Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2012 Toyota Rav4 Sudden Acceleration

2012 Toyota Rav4 Sudden acceleration
12-22-2015, 02:41 AM  #12  (page 2)
Location: Northern California
(2012 Toyta Rav4)
2012 Toyota Rav4 Sudden acceleration

I am new to this forum and I joined to ask some questions to see if
anyone has had any similar problems.
Here's the senario:We have a 2012 Toyota Rav4 base model two wheel
drive, 4 cyl. automatic. The car belongs to my mother, I was driving it,
my mother was in the front passenger seat. We had been driving for
roughly 15 minutes, and had come to a red light and were completely
stopped for approximately one minute when all of the sudden the engine
started revving and then the car lurched forward (like a stick shift would
do if you popped the clutch) and the tires spun and squeeled on the
pavement. Once the acceleration stopped and revving let up and it
returned to "normal" for being stopped, I put the car in park and pulled
the emergency brake. In shock as to what had just happened, I looked
at my mother and said "oh my god, what just happened?!!" I was in a
total state of shock and pretty shook up. We took the car back to the
house and I called AAA and had the Rav4 towed to our local Toyota
dealership. The same day, the service advisor called me and said he
needed to interview me to ask me some survey questions that Toyota
needed for the inspection of the vehicle. I answered the questions, which
some were similar to questions that would be asked if you were in a car
accident (road conditions, weather condition, was the car moving or
stopped, was the AC or heater on or off, etc). The following day, the
service advisor called again (I missed his call, he left a voice mail) He
stated that "the Rav4 is all checked out, did all inspections, submitted
with Toyota, and opened a case with Toyota on all the information that
he had went over with me, and he submitted it, everything is checking
out fine on the car, and they can't find anything that would cause this
concern, everything is checking out good. It's all done, the case is closed
with Toyota"

I disagree. The Rav4 is NOT okay, something IS definitely wrong, but
they claim nothing is wrong with it. Furthermore, when I insisted
something was wrong with the vehicle because I was the one behind the
driver seat when it when it happened, and that the accelerator problems
with Toyota were not top secret, the public knows about it, one of the
service advisors told me "Nasa has proved that none of the sticking gas
pedals in those instances ever happened" (???!) I told her I was not
going down that path with her and she told me I could take it up with
Toyota and she provided me with the case number.

My question to everyone is this: Has anyone out there had a similar issue
with a 2012 RAV4 or know anyone that has? Does anyone know what
the problem is? AND has anyone every been told what the service
advisor told me about NASA? This sounds to me like Toyota is trying to
brush a major serious problem under the carpet. We are terrified to
drive this car!! We fear for our life! I won't drive it home from Toytoa,
it's going to be towed back to our driveway. The car's only got 17,000
miles on it, new tires, new brakes, new battery and is paid off, we own it
outright and basically we have a car that isn't safe to drive but Toyota
won't admit a problem. Any help or suggestions would be greatly

Thank you!


Have you got any answers, dear Rav4 driver? You will never get answers from Toyota that you can rely on as the truth.
I know what the problem is, and I know many people who know what the problem is.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Why the dearth of dashcam videos of Toyota SUA incidents on YouTube?

eye screen, you screen, we all screen for "bad" things ...

Haaretz: Censoring the Internet Is No Way to Make a Living

A New York-based artist-couple delves into the murky world of 'content moderators,' the poorly paid workers meant to protect us from horrific Internet images.

[I am presuming that in Toyota's view, moving images of runaway vehicles qualify for this type of corporate-sponsored censorship.]

Here is a fascinating article that sheds light on the dark underbelly of the Internet:

“I do have a common frustration,” the ["content moderator"] worker says. “When I see an image that needs to be tagged because it is really graphic or illegal, I flag it and then move onto the next image or the next task. There is no follow-up. I never know what happens, or if anyone saw that it was flagged, or that anyone took care of it. Maybe I flag the image and they remove it from their data set, so it’s not visible online anymore, but what if there was something illegal in the image....that needed to be reported to the police?
“Does anyone at the company call the police?..... I have no idea. Since the requesters are almost always anonymous, I can’t contact the company to even ask these questions. I click to flag the image, but after that I don’t know if anyone ever cares.”
The [artist couple] Matteses themselves both say they were surprised to discover that many [technology] companies bow to political pressure. “We were absolutely blown away by the scale and extent of censorship online,” Franco said. “Initially, this project started as a survey of content moderation and it emerged from our ongoing fascination with the dark side of humanity. But very quickly the research took a surprising turn when we started to learn about political censorship on the Internet. For example, when Osama bin-Laden was killed, many companies ordered their content moderators to remove any video or content about the assassination from their websites.”
Today, content moderation is an obscure and mysterious process. We don’t know who removed the content, and why. Without transparency, Internet users cannot know what guidelines content moderators follow, and we don’t know what happens to the content once it’s removed. Since these are private companies, they act as if they have no accountability.
Eva: “If we care so much about freedom of speech, we have to redefine and openly debate its limitations and contours. That process should not take place in the shadows.”

...Toyota SUA videos are not there on YouTube--not because the events did not happen, but because they have almost certainly been screened out of online reality by the corporate power that wants to maintain information control.

Where have the videos gone?

Are rich people even aware of the poor people who spend countless hours on the internet defending them?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Takata engineer Bob Schubert says the company "prettied up" test data

I feel pretty...

