Drivers blaming their cars for accidents or sudden acceleration is nothing new, but modern technology allows us to view data in cases where sudden breaking or a collision occurs. This information is recorded by a device known as an Event Data Recorder (EDR). These types of devices, commonly referred to as “black boxes,” are able to save multiple variables when a collision is detected.
EDRs are often used by police in crash investigations, but some have been used by manufacturers to prove that their vehicles aren’t faulty. One recent case involved a Tesla Model X, where the owner claimed the vehicle accelerated on its own and crashed into a building. Tesla refuted the claim based on the logs they pulled from the vehicle and stated that the driver was at fault.
Since Tesla is the only one with access to the logs, can owners defend themselves, and do they have a right to that data? (Read More…)
The new highway bill recently passed by the U.S. Senate, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act or MAP21, has come under some criticism, in part because of a provision that would give the IRS power to strip American citizens of their U.S. passports if they own the federal government enough money. (Read More…)
Toyota is admitting that its black-box recorder readers have an error that can cause erroneous speed readings, as demonstrated by a 2007 Tundra crash in which the black box indicated a 170 MPH crash speed. Toyota R&D boss Takeshi Uchiyamada tells Automotive News
Toyota has acknowledged previously that the event data recorders are not accurate. We have been able to determine that there is no defect in the event data recorders… we have found that there was a software bug in the event data recorder readers that download data. The bug had to do with data that indicated speed
Though this is a far cry from the “ghost in the machine” that many seemed to think was causing Toyotas to run out of control, it does cast some doubt on NHTSA’s finding
that brakes were not applied in “dozens” of cases… but not directly. After all, just because the black box readers misread recorded speeds doesn’t mean that none of their readings can be trusted. Still, yet another problem with Toyota’s gear will only further cloud the appropriate conclusion from the Toyota Unintended Acceleration scandal: that driver error was the main cause of the frenzy
. And because of Toyota’s strange pre-scandal black-box reader policies
, this latest revelation only heightens the mystery surrounding what should be a fairly open-and-shut case.