Sunday, August 31, 2014

More Barr: How stack overflow corrupts memory and can cause task death

Stack overflow is not this pretty

Studies show only 1% of SA is caused by driver error

Excerpt from Castelli et al, The Myth of Driver Error, (PDF) page 13

If we pretend to accept Toyota's claims of 30% of SA caused by mat and sticky pedal, and then follow this 1% caused by driver error (i.e. pedal misapplication), we have 69% left that remains unexplained.

So what is the cause?

Joel, can you explain away this 69%?

Technical hide and seek: Recursion is....?

 Joke: "To understand recursion, you must understand recursion."

Barr said on the stand in Bookout:

"There are some recursive functions in Toyota source code that are not appropriate in safety critical systems."

"Not only was stack usage up to 94% in normal operation, the code was recursive! Recursive code is generally avoided in embedded applications because it is harder to demonstrate that it has a good chance of working reliably. MISRA - the Motor Industry Software Reliability Association - has a rule that explicitly forbids recursion. Toyota claimed it followed MISRA standards but more than 80,000 violations were found."

Barr: Toyota had no test plan to test throttle opening calculations by software

Throttle opening mathematics, yes...test

Some of it is looking a bit obscure.

BARR UNDER OATH SAYS on the stand in Bookout:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

IP Addresses hide and seek

Turkey - a beautiful country

Since I made a wisecrack several weeks ago about a spike in blog visitors from Japan, there have been almost no blog visitors from Japan. 
Instead I see a remarkable spike in blog visitors from Turkey.
What could that mean?

I don't really care that much about where people are from. If you want to be from Japan, Turkey, Moldova, Ukraine, or any other place, please, go ahead and hide yourself and pretend to be from somewhere else. If you think you are being clever in hiding who you are or where you are, does that make you feel better, more secure?

This blog is for everyone who wants to see it, no matter where they are.

[Update a few days later]
Well, I'll be darned. Just as soon as I posted this, my many visitors from Turkey disappeared! 

Sunday school. Bilaam and his donkey in Numbers 22

Bilaam and his Donkey

Numbers 22:21-35

Bilaam’s Donkey

[Bilaam was a prophet who fell into the role of sabotaging the Israelites after he could not curse them]

21 Bilaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the Moabite officials. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Bilaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, it turned off the road into a field. Bilaam beat it to get it back on the road.
24 Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path through the vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it pressed close to the wall, crushing Bilaam’s foot against it. So he beat the donkey again.
26 Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, it lay down under Bilaam, and he was angry and beat it with his staff. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Bilaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?
29 Bilaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If only I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.
30 The donkey said to Bilaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”
“No,” he said.
31 Then the Lord opened Bilaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.
32 The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.[a] 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If it had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared it.”
34 Bilaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”
35 The angel of the Lord said to Bilaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Bilaam went with Balak’s officials.


Oh dear Akio-kun, along with your best lawyers Chris, Tom, Joel, and all of you, maybe you could consider a different picture...just imagine for a minute--in some dream world-- that you suddenly woke up to the reality that I am trying to help you avoid the angel of God's wrath (the one from New York) who may soon try to smite you for your recklessness. So far, you have twice taken a legal stick to my head. Maybe...I can imagine it, I can dream of it like a far-off dream... you will beat my head with the stick three times and then you will finally hear me, and then your eyes will open, you will see the angel, and you will repent of your recklessness. Hopefully this will be accomplished before you ask a judge to throw me in jail, and hopefully before New York's wrathful one won't ask to throw you in jail.

With thanks to Rembrandt van Rijn for a beautiful painting,
and to the smart and kind donkey for his good words.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Here's a fun card for Joel

My, my, Joel seems so bothered by anyone who does not immediately bend to his personal authority

I will nickname you "Klink," ok? You are simply ridiculous in light of the indisputable fact that you are working for admitted criminals. 

I allege that they appear determined to continue to conceal aspects of their misconduct that have not yet been uncovered by the DOJ.  And I think that you know all about that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting for the bull

A waiting matador

The legal situation has advanced past the pie-throwing stage to the horns-tossing stage.

Let's see what will happen next.

Not IF someone was going to be hurt or killed, but WHO.

An SUA waiting room

      - From Bookout, closing argument by Cole Portis, who is on Skadden's long list

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Whose vested interest? --more about Toyota's response to Channel 2

A vested interest

Now there are those of you, mainly lawyers I imagine, who might venture to guess that I commissioned an inaccurate translation of Toyota's over-the-top response to Channel 2, posted yesterday. So I will include the Hebrew original here for the record. (See below.) Translate it yourself if you doubt my translation.

I'd like to continue my light-hearted analysis of this response text by making two more comments. These are probably old hat to anyone who has read Toyota's public statements for the last several years, but anyway, maybe blog readers from Moldova, Madagascar, Nigeria, Argentina, China, Germany, or any one of dozens of other countries might find them fresh.

First we have the materially inaccurate statement "Toyota has won all lawsuits submitted to it in the US in this matter." Now where did you get that? If you were being truthful, you could have said "won or settled." "Settled in perfect secrecy" is really more accurate. But fidelity to the facts seems really too hard for you. Dear Toyota, I am so sorry you find it so tough.

Next, Toyota just loves to slap its critics with the "vested interests" smearing slap. Now why would Toyota do this? Frankly, I think it is to distract readers from the indisputable fact that Toyota itself has a vested interest in shutting up its critics. I would also like to point out that if Toyota meant moi, I could laugh in your face. The whole news story was about how I independently saw and understood documents, and the result of my actions in the public interest has been nothing but grinding poverty. What vested interests could you possibly be implying are behind this news story? GM? Duh, no. Plaintiffs? Duh, no. Government? Duh, no. Oh, maybe that I am about to sign a lucrative book deal? Duh, no. Those are facts. I dare you to try to uncover any facts to the contrary. No, Toyota, you are imagining things, and surely it is in your own vested interest to have a vivid imagination.

