Has Toyota Solved SUA?

I remain skeptical in the light of Toyota’s latest statements that driver error caused “virtually all” of the unintended acceleration problems that have plagued the carmaker for the past decade.

Per the Wall Street Journal, NHTSA analysis of the affected cars’ “black boxes” found instances in which throttles were open and brakes hadn’t been deployed, suggesting drivers were pressing the gas, not the brake. (NHTSA isn’t commenting.)

The dreaded sudden unintended acceleration is supposed to have caused up to 89 deaths in 71 crashes since 2000.

Admitting in advance that my reasons are somewhat circumstantial, I would counter that Toyota

1. Has failed to provide solid evidence to refute a university researcher’s claim that the electronics wiring could be the cause, and that the car’s software lacked a fault code to point out the defect.

2. Has failed to explain why the rate of accidents attributed to SUA is not similar in competitors’ vehicles.

That said, the shims the carmaker has installed beneath the accelerators, the complaints over SUA appear to have subsided. Perhaps Toyota was correct, after all.

(Full disclosure: My wife drives a Prius.)

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association (pcea.net). He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow

2 thoughts on “Has Toyota Solved SUA?

  1. So statistically they should be able to show the metrics for unintended braking?….shouldn’t they?….the whole circus is a smoke and mirrors event in my opinion..my wife drives a Camry, my daughter drives a Corolla……

  2. It appears the University professor.. acting in good faith and openness … presented what he still believes is a serious issue..

    and the telling response?… he is being “stepped on” for doing this.


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