Toyota says software glitch can provide inaccurate vehicle speeds

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 14, 2010

As the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration continues its probe into unintended acceleration cases involving Toyota models, it was revealed that there is a bug in the crash data boxes that leads to inaccurate vehicle speeds.

According to Takeshi Uchiyamada, executive vice president in charge of research and development, Toyota found out about this defect the past spring and has corrected it.

The software bug was discovered in the event data recorder (EDR) reader that downloads data. This device also records other information such as throttle position and braking pressure.

Last month, Toyota Motor Corp. said that since March, it has studied 3,000 complaints of unintended acceleration and the results supports its stance ever since that there were no electronic glitches that caused the vehicles to lose control.

Toyota’s other explanations include driver error and foreign objects trapping the accelerator. Toyota also pointed out that months after it warned customers to remove the floor mats, they’re still being used.

The NHTSA said that brakes were not applied by drivers of Toyota vehicles in at least 35 of 58 crashes attributed to unintended acceleration.

The NHTSA also said that there’s no proof of electronics-related causes for the accidents in reviewing the electronic data recorders.

In an interview with reporters in Detroit, Uchiyamada mentioned the 2007 crash of a Tundra pickup that hit a tree where data show that the truck was traveling more than 170 miles per hour. [via autonews - sub. required]

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