By on April 19, 2010

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how cynical I was becoming about the sudden SUA syndrome with Toyota and how I found it amazing how quite a lot of these cases involve our more “mature” members of society. I used the story of Miss Myrna Marseilles, 76, who crashed her 2009 Toyota Camry (which was fixed the under the recall program), into the wall of a YMCA.

I inferred in the article that this was simply a case of driver error and nothing more and some people agreed with me. Peregrine Falcon bet $20 that this was down to pedal confusion. 210delray reckoned it had “all the elements of pedal misapplication”. Well, Peregrine Falcon, if anyone took you up on that bet, it’s time to collect. We were right.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the police have deemed Miss Myrna Marseilles’ incident a case of drive error. In her original story, Miss Marseilles claimed she the car went through a parking stall, over a kerb and into a wall. She also claimed that the car had accelerated as she tried to brake, But her story didn’t match the evidence. Her trouble was caused by a camera. The parking lot was under the watchful eye of a security camera. Police Chief Steve Riffel said the surveillance video clearly showed that the brake light only came on AFTER the car hit the wall, not before. Miss Marseilles may now be ticketed for this crash, but the police have yet to decide. Toyota may want to use this story to deter their other little problem.

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32 Comments on “YATUASU: Yet Another Toyota Unintended Acceleration Story Update...”


  • avatar
    b1msus93

    It’s sad because people like her are making it harder for the REAL victims to get their $ back.

  • avatar
    adonasetb

    She used the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal so she could stop “faster”

  • avatar
    SacredPimento

    Johnny Cash is apparently alive and well; offering his own theory on SUA.

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    You may have been right in that case, but don’t be too quick to dismiss all of Toyota’s SUA as pedal misapplication.

    There is still the fact that it’s not happening exclusively to elderly drivers, it’s not happening nearly as often to the elderly when they drive their Buick, and it’s happening sometimes when cars are cruising down the highway, where pedal misapplication is very unlikely.

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      And yet it has never happened to ANY Toyota with a manual transmission… hmmm.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Dynamic88,

      As soon as someone, anyone, comes up with a *possible* cause that is scientifically repeatable, I’m open to the possibility.

      There *may* be a ghost in the machine (beyond the floormats thing, which they should’ve addressed long ago). 100% drive by wire is potentially dangerous, but it’s worked just fine on the F-16 for quite a while.

      I’m really looking forward to the NASA research.

      But until there is ONE shred of physical evidence to indicate anything but driver error, compunded with a little mass hysteria, and a healthy dollop of liability lawyer, it’s just the Audi 5000 all over again.

      In fact, even less than the Audi, because there was actually a fault that may have allowed an Audi’s cruise control to accelerate. Until you hit the brakes. Which was never the cause of an accident.

      CamaroKid,

      Exactly.

    • 0 avatar
      Dynamic88

      CamaroKid

      And yet it has never happened to ANY Toyota with a manual transmission… hmmm.

      As far as I know, it’s never happened to any car of any brand with a manual. Hmmm. You’d still have to account for why it’s happening with automatic Toyos more than automatic Buicks.

      porschespeed

      But until there is ONE shred of physical evidence to indicate anything but driver error, …

      Sticking gas pedals aren’t a shred of evidence?

      Perhaps there is a pedal design height issue. Perhaps they are too close together. That may be a contributor, but that isn’t the car doing anything wrong.

      No one (except the drivers) is claiming the cars did anything wrong. Most of us don’t believe the cars are possessed. But it’s happening more to Toyotas than other cars – just like it happened to Audis more than other cars. Maybe it is a pedal isssue – there has to be something going on with Toyotas, otherwise the data, as small as it is, wouldn’t be so heavily skewed towards Toyota.

      I’ll repeat, yet again, that if it were simply the elderly demographic unable to find the right pedal, Buick would be way way out in front with SUA complaints. But, just the opposite is true.

      Also it’s happening to the non-elderly. Harder to explain, since their neurons are supposed to be firing correctly.

      http://www.ece.cmu.edu/~raj/toyota.html#RelayStatistics

    • 0 avatar
      CamaroKid

      As far as I know, it’s never happened to any car of any brand with a manual. Hmmm. You’d still have to account for why it’s happening with automatic Toyos more than automatic Buicks.

