3_1_For Toyota_ the crucial question is the electronics

3_1_For Toyota_ the crucial question is the electronics -...

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For Toyota, the crucial question is the electronics - latimes.com Page 1 of 4 http://www.latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fi-toyota-electronics14-2010feb14,0,796889,print.story Flash latimes.com/news/nation-and-world/la-fi-toyota-electronics14-2010feb14,0,5002647.story latimes.com For Toyota, the crucial question is the electronics The company vigorously denies that its vehicles' acceleration problems might stem from an electronic or software glitch. But it remains an open question, and any such finding would be devastating. By Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian February 14, 2010 In the nearly five months since it launched a string of recalls to stop its cars from accelerating out of control, Toyota Motor Corp. has been adamant about one thing: It's not the electronics. Company officials first put the blame on floor mats that could entrap the accelerator, later amending that to include gas pedals themselves that could stick. But they have vigorously asserted that there is no evidence of a glitch in the electronics or software that could cause cars to malfunction, a "ghost in the machine." Some independent safety experts, congressional investigators and others are just as certain that the risk of an electronic flaw is being dismissed by Toyota without an adequate examination. The causes of unintended acceleration remain under investigation, but an admission by Toyota that sudden acceleration was caused by an electronic defect would be a devastating blow to the company's already damaged reputation for quality, say engineers, attorneys and experts in crisis management. Compared with mechanical problems such as floor mats and sticky gas pedals, an electronic hardware or software glitch can be difficult to find, costly to fix and would open Toyota to a new onslaught of lawsuits, these people say. "Every car accident that took place for years will suddenly be blamed on electronics," said Ted Frank, an attorney and founder of the Center for Class Action Fairness. And considering the fact that every Toyota vehicle sold in the U.S. since the 2007 model year has an electronic throttle, with some models using the system dating to the 2002 model year, the number of potentially affected vehicles could reach into eight figures. "It's a big potential problem for Toyota," Frank said.
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2010 for the course EE 3 taught by Professor Staff during the Winter '08 term at UCLA.

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3_1_For Toyota_ the crucial question is the electronics -...

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