This response statement begs the question of how much accurate information about SUA is flowing from Toyota to government regulators and consumers in other countries outside the US. AFAIK, most countries outside of Europe and China lack their own auto safety regulations, and they rely on US standards or European standards. Many countries do not track consumer complaints either. So consumers have a much tougher job protecting themselves than they do in the US, and it isn't so easy there either. <Sigh>

A little more truth from Toyota would certainly help, anywhere in the world.

Toyota's response to Channel 2 - Hebrew original

Monday, August 25, 2014

Toyota disrespect for American jurors and judicial system

An unqualified jury

As I've reported here, earlier in 2014 Israel's Channel 2 broadcast a story about Toyota, SUA, and me. As is customary, Toyota's response statement came at the end of the news report. Naturally, it was provided in Hebrew. I had it translated by one of Israel's most respected Hebrew to English translators. See below.

Toyota says that the Bookout jury were not experts--implying that the jurors were in a technical muddle and didn't really understand what they were doing--when they found Toyota liable for Barbara Schwarz's death, Jean Bookout's injuries, and punitive damages for concealing the defects that caused them. Perhaps Toyota, oh so clever!, expected that its audience in Israel, where we have no jury system, would not know that Toyota's own defense counsel approved of every last one of those jurors. Personally, I don't say the US jury system is perfect, but this seems more than a little over the top for an organization still facing $3 billion in product liability lawsuits after admitting its criminal deception of consumers. Also, if the truth about Toyota's vehicle safety cannot be understood by an inexpert jury, but is so obvious to experts, then why did Toyota's experts not manage to effectively rebut Barr in the Bookout trial?

And Toyota keeps making the same unsupported claims of exoneration by government experts--remember, those are the very experts to whom the company lied. Toyota admitted lying to NHTSA about defects. Barr clearly showed how Toyota lied to NASA about its system designs. But Toyota  writes that there are "solid facts" that have proven the reliability and safety of its vehicles beyond all doubt.

Solid facts? Really? Good thing for your DPA compliance that you didn't say this in US media, guys.

Here is the text of the response statement with a comment by the translator that points out a key ambiguity in the source text terminology.

Shim fraud? Shim-shiminy shim-shiminy shim-shim shiree

A shim

With thanks to Ralph and Sean.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Remember: Barbara Schwarz--"Mom was as good as gold"

Empty pajamas

Jere Beasley in closing arguments of Bookout, 
where he offers a glimpse into the depths of the Schwarz family's loss

Kind of weird: President Toyoda "did not know" about 400% spike in complaints

In your deposition, what were you thinking of?

Masterful attorney Jere Beasley, in Bookout opening arguments, describing how Toyoda denied knowledge of 400% spike in complaints after ETCS introduced:

Eye-popping 60,000 complaints, ignored

Eyes popped, don't see

Jere Beasley in opening arguments in Bookout:


Friday, August 22, 2014

Legal pie in the face

Chef #1 Tom and "Lisa" joined by Joel....get ready, set, aim, throw!

"Betsy" (avatar) has a pie of her own to throw

Back in Sderot, we are under fire only enough to have to run into the bomb shelter from time to time. It is relatively quiet for now. So I am back here again at my regular desk.

Meanwhile, I understand that a legal pie-slinging event happened overnight, in which various lawyers in a triangular arrangement undertook a secret discussion of my legal situation. I haven't yet learned what they said, but it must have been very interesting for them to compare and contrast the pies that each side wants to throw upon the others' faces, and perhaps also pies that they did throw or that they threatened to throw in the presence of the judge sometime soon. Or pies that they offered to catch! 

I have fallen into silence and now emerge a little, with allegory, about my subpoena legal situation. Silence has fallen because I was finally able to engage a lawyer equal to the task of facing off nicely with Toyota's lawyers at Skadden and now also with one from Bowman & Brooke. My brilliant, kind, but also quite savvy lawyer, may God bless him, got a nice running start from the facts that I wrote down when I was trying to be my own lawyer. I had been determined to be my own lawyer but was prvented by a few things. For one, California federal court rules prevent a non-lawyer from filing papers electronically. (Yes, its "back to the past" for us po' folk who have no lawyer.) So my only option from 7,600 miles away was to hire a local California "filing service" to send a guy on a bicycle with the papers to the courthouse and hand them over to the court clerk that way. Over the counter. And the cost of that, plus the cost of distributing the papers to all the many involved law firms, came to an astronomical price far exceeding the amount of cash that I can muster right now. But as I was learning of this road block, I also realized that I didn't know enough practical law to tell when dear Kevin and his fierce colleagues at Skadden were being total bullies or were being reasonable and ordinary. Lawyers at that level have their own kinds of negotiating games and everyone of course knows what they are and takes it in stride. But I did not think it wise or good for the public interest to play around on a playing field where I don't know the rules and the tactics. And so I decided that it was time for a bonafide lawyer. The upside of all this "law school" is that I did learn a lot about the legal processes, and I gained much empathy for SUA survivors who suffer through them for years after having lost loved ones.

