Monday, July 26, 2010

New insight into Toyota acceleration problem

from cbs11:

Todd Hubing is an electrical engineering professor at Clemson University in South Carolina. He is now the second researcher this year to find problems with Toyota's electronic throttle controls.

Just this month, he presented his findings to the National Academy of Sciences. "It is possible for the electronics to create conditions that result in unintended acceleration."

Hubing says he and his team interfered with the electronics systems on two Toyota models. He says they tricked the engine control modules into thinking the accelerator pedal was fully depressed.

He says the two cars didn't detect a problem or a trouble code when they should have. "If a trouble code issue doesn't come up, we think it's very likely a software issue."

Professor Hubing says a trouble code would have put the vehicle in a fail-safe or limp mode, which would have limited engine power and acceleration. But because there wasn't a trouble code, the vehicles accelerated instead.

Also, from No Black Box Exoneration for Toyota :

Dr. Todd Hubing, a Clemson University professor of vehicle electronics, presented similar findings to the National Academy of Sciences panel charged by NHTSA with examining unintended acceleration. Hubing was able to replicate Dr. David Gilbert’s work and obtain wide-open throttle without the fault detection system setting an error code – but with only a single fault. Gilbert’s analyses found that first a loss of signal redundancy at the accelerator pedal sensor was needed followed by a voltage spike to create an unintended wide-open throttle. Hubing found that many of the faults created invalid signals that sometimes would be detected, other times not.


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