March 04, 2010

Toyota's Keeping Secrets Again

Toyota won't allow access but most other automakers routinely allow access.

So who's the bad guys again?

Toyota has for years blocked access to data stored in devices similar to airline "black boxes" that could explain crashes blamed on sudden unintended acceleration, according to an Associated Press review of lawsuits nationwide and interviews with auto crash experts.

The AP investigation found that Toyota has been inconsistent and sometimes even contradictory in revealing exactly what the devices record and don't record, including critical data about whether the brake or accelerator pedals were depressed at the time of a crash.

Allowing access to black box data from Toyota vehicles could show what was really going on during unintended acceleration. If Toyota is so confident that it was the vehicle owners fault then why won't Toyota allow that data to be seen?

Could clear up this whole mess in a matter of days.

Toyota has both claimed that the black box does record brake position and it does not record brake position. Some people are claiming Toyota has turned off the brake position recording in their black boxes so they don't have to give up that information in lawsuits.

Last week, Toyota acknowledged it has only a single laptop available in the U.S. to download its data recorder information because it is still a prototype, despite being in use since 2001 in Toyota vehicles.

In congressional hearings on the recalls last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Toyota's EDR data cannot be read by a commercially available tool used readily by other automakers. "Toyota has a proprietary EDR, which is the system that only they can read," LaHood said.

So when asked to print off the data from a black box, Toyota is the only ones that can do it. Sounds fishy to me ...

In the Texas crash, where four people died when their 2008 Avalon ripped through a fence, hit a tree and flipped into an icy pond, an EDR readout obtained by police listed as "off" any information on acceleration or braking.

Real Fishy ....

Oh and the Big 3, how do they fair on allowing others to see their black box data?

General Motors, for example, has licensed the auto parts maker Bosch to produce a device capable of downloading EDR data directly to a laptop computer, either from the scene of an accident or later. The device is available to law enforcement agencies or any other third party, spokesman Alan Adler said.

Spokesmen from Ford and Chrysler said their recorder data is just as accessible. "We put what you would call 'open systems' in our vehicles, which are readable by law enforcement or anyone who has a need to read that data," Chrysler spokesman Mike Palese said.

So what is Toyota trying to hide?

Posted by Quality Weenie at March 4, 2010 05:49 PM

Toyota sucks.

Posted by: Pam at March 6, 2010 11:53 AM


Posted by: Graumagus at March 12, 2010 06:36 PM