Sunday, November 2, 2014


Toyota airbag recall update for November, 2014
By Updated on
This is a quick update for the Toyota airbag recall in early November, 2014. This brand might not be the largest name within the list of automakers making up cars recalled for faulty Takata airbags, but they have made some controversial statements in regard to how far they will go to fix cars involved in the 2014 Takata airbag recall.

You have most likely seen the early numbers for this recall that involved not only Toyota, but also GM, Nissan, Honda, and other big names. The Takata airbag recall list was expanded to just under 8-million fairly quickly towards the end of October, although some doubt the real international reach is known.

Extreme measures by Toyota for their airbag recall – the main problem for Takata is meeting demand for airbags needed. This demand is not only for fixes to airbag recalls, but also new cars that need airbags as well.

Airbag recall
Many of the automakers are keeping silent on how they will manage this shortage of airbags. Toyota is one of those that decided to speak up, but its plans could involve disabling defective airbags if they don’t have enough replacements to fix around 800,000 Toyota cars involved in the Takata airbag recall. Cindy Knight, a Toyota spokeswoman, commented directly on this possibility when she stated it’s something they’re “prepared to do”.

Toyota: if parts are unavailable dealers advised to disable the airbags/affix “Do Not Sit Here” message on dashboard

Some people feel this is the wrong move, as one Product Reviews reader stated “only a small percentage of these airbags could explode in a crash, so why disable airbags and risk people’s lives”.

Looking back at past recalls for Toyota is quite revealing, especially when you consider a Toyota recall last year involving nearly 900,000 cars was to fix a problem that could disable airbags. It’s a strange u-turn when you consider they might disable airbags if they cannot replace them within the 2014 Takata airbag recall.

Hacker News@HNTweets
Toyota recalls 885,000 vehicles: problem which could DISABLE the airbags: Comments:
We previously reported that the NHTSA was looking into the airbag recall fixes and sent letters to all automakers involved. It’s also interesting that NHTSA has apparently given Toyota permission to disable the airbags, although normally this would be illegal. Would you rather a passenger airbag to be disabled if it cannot be replaced within a timely manner?
Also See: Bracing for Honda, Ford and Toyota UK Airbag recall

Toyota recall list doesn't dent profits, for now

Toyota and Lexus are #1 in cases of sudden unintended acceleration and FORD is #2. The current unintended acceleration plaguing newer vehicles is the electronically-induced type. The engine throttle control systems depend on computer software to command them. Sometimes glitches in some of your other electronic devices...which can cause the command to be different than what you desire. The evidence of the glitch is often undetectable after the vehicle is restarted.

Unfortunately, the EDR (black box) is not always accurate as shown by expert Dr. Antony Anderson in his analysis of a 2012 Toyota Highlander. The EDR results indicated the driver was not braking when she was doing so. The EDR results are inconsistent.

The key to avoiding a horrific crash during a SUA event is whether or not the vehicle has an effective fail-safe in the event a glitch occurs. If it does not, as in the case of the glitch-prone Toyota ETCS-i, then the vehicle may become a runaway with an ineffective means to stop it. Unfortunately, the safety standards aren't as strict in automobiles as they are in airplanes. Some manufacturers have more effective fail-safes than others. In the case of Toyota, an embedded software expert, Michael Barr (see Oklahoma Bookout vs. Toyota court case involving a 2005 Camry) found that an electronic glitch could induce a SUA event. Another expert, Dr. Henning Leidecker, found that a SUA event could also be triggered by "tin whisker" formation, particularly in 2002-2006 Toyota Camry vehicles.

SUA events have been DEADLY for vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians and people in storefronts, buildings, and even homes. The numbers of such crashes are ever-increasing with the advent of the very complex ELECTRONIC throttle control systems.

With the increase in such serious vehicle crashes, there is a concerted effort to show driver "pedal misapplication" or a "medical condition" or some other reason for the incident...anything other than a vehicle defect. Investigators aren't scrutinizing the buggy electronic throttle control software or other conditions that can elicit a terrifying sudden unintended acceleration incident. They usually just examine the *mechanical* causes which tend to be just red herrings in these cases. Investigators simply don't have the expertise to find such electronic glitches. In fact, the staff at the NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, do not have this very specialized training!

Think of it...the next step in electronically-controlled vehicles seems to be so-called "self-driving cars." Do YOU want to be in a such a vehicle when there is no evidence that strict safety standards, particularly in the throttle control system's software, have been adhered to? Will you just BLINDLY trust the automaker (criminally-investigated and nearly-prosecuted Toyota and soon-to-be GM and others?) to come through for you and your family's safety *on its own*?

A recently published Huffington Post article by Jonathan Handel,
How Do We Know Driverless Cars Are Safe? Google Says 'Trust Us'
Posted: 07/01/2014 7:23 pm EDT Updated: 07/02/2014 1:48 pm EDT speaks to these very issues and poses tough questions about Google's "driverless" vehicles. Educate yourself carefully before
you put your faith in automakers who have knowingly lied to their customers and the government for decades. Study the issue of vehicle electronic sudden unintended acceleration and ask WHY we aren't seeing it addressed publicly. WHY is blame placed on the driver with little more than speculation about which pedal was used or with little more than an assumption on medical condition. This is being done *even when the drivers steadfastly cite a VEHICLE PROBLEM as the cause of the crash.

Absence of proof is not proof of absence of a serious ELECTRONIC computer glitch or other electronically-caused SUA.

Charlene Blake