      Sure, as soon as you account for why its happening proportionally more with Lincoln Town Cars more then any single Toyota model. This problem is starting to look more and more like Consumer Report Statistics where were slice and dice things to such a granular level that all meaning is lost…

    • 0 avatar
      The Walking Eye

      In response to porschespeed:

      Yes, the F-16 has had fly-by-wire for a long time, but do we get the same redundancy systems in our cars? While a logical engineer would put them in, would something like that get cut by bean counters if it saved a few bucks a car? I’m an engineer and would design them in and ensure my code had the appropriate faults, but I also know that the design process is done by many and things can be missed and that bean counters can override things to save a buck.

      I hope (since I’ve not worked for a large company such as Toyota) that engineers and designers get the chance to say, “Hey, that’s necessary so we don’t kill people.” But I sometimes have to think what slips through the cracks or is over-turned. Our cars are technological marvels, but as they get more and more electronic/software based, I’m hesitant due to my experience with the personal computer. I think it’s a fair concern to have.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Dynamic88,

      No sticking gas pedals aren’t evidence of anything but a sticky gas pedal.

      Bad? Sure.
      Replace it? You bet.
      Hold Toyota accountable? Agreed.

      But a sticky pedal is *not* SUA. It’s a stuck gas pedal. I’m betting you’re old enough to have had a pedal stick a time or two, and like anybody with two functional IQ points, you pulled the pedal up with your foot and went on your merry way.

      Then you lubed your cable, or linkage, or both. Voila! No more problem.

      A stuck pedal does not drive you into the wall while the “victim” was ‘pushing the brake pedal to the floor’. Neither does a stuck floor mat.

      A foot stuck on the long skinny pedal does though.

  • avatar
    dkulmacz

    Ignore the statistics that clearly show that there is an issue. Blame the customer. Neither a great strategy.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      The statistics say that every company gets “SUA” complaints.

      The stats, do also say that it is more frequently reported in certain Toyo cars.

      It’s still a scientific leap to conclude the car was actively doing something to drive you into a wall.

      Perhaps there is a pedal design height issue. Perhaps they are too close together. That may be a contributor, but that isn’t the car doing anything wrong.

      Assuming that there is something there from the scant data that exists is just bad science. And won’t lead to determining and addressing the true causality.

    • 0 avatar
      dkulmacz

      The vehicle does not have to actively do something to contribute to an SUA problem. Obviously it’s an extreme example, but if a company decided to swap the throttle and brake pedals you’d likely have a jump in SUA claims, and you’d have a hard time arguing that the vehicle was not a contributing factor. Just because in current cases it’s not an obvious flaw does not mean that an issue does not exist with the vehicle.

      To say otherwise is to blame the customer. To blame the customer for SUA events (because they can’t properly operate the vehicle) is no different from blaming the customer for poor durability (because they don’t properly maintain the vehicle). That’s what GM and GM fans did, and they were ripped here and elsewhere for doing it. For blaming the customer.

      That’s exactly what many are doing here and now with Toyota.

      You and others can make this argument all day long. It will never smell any better, and it will never sound much different from the ‘perception gap’ quality defense used by GM et al.

      It’s been established that age demographics is not the contributor (since Buick and other makes have higher percentage of older drivers than Toyota). If you are implying that Toyota drivers are more stupid (or at least less skilled) than other drivers, say so and be done with it. Maybe that new generalization can replace the time-worn ‘mullet-wearing, trailer-trash Camaro driver’ and ‘spoiled, cell-phone-chatting, soccer-mom SUV driver’ memes.

  • avatar
    MikeInCanada

    Why does Toyota hate our Seasoned Citizens so much…?

  • avatar
    mcs

    What statistics do we really have? The NHTSA database isn’t accurate. It depends on the public to file a report. I had SUA on a 90 Mazda 626 and I never filed a report. I just pulled out a can of whatever I was using to lube my bike cables at the time and sprayed the throttle cable. No problems after that.

    The NHTSA database is not accurate because not every case is documented. There may also be entries that are inaccurate. If there are no records of SUA for a particular make, maybe they are in fact occurring, but just not reported. What about Hyundais? If you have an SUA problem with one aren’t you just going to go to the dealer and have them fix it under their warranty? Are you going to bother to fill out some government report and file it? Some of us would, but I think most won’t bother.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Exactly my point.

      Full disclosure, I have historically liked Toyota product. I also have no problems flaming them for hiding a real problem.

      IF we can ever determine what the “problem” is, then we can begin the lashing. IF Toyota had some nefarious intent to coverup for years some “HAL is pissed and want to kill you” thing, then hey, give ‘em both barrels.

      But, until there is one piece of evidence, forensic or otherwise, beyond owner testimony, there is nothing fact based to work with.

