hell, even Al Jazeera English does a decent job of being intellectually engaging and multifaceted. Toyota et al are no angels, but the non-governmental mainstream media has let the quest for eyeballs turn it into one of the most ethically bankrupt group of companies today.

      You should fear the media, and you should fear them far more than you should fear the government because it is so much easier for the media to completely destroy someone without so much as a whiff of repercussion. This has been going on for years (the story of how Samuel Goldwyn killed Upton Sinclair’s bid for California is an interesting one) but the power and utter lack of checks and balances should scare the hell out of people on either side of the political spectrum.

      I don’t subscribe the theory that there’s a conspiracy on the part of the Obama administration to favour GM. I do think there’s a conspiracy on the part of the media to make hay on the back of another organization’s misfortune.

    • 0 avatar
      crash sled

      “You should fear the media, and you should fear them far more than you should fear the government because it is so much easier for the media to completely destroy someone without so much as a whiff of repercussion.”

      No, you can’t be “destroyed” by the ancien media as in the past, and this isn’t 1975. Or even 1995. You can’t destroy anybody, unless they deserve a li’l destroyin’.

      Think how long it took Audi to demonstrate they’d been screwed by that television program. Today? The ABC program aired on Monday, Gilbert testified Tuesday, and by Wednesday there were folks shooting down what he’d done.

      The dinosaur media’s power is gone forever. Yes, similar to Government Motors, Government Media continues to zombie their way to their chosen message, but absent a bailout that doesn’t seem forthcoming (although GE is being bailed out, and they own NBC), the rest of the dinosaur media is headed for the graveyard.

      No need to fear the dead. Better to watch the living… the newborn.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Interesting article in Intl Herald Tribune… Millions of Toyotas Recalled, None in Japan.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/06/business/global/06toyota.html?hpw

    Excerpt 1.:

    “As shaken as she was by the accident, Mrs. Sakai says she was even more surprised by what happened after. She says that Toyota — from her dealer to headquarters — has not responded to her inquiries, and Japanese authorities have been indifferent to her concerns as a consumer.

    Mrs. Sakai says the Tokyo Metropolitan Police urged her to sign a statement saying that she pressed the accelerator by mistake — something she strongly denies. She says the police told her she could have her damaged car back to get it repaired if she made that admission. She declined.”

    Seems Toyota is sluggish everywhere. And her experience has some similarities to those of the Runaway Tennessee Lexus woman’s experience, both the event and the follow-up from TMC. By the way, I wonder how many people will come out of the woodworknow to call her a stupid driver and make jokes about her for not crediting The Enlightened One with her survival.

    Excerpt 2.:

    “The most active was the Japan Automobile Consumers Union, led by Fumio Matsuda, a former Nissan engineer often referred to as the Ralph Nader of Japan. But the automakers fought back with a campaign discrediting the activists as dangerous agitators. Mr. Matsuda and his lawyer were soon arrested and charged with blackmail. They fought the charges to Japan’s highest court, but lost.

    Now, few people are willing to take on the country’s manufacturers at the risk of arrest, Mr. Matsuda said in a recent interview. “The state sided with the automakers, not the consumers,” he said.

    It has become difficult for drivers to access even the most elementary data or details on incidents of auto defects, says Hiroko Isomura, an executive at the National Association of Consumer Specialists and a former adviser to the government on auto recalls. “Unfortunately, the Automobile Consumers Union was shut down,” she said. “No groups like that exist any more.”

    For the government to order a recall, it must prove that automobiles do not meet national safety standards, which is difficult to do without the automakers’ cooperation. Most recalls are done on a voluntary basis without government supervision.”

    Seems to me japanese consumer protection attitudes at the gov’t, OEM and consumer levels are stuck in the equivalent of early-1960′s U.S. attitudes…

    • 0 avatar

      Mrs. Sakai says the Tokyo Metropolitan Police urged her to sign a statement saying that she pressed the accelerator by mistake — something she strongly denies. She says the police told her she could have her damaged car back to get it repaired if she made that admission. She declined.”

      Imagine the hue and cry if the Michigan State Police or Detroit PD pressured someone with a claim against GM, Chrysler or Ford.

      It’s long been interesting to me the way the media/entertainment complex in the US gives a lot of pretty seamy Japanese behavior a pass. Sure, now and then there’s a movie about yakuza gangsters, but Japanese racism and xenophobia, and the extent to which business and government are corrupt (anti-trust actions in the US pretty much prevent the existence of vertical monopolies like the keiretsu system) are generally ignored.

