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Old 10th March 2010, 10:40   #211
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shishir_bn, any news/activity happening on the Fortuner front (brakes)? In international market or in India? Is Toyota even acknowledging that there is an issue?
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Old 10th March 2010, 10:46   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbraj View Post
shishir_bn, any news/activity happening on the Fortuner front (brakes)? In international market or in India? Is Toyota even acknowledging that there is an issue?
Raj, AFAIK and AFA the info I have received no one is speaking of this issue. IMO they will not even open this issue after seeing what has hapened. They will repair it when it comes to the service. But you never know. Anyone from the public can bring out this news and they we will have one more RECALL. Just wait and watch is the plan now.
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Old 10th March 2010, 14:07   #213
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==One of the reader's quotes at Huffingtonpost.com===

We need advice on what to do if a crazy Toyota is after you.

I have been keeping a shotgun in my pickup. I figure if one of those raging Toyota's starts after me I can shoot out the tires.

My neighbor has a Toyota. I followed the Bush doctrine and shot out his tires last night as a preemptive attack. He was kinda ticked off, but I think he understood it was for his own benefit.
========

Hilarious!!!
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Old 17th March 2010, 23:40   #214
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I am not sure if its posted here earlier or not, but it seems that its not only Toyota that is having issues with unintended acceleration. There are other manufacturers that are facing the same.

From Wikipedia. Just scroll down the whole page ( from the link in Source ) and you will see the graph that I have uploaded in this post.
Source : 2009?2010 Toyota vehicle recalls - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Article :
Quote:
Main article: Sudden unintended acceleration - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Depending on the year, Toyota has seen either more or less complaints of unintended acceleration than other carmakers, indicating that the problem is not unique to Toyota. In December 2009 Consumer Reports analyzed 2008 model year NHTSA data for sudden acceleration among Toyota, Ford, Chrysler, GM, Honda, and Nissan, finding 52 complaints involving Toyota vehicles or 41% of complaints among these makes, and every other major car maker is affected. Consumer Reports noted that the media publicity around Toyota led to an increase in complaints for 2008 models. In February 2010, National Public Radio obtained the full NHTSA database of 15,000 unintended acceleration complaints over the past decade, and determined that among all manufacturers, Volkswagen had the highest rate of unintended acceleration complaints in 2009 and 2008 (11.5 and 21.6 per 100,000 vehicles respectively), while Suzuki had the highest rate in 2007 and 2006 (27.4 and 24.9 per 100,000 vehicles respectively). Toyota had 7.5, 6.8, 15.2, and 9.7 complaints per 100,000 vehicles in those years. According to NPR's analysis of the NHTSA database, Jaguar, Volvo, and Honda also had high complaints depending on year.

In February 2010, Edmunds.com released its findings on a review of all NHTSA complaints from 2001 to the present day, conducted in light of the Toyota recall crisis. The review found that despite the recall, during the previous decade Toyota ranked 17th among the 20 major car makes in number of complaints per vehicles sold, with a lower rate of customer complaints from its U.S. customers than the Detroit Big Three, along with Honda, Subaru, Hyundai, Nissan, Isuzu, Suzuki, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Volvo, Volkswagen, and BMW. Edmunds.com also noted that any individual can file a NHTSA complaint without providing a VIN number, which can lead to misleading statistics as "not all NHTSA complaints are created equal" and range from legitimate to nonsensical.

EDIT :
Adding images from the main article :
2009?2010 Toyota vehicle recalls - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Toyota announces major recall in the US (Sudden Unintended Acceleration)-unintended-accleration-all-car-makers-1.jpg  

Toyota announces major recall in the US (Sudden Unintended Acceleration)-unintended-accleration-all-car-makers-3.jpg  

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Old 17th March 2010, 23:51   #215
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Every Car company has faced problems with its cars in some period of time or still is facing them.
But not many have the courage or the guts to do what toyota did. No car company has made so many recalls on such a massive scale.(Indian Car Companies/Company take some tips from them).
This is what i really admire about the Japanese in General.They Believe in The Concept of "Honor Comes First".
These American Hypocrites will obviously degrade any outside US company as they generally tend to give them step motherly treatment.I really dont understand whats the big huge fuss with the recalls? I have seen numerous websites mocking companies like Toyota /Honda etc with fake adds and cartoons etc this is absolutely pathetic.
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Old 24th March 2010, 08:47   #216
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Default Are cosmic rays really causing Toyota's woes?