      Occam’s Razor and all that.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Wait, you had a SUA problem with a mechanical throttle cable?! That’s impossible! Everyone knows mechanical linkages never fail and it’s always these gol’durned electronics.

    • 0 avatar
      dkulmacz

      I’m no expert on Consumer Reports . . . but isn’t a (possibly large) portion of their ratings due to self-reported customer data? For that matter . . . J.D. Power, or any other survey-based rating is based on self-reported customer data.

      So what you are arguing is the same as the domestic manufacturer’s argument regarding quality and durability.

      Either Toyota customers don’t know what they are talking about and mistakenly report SUA events at a higher rate than other customers. Or there is some type of ‘conspiracy’ afoot to smear Toyota, and the high reports are bogus and created by disgruntled Toyota owners, jealous owners of other makes, or — get those tinfoil hats on — maybe it’s by THE U.S. GOVERNMENT!!!!

      Which is it?

      Where is this perception gap coming from?

  • avatar
    CatFan78

    One by one, the truth comes out….. driver error, hoax, and fraud. Occams razor my friends…..

    Lets assume there is some ghost in the machine – a software glitch, or cosmic rays…..

    WHY does this ghost always cause the accelerator to stick in the FULLY OPEN position? Why not stick at 0% throttle. Why not 50% throttle. Hmmmmmm

    EVERY auto maker has reports of SUA. Of the millions of vehicles sold across dozens of automakers across the decades, NO ONE has ever been able to proven a vehicle cause. Before electronic throttles of after. It’s a bigger mystery than who shot JFK…..

    If NHTSA was holding every maker to the same standard as Toyota, no one would be selling vehicles right now. The moment you get one report of an incident you have to stop selling cars in 5 days or get a fine. GM knew of the Cobalt power steering issue for 4 years. But just issued a recall a month ago. Why isn’t NHTSA giving them a fine?

    NHTSA is under fine, and is going to take Toyota to the woodshed. Now lets see if they hold everyone to the same standard. My guess… they won’t.

  • avatar
    gettysburg

    The guy in the video looks like the love child of Don Imus and Roy Orbison.

  • avatar
    Sandy A

    It is true that every manufacturer has SUA complaints. And it is absolutely true that some of those complaints are due to driver error (whether ‘mature’ or not). And, it is also true that the quality of the NHTSA database could be much better. However, I haven’t seen any statistics from non-Toyota makes that point to significant increase in the number of SUA incidents is directly correlated to the introduction of ETC. See memo from NHTSA to Toyota from 2004:

    http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20100222/E-mail.from.Scott.Yon.to.Chris.Santucci.May.12.2004.pdf

    I willing to bet that 95% (or more) of owners of cars with ETC don’t know and/or don’t understand the implications of having no mechanical linkage between the throttle assembly and peddle. So, if the driver is unaware that his model has an ETC, how does one explain the sudden increase in complaints after the introduction of ETC? If the driver is at fault, then there should be no statistically significant difference in the number of SUA incidents for ETC-enabled models vs. non-ETC models. That is not what the data shows. There was a significant increase in SUA complaints after the introduction of ETC in Toyota’s and I have seen no evidence to the contrary.

    Every time I start to think that maybe floor mats, sticky pedals, and driver error is all that there is to it, I remember the case of Kevin Haggerty.

    http://oversight.house.gov/images/stories/Hearings/Committee_on_Oversight/2010/022410_Toyota/TESTIMONY-Haggerty.pdf

    This is a documented case in that the car was driven to a Toyota dealership while it was experiencing an open throttle condition. While Toyota has stated that Mr. Haggerty’s situation is explainable by a sticky pedal that absolutely doesn’t make any sense based on their description of a sticky pedal condition. Sticky pedals do NOT cause unintended acceleration or an open throttle condition. Moreover, if it was a sticky pedal, then why replace the throttle assembly in addition to the pedal assembly? It’s because they didn’t know the cause, that’s why!

    Now, more recently, we have the case of a Lexus SUV which has a potential roll-over problem that was discovered by Consumer Reports. Toyota’s original response: “mystified.” Fortunately, this was a repeatable problem and they were able to duplicate the CR results. However, the point is that Toyota didn’t discover the problem! So, the fact that Toyota hasn’t found the electronic cause of their SUA problem doesn’t imply that it doesn’t exist. And the kicker… the solution to the electronic stability control problem? A SOFTWARE change! What a surprise!

    Knowing what I know about electronic systems, embedded systems, and control systems, I have no doubt that there is high probability that there is a problem with their electronics (which includes the software).