If the preliminary pie-slinging does not resolve the outstanding issues, then we will see each other in court and the pies will get bigger and much more sour. If we get into court, it is SO PUBLIC. It is certainly good for the public interest to cast some sunshine on shadowy legal processes.  But just like for many plaintiffs with SUA lawsuits, it is not a simple decision to roll the dice in court.  So we will see. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Back to Sderot

Sderot - menorah made of spent incoming rockets

We are going home today to Sderot even though it is under heavy fire.
The school year is starting soon, we are a little tired of being displaced persons.
We will be moving into our one-room bomb shelter that is built onto one end of the apartment, dashing out to the kitchen and other rooms as needed.
My son misses his dog, Smoothie.
So farewell, until I set up an office in the bomb shelter. I think wifi works in there but am not quite sure.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Driver error is an imperfect camouflage of the real causes of SUA

Nose cone shows

Boots stick out

Dang! red nose gives it away

Nice are so cute, but that just doesn't work

Someone may end up in a glaring orange jumpsuit, 
....but it may not be the right person

Toyota engineer Takeshi Ogawa says there is NO TEST FOR UA

Omni-test?  ...doesn't exist

In blazingly sharp contrast to Jim Lentz's vague but sworn testimony made to the good congressman from Beverly Hills, Henry Waxman, for the TV cameras... to wit:
"I am relying on the information that I have received from Japan, that they are confident that testing has been done in Japan and they are confident that there are not issues with the ECU."

Now here comes engineer/manager Takeshi Ogawa, who said in his interview with U.S. House investigators, deep in the back offices of a House office building, far from the cameras, verbatim: 
"There is no particular or special testing that would directly prove that there is no unintended acceleration."

Which is true?

And here is Dr. Koopman, on the stand, speaking of Toyota's witness Ishii:

Toyota's Ogawa's "beliefs" vs. expert Michel Mardiguian: "A liar, or naïve"

Naïve  - ??

Toyota engineer Ogawa interview with U.S. House investigators in 2010. Mr. Ogawa was warned by House counsel at the start of this interview that untrue answers carry criminal liability.

From Michel Mardiguian, of Paris, France, renowned EMC expert who often works for the auto industry:

“Electromagnetic interference leaves no trace, it goes away just as it came.” “An automaker who declares bluntly that uncontrolled acceleration cannot be caused by electromagnetic interference because they have fully tested their vehicle is a liar, or naïve.
From Ron Brewer, NARTE Certified EMC Engineer, IEEE EMC Society Distinguished Lecturer. Ron works on the EMC of the Space Shuttle and other space vehicles.

“…there is no way by testing to duplicate all the possible combinations of frequencies, amplitudes, modulation waveforms, spatial distributions, and relative timing of the many simultaneous interfering signals that an operating system may encounter. As a result, it’s going to fail.” 
From Alexandre Boyer, et al  

“Although electronic components must pass a set of EMC tests to (help) ensure safe operations, the evolution of EMC over time is not characterized and cannot be accurately forecast.” 
From Dr I D Flintoff 

“As indicated in [2] narrow-band threat fields with simple modulations are no longer necessarily representative of the EMI which causes the failure in digital systems.”

(Note: “narrow-band threat fields with simple modulations” is exactly how automotive radiated immunity testing is done.) 
From IEC TS 61000-1-2, Ed 2, December 2008 

“In most cases there is no simple or practicable way to check and to verify by means of testing or measuring that immunity is achieved for the safety-related system in its entirety with respect to other systems, equipment or the external electromagnetic environment for all operating conditions and operating modes.”

“This is due to the fact that not every combination of operating conditions, of operating modes and of electromagnetic phenomena acting on the system can be achieved in a reasonable way and in a reasonable period.”

For a detailed explanation of why EMC testing cannot be sufficient (i.e. on its own) to demonstrate that EMI in the operating environment cannot be a cause of unacceptable functional safety risks, read the first chapter in the IET’s 2008 Guide.[34]

With attribution and special thanks to EurIng Keith Armstrong, the indomitable genius of functional safety and EMC standards who is one of Toyota's target experts in the very extensive subpoena documents request list, and also to his colleagues Drs. Anderson and Kirk, his co-authors of a paper on automotive electronics safety. More about that tomorrow.

Great coaching, Ted Hester, Jim Lentz says "testing has been done."

A "zikit," otherwise known as a chameleon

Here is a beautifully composed (misleading but probably not quite perjurious?) statement under oath by Jim Lentz in 2010. Jim, trying his very best after he raised his hand and swore to tell the truth, uttered it to Rep. Henry Waxman and colleagues during hearings before the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee. It is in the public transcript of the hearing.

"I am relying on the information that I have received from Japan, that they are confident that testing has been done in Japan and they are confident that there are not issues with the ECU.    ... We have looked into the electronics. And based on the testing we have done in Japan and now Exponent... we have not found a malfunction."

The purporedly reliable information from Japan was extracted from Messrs. Ogawa and Kishi, two Toyota engineers who were interviewed by House counsel at around the same time. Stay tuned for the next post, where you will read what they had to say.

We've already learned just how much Congress and the public could rely on the good-faith cooperation and whole-truth statements about Exponent's testing, courtesy of Dr. Shukri Souri. (See a previous post.)

Remember - Peter Lagakos, Regina Lagakos, Helen Lagakos, Stephen Krause

This post is in memory of a man who used his statistical skills to uncover corporate midconduct that adversely impacted public health. And to remember that there was a Toyota Highlander involved in his and his family's untimely deaths.
Date: Oct. 13, 2009
Victims: Stephen Lagakos, Regina Lagakos, Helen Lagakos, Stephen Krause
Location: Peterborough, N.H.
Model: 2005 Toyota Highlander
Details: Stephen Lagakos, his wife, Regina Lagakos, and his mother, 94-year-old Helen Lagakos, were returning from a birthday celebration at the family's lakeside country house in Rindge, N.H., when other motorists observed Lagakos' 2005 Highlander traveling at high speed, passing other vehicles erratically in the breakdown lane, according to a complaint filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration .
All three were killed when the Toyota collided with a Chevrolet Malibu on U.S. 202 near Peterborough. The driver of the Malibu, 56-year-old Stephen Krause of Keene, N.H., also died.
Reported by friends and family to be an exceptionally experienced and safe driver, Stephen Lagakos, 63, was a professor at Harvard University's School of Public Health. Colleagues said his work in statistical science was critical to unraveling environmental mysteries, including the contaminated water wells of Woburn, Mass., a toxic site that was the subject of the 1996 bestseller "A Civil Action " by Jonathan Harr,which was later made into a movie starring John Travolta.
The NHTSA complaint filed in January by Marvin Zelen, Lagakos' boss, suggested that the accident was caused by sudden unintended acceleration. Zelen wrote that Lagakos was a careful driver with an excellent safety record.
"I had been in his car with him hundreds of times. Very safe driver -- no cowboy," the report said. "Believe car had uncontrolled acceleration."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014



A moment away from SUA...