Are cosmic rays really causing Toyota's woes? | freep.com | Detroit Free Press

PDF File in attached link

It may sound far-fetched, but federal regulators are studying whether sudden acceleration in Toyotas is linked to cosmic rays.

Radiation from space long has affected airplanes and spacecraft, and is known for triggering errors in computer systems, but has received scant attention in the auto industry.

The questions show how deep regulators and automakers may have to dig to solve the mysteries of sudden acceleration. Toyota says it is fixing mechanical problems -- floor mats and sticky pedals -- that explain sudden acceleration in 13 models and 5.6 million vehicles.
But at least half of more than 1,500 recent complaints to regulators involve other models, raising questions whether Toyota has fixed its problem.

An anonymous tipster whose complaint prompted regulators to look at the issue said the design of Toyota's microprocessors, memory chips and software could make them more vulnerable than those of other automakers.

"I think it could be a real issue with Toyota," Sung Chung, who runs a California testing firm, said.
Toyota, which has led the auto industry in using electronic controls, told the Free Press its engine controls are "robust against this type of interference."

Cosmic rays offered as acceleration cause

Electronics makers have known for decades about "single event upsets," computer errors from radiation created when cosmic rays strike the atmosphere.

With more than 3,000 complaints to U.S. regulators of random sudden acceleration problems in Toyota models, several researchers say single event upsets deserve a close look.

The phenomenon can trigger software crashes that come and go without a trace. Unlike interference from radio waves, there's no way to physically block particles; such errors typically have to be prevented by a combination of software and hardware design.

And an anonymous tipster told NHTSA last month that "the automotive industry has yet to truly anticipate SEUs."
Such radiation "occurs virtually anywhere," said William Price, who spent 20 years at the Jet Propulsion Lab testing for radiation effects on electronics. "It doesn't happen in a certain locale like you would expect in an electromagnetic problem from a radio tower or something else."
Toyota staunchly defends its electronics, saying they were designed for "absolute reliability." Responding to the Free Press, Toyota said its systems "are not the same as typical consumer electronics. The durability, size, susceptibility and specifications of the automotive electronics make them robust against this type of interference."

Testing for the problem would involve putting vehicles in front of a particle accelerator and showering them with radiation, a step that experts said would help resolve the question.

"Nobody wants to come out and say we have issues and we need to test," said Sung Chung, president of the testing firm Eigenix.
The phenomenon was first noted in the 1950s affecting electronics at high altitudes; unlike electromagnetic waves, there are no ways to physically shield circuits from such particles. Airplane and spacecraft makers have long designed their electronics with such radiation in mind, through safeguards such as systems that triple-check data.

Only in the late 1970s did researchers discover that a minuscule portion of such radiation falls to earth. It's not enough to harm humans, but as circuits in computers and cell phones on the ground have shrunk to the width of several dozen atoms, the risk of errors has grown. "Five years ago, it was a problem in very few applications," said Olivier Lauzeral, general manager of IRoC Technologies, which tests chips and software for SEU resistance. "In the past couple of years, we've seen a rise in demand and interest."

In an anonymous e-mail last month to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a tipster said such an error "may be one reasonable explanation for incidents of sudden acceleration," adding that the automotive industry had yet to adapt the techniques used by aircraft firms to prevent problems from SEUs.
NHTSA added the tipster's information to its electronic investigative file on Toyota recalls. The agency declined several requests from the Free Press for comment.