    Someone earlier mentioned the F-16 and fly-by-wire systems. I can guarantee you that the redundancy in an F-16 is FAR superior to that in ANY existing automotive drive-by-wire system. And even with those systems, reliability experts predict that there is at least one software bug per 10,000 lines of code, and there are millions of lines of code. And, that’s in spite of the fact that avionics and space systems have to go through a rigorous validation and verification process with their software and electronics. That is not true for automotive systems.

    I should note that before anyone accuses me of being against X-by-wire systems, the opposite is true. I am all for them. The benefits completely outweigh the costs, but we cannot assume that they are fail-safe. There is no such thing as a fail-safe system.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Knowing what I know about electronic systems, embedded systems, and control systems, I have no doubt that there is high probability that there is a problem with their electronics (which includes the software).

      Knowing what I know about the above captioned, I’m sure you’re aware it is no big deal to fit several cars with 48 Channel DA then subject them to any scenario that vaguely resembles these claims. If, in fact, there is a hardware or software issue, it will be easy to detect and isolate in short order. And repeatable.

      If, in fact, there is a hardware or software error.

      As our data pool is self-reporting and without any verification or validation, it’s pretty much an anecdotal cesspool. And that’s being generous. But, let’s pretend that it is accurate. If there were some actual hardware and/or software issue, we’re looking at something that manifests itself just about never, in statistical terms.

      If there is an issue, I’d really like to see the set of circumstances that allows it to happen on this frequency, which is, once again, statistically close to zero.

      Yes I’m well aware that the F16 is more redundant, the point was simply that by-wire can be functional. And has been in operation since the 70s. But let’s not pretend that aerospace software is rigidly de-bugged. From glass cockpits that fly you into the ground, to Martian Polar Explorers that aren’t sure whether to thrust in pounds or newtons. However, those were traceable and repeatable defects, I have yet to see evidence of that in the Toyota case.

      As far as the Lexus SUV “rollover” goes, that’s just a laugh riot. Drive a jacked-up bread van like a race car, you get predictable results. Yes, the electronic nannies are supposed to save you from your own stupidity, but this is getting ridiculous. That thing wasn’t even close to rolling in that video.

  • avatar
    Sandy A


    Knowing what I know about the above captioned, I’m sure you’re aware it is no big deal to fit several cars with 48 Channel DA then subject them to any scenario that vaguely resembles these claims. If, in fact, there is a hardware or software issue, it will be easy to detect and isolate in short order. And repeatable.

    This is simply not true. Have you ever done embedded programming? Worked with an FPGA? ASIC? Or with complicated system of systems? See link.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/11/opinion/la-oew-cummings12-2010mar12

    There are many scenarios where duplicating a firmware/software bug can be extremely difficult. You first have to be able to duplicate the exact conditions under which it occurred, which may not always be possible.

    In fact, the reason NASA is involved, is because these fault-tolerant systems are not that simple.

    If there were some actual hardware and/or software issue, we’re looking at something that manifests itself just about never, in statistical terms.

    This is absolutely correct. With an embedded system I can create conditions that would only occur sporadically even though there is a perfectly logical reason why it occurs (once you know what it is).

    If there is an issue, I’d really like to see the set of circumstances that allows it to happen on this frequency, which is, once again, statistically close to zero.

    See the link above which shows you one example of how that can occur. I have personally witnessed several. One bug took me a month to track down, but in my case it was relatively easy because the bug was contained within a simulated environment and it turned out to be due to an improperly initialized variable (one line). A friend of mine who happenned to be working on an all-electric vehicle control system had to actually hit the e-stop (emergency stop) botton when their system under development actually went into an open throttle condition. The problem turned out to be a buffer overflow which cause the system to go into a state that was not planned for.

    Yes I’m well aware that the F16 is more redundant, the point was simply that by-wire can be functional.

    Since you seem to be aware of the F16’s fault-tolerant design, you must also be aware that it requires special considerations due to single event upsets, right? If so, then you must realize that with the miniaturization of electronics, SEUs are now strong possibility in automotive systems. Moreover, SEUs aren’t repeatable…

    http://www.livescience.com/technology/toyota-recall-cosmic-rays-100326.html

    Single-event upsets, are, by the way, the primary reason that NASA is involved with the NHTSA investigation. [BTW, please spare me the alien jokes… Engineers and scientist in the field know that they are real, and if they aren’t already the cause of Toyota’s problems, then someday they will be unless the hardware and software designs for x-by-wire systems in cars include all the redundant features of avionics systems.]