I am writing from one of the stone houses in the background of the city there.

In days of yore, we could build simple stone walls for protection from enemies. No more. 

Remember Kent Fly: On the streets of Chicago

 Kent Fly gone, in Chicago

LA Times remembers the Toyota SUA dead
Date: Aug. 26, 2008
Victim: Kent Fly
Location: Chicago
Model: 2006 Lexus ES330
Details: Willette Green said she was heading to work in her Lexus, driving northbound along Interstate 94 in the Chicago area, when she applied the brakes to merge into the right lane. But rather than slowing, she said, the car accelerated out of her control, off the freeway and onto surface streets.
"The car kept getting faster and faster and when I looked up all I could see were red lights," said Green, now 62. "I was just hitting everything in front of me."
The car barreled through a fence and hit a concrete pillar before finally coming to a stop. But not before striking a pedestrian, Kent Fly, who died days later, according to his lawyer.
Green was injured and could not return to work for two months.
"My back, my neck, my arms," she said, felt "like somebody beat me up."
Green said Toyota inspected her smashed car then sent her a letter stating there was no mechanical failure.
Green was cited for speeding, but faced no criminal charges. An attorney who represented Fly said the family sued Green's insurance company and reached a settlement.
Green said she has retained a lawyer and sued Toyota, claiming negligence and product liability.
The Lexus ES330 in not included in Toyota's recent recalls.

When I'm dead and buried, don't you weep after me

Didgeridoo lessons

A loud blast to the hard-of-hearing in New York

And more "law school" lessons....

Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, transmits or causes to be transmitted by means of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce, any writings, signs, signals, pictures, or sounds for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.18 U.S. Code § 1343 - Fraud by wire, radio, or television

Obstruction of Justice by Deception 
In addition to the obstruction of justice provisions of 18 U.S.C. 1503 and 1512, four other general 
statutes outlaw obstructing the government’s business by deception. Three involve perjury: 18 
U.S.C. 1623 which outlaws false swearing before federal courts and grand juries; 18 U.S.C. 1621 
the older and more general prohibition that proscribes false swearing in federal official matters 
(judicial, legislative, or administrative); and 18 U.S.C. 1622 which condemns subornation, that is, 
inducing another to commit perjury. The fourth, 18 U.S.C. 1001, proscribes material false 
statements concerning any matter within the jurisdiction of a federal executive branch agency, 
and to a somewhat more limited extent within the jurisdiction of the federal courts or a 

congressional entity. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

An interesting concept--Snowden's dead man's switch

Snowden's Dead Man's Switch
Edward Snowden has set up a dead man's switch. He's distributed encrypted copies of his document trove to various people, and has set up some sort of automatic system to distribute the key, should something happen to him.
Dead man's switches have a long history, both for safety (the machinery automatically stops if the operator's hand goes slack) and security reasons. WikiLeaks did the same thing with the State Department cables.
"It's not just a matter of, if he dies, things get released, it's more nuanced than that," he said. "It's really just a way to protect himself against extremely rogue behavior on the part of the United States, by which I mean violent actions toward him, designed to end his life, and it's just a way to ensure that nobody feels incentivized to do that."
I'm not sure he's thought this through, though. I would be more worried that someone would kill me in order to get the documents released than I would be that someone would kill me to prevent the documents from being released. Any real-world situation involves multiple adversaries, and it's important to keep all of them in mind when designing a security system.

Remember - A 2010 letter from two congressmen to Jim Lentz


Reminder department, once again
Letter conclusion (see below):

Our preliminary assessment is that Toyota resisted the possibility that electronic defects 
could cause safety concerns, relied on a flawed engineering report, and made 
misleading public statements concerning the adequacy of recent recalls to address the risk of sudden unintended acceleration.

Meanwhile, Toyota DARES to ask me for emails exchanged with the two preeminent engineers who were consultants to Congress on this matter, named in the letter.  What nerve. Really, what nerve.



Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Majority  (202) 225-2927
Minority  (202) 225-3641

February 22, 2010

Mr. James E. Lentz
President and Chief Operating Officer Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
19001 South Western Avenue Torrance, CA 90501

Dear Mr. Lentz:

In response to the Committee's requests, Toyota has provided over 75,000 pages of internal company documents, including over 20,000 pages in Japanese. We thank you and Toyota for this cooperation.

Our preliminary review of the documents raises three significant concerns.  First, the documents appear to show that Toyota consistently dismissed the possibility that electronic failures could be responsible for incidents of sudden unintended acceleration.  Since 2001, when Toyota first began installing electronic throttle controls on vehicles, Toyota has received thousands of consumer complaints of sudden unintended acceleration.  In June 2004, the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sent Toyota a chart showing that Toyota Camrys with electronic throttle controls had over 400% more "vehicle speed" complaints than Camrys with manual controls.  Yet, despite these warnings, Toyota appears to have conducted no systematic investigation into whether electronic defects could lead to sudden unintended  acceleration.