Electronic throttle controls like the ones under scrutiny in Toyotas are widespread in the industry. They're more reliable than mechanical links, they save weight and space, and make other technology, like stability control, possible.
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Old 24th March 2010, 19:22   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinaydas View Post
Every Car company has faced problems with its cars in some period of time or still is facing them.
But not many have the courage or the guts to do what toyota did. No car company has made so many recalls on such a massive scale.(Indian Car Companies/Company take some tips from them).
This is what i really admire about the Japanese in General.They Believe in The Concept of "Honor Comes First".
These American Hypocrites will obviously degrade any outside US company as they generally tend to give them step motherly treatment.I really dont understand whats the big huge fuss with the recalls? I have seen numerous websites mocking companies like Toyota /Honda etc with fake adds and cartoons etc this is absolutely pathetic.
I agree that every car company faces problems from time to time. But I respectfully disagree with the statement marked bold. If you check the history of the problem, there were reports from 1999, atleast. Even in the recall list, the models start from 2004 manufactured ones. (See : BBC News - Q&A: Toyota recalls, Also : 2009?2010 Toyota vehicle recalls - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
If a manufacturer is forced to accept the fault, I will not call it epitome of courage. There are multiple reports suggesting that Toyota tried to sweep the problems under the carpet, before finally accepting (rather made to accept) that it's a problem with the car itself. Toyota did not do a proactive recall.
See Also : Toyota Owners Report Problems in Japan to No Avail - NYTimes.com (posted by amitk26 in the nano fire thread)

People should try to understand the facts and accept that any manufacturer can make mistakes.
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Old 25th March 2010, 09:31   #218
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Did Toyota Prius Driver Fake Unintended Acceleration?

This focuses on the possibility of numerous Hoax calls regarding speeding/Unintended acceleration issue's with Toyota.

People who are caught speeding in a Toyota claim that the Car was multifunctional.
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Old 16th April 2010, 14:49   #219
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Default Articles from CNNmoney.com

What's really behind the Toyota debacle?
Read here -->
What's really behind the Toyota debacle - Apr. 14, 2010


Toyota halted sales of the Lexus GX 460 within hours after Consumer Reports labeled it a safety risk.
Read here --> Toyota suspends sales of Lexus GX 460 after rollover warning - Apr. 13, 2010
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Old 17th April 2010, 23:39   #220
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Default Another 600000 units recall.

Toyota recall 600000 sienna Minivan. Look like they are having hard time doing the business in US. Now you can see a inclination towards Indian Market.

Toyota recalls 600,000 Sienna minivans - Yahoo! News

Last edited by arin_12 : 17th April 2010 at 23:43.
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Old 17th April 2010, 23:47   #221
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Found the Main Reason Zest of the recall.

Toyota said its latest recall covered the 1998-2010 model year Siennas with two-wheel-drive that have been sold or registered in 20 cold-climate states and the District of Columbia. Toyota said rust from road salt could cause the carrier cable that holds the spare tire to rust and break, allowing the tire to tumble into the road. The problem could threaten the safety of other drivers.
Toyota said it was unaware of any accidents or injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it received six complaints of spare tires falling off Siennas.
The company said it was working on a fix. In the meantime, customers will receive a notice telling them to bring their vehicle to a dealership for an inspection.
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Old 19th April 2010, 16:23   #222
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Default Toyota agrres to pay-up 16.4M USD as penalty

Looks like Toyota has agreed to pay 16.4 Million USD as penalty for hiding the accelerator pedal issues in US. Below is the timesofindia link on this news.
Toyota expected to pay 16.4 million-dollar fine - International Business - Biz - The Times of India
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Old 14th July 2010, 22:51   #223
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Came across this article stating that there could be drive error in many cases of Toyota sudden acceleration.

Source : Driver error to blame in Toyota sudden acceleration debacle - U.S. DOT

Article :

Quote:
Investigators have concluded that several incidents of sudden acceleration reported by Toyota drivers were caused by the drivers themselves, according to unnamed sources interviewed by the Wall Street Journal. The forensic analysts working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation made the determination after examining dozens of vehicles.

The "sticking" gas pedal and problematic floor mats, both subject to a recall, are still believed to be the cause of many cases and accidents.

However, information collected from several car data recorders show that some involved vehicles without brakes engaged, and with the throttle fully open, at the time of an accident. This has led analysts to believe drivers may have slammed the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal to avoid a collision.

The Wall Street Journal article did not address if faulty wiring or circuitry may have played a part in brakes failing to engage.

