Toyota's electronic throttle, and..

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...just why Sudden Unintended Acceleration is virtually impossible.
<http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/how_to/4347704.html
The author does not mention it, but the NHTSA closely regulates the design
of the electronic throttle and its firmware. It is, by design, not possible to "hack" into the firmware in order to modify or disable it.
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This is true to be sure. The fed has regulated and are culpable in any court action. They know it too. Although the fed cannot be sued directly, they can be called as witness. They would not like that much.
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the EEPROM/EAPROM IC used and the hardware (electric and electronic) to support it to be able to do it. One *could* however physically take the ROM out and completely rewrite it, if you could rebuild the module you destroy by doing this. That is entirely possible and anyone could do it with enough technical knowledge, ability and the right pieces. Anyone can buy a PROM programmer.
That's all beyond the scope of such an article of course, but it shows what is involved in doing it sucessfully.
I'd bet good money that all race cars have a connector for just this purpose.
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Of course. And you could take a roll of sheet steel and turn it into a car body; you could turn a steel billet into a fully-automatic firearm; you could turn a bag of lawn fertilizer into a bomb.

Surely, but nobody's alleging tampering. Instead the allegations are of defects from the factory, and that's where the silliness comes in.
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is no way to flash the ROM like some trojan would do to some internet noobs router.

conclusions in this Toyota mess. It could easily be minor bugs in the actual ROMS however. Extremely doubtful, but always a possibility.
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Why do you keep setting a Followup to rec.autos.tech? I only crossposted to three groups, all of which have had extensive discussions regarding this matter, and all which I thought would benefit from a discussion of the article I originally referenced (and which only Ed White seems to have actually read).
<http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/how_to/4347704.html
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Because I only read that group.

groups without using a follow-up header, so I frequently error on the side of caution. However being only three groups, I will desist if you prefer.
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That's fair. But I read all three.

Mine appears to be touchy as well. Not all my replies always appear in all three groups. I've just asked my admin.

The three groups I crossposted to all have had discussions regarding the throttle issue. I thought I had relevant information to pass on, and also thought the expected subsequent discussion might prove entertaining and enlightening for all, especially if it flushed out some new info that had not been heretofore posted. If crossposting is removed, threads that develop in the various groups become independent, none of them knowing what happened in the other groups.
Having said that, it appears that most of the discussion has ended up being in rec.autos.tech, so maybe I shouldn't have bothered crossposting in the first place...
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Followups set because you post to a.a.h and then dumped it for a followup.

When you say ROM you mean PROM, right? One doesn't "flash" ROM, one fabs it. As in a ROM is hard silicon with no programmable features.

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- dillon I am not invalid

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:

hardwired ROMS that can't be erased. PROMS can only be written to by completely erasing them and re-writing the whole ROM. That's completely different from RAM, where you can modify any byte or bit.
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The article was very good and I believe the conclusions are correct (i.e., it is not the electronics). I do wonder about your statement. Anything to back it up? Exactly how does NHTSA closely regulate the design? The firmware is in the ECM, and people are constantly screwing with that. My son has some sort of programer that allows him to screw up the ECM in his Mustang (and I do mean screw it up). I looked at the Toyota shop manual for the RAV4 and it appears to me all the throttle control stuff is handled by the ECM, so I can't see how that is any more secure than any of the other firmware.
Ed
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wrote:

A Toyota MDT told me this. He and his cohorts have received extensive factory training on the electronic throttle as part of the normal dealership-tech training. And they've had some very intensive additions to that training on account of the recent controversies

Couldn't tell you. I can only relate what I've been told by my /very/ reliable source: The electronic-throttle firmware is NOT modifiable; its circuitry is independent of anything else that might control the engine.
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wrote:

fixup shows such as they have on SPEED TV. You're not actually erasing the EPROM and then putting new machine language into it replacing what was originally there. You're changing variables such as valve timing and so on. This difference may only be apparent to people who *have* written computer programs like myself. It can of course damage an vehicle just as removing a rev limiter or boosting the engine with too much nitrous will do. Nothing more.
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Now I'm not sure about Toyota, but there was something disturbing about my daughters car, a 2005 Saturn Vue. GM had a recall on the CVT transmissions in these. Of course, since they went through bankruptcy GM believes that they no longer need to honor the recall, but anyway, I will digress.....
The dealer replaced the transmission (GM did pay 50%), and for the first few days, the car was fine. About 5 days after bringing the car home from the shop, while in the garage she started the vehicle one morning. The engine raced on it's own, and the speedo was reading about 50 mph even though the car was in park and the pedal wasn't being pressed. She turned it off, and called me in...and I started it up and the same thing happened.
I called the dealer and explained what happened. The rep put me on hold, came back about 3 minutes later and told me in no uncertain terms not to drive the car (which I pretty much figured myself, duh), they will pick it up. They were at my house with a tow truck within half an hour, took the car and gave us a rental until another replacement transmission arrived and was installed.
I've asked them numerous times what from the transmission would make that happen...some kind of sensor with a feedback into the motor? They would not give me a straight answer on this, but it sure makes me wonder....
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On 03/26/2010 10:26 PM, Stewart wrote:

<press_release_keywords> but but but, black box, dangerous, parts suppliers owned by toyota, unattributed smear and bullshit...
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knew.
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Well, their reactions to the problem were far too quick for me to believe it was just good customer service. The dealer is a good 20-25 mins away, and they were there in 30 from the time I hung up the phone. Even my daughter was saying "wow, they got here quick!", and we had a freebie rental car not long after that.
While there may be "failsafe" mechanisms in place for sudden and unwanted acceleration, just what would make the speedometer read at 50 MPH and the engine race while in park that would be part of the transmission? Some kind of speed feedback sensor? I would have to believe that if this happened while driving the vehicle, it could have created a dangerous situation. My phone calls and emails to Saturn have gone unanswered....but I will eventually find an answer.
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driver, but that certainly isn't the same as you talking to the actual mechanic that worked on your car is it?
Anyone would know that it as a severe problem that would have to be fixed immediately and made the vehicle unsafe. You just talked to someone competent at the dealership is all.
As for actual *cause*, I'll leave that to the mechanics here, but I have my doubts it could *only* be one thing.
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Yes, it could have been a combination of things...but they replaced the transmission they had just recently replaced. I guess I just need to keep digging.
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It is quite possible that the fault lay not in the part but in the instalation. Say a harness connection that wasn't 100% solid or some such. Do you know for absolute fact that the replacement replacement really was a "new" (likely rebuilt) tranny? It could also have been an issue of a bad rebuild.
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