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Niedermeyer

      Which would go a long way in explaining why there are no/few reported UA incidents in Japan.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      The next paragraph of the article said that the police department claimed it that the request for a confession had been due to a “misunderstanding”, but they were going to hold on to her car for “further investigation”.

      This scenario would be a potential cause as Paul points out (this was the purpose of my posting it), but comes too close to conspiracy for my tastes, because, however, unless such industry-benefiting coercive tactics are common knowledge in Japan, there would be no reason for people not to complain to authorities.

      I think here, the issue is more deeply rooted in japanese culture and mentality … “the nail standing out gets pounded first” … or just the knowledge that to complain too much is “not japanese” , or in some long-ago events which invited reprisals …

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      The Japanese government is by and large totally in the pockets of Japan’s major corporations, and has been for a long time.

  • avatar
    john.fritz

    I’m in no way surprised that journalists are out there faking facts to create a news story. That is what they do. I am a little surprised that, like politicians, they consider their viewing public as stupid as they are. Couldn’t they find a car guy somewhere to review these clips to point out how false those tach shots would appear? When I saw the picture above this post the first thing I thought was that it’s odd those particular warning lights were illuminated. I assumed the car the shot was taken in was moving because of the story subject. And that the warning lights were some sort of computer glitch? Dunno…

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      “Couldn’t they find a car guy somewhere to review these clips to point out how false those tach shots would appear?”

      +1
      That’s one of my biggest pet peaves, cable news and print media producers/journalists seem to think that their job title confers some time of universal expert status. They repeatedly make sorry-assed mistakes (not addressing the intentional lies here) and just move right on the next night as if nothing ever happened. I think this is only exacerbated by the fact that they seem to hire and promote people for superficial popularity, not for being the smartest guy in the room. David Gregory (aka the haircut), I’m talking about you.

    • 0 avatar
      john.fritz

      I think this is only exacerbated by the fact that they seem to hire and promote people for superficial popularity, not for being the smartest guy in the room.

      Stone Phillips. Er, I mean Stone Stockton Phillips.

  • avatar
    raast

    Excellent!
    ABC confirms it’s commitment to “Reality TV” by adding ABC News to that lineup.

  • avatar
    adonasetb

    Nothing new here to report – just some flares in the gas tank

  • avatar
    crash sled

    Here’s the Exponent report, that dissects Gilbert’s work and the ABC reporting of it:
    http://a.abcnews.go.com/images/Blotter/ht_exponentgilbert_100305.pdf

    This type of report should always be viewed with caution, as the guy who goes first (Gilbert) is always gonna be made out to be a fool, by the guy who goes second (Exponent) and picks apart the first guy’s work.

    But in sifting through this, it does appear that Exponent did perform Gilbert’s electronic manipulations on multiple OEMs’ vehicles:

    “Exponent also evaluated how other manufacturers’ vehicles responded when subjected to Dr. Gilbert’s protocol. The vehicles tested were a 2009 Mercedes E350, a 2003 BMW 325i, a 2008 Honda Accord, a 2006 Subaru Impreza Outback, and a 2005 Chrysler Crossfire.”

    The Subaru utilizes a parallel slope pedal sensor voltage reporting strategy, similar to the one Toyota is using, a strategy that some have called out as not conforming with industry standard. So evidently, this “industry standard” may not be as “standard” as claimed.

    Under the Gilbert protocol, all of the other OEMs’ vehicles demonstrated a “Gilbert SUA”, and none reported a fault, nor was anything untoward detected in any OBD-II follow-up check.

    So with that, it’s fair to say that Gilbert and his work can be thrown into the dustbin of automotive history, as the paid hackery that it is.

    That’s not to say that there’s nothing to this recent Toyota business, but the trial lawyers who are pushing this woulda done better by attacking elsewhere, and not taken so clumsy an approach as did Gilbert.

    I hope the $1,800 spends well, Dr. Gilbert. But as for your simpering monologue about “only looking for the truth”, you’ve done little along that path, and only amplified the hysteria. Suggest you leave the engineering to those who understand it, and its important place in our society, and stick to explaining multimeters to shop rats, something you (maybe)understand.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      So, let’s make sure this is clear. Exponent was paid by Toyota’s attorneys on behalf of Toyota (as is clearly stated in the Exponent cover letter). Exponent is to be believed as a clearly impartial analyst. Gilbert, on the other hand, was paid by class action lawyers and got the added benefit of being a momentary celebrity on TV. Toyota’s paid informants have clearly exonerated Toyota and laid waste to Gilberts’ work. That is what we are to believe, yes?