The Toyota situation has been compared by some to a 1989 study by the U.S. government into sudden acceleration-related accidents involving the Audi 5000. That report led to a conclusion that driver error was to blame for the crashes.

Thus far, over 100 lawsuits have been filed against Toyota in the U.S. with relation to uncontrolled acceleration. Over eight million vehicles were recalled by the automaker worldwide.
Earlier also this was speculated that many have lied about the car suddenly accelerating to avoid any legal action. If this driver error part is found true in sudden acceleration case, then IMO the fine must be reduced for Toyota.

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Old 16th July 2010, 11:14   #224
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A few articles related to the testing being done by toyota after sudden acceleration issue.
The Videos are really nice.

Source : Deep-Dive: Behind the scenes at Toyota's R&D center, Part 1 — Autoblog

Article 1:

Quote:
The last 18 months have been a particularly painful period for Toyota Motor Company. Starting in early 2009, with the automotive industry facing a global economic recession, Toyota went from one of the world's most profitable automakers to grappling with its first full-year loss in more than seven decades.

As Toyota operations around the world began to slash spending in an effort to return to black ink, quality issues bubbling below the surface for several years suddenly burst open like a ruptured oil well. And while most automakers have faced issues with product quality at various times in their histories, the past year has been especially gut-wrenching for Toyota. The company's ascension to sales dominance was fueled in large part by its reputation for solidly engineered, reliable products with consistently excellent fit and finish. That reputation has now been brought into question.

As 2009 wound to a close, reports began surfacing that Toyota and Lexus vehicles were accelerating out of control, and the syndrome has been blamed for a number of fatalities. A string of related and unrelated recalls began and continue to this day, with the most recent coming just a week ago for a Lexus valve spring engine defect.

In an effort to show transparency and a concerted effort to improve its quality and safety, for the first time in its history, Toyota has invited a small group of journalists and analysts into its research and safety facilities in Toyota City, Japan. As part of that select group of media, in the coming days, we'll have a chance to peek behind the curtain, look at how its products are developed and tested and talk to Toyota executives, including CEO Akio Toyoda as we try to fully understand not only how things went so horribly wrong, but how the automaker plans to get back on track.


Day 1 - Research and Development Organization

We began our tour at Toyota headquarters' R&D facility where, we learned about the automaker's development and testing processes and what changes have been implemented as a result of the recent problems. For the most part, Toyota will continue creating cars and technology in the same manner it has in the past. However, the two major areas that will change include an expansion of the testing use cases beyond current methodologies and improvements in the training and development of its staff.


Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota's executive vice-president for research and development, acknowledged during a group interview that overly aggressive growth over the past decade had contributed to the current problems. Branching into too many new market segments too quickly stretched Toyota's resources, making it difficult to develop young engineers and technicians. Uchiyamada says that Toyota will be doing "more teaching of younger staff" in ways to examine issues and find innovative solutions.

To a large degree, much of Toyota's product development process isn't really any different from what we have seen at other automakers. At its most basic level, it consists of three central phases, starting with requirements analysis. At the beginning of a project, whether it's a new car or a just a new technology, the engineers determine what the product ultimately needs to do and how it should perform. Based on those requirements, a set of detailed specifications are produced.


The engineers and designers then set about developing the hardware, software and assorted systems that will meet those requirements. This could consist of either all-new parts or, more often, evolutions of existing designs. Throughout that design process, the hardware and software are checked against the requirements to make sure everything is on track.

The testing process includes simulations at multiple levels, ranging from software-in-the-loop, hardware-in-the-loop and vehicle-in-the-loop. All this happens before vehicle integration and final verification and validation testing. Finally, once the designs are validated and locked in, the process of calibration brings things up to snuff for product applications.


All of this is overseen by a chief engineer for every project or vehicle. The job of the chief engineer is to oversee everything related to a project, taking inputs from product management, marketing and advanced engineering, then sending it on to the functional groups in their organization. Every automaker has their own version of this chief engineer, with a variety of titles. At General Motors, this would be the vehicle line executive, at Ford, it's the chief nameplate engineer and the title at Honda is large project leader. Whatever the title, the end result is that this individual has ultimate responsibility for the end product.