    But let’s not pretend that aerospace software is rigidly de-bugged.

    I believe I said exactly the same thing. Even with all the validation and verification there are still bugs. And some of those bugs may be fatal.

    My only point regarding the Lexus SUV issue was that Toyota didn’t discover it even though they claim to do exhaustive testing. BTW, Toyota took this issue seriously enougth that they tested all the vehicles using the same electronic stabiliy control system and duplicated the problem in another model. Both are being recalled now for software updates.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    This is simply not true. Have you ever done embedded programming? Worked with an FPGA? ASIC? Or with complicated system of systems?

    For a living? Nope. But I know plenty of people who do across a variety of disciplines from JPL to LL to Oracle to Trilogy and beyond. I’m a generalist, I leave code to code-warriors, and hardcore circuit design to specialists. I try learn the interesting challenges that people overcome on their jobs, whatever the field.

    My point is that all things are relative. With Toyota, we are talking about an environment with dozens and dozens of EEs and coders that could be thrown at this project. Massive amounts of computing power, and piles of cash. This isn’t some $10MM-100MM environment, this is Toyota. With enough time, money, and talent it really is a rather straightforward diagnostic process. Might require work, and effort, but it is doable.

    SEUs? Sure, heard about them since the 70s. If you’re old enough, you might remember when chips often incorporated ceramics, which isn’t the best and prouced similar results. Especially in an SRAM environment. If that ends up as a concern, NASA or JPL can offer hardening recommendations.

    Agreed, continuing miniaturization is creating greater opportunities for radiation-originated anomalies. Especially when we start looking at quantum computing.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      “Agreed, continuing miniaturization is creating greater opportunities for radiation-originated anomalies. Especially when we start looking at quantum computing.”

      +1

      A lot more EMF weirdness since surface mount technology (SMT) came along. Or maybe just a lot more eletronics. OR both. Anyway even anti-pinch systems for window regulators have their very own ASICs, programmed in C, and talking to the body controller, who in turn talks to the other controllers via CAN bus.

      Yeah for complexity. ;-) My cars still have window cranks, so I’m the anti-pinch system.

    • 0 avatar
      Zasdoogy

      @PigIron

      You hit on something that no one else has seemed to have brought up, is the fact that when these Toyota SUA issues have come out, have there been other technology in the vehicle NOT related to the car itself, such as a cell phone, 3rd party GPS, iPhone/iPod/MP3 player, et al?

      EMF does weird things when mixed with electronics. That’s why most older cell phones were banned on commercial airlines due to the high EMF that they produced way back when. It “theoretically” caused issues with the fly-by-wire systems so instead of “finding out the hard way”, the phones were just banned altogether.

      I know this may be a stretch, but has anyone at Toyota or even the NHTSA asked if there were any other “electronic devices not related to the vehicle” at hand during these SUA events?

      Who owns an AT&T phone that makes speakers bleep with noise when an incoming text or phone call right before the phone rings? I know I have, and that means it’s giving off a bit of EMF for that to occur… is it possible that the ECU is picking something up and may be glitching due to high EMF interference? I don’t believe most ECU’s are lead-lined and EMF shielded very well if your car speakers can pick up that kind of interference…

  • avatar
    Sandy A

    I’m a generalist, I leave code to code-warriors, and hardcore circuit design to specialists.

    I can appreciate this. However, in this case I’m certain that you are over simplifying.

    With enough time, money, and talent it really is a rather straightforward diagnostic process.

    I would agree that this is true for 99.9% of the ‘bugs’ out there. But, as with SEUs, there are certain anomalies that can occur with these types of electronics and software that may never be duplicated in the lab. While Toyota may have plenty of resources, the resources that JPL and NASA had at one time dwarfed Toyota’s. And, yet, they still made errors. And NASA and JPL are under no pressure to earn a profit…

    The old paradigm of mechanical automotive systems is no longer true. One can no longer tinker with the engine of a car, unless we gain access to the code itself. What used to be linear due to mechanical linkages, is now nonlinear due to software. Our cars are much, much more complicated than they used to be.

    My primary distrust of Toyota lies with the fact that they state that their systems are fail-safe. That the problemm cannot be electronic. That they have conducted exhaustive tests that prove that the electronics is not to blame.

    As an electrical engineer I know that their statements cannot be true. They cannot be certain it isn’t the electronics. I would fire any engineer on my team that would make such a broad statement without proof. Such proof is elusive since you cannot prove a negative.

