Consultants say interference in vehicle electronics is possible

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Consultants say interference in vehicle electronics is possible Neil Roland Automotive News -- March 23, 2010 - 4:42 pm ET
WASHINGTON -- Testing by Toyota Motor Corp. and other automakers has never
detected electronic causes of sudden acceleration because it has looked for the wrong evidence and because this evidence is difficult to detect, three British consultants with doctorates in engineering said today.
The consultants, who expect to meet tomorrow with U.S. investigators, said Toyota's pedal assembly and electronic throttle-control system have a number of parts that aren't shielded against electromagnetic interference, or EMI.
"Thirty years' empirical evidence overwhelmingly points to (sudden acceleration) being caused by electronic system faults undetectable by inspection or testing," said Keith Armstrong, a engineering consultant from the United Kingdom who appeared with two other engineers at a Washington news conference organized here by consumer advocates.
Armstrong, who said he was interviewed last month by U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigators, said the problem with electronic interference is industrywide. "EMI is endemic in electronics," he said. EMI is electrical disturbances in the circuits.
Real-life EMI
Tests by Toyota and other automakers don't cover most real-life EMI, nor do they simulate typical faults to verify that backup measures work, Armstrong said.
Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100323/OEM/100329954/1143#ixzz0j3hYs6VV
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One word of caution - these experts are woking for the Center for Auto Safety, a trial lawyer funded group run by Clarence Ditlow and Jane Claybrook. They still want Audi to recal 1985 Audi 5000's.
Ed

http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100323/OEM/100329954/1143#ixzz0j3hYs6VV
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On Tue, 23 Mar 2010 23:00:16 -0400, C. E. White wrote:

I saw one the other day. I don't think the owner will sell it to them because it was in mint condition.
They can recall all the rest, I'm sure most of them have been in junkyards for a while...
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C. E. White wrote:

Ironically, Audi ran magazine ads in the 1980s that discussed adapting Audis to America. In one ad they said the corrosion protection had to be improved to handle the salt we poured on the roads in the winter, and in another ad they said RF interference was a lot worse here than in Europe.
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CB radio and other spectrum unregulation no doubt.
--
(setq (chuck nil) car(chuck) )

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wrote:

I couldn't find an official toyota talk forum but I found this one....it has all the info about the 2010 Toyota Motor Corp. Recall & Prius brake pedal fix. I found it to be very informative, it has more commentary than just the official toyota recall site.... http://www.ToyotaBrakeRecall.org check it out
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C. E. White wrote:

I thought the auto industry had long been paranoid about this because when they were virtually mandated to install computers to meet emissions standards, it was a big leap for in technology and maybe the first time something so vulnerable to interference yet so critical to safety had been installed on such a large scale. And aren't almost all the sensor inputs for fairly low frequency signals that can be easily treated to filter out higher frequencies, such as those used by cell phones and speed radar? Also don't car computers have a timer that interrupts the main program every few milliseconds to check its proper operation and restart the computer if a problem is detected?
Here's a 30-year-old article from Popular Science about the first digital car computers (skip to page 54) that includes a photo of a test chamber used for zapping cars with interference:
http://tinyurl.com/yat7s79
http://books.google.com/books?id=ZAEAAAAAMBAJ&printsec=frontcover&lr=&rview=1#v=onepage&q=&f lse
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wrote:

did you notice the 1979 LTD ad? haha, brought back memories of my silver 1985 crown victoria 2-door ... my first car ;)... only 2 door around that i remember seeing
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wrote:

hehe, page 19, datsum, civic corolla among the top recomended used cars even back in 1979.
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wrote:

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I run high power two way radio equipment in my Toyota and have NEVER in almost seven years had one glitch of any kind. Nor has any of my cell phone equipment ever caused any glitches. EMI can easily be suppressed and I believe Toyota has done an extremely good job of suppressing it.
--


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I find it difficult to imagine how stray EMI could interfere with the throttle over a period of time and distance sufficiently long enough to cause a vehicle to accelerate to a high speed.
I also find it difficult to imagine how EMI could override many systems all at once, such that the car would be impossible to control or shut down.
--
Tegger


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Unfortunatley, it only matters what a jury of untrained people can be convinced of...
Ed
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Just like the Vioxx trial.
I remember what the jury foreman said after the Vioxx trial, that the jury understood the defense's arguments no better than, "Mwa, mwa, mwa", like how the adults sound in a Charlie Brown cartoon. And then they voted to convict anyway. Very scary.
--
Tegger


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An even better example would be Dow Corning and the 'Silicone Breast Implant'. The entire company was run into bankruptcy for a decade as the result of nothing more than incorrect speculation not backed up by scientific research.
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Obveeus wrote:

That would be a better example of what?

Sounds like you like speculating without the benefit of any scientific research or facts. There has been little scientific research that shows the implants are harmless. And that was why Dow eventually lost lawsuits. They lied - claiming they had done the research that showed it was safe when they hadn't.
-jim
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Lawsuits propelling a company into bankruptcy even though there was nothing wrong with the product?

You apparently are uninformed. Numerous studies arouhnd the world have show Silicone breast implants were not responsible for the problems claimed.
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Obveeus wrote:

Well that is hardly the case. There is still significant risks and precautions involved with breast implants. A trip to the FDA web site and see what they say about the risk:
[Quote] Some of the risks of breast implants include:
* reoperations (additional surgeries), with or without removal of the device * capsular contracture (hardening of the area around the implant) * breast pain * changes in nipple and breast sensation * rupture with deflation for saline-filled implants * rupture with or without symptoms for silicone gel-filled implants * migration of silicone gel for silicone gel-filled breast implants.
For a more complete description of the possible risks and complications of breast implants, see Breast Implant Consumer Handbook: Local Complications and Reoperations3.
You can also find a list of complications for each approved breast implant in the patient labeling; see Labeling for Approved Breast Implants.
[End quote]

Maybe although it is still quite controversial. And maybe if the studies had been done before litigation instead of as a consequence of litigation everyone would have been better off. But whether the problems claimed could be proven to be directly caused by breast implants wasn't the central issue at trial. The issue that convinced the jury was that Dow was not truthful about revealing risks they knew about and what they knew and didn't know about the safety of the product.
-jim
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I saw this on Autonews today:
Seminar turns to rally; lawyers fire at Toyota At first, the 150 lawyers who gathered here last week to talk about how to sue the pants off Toyota quietly listened to a lecture on legal strategy..
Ed
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I suspect software errors rather than interference. The auto industry is actually fairly good in designing resistance to interference, but in my opinion not very good on software design.
I used to work in aerospace industry and had some courses in designing mission critical software. It is very hard to check out software in a really large program, and design of real-time software is quite difficult. I suspect a lot of their software validation is statistical and that is not the best way.
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