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      Thanks Crash_Sled

      For Weeks now I have been asking people who defend this “poor”, “honest” “intellectual” man who has “discovered the ghost in the machine” To publish his results. Or in other words… What did he do?

      We now can see that he compromised the insulation of two wires and then connected a 200ohm resistor across this compromised circuit and then forced 5v down that.

      So we can now see that what he did was all but impossible to happen the in the “real” world and that lots of other cars could have this problem too…

      Dr. Gilbert your 15 minutes are up. Go back to teaching shop.

  • avatar
    Mungooz

    The state of network (and local) TV news content is the inevitable result of viewers’ insistence on watching the drivel that the news outlets put out. I quit watching any and all TV news programs after enduring 30 minutes of “Up next, mayor caught in sex scandal at strip club” only to be shown 15 seconds of no mayor, no sex, no scandal, no strip club as the broadcast went on into “The Tonight Show.” They got me that time but never again. All of those of you who sit in front of your 72″ flat screen TVs to watch the evening/local news on TV are part of the problem. Kill your TV.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Obviously one would first try this with splicing the wiring together. That doesn’t mean that is the only place something like this could happen. I am interested into what the circuit board looks like on the cars that have reported these problems. If the traces on the board are close together, could it be possible that corrosion, dust, or moisture causes this issue? You don’t need to cut through any insulation to get to the circuit board traces.

    Now, I don’t know if this is the cause of the problem, but it seems that Toyota wasn’t looking hard enough if it couldn’t try to figure out how to fake the computer into finding problems. In QA, this is called success path testing. If you press button 1, then 2, then 3, and the process works, it is a pass. But the real work is done in testing press button 1, 2, 1, 2, 3 and seeing if that fails or passes. To find a problem like this, Toyota is going to have think outside of the box.

    I fully expect Toyota to dismiss Gilbert’s study. But saying you can replicate the issue on other cars doing the same test doesn’t prove that you don’t have a problem. It could be something simply like the AC vents in those cars are in a different location, and moisture it creates might get on the sensors. Obviously, I am just making something up. But the cars are complex enough that if what Gilbert found is causing the problem, you would have to find out WHY it does in this vehicle and not another.

    Now, I do think that Toyota is using a bad design, as well as the other manufactures that are listed. Shouldn’t be hard to have opposing polarity on the sensors. Lets say that this isn’t the actual problem, because no one really knows if it is or isn’t right now. What else is causing the problem? Is it only floor mats and sticky pedals? Toyota has said the pedals and mats don’t seem to match of the reported problems. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      +1. This is my thinking as well. Contamination or some kind of corrosion leading to current leakage within an ECU or an odd s/w bug that provokes an unusual, undesireable, and sometimes fatal response from the powertrain. This is why it is crucial that in cars involved in fatal or severe accidents (not attributed to any other cause), and not fitted with either kind of pedal, have their electrical system be analyzed in-situ, then removed for a deep-dive post-mortem analysis.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Unfortunately… according to Exponent’s report, not only would moisture have to seep in, it’d have to short out the wires in the specified sequence to cause the fault, otherwise the engine would throw a code. And such a short (covering three different wires in different areas) would be found on the post-mortem.

      Which isn’t the case in the crash investigations… so far.

      I’ve been dubious of Gilbert from the start. I’m willing to believe there may be a problem, but such a fortuitous set of circumstances, combined with the requirement that no evidence be left behind afterwards (which is highly unlikely… a moisture-induced short between powered wires will always leave traces) makes this an increasingly unlikely answer.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      I’m not really talking about corrosion in wiring … I’m talking about something akin to corrosion, could be debris or contamination during the manufacturing process of some electronic component or sensor, or, as mentioned, a software bug. I’m not saying this exists, only that I see something along this lines as being possible (probability is a different question.)

      Although the two biggest contributors are pedal internal design (sticking) and pedal packaging (mat entrapment), I’m fairly confident that bad ergonomics (pedal to brake gap and offset) as well as plain driver error play a significant part, but I’m not willing to yet rule out systemic or manufacturing issues (if Toyota could specify a parallel instead of an inverse rise circuit, then perhaps their design has other comparative shortcomings.)

    • 0 avatar
      crash sled

      “…(if Toyota could specify a parallel instead of an inverse rise circuit, then perhaps their design has other comparative shortcomings.)…”

      .
      .

      You’re referencing a “comparative shortcoming” with Toyota, as regards their pedal sensor reporting strategy, but at least one OEM, Subaru, has chosen the exact same strategy, that of reporting the 2 sensors in voltage parallel. In those parallel reports, Subaru’s strategy uses an even tighter voltage delta than Toyota’s 0.8V delta.

