[tinwhiskers] Re: Toyota

  • From: Steve Smith <steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Bob Landman" <rlandman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 11:36:35 -0800

Not necessarily, Bob

Western culture influences the Western engineer to make it go right,
and to fail gracefully, and to design redundant backup systems and
circuits, because we seem to have an aggressive "Make it work" kind of

Eastern culture is a more passive one, of enduring rather than
enforcing one's will on the physical universe (the long history of the
Warring States in ancient China not withstanding).

The Japanese culture gives a certain mindset that we Westerners have
difficulty in grasping. I do not pretend to fully understand it, but I
think that admission of being wrong or even contemplating a future in
which something one designs MIGHT go wrong is offensive to their
culture, and great apologies are called for when an offense is given,
or might have been given.

In the mid-eighties I had a fax machine, a very robust one (table-top
model, steel frame, must have weighed thirty pounds), made by a
Japanese company and sold by Pacific Bell. Every once in a while a
call would not go thru, or something would not happen just right.

In the display, the machine would display a text message of what did
not happen and then display: "So Sorry. Please excuse."

Every country has companies that design things that occasionally do
not work. the extraordinary history of years of Toyota influencing our
Government agency to not call it a failure if the person had his foot
on the brake when the car ran wild, and the lack of sensible
engineering "fail-safe" design bespeaks of a complete nonconfront of
the possibility of failure, much less its completely nonconfronted

I would have had a little more respect for Toyota if, in the event of
a runaway, the machine at least had the decency to apologize.

Steve Smith

BL> Our 1990 Mercury Sable was nicknamed "killer" as it had a sudden
BL> accelleration problem when it was new.  The dealer had to install
BL> a flight recorder so we could trigger it when we had an unintended
BL> accelleration event.  Took over a month to track it down to a
BL> defective accellerator pedal sensor.  The replacement was also bad
BL> (Ford had a rash of them apparently).

BL> One would think the modern ECM would have that feature built in?

BL> Bob 

BL> -----Original Message-----
BL> From: tinwhiskers-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
BL> [mailto:tinwhiskers-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rod
BL> Sent: Sunday, February 14, 2010 6:44 AM
BL> To: tinwhiskers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
BL> Subject: [tinwhiskers] Re: Toyota

BL> On 11 Feb 2010, at 20:51, Werner Engelmaier wrote:

>> As I understand it, Toyota still does not understand the root cause of their 
>> problem.

BL> Understandable - 2243 incidents over several years with over 7
BL> million vehicles and god knows how many million miles traveled?
BL> with no embedded monitor to figure what happened? I have worked
BL> out some weird scenarios in aerospace which led to equipment
BL> failure, which took a lot of analysis. What automobile has a
BL> flight recorder? At least there was some objective evidence.
BL> People are in general not good at observing dispassionately -
BL> especially when headed toward disaster.

BL> regards,   Rod

BL> rod.dalitz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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BL> The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

BL> http://www.eset.com

Best regards,
 Steve                            mailto:steve@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx



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