Second, the one report that Toyota has produced that purports to test and analyze potential electronic causes of sudden unintended acceleration was initiated just two months ago and appears to have serious flaws. This report was prepared for Toyota by the consulting firm Exponent, Inc. at the request of Toyota's defense counsel, Bowman and Brooke, LLP. Michael Pecht, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland, and director of the University's Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering (CALCE), told the Committee that Exponent "did not conduct a fault tree analysis, a failure modes and effects analysis . . . or provide any other scientific or rigorous study to describe all the various potential ways in which a sudden acceleration event could be triggered"; "only to have focused on some simple and obvious failure causes"; used "extremely small sample sizes"; and as a result produced a report

that "I would not consider . . . of value . . . in getting to the root causes of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles."

Another expert consulted by the Committee, Neil Hanneman, an engineer with over 30 years experience in automotive manufacturing, product design, and product development, reached a similar conclusion, informing the Committee that the report "does not follow a scientific method" and fails to test "major categories" of potential causes of sudden unintended acceleration, including "electromagnetic interference/Radio  frequency interference," "environmental conditions," the electronic control module (ECM), and "the software algorithms in the ECM."           .

Third, Toyota's public statements about the adequacy of its recent recalls appear to be misleading.  In a February 1, 2010, appearance on the Today Show, you stated that Toyota has "studied the events of unintended acceleration, and [it] is quite clear that it has come down to two different issues," entrapment of accelerator pedals in floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals.  In an appearance the same day on CNBC you repeated this claim and reported that Toyota is "very confident that the fix in place is going to stop what's going on."

The documents provided to the Committee appear to undermine these public claims.  We wrote to you on February 2, 2010, to request any analyses by Toyota that show sticky pedals can cause sudden unintended acceleration.  Toyota did not produce any such analyses.  To the contrary, Toyota's counsel informed the Committee on February 5 that a sticky pedal "[t]ypically
... does not translate into a sudden, high-speed acceleration event." Moreover, our review of the consumer complaints produced by Toyota shows that in cases reported to the company's telephone complaint lines, Toyota personnel identified pedals or floor mats as the cause of only 16% of the sudden unintended acceleration incident reports. Approximately 70% of the sudden unintended acceleration events in Toyota's own customer call database involved vehicles that are not subject to the 2009 and 2010 floor mat and "sticky pedal" recalls.

These concerns are explained in more detail below.  We expect that members of the Subcommittee will ask you about these concerns during your testimony tomorrow and we ask that you come prepared to address them.

I.                        Toyota's Response to Reports of Sudden Unintended Acceleration

In the early 2000s, Toyota began producing vehicles that operated with an electronic throttle control system that severed the mechanical link between the accelerator pedal and the engine.  In place of the cable that once connected the two components, sophisticated computer and sensor systems now communicate an accelerator pedal's position to the engine throttle, telling the car how fast it should go.  Toyota began installing these electronic control units in
Lexus, Camry, and Prius models in 2001 and 2002 and in all Toyota-made vehicles by 2006. 1

1 See U.S. Bound Vehicle Models and MY with ETCS-i, at TOYEC_0000577.

Toyota has received many complaints from consumers about sudden unintended acceleration since 2000. It also received evidence that the number of complaints increased in vehicles with electronic throttle controls. On June 3, 2004, Scott Yon, an investigator in the NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), sent Toyota Assistant Manager of Technical and Regulatory Affairs Chris Santucci an e-mail attaching a chart showing a greater than 400% difference in "Vehicle Speed" complaints between Camrys with manually controlled and electronically controlled throttles.2                                                                     ·

In response to the Committee's January 28, 2010, request for internal Toyota documents, the company provided a representative sample of reports describing calls received through the company's telephone complaint line.  To produce this sample, Toyota started with 37,900 customer contact reports from the company's database that Toyota identified (via the company's complaint coding system) as potentially related to sudden unintended acceleration.  Toyota then randomly selected 3,430 of these complaints for review, ultimately determining that 1,008 of these records directly related to consumer concerns about sudden unintended acceleration, engine surge, or similar problems.  Toyota provided these 1,008 reports to the Committee.

Toyota received many of these calls after October 2009 when it recalled of 3.8 million vehicles because their accelerator pedals could become entrapped in all-weather floor mats, potentially causing sudden unintended acceleration.  Excluding calls after October 1, 2009, calls that did not involve incidents of sudden unintended acceleration, and calls involving Toyota vehicles produced before the year 2001, there were 233 reports of sudden unintended acceleration produced to the Committee from the random sample of 3,430 complaints Toyota reviewed.   Of these 233 complaints, 69 involved vehicle crashes.

These 233 incidents occurred in a broad variety of Toyota vehicles, and were reported in vehicles produced in every model year from 2001 through 2010.3   Assuming that the 3,430
complaints randomly selected by Toyota for review are a representative  sample of the 37,900 complaints in the Toyota database, Toyota would have received an estimated 2,600 complaints of sudden unintended acceleration from Toyota and Lexus drivers between January 2000 and October 2009.  These complaints would have included an estimated 760 crashes.

In the data the Committee reviewed, operators on the Toyota customer complaint line (who relied on consumer reports and information from dealer inspections) identified floor mats or pedals as the cause of only 16% of the sudden unintended acceleration incident reports.
Approximately 70% of the sudden unintended acceleration events in Toyota's own customer call database involved vehicles that are not subject to the 2009 and 2010 floor mat and "sticky pedal" recalls.

2 E-mail from Scott Yon to Christ Santucci and attachment, (June 3, 2004), produced by NHTSA.
3 Twenty-nine percent of the complaints involved Camry models,  13% involved Lexus models,  10% involved Corollas, and 9% involved Tacoma models.  Model year 2007 vehicles were the subject of 17% of all sudden unintended acceleration complaints, and model year 2002 and 2004 vehicles were each the subject of 13% of these complaints.

