ET Extra: Protecting Your Life: Toyota Unintended Acceleration Causing Deaths And Injuries

10 Nov

fire Engineering Thinking Extra Is A Short Review Of A Current Hot Topic

“Toyota Motor Corp.’s campaign to get customers to remove or replace floor mats, which the Japanese automaker is blaming for unintended acceleration cases, isn’t convincing to some of its drivers…” … “More than 300 complaints have been filed with federal regulators about the problem, including at least six involving fatalities, and Toyota says the floor mats are to blame.”
Detroit Free Press

Although it’s conceivable that floor mats may in some cases create a “stuck accelerator” problem, it should be noted that cars with cruise control have an electronic link inserted between the driver and the accelerator; i.e. a little robot that assumes control of acceleration. Based on engineering experience, my opinion is that this link is more likely than floor mats to be the primary cause of Toyota;s problem. Therefore, if you should be so unfortunate as to experience unintended acceleration, it might help to immediately turn off cruise control.

-Ed Walker


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