    I suspect that they (Toyota) are only saying these things because they fear to speak the truth. I’m willing to bet that somewhere in the bowels of Toyota there is an engineer pulling his hair out trying to figure out what the h*** is going on with his control system.

    I also suspect that for a period of time it was easier to ignore the problem. Moreover, based on some of the statistics (as corrupted as they may be) it appears that they may have corrected the problem (either knowingly or unknowingly) on some models since some of the earlier model years with ETC had significantly more reported incidents of SUA. None of those models have been recalled.

    Once again I would ask: How can one explain the difference in statistics for different and consecutive model years? Neither corrupted data nor driver error alone can explain it away. There is no reason to believe that the data related to a particular model year is more likely to be corrupted than another model year. There is also no reason to believe that the driver demographics is significantly different for two consecutive model years.

    This implies that there is a systematic error involved. The systematic error can be mechanical and/or electrical, and it can be in combination with external factors such as driver habits, EMI, SEUs, etc…

    I realize that this is a matter of debate, however, I personally attribute the Audi problem to both design error and driver error. If you are going to design a consumer product you must ensure that your design is compatible with the way consumers are going to use your product. If your design is such that it leads to user error, then your product was not designed with your customers in mind. The fact that incidents of SUA dropped significantly after Audi made changes to their design indicates that they were at least partially to blame for those events.

    I also realize that many would argue that we can’t expect a company to forsee every possible problem that can arise due to the way consumers use a product, and I would agree. But, I also believe that a company is responsible for making a correction as soon as a “design flaw” is identified, even if it is user-driven. I believe that Toyota ignored those early warnings and did nothing to attempt to correct the situation, and are now paying dearly for that arrogance.

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    I can appreciate this. However, in this case I’m certain that you are over simplifying.

    Of course I’m oversimplifying. You and I could discuss this in detail, were we to hang out over cocktails and/or a big consulting check for hours. But, for the internets I tend to assume that people that have some knowledge of what I’m talking about, and are aware that I’m oversimplifying. Do we really wish to get into the arcane details of project management and hardware requirements for this undertaking? You’re obviously in the biz, and obviously realize that there are a whole slew of variables to address. I, as someone who knows engineers, also know what gets them to attack a problem like a rabid pit bull. I also know basically what the hardware does, and while I may not be able to run it, I know what it can do. So don’t try to make the project more than it is. I’ve seen and heard more than enough about stretching a project out as long as possible…

    Give me the money and the time. I can organize a group in a coupla months to put you on the moon and get you home safely in the next few years. BFD.

    (BTW, the first thing I ever got off the ARPANET in highschool was bunch of engineer jokes. If I find it, I’ll send it to you. Even most engineers like them…)

    Yes, I will maintain that with money, time and talent it is still a straightforward process. 100% of the time. Agreed, 99.9% are easily solved (all things being highly relative). But remember, Manhattan was no miracle – just money and talent and time.

    So, that leaves that pesky .1%. What are we to do with that? If you re-read your own post then you have already solved for that .1%. You are fully aware of what SEUs are and what their general causalities are. So, as when designing a satellite or a spacecraft, you design a redundancy to cover that contingency. Pesky .1% solved, as well as humanly possible.

    Will that eliminate EVERY SINGLE POSSIBILITY FOR FAILURE?

    Nope. But, it will reduce the risk profile to the best level that can be achieved within realistic parameters.

    You may be killed tomorrow by a meteorite. Chances are slim. Quit worrying.

    Don’t sell yourself short. While I realize part of the engineer’s credo is that ‘nothing is guaranteed’, the reality is you can get as close as anyone can ever reasonably expect. If you try. And that is noble. (And way better than Shuttle MTBF. But I digress…)

    We can debate the responsibility to design to the LCD forever. I’m going to be on the side of ‘the Audi 5000 was just fine’, because my parents had one, and had no probs ever with SUA. Neither did anyone I ever met. So yeah, maybe the pedals are a bit close. So effen what? If you can’t hang, go buy something else. Designing to the LCD should not be touted as a goal. It should be just this side of a disgrace.

    Anyway, folksy though I may be, I can understand what most folks shy of Prometheus membership do at their jobs. I may not know the minutae, but that isn’t necessary. As one of my old buddies from JPL always used to say, “Even rocket science ain’t rocket science.” (Which, yes, I know, is one of those things that has been around for forever…)

  • avatar
    b1msus93

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2010/04/investigators-say-st-paul-toyota-had-its-brakes-on-/1

    bad news for toyota


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