Saturday, April 11, 2015

TOYOTA plunges into water

Firefighters remove a lifeless body from the water after a car went into the water at the San Pedro Slip, in San Pedro, Calif., Thursday, April 9, 2015. (Steve McCrank, Daily Breeze)

Divers emerge from the water as debris believed to be from the car floats to the surface where a car went off the berth and into the water at the San Pedro Slip. (Steve McCrank, Daily Breeze)

Los Angeles: Boy dead, brother in critical condition after parents' car plunges into harbor at Ports O' Call
LOS ANGELES -- One boy died and his brother was clinging to life Thursday after their parents' car plunged into Los Angeles Harbor and sank 30 feet into the murky water.

"They forced open the trunk of the vehicle," Humphrey said. "They could barely see their hands in front of their faces."

The adults, who were speaking Spanish to rescuers, were reported to be in fair condition, Humphrey said.

The mother stood on the dock as firefighters rolled one of the boys on a stretcher toward an ambulance.

"She was blank," Palazzolo said. "She wasn't saying anything. She was just leaning up against the pole."

Aerial shots from a television helicopter showed paramedics performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on one of the children when they arrived at County Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

Los Angeles Police Department South Traffic Bureau detectives responded to investigate the crash.

Preliminarily, Humphrey said, it appeared to be just a terrible accident, but Los Angeles police Capt. Brian Whitten said later, "We don't know if the vehicle was driven into the water intentionally."

Witness Sal Terzoli of San Pedro said he was working on his fishing boat Ocean Pride when he heard tires screeching. He looked across and saw the Toyota traveling 20-30 mph crash into the water
Terzoli said it took just a few seconds for the car to sink.

Palazzolo, who was with Terzoli, estimated the car was moving at 15 mph at a 45-degree angle to the channel, as if the driver was going to park.

"It looks like they sped up ... and went down real quick, about 30 feet out," he said. "They were going pretty fast."

He suggested the driver mistook the gas pedal for the brake. "That's what it looked like, because they had some speed," the teen said.

The witnesses said the car went over the dock at an area without log pilings sticking up to block its path. The area is designated for fishermen to fix their nets.

"I've been down here for 25 years and this is the first time I've seen something like this," Terzoli said.

"It was like a movie."

Toyota is #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.