The documents provided to the Committee reveal that Toyota's frequent response to these complaints was to dismiss the possibility of a failure in its electronic throttle control system. In 2005, the driver of a 2004 Corolla reported to Toyota's customer call center that he was in the process of parking his car "when it sounded like the engine revved then accelerated through a wooden fence and hit a tree." In response, a "national representative" of Toyota informed him that "Toyota has found that these incidents are most often the result of driver
error." An internal memorandum written in 2008 or later states that in "many" cases of sudden unintended acceleration, "pedal misapplication/driver   error has been the cause."5

In the documents provided to the Committee, Toyota representatives commonly responded to drivers reporting sudden unintended acceleration by concluding that the events the consumer described could not have happened.  Toyota's internal files are replete with such statements from the company.  For instance:

     A November 9, 2006, letter from Carole Hargrave of Toyota Motor Sales to a 2005 Toyota Tacoma driver states:  "It is our understanding that you reported that you applied the gas pedal when it stuck, you then applied the brake but the vehicle kept going and hit four parked cars.  Your vehicle was inspected by one of our field technicians in regards to your concerns.  The throttle was inspected and moved freely without any binding and was found to operate as designed.  The brakes will always override the accelerator.  In order for this accident to happen as reported two totally separate systems, the brakes and
throttle, would have to fail at exactly the same time. This is virtually impossible."6

     A March 5, 2007, letter from the driver of a 2003 Camry states that he was preparing to pull out of his driveway, had his foot on the brake, and put the car in reverse, when "the car took off, in reverse, like a rocket ship, careened down my driveway, crossed . . . a main street, jumped the curb on the other side of the street and continued moving in reverse between a utility pole and the street sign. Itthen hit a tree . . . and finally came to a stop . . . ." According to the letter, the Toyota dealer to whom he brought his damaged vehicle "denied that the car could have possibly malfunctioned" and stated that "such a
thing has never happened."7

     A June 28, 2007, letter from Troy Higa of Toyota Motor Sales to the driver of a 2007 Toyota Tacoma states:  "It is our understanding that while you were attempting to park your vehicle in a parking lot, you said you applied the brakes but the vehicle accelerated, which caused you to run over the parking bump and into another vehicle in the next parking space. . . .  In order for the accident to have occurred as reported, two different

4 See Claim File 2005-08-38808, at TOYEC_90008834-37.
5 Unwanted Acceleration Investigations on Toyota Vehicles, at TOYEC_00042008 (emphasis in the original).
6 Letter from Carole Hargrave to 2006 Toyota Tacoma driver, (Nov. 9, 2006), produced to the Committee by NHTSA.
7 Letter from 2003 Camry driver to Jim Lentz, (Mar. 5, 2007), at TOYEC_90004428.

Mr. E. Lentz February 22, 2010
Page 5

systems within the vehicle would have had to fail, those being the throttle linkage and brakes.  For both systems to fail simultaneously is virtually impossible."8

In March 2007, NHTSA began investigating whether accelerator pedals on some Lexus models could become entrapped in all-weather floor mats, causing sudden unintended acceleration.  In response, Toyota issued a limited recall of 55,000 2007 and 2008 Camrys and
Lexus ES350 vehicles, advising drivers of those cars to remove all-weather floor mats and await notification that a redesigned all-weather floor mat was available for their vehicles. 10

In October 2009, Toyota expanded its floor-mat recall to include six additional models spanning the 2004 to 2010 model years. 11 Toyota enlarged the i:ecall once again in November 2009 to include a total of 4.3 million vehicles. 12

Toyota issued another large recall in January 2010.  This recall, encompassing 2.3 million vehicles, targeted pedals that can become "sticky," or slow to return to idle, when subjected to wear or certain environmental conditions. 13   At the time of this recall, Toyota took the unusual step of stopping sales and production of the eight affected models, including two of the most popular sedans in the U.S. market, the Camry and the Corolla. 14
Throughout this period, Toyota has consistently maintained that there are no defects in its electronic throttle control system (ETCS-i) that could cause or contribute to sudden unintended acceleration.  In public appearances on February  1, 2010, you emphatically denied any electronic cause of these incidents.  Reporters asked you about speculation that defects in Toyota's
electronic controls could be responsible for sudden unintended acceleration, and you insisted that thorough testing had ruled out such a possibility. 15

II.                     The Exponent Report

8 Letter from Troy Higa to 2007 Toyota Tacoma driver, (June 28, 2007), produced to the Committee by NHTSA.
9 NHTSA, ODI Resume, PE07-016, (Mar. 29, 2007).
10 Letter from Chris Tinto to Dan Smith Re Toyota and Lexus Optional Equipment All Weather Floor Mat, Part 573 Defect Information Report, (Sept. 26, 2007).
11 Letter from Chris Santucci to Dan Smith Re Certain Toyota and Lexus Vehicles Potential Floor Mat Interference with Accelerator Pedal, (Oct. 5, 2009).
12 Data point to Toyota's throttles, Los Angeles Times, (Nov. 29, 2009).
13 Doubt cast on Toyota's decision to blame sudden acceleration on gas pedal defect, Los Angeles Times, (Jan. 30, 2010).
14 Toyota halts sales of eight models, including Camry and Corolla, over acceleration issues, USA Today, (Jan. 26, 2010).
15 Squawk Box, CNBC, (Feb. 1, 2010).

Mr. James E. Lentz February 22, 2010
Page 6

In response to your public statements, we wrote to Toyota on February 2, 2010, to request "all analyses or documents that substantiate" your claim that electronic malfunctions were not causing sudden unintended acceleration. 16   In response, Toyota provided two types· of documents to the Committee:  (1) reports of internal testing of various components and features of Toyota's
electronic throttle control system, and (2) a single evaluation of the potential for sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles by the consulting firm Exponent, Inc. Neither category of documents appears to justify your public comments.

