Off the Hook: NHTSA closes probe on T...

Off the Hook: NHTSA closes probe on Toyota Tacoma's sudden acceleration issue

There are 64 comments on the Motor Trend story from Sep 3, 2008, titled Off the Hook: NHTSA closes probe on Toyota Tacoma's sudden acceleration issue. In it, Motor Trend reports that:

Bringing back memories of 60 Minutes and the 1986 Audi 5000, recently a wave of owner complaints drove the NHTSA to investigate 2004 - 2008 Toyota Tacoma pickups over a possible problem with sudden, unintended ...

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Culpeper, VA

#64 Apr 17, 2014
I'm glad you brought up the Audi SUA issue. Based on the comment, I guess you probably don't know that at the time and over the years, a lot of misinformation has been spread about that 1989 NHTSA investigation and its findings. Just as in the Toyota SUA investigation, there was significant spin in the media regarding the NHTSA study conclusions.

If you go Michael Barr's website here, you will find a discussion of the Audi case:

You may remember that the Audi drivers were accused of "pedal misapplication." One article written in 2007 claimed that the NHTSA study "exonerated Audi."

In fact, the NHTSA study did find a defect in the affected Audi vehicles. Here is an excerpt from the actual NHTSA study as cited on Michael Barr's website:

"Some versions of Audi idle-stabilization system were prone to defects which resulted in excessive idle speeds and brief unanticipated accelerations of up to 0.3g. These accelerations could not be the sole cause of [long-duration unintended acceleration incidents], but might have triggered some [of the long-duration incidents] by startling the driver.

It was presumed that the Audi drivers, when the brief UA surfaced, were "startled." This, the NHTSA stated, may have resulted in longer duration UA when the driver hit the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal.

According to Michael Barr, it is unclear whether the Audi ECU in question was all electronic or if it may have had embedded software. He points out that it is unclear what the percentages of short-duration UA and long-duration UA were. Barr says if there were more short-duration UA events, it begs the question "did the NHTSA and the public learn the right lessons?"

Culpeper, VA

#65 Apr 17, 2014
With regard to Toyota SUA, sudden unintended acceleration, there remain some very tough questions for Toyota, the NHTSA, and the DOJ to answer:
1) Why haven't Professor David Gilbert's and embedded systems expert Michael Barr's findings of an electronic fault without adequate fail-safe in the Toyota ETCS been fully examined?
2) Why hasn't Dr. Antony Anderson's logical debunking of NHTSA's 1989 driver error determination of SUA been considered?
3) Why haven't the Toyota internal documents of Toyota Whistleblower, Betsy Benjaminson, been acknowledged and accepted as evidence in Toyota's criminal investigation? Toyota engineers admit concern about the "ghost in the machine" and the unpredictability of the performance of the ETCS.
4) Why are the Toyota owners both the field-testers and fail-safe applicators for their own vehicles' questionably-designed ETCS?
5) Most importantly, how many more deaths have to occur before someone takes charge of permanently eliminating the unacceptable risks to both the Toyota drivers and those they encounter on the roads and highways?

Plymouth, MA

#66 May 18, 2014
All of you doubter's... If it happened to you , your foot would be in your mouth. My 05 4X4, 6 cylinder has done it twice, since new. I held full ASA credentials, and the problem does happen. I have no idea why, but when it happened to me I was about to put into park and truck took off...My foot was already lightly on brake, and I stood on the pedal,activating ABS and luckily had time to shut ign. off. That was about 4 years ago and 50K miles. It hasn't done it since?????????? They were wrong to close investigation as someone is going to get hurt, sooner or later. I know what it is like trying to duplicate mystery complaints, but that doesn't mean that the conditions don't occur..........

Since: Apr 14

Culpeper, VA

#67 May 18, 2014
Bingo, Boxsterman! Absence of proof is not proof of absence! Toyota wants the public to believe that just because the NASA study didn't find (in the abbreviated, unscientific study) an electronic problem that there isn't a problem. Flawed logic. These cases are phantom episodes that clear once the computer is reset such as in restarting the vehicle. You the way you reboot your computer when it freezes or turn your phone off and on when it is stuck in an uncooperative App.

The problem of sudden unintended acceleration is widespread and crosses several manufacturers. Toyota happens to be number one in SUA events but it doesn't corner the market on this problem.

Jail time is likely if you kill someone during an SUA which is no fault of your own. Just ask Mr. Corchado or the grandmother who couldn't believe her Jeep catapulted through a house and over the retaining wall toward the water! She was stunned, in shock and sent to jail before any investigation! Her husband was killed and the parents of her three year old grandson are in critical condition. While Grandma is wrongfully convicted and serving time for a crime she didn't commit, who will care for the three year old?

There is a vast cover-up in this matter. Hopefully, the public will wake up to it and be outraged!

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