Toyota: ‘Electronics Not Ruled Out’

In a move that will only add fuel to the fire, a top US Toyota executive yesterday testified that the automaker has not ruled out electronics as a source of the sudden acceleration problems plaguing the company’s vehicles.

Sudden acceleration “has many, many causes,” including transmission software problems, faulty cruise control and even engine revs caused by engaging the air conditioner, he said, according to the LA Times today.

It is the first time Toyota has acknowledged publicly that the cause of sudden acceleration in certain models might be related to something other than the floormats.

To make matters worse, a professor of automotive technology claims to have found a flaw in the electronics system of a Toyota that “would allow abnormalities to occur.” Finding the flaw took about 3.5 hours, he said.

This story, against all odds, continues to get worse for Toyota. The company hired an outside firm to conduct testing on its defective cars; that company claimed the electronics were not at fault. This latest revelation — though hardly a smoking gun — just adds to the controversy that Toyota is hiding something.

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( 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

3 thoughts on “Toyota: ‘Electronics Not Ruled Out’

  1. Not surprising, considering how ridiculous cars are today. No direct link between the driver and the engine, too many electronic gee gaws, and a focus on amenities instead of quality lead directly to this issue.

    Nobody needs 34 heated and cooled cupholders, 3 DVD players, and an Xbox in their car. All this complex traction control, yaw control, nanny crap is just going to get worse.

    Get off the phone, drink your latte before you leave the house, and drive for a change.

  2. Mike,
    Now may be the best time to buy a new Lexus (next few months or when the 2011 models come out).
    I’ll bet the 2010 prices will be right !!!!!!!!!!!!

    It is interesting to note that Toyotas (most of them?) sold in the U.S. are built in the U.S. by Americans.

    Were there recalls in Japan?

    Did Dr Deming’s efforts stick in Japan but not migrate back to the USA?

    Did you know that Marcy attended one of Deming’s last lectures when she went for her MBA. He was in his 90s. We have a photo of the two of them together.


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