By Frank James
Toyota continued to fight back Monday against claims that its vehicles' electronics and not simply mechanical problems with accelerators or floor mats are responsible for cases of sudden unexplained acceleration.
The company had its experts talk with news media members to shoot holes in the theory of Southern Illinois University professor David Gilbert who was able to get Toyota engines to rev by creating a short circuit in the electronic throttle controls of Toyotas.
While the Toyota experts said Gilbert had rigged his experiments in a way that would never happen to an actual car in real operating conditions, their explanation probably won't satisfy a lot of skeptics who wonder why, when Gilbert caused the shorts, no trouble codes were registered by the cars' electronics.
Also, why are there reports that some cars supposedly repaired under Toyota's recall are still accelerating without the appropriate input from drivers?
Anyway, here's an excerpt from the Associated Press:
Chris Gerdes, director of Stanford University's Center for Automotive Research, and a consulting firm, Exponent Inc., said the professor had tampered with wiring to create electronic glitches that could never occur on the road.
The professor's work "could result in misguided policy and unwarranted fear," Gerdes said.
The work of David W. Gilbert, an automotive technology professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, has been the basis of many doubts that Toyota's mechanical fixes for unwanted acceleration will truly solve the problem.
Gilbert told a congressional hearing Feb. 23 that he recreated sudden acceleration in a Toyota Tundra by short-circuiting the electronics behind the gas pedal - without triggering any trouble codes in the truck's computer.
"We do not believe that electronics are at the root of this issue," Mike Michels, a Toyota spokesman, said during a demonstration at the automaker's North American headquarters in Torrance, Calif.
Toyota says faulty gas pedals and floor mats, not electronics, are the cause. It is fixing millions of vehicles to correct those problems. But some drivers have reported continued problems in vehicles that have already been supposedly fixed.
categories: Accidents and Disasters