      And contrary to your claim that Toyota is alone in specifying a “parallel instead of an inverse rise circuit”, all of the OEM vehicles in Exponent’s study specify parallel circuits for their pedal sensors. Check the plotted graphs… all of the voltages, for all curves, at all pedal positions, for all vehicles, rise as the pedal is depressed and pedal stroke increases.

      Originally, I sorta smelled a rat, when some were claiming that “industry standard” was that the polarities for the 2 pedal sensors should be reversed, but I’d assumed those making that claim were correct. As we see, they’re not, and there doesn’t appear to be anything in the pedal sensor architecture that is unlike that of the other OEMs in this study. In fact, at least one maker mirrors or even exceeds Toyota’s reporting increment tolerances.

      If this is a “shortcoming”, it appears everybody has this shortcoming. And if you wire up a model rocket motor to all their gas tanks, they’ll probably explode, too.

      Wonderful thing… study and data. Always useful, if you use it.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Dear Crash: It’s ok if you want to refute me, but in your zeal, please don’t put words in my mouth.

      I never said that Toyota was the only OEM doing this … and just because another OEM (or more) does this doesn’t necessarily make it a preferred approach.

      And to be honest, offset-parallel-dual-circuit may be a preferred approach if one considers that offset-parallel slopes never cross, whereas a system w/ an inverse-slope-dual-circuit operating within a narrow voltage range would seem likely to have a point where there is an equal voltage reading from both sides of the system.

    • 0 avatar
      crash sled

      Previous discussions centered around the alleged “industry standard” of opposing pedal polarities, RW, and you participated in the propogation of that allegation, however you parse it.

      I responded to your previous post, the one in which you called Toyota’s sensor strategy a potential part of Toyota’s “systemic or manufacturing issues”. This Exponent study demonstrated the “industry standard” allegation to be false, and this was worth noting.

      Heck, you didn’t even notice that the OEMs were all reporting in parallel, when you made that post, and that’s the reason I noted it. Hysteria takes many forms, and it’s always best to directly confront it.

      And I do agree with you that a parallel sensor reporting strategy is the better choice. So do all the other makers in this study. Now, we should next address Steven’s concerns that noise may be impacting the reporting from these sensors. That’s still an outlier pedal sensor issue, in my untrained eyes.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      Read the quote again my friend … I parsed nothing, because that is not my way … the parenthetical aside was only that, not a robust example upon which my other comments could be deemed inaccurate or unfair … anyone who knows me well would tell you I am one of the last people to whom the hysterical label applies …

      (re. hysterical, what is up with you and that word? your overweening use of it is, well, almost hysterical and almost hysterical in itself.)

    • 0 avatar
      crash sled

      I see. So you’re parsing parenthetically? Well ok, then.

      Next time, I suggest you stick to the data, and the report, and not read what it is you want to read.

      And by the way, hysterics self-identify, as you have here. You shoulda left that one alone, my friend. ;-)

  • avatar
    hughie522

    *Belch*

    Sorry, history’s repeating on me :P.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60_Minutes#Unintended_acceleration

  • avatar
    CPTG

    BRAVO, Toyota!!! The Evil Empire (or once upon a time, ha, ha, ha) managed to turn the tables on Obi Wan Kinobi and the forces of Truth, Justice and the American Way by demonstrating American Media is more DISHONEST than they are!!!

    God Forgive me, but I just had a thought. FOX NEWS does a one hour show on ‘Journalistic Integrety’. It gets worse. FOX pays Geraldo Rivera to do ‘attack journalism’ pieces as ABC executives leave their offices. He pushes a microphone into their faces and hits them with rapid fire questions about the Gilbert ‘Fakes’. FOX then pans to their story analyst, Lou Dobbs, who over-dubs: ‘I don’t believe there IS a problem with Toyota cars…I think ABC News ‘made the whole thing up’ just like their Gilbert Video.’

    Then Rivera interviews me, standing along the street with my sign ‘UNIMPLOYED ENGISH MAYGER’ Got Any Splange?!!!” I’d throw down my sign and sigh: “I knew it!!! Consumer Reports wouldn’t be recommending people buy Toyota cars if their cars were all f’d up?!!! Damn your eyes for deceiving me, ABC News!!!” Then Ruphert Merdock concludes: “FOX News may be racing to the bottom in News Quality but today, ABC News just went ‘S-P-L-A-T”. hey, it COULD happen.


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