6 comments to “Bread, Milk and Mayhem”

  1. Charlene McCarhy Blake

    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 occur…like 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 McCarthy Blake

  2. Charlene McCarhy Blake

    PR spin by automaker, law enforcement, and media in full force? Do they desperately desire the final report to say “pedal misapplication” in order to deflect from the ELECTRONICS of the computer-controlled throttle control system?

    Let’s see if the driver is hung out to dry publicly as so many have been in these crashes into storefronts, buildings, and homes. Jail time for drivers has been levied with nothing more than ruling out the mechanical causes. In cases of Toyota and Lexus, inconsistent and inaccurate EDR information has been used to falsely incriminate SUA crash victims. Character assassinations in the media prior to concrete evidence presentation seem to be the norm.

    Are automakers nervous that the truth will be revealed publicly? Why are so many of the articles about such SUA events lacking in pertinent details, like make, model, and model year? Why aren’t the exact words of the driver stated? Why is there usually immediate speculation that the driver pressed the wrong pedal? These late model vehicles are *computer-controlled*. Glitches occur often. Critical safety standards aren’t strictly regulated and fail-safes have been found to be ineffective by experts in the embedded software field.

    Think about how often you reboot your electronic devices. Have you considered that an electronically-driven vehicle has many of the same “glitch” issues? Are you erroneously assuming that your safety has been ensured by the auto manufacturer? Just know, the auto industry is not regulated like the airline industry. Educate yourself on this critical safety matter.

    The Car Wash Association knows the truth about sudden unintended acceleration in late model vehicles, particularly Chryslers. A FastStop Car Wash just admitted that there is a list of the most common vehicles to suddenly accelerate. After an employee was thrown from a Ford Expedition as it careened out-of-control from a car wash and into a power box on the side of a building, this information was revealed by the media. In addition, Honda has just become the first automaker to address electronic throttle control software problems.

    Why doesn’t the public have access to the most-often-to-suddenly-accelerate vehicle list? How hard are the automakers trying to keep such information hidden? Will what you do not know ultimately put you or your family in unnecessary jeopardy? Will the PR agenda of the automakers continue to push for a “pedal misapplication” final report in these crash events?

    How long will the flawed study into Toyota and Lexus sudden unintended acceleration by NASA/NHTSA be touted as a reason to blame the vehicle owners? How often will the old Audi SUA investigation be cited by online PR trolls in an effort to justify immediate incrimination of the driver victims? More importantly, how long will the public be deceived?

    Why was Toyota whistleblower Betsy Benjaminson recently issued a subpoena by Toyota Motor Corporation? Is this an on-going effort by the automaker to silence the exposure of Toyota internal documents related to the electronic sudden unintended acceleration? Why hasn’t Ms. Benjaminson’s information been covered by the U.S. media as it has been overseas? More importantly, why hasn’t the U.S. Department of Justice made reference to this information in its recent criminal investigation of Toyota? Why have we only heard about *mechanical* causes of SUA?

    Something is amiss. Doesn’t the public deserve to know the truth? After all, electronic sudden unintended acceleration affects everyone, not just vehicle drivers. Pedestrians and storefront occupants have been killed or maimed. Even residents in homes have been impacted. SUA events are not just occurring on the highways; they are happening in parking lots and from a standstill at traffic stops, too.

    This serious problem isn’t just about elderly drivers, drivers with medical conditions, or impaired drivers as a seemingly pervasive PR effort might have you believe. This is about vehicles out-of-control because of electronic glitches and ineffective fail-safes. This is about unregulated critical safety standards in complex electronically-controlled vehicles.

    Charlene McCarthy Blake

  3. Charlene McCarhy Blake

    CLASSIC *parking lot* sudden unintended acceleration in this case.

    1) driver pulls into or out of a parking space/spot with braking
    2) engine revs loudly…ROARING…
    3) open throttle vehicle TAKES OFF, often jumping curbs, climbing embankments, crossing medians
    4) CRASHES into storefront, building, or homes with bulldozer-like power
    5) wheels continue spinning AFTER impact, squealing and burning rubber until smoke fills space
    6) driver in a state of shock about what just happened
    7) IF death or injury to others, driver’s reputation slammed and charges filed

    THEN…police and automaker rule DRIVER ERROR (or “medical condition” or “elderly” or “impaired”) because we must NOT blame the highly-complex, computer-driven, electronic glitch-prone vehicle!!

    BEWARE of auto industry-known initial low-speed or no-speed ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration! This type of #SUA is far more common than you think!

    Charlene McCarthy Blake

  4. Charlene McCarhy Blake

    There is a BIG hidden secret in the auto industry…it’s called ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration! I know…you thought that was just about FLOOR MATS and sticky pedals, or “driver error,” right? That’s certainly what TOYOTA would like you to continue to believe, BUT DON’T!

    These ultra-complex new engines are completely computer driven. Software is needed to control the throttle system. You THINK you are giving gas when you press the accelerator, but you are only SUGGESTING this to the computer. In electronic SUA cases, the throttle software may be glitch-prone and NOT do as you wish.

    What happens then? Well, the glitch may (and has for countless SUA victims) result in an OPEN THROTTLE situation. The brakes become INEFFECTIVE in these situations and crashes into storefronts, buildings, and homes have resulted.

    What does the automaker say? They hook the vehicles up to the computer and declare NOTHING WRONG! They cite the EDR which has erroneous data and say YOU were NOT braking. They point the finger at you based on AGE, GENDER, MEDICAL history, prescription meds, etc. YOU name it, they’ve TRIED it!

    Get the picture? And you THOUGHT the GM issue was big? Think again! This cover-up of ELECTRONIC SUA is scandalous and very well-orchestrated.

    Why even a WHISTLEBLOWER has been legally harassed by Toyota as it does NOT want her Toyota internal docs posted online anymore. The automaker wants to intimidate and SILENCE her. It doesn’t want the PUBLIC involved, for goodness sake!

    Charlene McCarthy Blake

  5. Roger Eaton

    For many years now I have been aware of the many incidents of (mostly) older people driving to other people while at the wheel. A famous one is the man who drove thru the farmers market in Santa Monica a few years ago and so many more like it. In that instance many of the witnesses seemed to agree that the man seemed to be accelerating as he drove over ten people and this adds to my theory of what is happening.

    Most everyone in the US drives a car with an automatic transmission, there are of course, exceptions but these incidents do not happen to people with stick-shifts. The problem as I see it is when a person gets twisted in their drivers seat (1) or for whatever reason misses the brake pedal and instead pushes the gas pedal (2) and the car does not react the way they thought it was going to react and they think that they are pushing on the brake (mistakenly) their immediate reaction is to push HARDER on the pedal they are convinced is the brake, trying to STOP the car. And this action does not stop the car but makes the problem worse. There is no way they feel that they should let go of the brake and let it go into the crowd, but they are NOT pushing on the brake but the gas!

    My solution for this phenomenon I believe is to re-educate the driving public to start driving with two feet, using the left foot for the brake. If everyone did this, when a situation came up like described above, a simple tap with the left foot would alert the brain to the fact that you are on the gas not the brake as you thought.

    (1) It really doesn’t take much of a mis-alignment for this to happen.

    (2) The pedals are very close together sometimes almost over lapping.

    I am not any kind of expert in this field, just an old retired auto-mechanic so this ain’t gospel just my opinion.

  6. Connie Hawkins

    Oh the loss of LIFE due to penny pinching and other misguided attitudes.

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