Toyota now believes that its product development organization has become too flat over the years, with group managers having too many team members reporting to them. While many organizations have been trying to take out layers of management in recent years to improve organizational efficiency and lower costs, this strategy can be taken too far. One of the things that managers need to do is educate and develop the staff reporting to them.



The excessively lean organization at Toyota has led to younger staff not getting the necessary oversight to help them learn the nuances in engineering. Engineering is about much more than hard numbers and quantitative analysis good engineers learn to think outside the box, examining ways their products could be used or misused in unexpected ways. In Toyota's case, a prime example was the use of all-weather floor-mats. When the mats were developed, they were not intended to be used in conjunction with standard carpet floor-mats and yet, that's exactly what happened, leading to a spate of issues with mats being jammed under accelerator and brake pedals.

It is hoped that increased on-the-job training will lead to engineers being able to better anticipate problems early in the development process and test for those conditions.


According to Uchiyamada, Toyota engineers are "now assuming very severe usage conditions" and "items beyond the standard test procedures." The additional testing is expected to add about four weeks to the product development schedule, a process that currently runs about 24-30 months from design freeze to production. Uchiyamada acknowledges that there may be some temporary cost increase as this heightened scrutiny is applied, "but more stable quality will reduce costs in the long-term."

In our next installment, we'll take a look at how Toyota's engineers actually go about testing, with a specific focus on the electronic throttle control systems that have been at the core of Toyota's largest recall.



Source : Deep-Dive: Behind the scenes at Toyota's R&D center, Part Two — Autoblog

Article 2:

Quote:

It's impossible to overlook the negative impact the recalls have had on Toyota's reputation for safety and reliability. Seemingly overnight, the automaker that could do no wrong has been brought back down to earth.

Sales of most of Toyota's lineup have been hit hard, with only fleet sales and big incentives keeping the retail side from looking worse. As we first told you yesterday in Part One of our series, in a move unprecedented in its history, Toyota has opened its doors and invited a small group of journalists into its product development facilities in Toyota City near Nagoya, Japan.

The goal is to show the lengths Toyota goes to test and evaluate its products both before and after they go on sale to the public, as well as to detail how those testing regimes have been altered in wake of their recent troubles. Given the sudden intended acceleration scandal, Toyota has chosen to focus on the work it does to verify the performance and reliability of its electronic throttle control systems. Make the jump for a primer on Toyota's engineering and manufacturing processes and how it's attempting to ensure that sudden acceleration will be snuffed out for good.



What is an electronic throttle control system?

BMW was the first automaker to utilize an electronic throttle system (ETCS) when it introduced the V12-powered 750i in the late 1980s. Over the past decade, ETCS has become almost universal in the industry as an important element of meeting increasingly difficult emissions and fuel consumption standards.

Prior to the advent of ETCS, a steel cable provided a physical connection between the accelerator pedal and the butterfly valve in the throttle body (and before that, the carburetor). When you look at a modern engine, you'll find a servo motor mounted on the side of the throttle body that physically opens and closes the plate. The accelerator pedal now contains a pair of position sensors that detect how far the driver has presses down and an electrical connection to the engine management system. The EMS contains software that reads the pedal position and sends a signal to the electronic throttle motor telling it how far to open.


Therein lies the (potential) problem. A software error or electronic fault has the potential to open the throttle independently of the driver's request. This is exactly what people claim has happened, what caught NHTSA's eye and spurred Toyota's unintended acceleration recall. Unfortunately for Toyota, there is no physical evidence to back up these claims, and Toyota maintains that this phenomenon remains impossible to recreate, going so far as attempting to prove it to us during our visit.

Regardless of whether you're talking about the most basic transportation in the world (think: Tata Nano) or an advanced hybrid or electric vehicle, it would be impossible to meet the often contradictory requirements of customers and regulators without electronics and software. As the capabilities of electronic systems have increased, so, too, have the complexity of the interactions in these systems. Developing robust electronic control systems requires endless testing at every level, from the earliest software-in-the-loop simulation to full vehicle-in-the-loop evaluation.


