BS Alert 2! Steve Wozniak (And The Media) Still Spreading Prius UA Obfuscation

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer
bs alert 2 steve wozniak and the media still spreading prius ua obfuscation

One of my pet gripes about the media and celebrities is the lack of follow-up and accountability. Remember all the hoopla about Steve Wozniak’s Prius with the mysterious electronics glitch that he could manipulate to create UA? My take was that obviously his cruise control had a minor bug that only showed up at over eighty mph. Woz readily admitted that he could disengage it with a tap on the brakes. Well, thanks to his celebrity status and the coverage, the story ended with Toyota agreeing to take his Prius for a week to test it thoroughly. So what happened?

Beats me. It’s not like anyone in the media is going to take the time to follow that potentially interesting story up. But based on a recent flurry of Steve’s name in a number of news stories in response to the runaway Prius, it appears nothing. NBCbayarea has a story today “Woz to Runaway Prius: I Know How You Feel”, in which the Apple co-founder expresses his sympathy:

he (Wozniak) knows all about the Prius’s acceleration problems. Wozniak, one of the world’s most famous computer engineers, applied his engineering skills to troubleshoot his car. He performed a series of experiments on his car to try to determine if there is a problem, he told NBC Bay Area in an interview Monday night. He thinks a computer glitch could be contributing to the sudden acceleration issues that have sparked a worldwide recall of the car. “Toyota says I’m wrong, and I may be,”

Wozniak goes on to describe how he can trip up the CC (without divulging the super-legal speed it only happens at), but nothing about what happened to his Prius after a week with the Toyota engineers. Meanwhile, he continues to reinforce that the Prius is ridden with electronic bugs all over the media (there are numerous stories out just today). Like this brilliant advice (via CBS):

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has a solution for Toyota’s problem with alleged unintended acceleration. If your car is acting up and starts to speed up on its own, treat it like a misbehaving computer–shut it down and then reboot.

His perspective is that Toyota has a software problem, a kind of “little failure” familiar to those who work with computers. Cars are microprocessor-based devices, like computers, and have bugs and glitches that can cause major or minor problems.

Sounds like he’s got it all figured out. Toyota just needs to add a Reboot button on the dash. Meanwhile, Wozniak said he’ll continue to drive his Prius, and trusts its safety, and won’t buy another car.

My guess is that he never handed it over to Toyota, or he did and they told him something he didn’t want to hear or repeat.

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2 of 33 comments
  • Cdotson Cdotson on Mar 10, 2010

    The computer bug/restart analogy is appropriate. You already have to press and hold the "START" button to shut down some of these cars.

  • Darth Lefty Darth Lefty on Mar 11, 2010

    My motorbike has a killswitch. Every motorbike has a killswitch. It goes straight to the ignition. Why doesn't every car?

  • KOKing I'm in an emissions check only state, and I'd trade that away for a safety check all day.
  • Bd2 The hybrid powertrain in the Sportage and Tucson are the ones to get.H/K should discontinue the base NA 2.5L powertrain and just build more of the hybrid.In the future, maybe offer a 2nd, more powerful hybrid (the hybrid 2.5) which will first arrive with the next Telluride/Palisade.Kia also needs to redo the front fascia for the Sportage's refresh.
  • The Oracle I say let the clunkers stay on the roads.
  • Jpolicke Twenty-three grand for a basket case? And it has '66 wheel covers and gas cap so who knows what else isn't original?
  • Scott Can't be a real 1965 Stang as all of those are nothing but a pile of rust that MIGHT be car shaped by now.