The electronics testing documents Toyota provided include thousands of pages of engineering standards; test methods; pre-production vehicle and component evaluations; e-mail correspondence between Toyota engineers about field testing of new features of the company's ETCS-i system; engineering change instructions; reports on field testing of competitor vehicles; and sketches, diagrams, test engineering reports, photographs, e-mails, and PowerPoint presentations by Toyota and part manufacturers related to proposed fixes for "sticky pedals." Except for one recent report, the documents did not include any analyses that purported comprehensively to test and analyze possible electronic causes of sudden unintended acceleration.

The only document Toyota produced that claims to address the phenomenon of sudden unintended acceleration in a systematic way is a February 2010 report on testing conducted by Exponent, a scientific and engineering consulting firm located in Menlo Park, California. 17   This report was commissioned in December 2009 by Toyota defense counsel Bowman and Brooke, LLP.  Exponent representatives told the Committee staff that Bowman and Brooke requested the report just days before its publication date of February 4, 2010, at approximately the same time that we sought substantiation of your claims about electronics testing.  According to Exponent, at
the time the report was written, testing was still on-going and an interim report like this one is not customary for the company. 18
The report states that Exponent's testing did not lead to observation of "any instances of unintended acceleration or any circumstances that might lead to unintended acceleration.  To the contrary, imposing perturbations resulted in a significant drop in power rather than an

16 Letter from Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak to James E. Lentz, (Feb. 2, 2010) (hereinafter, "Lentz Letter").
17 While Exponent has been involved in several high-profile investigations, including a survey of damages to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building after the Oklahoma City bombing and work on behalf of insurance firm Swiss Re in limiting the company's claims exposure after the collapse of the World Trade Center, the company has also faced criticism from "engineers, attorneys, and academics who say the company tends to deliver to clients the reports they need to mount a public defense."  Exponent has, for instance, issued reports arguing that secondhand smoke does not cause cancer.  See Toyota calls in Exponent Inc. as hired gun, Los Angeles Times, (Feb. 18, 2010).
18 Feb. 19, 2010, Committee Staff interview of Paul Taylor and Angela Steffen Meyer.

Mr. Jrunes E. Lentz February 22, 2010
Page 7

increase." 19 According to Exponent, when its researchers imposed a fault on a Toyota electronic throttle control system, "the vehicle entered a fail-safe mode consistent with descriptions provided in the technical manuals for Toyota and Lexus vehicles."20

On February 19, 2010, the Committee staff interviewed one of the primary authors of the Exponent report, Dr. Paul Taylor.  He stated that the report did not exrunine any vehicles or components that consumers reported to have had unintended acceleration events.  He also said that the study did not analyze the vehicles' computer systems, seek to identify potential chip failures, exrunine software and programming of the vehicles' electronic control modules, conduct any testing under differing environmental conditions, or assess the effects of electromagnetic or radio frequency interference on the electronic throttle control system.  According to Dr. Taylor,
these are not among his or his co-authors' "areas of expertise."21  Dr. Taylor said that Toyota's counsel has hired other researchers at Exponent to conduct such tests of Toyota and Lexus
vehicles, but Toyota did not request that Exponent provide interim reports on these additional studies.

On February  19, 2010, we sought a review of the Exponent report by two automotive engineering and safety experts, Dr. Michael Pecht, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland and director of CALCE, and Neil Hannemann, an engineer with over 30 years of experience in automotive manufacturing, product design, and product development. 22
These independent experts raised multiple concerns about the value of the Exponent report.

A.         Small Srunple Size

Exponent tested only six Toyota and Lexus vehicles and a series of individual parts, including pedal assemblies and engine control modules.  According to Dr. Pecht, this small srunple is unlikely to identify the cause of a rare and intermittent problem such as sudden unintended  acceleration:

it is well known that the phenomenon of sudden acceleration, while often deadly, is not so widespread that such simple tests with such extremely small sample sizes would undercover the root cause. For exrunple, Toyota recalled some 2.3 million throttle pedal assemblies to eliminate excess friction between two pieces of the accelerator mechanism. This was apparently based on less than 1,000 complaints by customers;   Ifwe assume a similar fault rate for the "selected failure

19 Testing and Analysis of Toyota and Lexus  Vehicles and Componentsfor  concerns Related to Unintended Acceleration, Exponent, Inc., (Feb. 4, 2010), at 15, TOYEC_00003197.

20 Id.
21 Feb. 19, 2010, Committee Staff interview of Paul Taylor and Angela Steffen Meyer.
22  Letter from Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak to Dr. Michael Pecht, (Feb. 19, 2009); Letter from Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak to Neil Hanneman, (Feb. 19, 2009).                                                                                                                         ·                                                                                                                         .

conditions" that Exponent studied, then Exponent should have been testing l OOO's of cars instead of 6 to precipitate the problem with any acceptable degree of confidence. . . . Exponent did not analyze an adequate sample, both in number
and type of vehicles, to reach conclusions about the potential causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.  In fact, they never tested more than 1 of any particular model year type of vehicle.23
B.              Failure to Test for Potential Causes

Both experts reported that Exponent failed to conduct an appropriate analysis of the causes of sudden unintended acceleration.  As a result, they determined that the study was unable effectively to reach conclusions about whether Toyota vehicles may have flaws that cause unintended  acceleration.