The engine management system alone consists of some 800,000 lines of "C" code split into 1,600 functional modules. Like most manufacturers today, Toyota is using software development tools like Matlab and Simulink to model functions and test them before ever generating a single line of code. Just as simulation is used for developing crash structures, mathematical models of the vehicle and powertrain components are used to check out the software before prototype electronics are produced.

The most basic level of testing is software-in-the-loop (SIL), where logic models are created with the various inputs and outputs to test the system. The engineers can then exercise these models on the desktop through countless iterations that can be easily reproduced while tweaking the models. Once some prototype hardware is ready for testing, engineers can use tools like Simulink to automatically generate computer code that's then loaded into the ECU.


The ECU will be plugged into various levels of simulation hardware. This typically begins with plugging into a computer running the math models of the rest of the hardware and then progressing through various levels with increased hardware integration. This is the hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testing. Like SIL, the testing can be automated to run tens or hundreds of thousands of iterations and ideally go down every possible execution path in the code. HIL testing also includes bench testing on the dynamometers with complete powertrains.



The next stage is the vehicle-in-the-loop (VIL) evaluations where ECUs, sensors and the rest of the system are installed in the car. The headquarters' technical center in Toyota City has 12 different buildings were engines are tested on 110 engine dynamometers and 60 chassis dynamometers. We began our tour in Building 12, which is filled with chassis dynamometers for testing full vehicles both at ambient temperatures and in thermal chambers at temperatures ranging from -58 degrees to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. They also have low-pressure chambers that can simulate altitudes up to 14,000 feet. The vast majority of the testing that takes place in these labs is related to emissions and fuel economy evaluation as well as durability testing.


For our tour, Toyota set up a Lexus ES350 on one of its open chassis dynos and rigged it with cameras so we could see the engine bay, instrument cluster, down the throttle body, across the pedals at the driver's feet as well as at engine data. A breakout box was plugged in to simulate various failure modes such as failed position sensors on both the throttle body and accelerator pedal.

The technicians ran through a series of tests with the vehicle running at 40 MPH to see what would happen if the sensors failed. As you might expect, in every case the system detected a fault and either limited the throttle to very small openings (limp-home mode) or shut the engine down completely. One case where the engine was immediately shut down: a stuck throttle. This was tested by sticking a long steel spring down the throttle body after the driver floored the accelerator. With the spring in place, the driver released the throttle. When the accelerator pedal detected no application yet the throttle position showed it open, a fault was detected and the engine was shut down.


Another demonstration included a failed processor in the engine management system. Most modern electronic control units feature a primary CPU and a secondary monitor CPU. The primary processor reads all of the sensor signals and contains the control algorithms that process the signals and determine what should be done with the throttle, fuel injectors and other related systems. The monitor CPU also reads the sensor signals but processes them using separate code with different algorithms. The two CPUs swap data every control loop (typically 100-200 times per second) and if the numbers don't agree, an ECU fault is set and the engine is shut down.

Until now, there were two main types of fault codes: pending and full fault codes. A pending code would be set for intermittent faults. Depending on the type of fault, the failure would have to occur a certain number of times within a specified period of time. If the fault did not repeat, the pending code would automatically be cleared. Other faults were set immediately and then stored in memory until cleared by a technician. For 2010, a new class of permanent codes has been added to help detect some of the scenarios that could potentially lead to unintended acceleration. These fault codes cannot be cleared, and if unintended acceleration occurs, these faults will be recorded in the ECU.


Adjacent to the dyno was a bench testing unit consisting of fuel injectors, throttle body and accelerator pedal. This unit is typically used for dealer training purposes to teach technicians how to diagnose fuel system issues. Among the features are terminals that allow for the grounding or shorting of the various connections in the wiring harness. This was used to demonstrate the infamous "no-fault" stuck-throttle condition demonstrated earlier this year by professor David Gilbert on ABC News. You can read all about how his assertions were debunked here.


