[tinwhiskers] Re: Toyota

  • From: Rod <rod.dalitz@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tinwhiskers@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 14 Feb 2010 21:57:31 +0000

On 14 Feb 2010, at 18:21, Bob Landman wrote:

> Our 1990 Mercury Sable was nicknamed "killer" as it had a sudden 
> accelleration problem when it was new.  The dealer had to install a flight 
> recorder so we could trigger it when we had an unintended accelleration 
> event.  Took over a month to track it down to a defective accellerator pedal 
> sensor.  The replacement was also bad (Ford had a rash of them apparently).
> One would think the modern ECM would have that feature built in?

First, I have seen a few reports of various auto models with accelerator 
problems. You can take that two ways: if Toyota were on top of the game, they 
should have been aware and seen it coming. Otherwise, they had the same rare 
problem as others.

Second, the Mercury (I am never sure how "Merc" is to be interpreted, Mercury 
or Mercedes?) had a similar problem but perhaps due to smaller numbers, there 
were fewer deaths due to that problem. Luck, or something to do with American 

However you look at it, the issue changes completely when electronics is 
involved. Little to do with tinwhiskers, though tinwhisker problems would 
create new and unexpected problems. The electronics angle bears some thinking 
about. Is it just that we expect electronics problems to be more thoroughly 
instrumented, documented, researched? Do we expect that electronics and 
software are an order or two of magnitude more complex and messy, and therefore 
need that much more care, which naive mechanical suppliers are not up to speed 
with? or do you have some better ideas?

regards,   Rod


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