According to Mr. Hannemann, "this report does not follow a scientific method. . . . [I]t is not clear if the testing is appropriate to the issue, since the extent of the problem was not defined.
. . . To even have a conclusion with such a poorly stated problem is inappropriate."24  Dr. Pecht
reached a similar conclusion:

Exponent did not provide a methodology which showed that they identified the potential causes of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles.  Exponent did not conduct a fault tree analysis, a failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) . . . or provide any other scientific and rigorous study to describe all the various potential ways in which a sudden acceleration event could be triggered.  This would be necessary to plan and ensure that the testing and analysis was complete, thorough and of value.  Exponent appeared to have only focused on some simple and obvious failure causes and did not provide any rationale to rule out other potential causes (e.g., software).25
C.              Failure to Test for Real World Conditions

Both experts also observed that because Exponent conducted only limited tests on vehicles or components in isolation and did not test under varying environmental and driving conditions, these tests were unlikely to be of value in determining the causes of sudden unintended acceleration.   According to Mr .Hannemann:

23  Letter from Michael Pecht to Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak, (Feb. 21, 2010) (hereinafter, "Pecht Letter").
24  Letter from Neil Hanneman to Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak, (Feb. 21, 2010) (hereinafter, "Hanneman Letter").
25 Pecht Letter.

there are also major categories of testing that were not addressed such as EMI/RFI (electromagnetic interference/Radio  frequency interference), environmental conditions, and underhood  operating·environment conditions.26
Mr. Hannemann also found that "[T]his evaluation seems limited primarily to the electrical signals of two sets of sensors.  There appears to be no attempt to evaluate the ETCS-i as a system. . . .  There was no testing or analysis of the throttle body hardware, the wiring, the ECM, or the software.''27                   ·

Dr. Pecht reported:

the tests did not consider potential reliability issues arising from various conditions and combinations of use, operation and the environmental loads (e.g. temperature, temperature changes, humidity, contamination, EMI, radiation), representative of an appropriate sample of real-world driving conditions.
Common mode failures were not considered and the load conditions on the vehicles were all benign. 28

D.              Conclusions of the Independent Experts

Dr. Pecht and Mr. Hannemann reached similar conclusions about the value of the Exponent report, each finding that as a result of its limitations, the report is of little value in understanding the potential causes of sudden unintended acceleration. Dr. Pecht informed the Committee that he "would not consider this report to be of value to the Committee, to NHTSA or
to Toyota in getting to the root causes of sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles.''29

Similarly, Mr. Hannemann concluded:

[T]here are major flaws in the methodology and almost nothing added to the overall understanding of the concerns of the unexpected acceleration phenomenon that is the subject of a massive Toyota recall. . . .  [T]his report alone does very little to prove that there are no other causes of unexpected acceleration in Toyota
vehicles. 30

III.            Toyota's Public Statements

On February 1, 2010, Toyota announced that it had found the solution to the problem of sudden unintended acceleration.  In multiple appearances on national television, you said that

26 Hanneman Letter.
27 Id
28 Pecht Letter.
29 Id
30 Hanneman Letter.

Toyota has "studied the events of unintended  acceleration" and that it is "quite clear that it has come down to two different issues":  floor mats that entrap the accelerator and "sticky" accelerator pedals.31   On the same day, Toyota announced that it would replace the pedals on 2.3 million vehicles.  You explained that Toyota is "very confident that the fix in place is going to stop what's  going on."32

Your public statements differed from private explanations that Toyota officials had given to Committee staff on January 27, 2010, which indicated that it was unlikely that "sticky pedals" would cause sudden unintended acceleration. For that reason, we asked in our February 2, 2010, letter that you provide the Committee with "any analyses and documents that support a
conclusion that 'sticky pedals' have caused sudden high-speed acceleration."33  The letter
requested that Toyota provide a response by February 5, 2010.

Toyota did respond on February 5, 2010, but the company did not produce any analyses that showed how "sticky pedals" could cause sudden unintended acceleration.  To the contrary, it confirmed in a cover letter from outside counsel Theodore Hester that a sticky pedal "[t]ypically
... does not translate into a sudden, high-speed acceleration event."34  The letter also made clear
that the recalls announced in the last several months provide remedies only for the high-speed sudden unintended acceleration events caused by floor-mat entrapment, and the lower impact,
slow-to-idle events created by "sticky pedals."35  The causes of sudden unintended acceleration, Mr. Hester wrote, are "multiple" and "hard to identify."36

The letter did not explain why you would tell the public on February 1, 2010, that the recall of 2.3 million vehicles to replace "sticky pedals" would "fix . . . what's going on" if Toyota had no studies linking sticky pedals to sudden unintended acceleration.

Toyota's own data also appear to conflict with the assurances that you gave on February 1, 2010.  As noted above, the data from Toyota's consumer complaint telephone line show that floor mats or pedal problems have been identified as the cause of only 16% of the sudden unintended acceleration reports received through the complaint line.  Over 80% of the complaints do not identify either of these factors as causes of the reported problems.
Furthermore, almost 70% of the sudden unintended acceleration events in Toyota's customer call database involved vehicles that are not subject to the 2009 and 2010 floor mat and "sticky pedal" recalls.

31 Today Show, NBC, (Feb. 1, 2010).
32 Squawk Box, CNBC, (Feb. 1, 2010).
33 Lentz Letter.
34 Letter from Theodore Hester to Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Subcommittee Chairman Bart Stupak, (Feb. 5, 2010).
35 Id.
36 Id.

IV.            Conclusion

Sudden unintended acceleration in vehicles is a serious and highly dangerous event.  Our preliminary assessment is that Toyota resisted the possibility that electronic defects could cause safety concerns, relied on a flawed engineering report, and made misleading public statements concerning the adequacy of recent recalls to address the risk of sudden unintended acceleration. We hope that tomorrow's hearing provides the Committee with additional information about Toyota's response to incidents of sudden unintended acceleration over the past decade.


Henry A. Waxman Chairman

Bart Stupak Chairman
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations

cc:        The Honorable Joe Barton Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce

cc:        The Honorable Greg Walden Ranking Member Subcommittee on Oversight

and Investigations