Testing for Electromagnetic interference

From the dyno facility, we headed over to an electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test chamber, where engineers work to ensure that automobiles are not interfered with by outside electromagnetic activity (think: cell phone towers, radio transmitters, garage door openers, etc.). Toyota has eight of these chambers in Toyota City and is currently constructing a ninth example at its York Township tech center outside of Ann Arbor, MI. The largest chambers measure over 34 meters by 23 meters by 11.4 meters high, and their walls are lined with 3,000 styrofoam absorption panels to soak up stray electromagnetic waves. The chamber includes a four-wheel chassis dynamometer embedded in a turntable that allows two or four-wheel-drive cars to be tested at speed. The car is surrounded by antennas that can bombard it with radiation at frequencies from 20 megahertz to 20 gigahertz.


Toyota runs its EMC testing at field strengths of 60 volts/meter, significantly higher than those required by current regulations. At these elevated levels, humans can't be in the chamber during the testing, lest they be turned into microwave popcorn. A plastic (to avoid interference problems) robot is installed in the car to apply the gas and brakes and remotely managed from the control room. In addition to these large-scale tests to simulate driving by the likes of radio and cell towers, other tests include scanning the car with a variety of lower power (2-15 watt) antennas and looking for a variety of anomalies ranging from engine shutdown to warning lamps and, of course, unintended acceleration. Naturally, all of the various individual electronic components are tested in smaller chambers by both Toyota and its suppliers to make sure they don't respond negatively to radiation or give off electromagnetic waves that could harm other systems.


As we all know, it's impossible to conclusively prove a negative. And just because these tests run by Toyota have failed to turn up a fault related to the unintended acceleration claims, the phenomenon can't be categorically disproved. On the other hand, life and in particular, business is all about risk management. The degree of testing conducted by Toyota and every other automaker is intended to cover as broad a swath of scenarios as possible. Given the range of tests that are conducted at every level, it's possible to have a sufficiently high degree of confidence (99 percent or more) that a design will work as intended.


The real difficulty is creating a suite of tests to cover the widest possible range of conditions within reason. Engineers have to anticipate anything that can reasonably happen and test for it. That's where Toyota's new "neutral stance" approach discussed in our last installment may help. By listening more to the voices of its customer when problems happen and incorporating some of the anomalous real-world behavior (like stacked floor mats) into its product design plans, Toyota hopes to create even more robust designs in the future.


Every automaker and supplier needs to learn from what has happened to Toyota. All of the big companies have similar testing capabilities, and although their scales may differ, it ultimately comes down to what you do with the tools. Now more than ever, Toyota has a comprehensive range of tools at their disposal, but their smartest move yet may be paying closer attention to what their customers are saying.

There are a lot of images from the two links that I have posted and also there are videos.
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Toyota announces major recall in the US (Sudden Unintended Acceleration)-toyota-testing-1.jpg  

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Old 12th August 2010, 07:03   #225
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No evidence of Toyota electronic failures - NHTSA

Source : No evidence of Toyota electronic failures - NHTSA

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In the latest blow to mainstream media hype, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has failed to find any evidence electronic failures led to cases of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.

According to the Detroit News, NHTSA officials told Congress human error was to blame in 35 of the 58 cases under review. The rest of the incidents were attributed to sticky / trapped accelerator pedals.

According to NHTSA spokeswoman Olivia Alair, "Reviewing event data recorders is one small part of (the NHTSA's) effort to get to the bottom of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. At this early period in the investigation, engineers have not identified any new safety defects in Toyotas other than sticking gas pedals or pedal entrapment."

Despite this, the NHTSA is continuing their investigation. The government entity is teaming up with NASA to determine if electromagnetic interference (aka cosmic rays) could cause unintended acceleration.

As we have previously reported, Toyota recalled approximately 4.2 million vehicles (worldwide) to install a steel reinforcement bar in accelerator mechanisms used in the RAV4, Corolla, Avalon, Camry, Tundra, and Sequoia. The company was eventually fined $16.4 million dollars for not disclosing their knowledge of the defect.
First they blame Toyota electronics, when WSJ result says electronics are OK Toyota is accused of plotting that scene. Now this output proves that the electronics are not faulty. A major relief to Toyota.
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