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Toyota’s Sudden Unintended Acceleration Problem – Part II

10 comments

Toyota apparently did not turn over to lawyers at least one Japanese version of Toyota test documentation and according to recent investigations by CNN, there were several translations of documents which were provided to lawyers of which none said, “Sudden Unintended Acceleration occurred in tests.” So everyone, including the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration now wants to know if the more than 300 reports by Toyota owners and drivers of Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) did have bearing in fact.

At least one translated Toyota memorandum shows Sudden Unintended Acceleration concern and according to a March 1 article posted on CNN's website by Drew Griffin and David Fitzpatrick of CNN’s special investigations unit, “Toyota engineers found an electronic software problem that caused 'sudden unintended acceleration' in a test vehicle during pre-production trials, according to a company engineering document obtained by and translated for CNN.”

This finding resurrects the SUA issue in Toyotas, according to CNN's Anchor Anderson Cooper's TV reporting of March 1 (1:32 p.m.). According to CNN, “The 2006 document, marked "Confidential," recounted the results of an adaptive cruise-control software test in a model internally designated the 250L, a vehicle later sold as the Lexus 460 in Japan and Europe. The document also indicated a "fail-safe overhaul" would be needed for another model then in production which the Toyota said was later sold as a Toyota Tundra.

There is at least one telling statement in the test documentation verified by CNN: "The cruise control activates by itself at full throttle when the accelerator pedal position sensor is abnormal," states the document, written in Japanese, translated into English. Thus far, Toyota has not conceded that its cars have the sudden unintended acceleration problem, despite the many reports by owners and drivers. In addition, Toyota reportedly did not share some test documents with the NHTSA “because the test document had nothing to do with the problem of sudden unintended acceleration.” There is likely to be more to follow on this story, so stay tuned.

10 Comments

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    It sure looks like Toyota has committed a massive fraud on the public.

    It seems that Toyota is demonstrating the kind of crass corporate corruption and arrogance which was a major factor in Japans’ nuclear fiasco.

  2. Jack P says:
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    Now that the US government is highly invested with taxpayer money in GM, i always ask myself what tactics are they using to gain marketshare….

    I watched CNN for 2 months straight many years ago telling me there were wepons of mass destruction in Iraq, i believed them… it`s been 11 years and there is still no proof of WMD`s but the story was good and profitable for the military complex wasnt it?

    Who benifits from this story i wonder…

  3. Joe Smith says:
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    Robnald J Riley – The only massive fraud is by CNN and trial lawyers. You must be one yourself. The CNN story is a non issue. Toyota was conducting a test on a pre-release test car. And their objective was to make the test fail and the car did not even move. This has nothing to do with sudden acceleration. CNN has a hidden agenda just like yourself working with trial lawyers,they work with UAW and most of the ads are sponsored by GM/UAW. What really should happen is Toyota should sue CNN.

  4. Greg Webb says:
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    Jack P.,

    Thank you for commenting. I would say that the public benefits from this information, because it can choose to ignore the information or not. And/or, the public can make an informed decision. I doubt there is a government conspiracy here, because NHTSA (a federal agency) essentially “cleared” Toyota within the past year or so. Also, I remember CNN questioning whether there was WMD’s, but reporting the news that the government thought there was (or at least, the administration at that time believed there were WMD’s in Iraq). Perhaps I am wrong about that. Anyway, I guess time will tell the true story.

    Greg Webb

  5. Greg Webb says:
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    Mr. Smith,

    Thank you for commenting as well. I am indeed a trial attorney, but neither I nor my firm have any Toyota SUA cases. I can assure you I have no hidden agenda here, just curiosity. But I admit that I find it hard to believe that the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of regular folks who have reported SUA events are all frauds, crooks, or have “misapplied” their pedals. There is no hidden agenda of which I am aware, except getting to the truth. Maybe the truth is there is no problem with these Toyotas, maybe not. I have owned Toyotas and thought they were pretty good cars. I do not have a Toyota case in my law firm, nor am I looking for one, so I have no financial incentive here. I just think it is an interesting story.

    Greg Webb

  6. Angela Sirnik says:
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    My husband Stanley W. Sirnik was killed in March of 1992 in a 1992 Toyota 4-runner that suddenly accelerated to a very high speed after it was put into cruise control at 40mph. He applied the brakes but the SUV would not stop.

  7. Angela Sirnik says:
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    My husband Stanley W. Sirnik was killed in March of 1992 in a 1992 Toyota 4-runner that suddenly accelerated to a very high speed after it was put into cruise control at 40mph. He applied the brakes but the SUV would not stop.

  8. maryb says:
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    I just bought a new 2011 Toyota Corolla LE on Feb 17. It will decelerate frequently and abruptly when I am at 60-65mph. The rpm’s fluctuate between 180 and 240 at that time. It has lurched on starting. It is not my driving that is causing this problem. Most people would not go out of their way to complain to the NHTSB because they were bad drivers. But I know Toyota will blame me if a sudden acceleration incident occurs, so I am documenting each incident.

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    “Robnald J Riley – The only massive fraud is by CNN and trial lawyers. You must be one yourself.”

    No, I am an inventor-entrepreneur and have no personal stake in this. I manufacture product and happen to believe that it is very bad business to maim and kill ones customers, and even worse business to then lie and weasel.

    I am also and electrical engineer with decades of product design experience in medical and industrial controls experience. There is absolutely not excuse for not having a hard wired emergency stop circuit on these cars.

    Japanese companies suffer from a number of fatal flaws such as not having effective checks on management. One example of this is the nuclear tragedy in Japan. The Japanese people may be willing to put up with this but in America we do not. Toyota will eventually end up buying KY in bulk.

  10. Greg Webb says:
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    Mr.Riley:

    Thank you. You are dead on point; Toyota merely needed a simple brake override system in its cars and this would never have been a problem. The brake override, which is about as simple as it gets in engineering, simply disconnects the throttle input when the brake is depressed. Most car companies had this installed, but Toyota resisted for years until this SUA fiasco reared its head. Additionally, had Toyota had this “technology” in its vehicles, even if all of these people were frauds or mistaken at discerning the brake from accelerator pedals, it (Toyota) could have merely pointed to the brake override system in its defense.

    I suspect there will be more to be heard on this issue. Let’s see what happens next.

    Greg Webb