"Japanese-style business practices" exposed...sounds familiar

In January 2005, a U.S. Takata engineer, Bob Schubert, detailed what he said was altered information with a different inflater. He said Takata dressed up data, in some cases removing unflattering test results.
Mr. Schubert said Takata was “prettying up” data in a way described as “the way we do business in Japan,” according to an earlier undated draft of the memo to another employee. “The practice confounded my engineers,” he wrote, adding that they addressed it by ensuring products were still compliant with supporting data.
“It has come to my attention that the practice has gone beyond all reasonable bounds and now most likely constitutes fraud,” Mr. Schubert wrote. He said his conscience required reporting the discrepancies.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Japan's corporate executives and their apologies - subject of today's TBS broadcast

Executives apologize for scandalous conduct--
does this mean really taking responsibility, or is it just a formality?

こんにちは。 『外国人記者は見た!日本 in ザ・ワールド』です。 本日のテーマは『謝罪』! 今年だけでも随分、謝罪の光景を目にしたような気が致します。 本日の放送では、”謝罪”をする意味が日本と海外で違うことが良くわかる収録内容となっていると思います。本日も、是非ご覧下さい。

Hello. This is a message from [the TBS TV series] "Japan in the World, as seen by Foreign Journalists." Today's theme is "apology"! Even just this year, it feels like we saw many spectacles of apology. From the content of today's broadcast, you will understand the difference between the meaning of making an "apology" in Japan and the meaning of making one in any other country. Please tune in later today.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Driver with 18 years of cab driving experience, after Toyota crash: "I stepped on the brake and the car wouldn't stop."

Livery cab driver Bialo Diallo speaks to a reporter. He is "convinced the car malfunctioned."
He was not charged.

The car, after the children were pulled out from underneath.

4 Young Children Among 5 Hurt When Livery Cab Crashes Into
Group of Pedestrians in Bronx: Witnesses, Officials
Published at 8:43 AM EST on Sep 30, 2015
By Brynn Gingras and Katherine Creag

Toyota goes for rock-solid AI designs from Gil Pratt and other American geeks


Hans Greimel has written an interesting explainer on the background and details of Toyota's push into the auto AI race and the life and motives of Gil Pratt, Toyota's new AI leader.

Reading between the lines, it is obvious to me that Toyota is admitting that it cannot become a serious contender for leadership status in autonomous vehicles unless it taps into American brainpower in the field of AI/robotics.

I am glad. If their Japanese engineers could not get even build a safe, robust ETC, (my strong impression is that they developed and tested software as if it were hardware), they certainly could not hope to leapfrog Google and Apple to eventually take the lead in infinitely more complex cutting-edge embedded AI systems. As the head of the new Toyota Research Institute, Pratt "described the move as transitioning the world's biggest automaker away from a past of bending metal and toward a future of programming silicon." Well, it's about time.

I also think this is move that may amount to killing two birds with one stone. Toyota cannot rewrite its ETC and related software now without coming under yet another dark cloud of suspicion that they knew all along that it was defective. But Toyota can rewrite its embedded software from scratch, no problem, if it is rewritten in the context of leaping ahead to the next era in automotive history.   

Friday, November 6, 2015

Driver: "Freakish random acceleration?" -- Yes, ma'am, but it is by design, actually

11-05-2015, 08:54 PM  #1
[Lexus LS - 3rd Gen (2001-2006)]
Location: Wa
freakish random acceleration??
Today was the second time this has happened in my 430.

The first time I was parking and inching up to the wall in the parking garage
and the car launched forward. It barely tapped the wall...of my newly painted
car. I figured I just spaced out for a sec  no damage / no big deal...just
thought it was strange. that was a few weeks ago

Today, I was moving cars around in my driveway. My S13 and GS300 were
side by side. I was just going to park directly behind them...accelerator sped
up (REALLY fast) as I was moving about 5ft from the rears of the cars. I
slammed on the brakes with BOTH feet until I could feel the Antilock brakes
vibrate like crazy....the car was still acting like I was giving it gas. 

I turned the wheel sharply to avoid (hitting) my other cars and almost ran into
the side of my house. it stopped less than a foot from the house and my GS.

The first time I thought it was im thinking this could be an issue with
the car 

Any else ever have that happen???

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Toyota patent for flying car.

This car goes flying -- intentionally.

Read entire patent here.

Question: Why is Toyota working to perfect flying car technology when it cannot even prevent some of its cars from flying off of cliffs, parking garages, etc., or going airborne, unintentionally?

Friday, September 4, 2015

Lexus accelerates forward, then in reverse; crashes into two stores--"miracle from heaven" no one hurt

Lexus slams into liquor store, then reverses and rams into hair salon.

VALLEY VILLAGE ( — Cleanup efforts were underway after police say a driver slammed into a liquor store, then reversed and smashed into parked cars before plowing into a salon.
Security footage captured the crash in the 4800 block of Whitsett Avenue in Valley Village just after 4:45 p.m. Thursday.
Witnesses described the driver as a woman in her mid-to-late 60s and said she didn’t appear to be impaired. She was uninjured.

[This crash looks similar to a 2012 crash with double UA. 
An excellent analysis can be found in this paper:]
Intermittent Electrical Contact Resistance as a 
Contributory Factor in the Loss of Automobile 
Speed Control Functional Integrity 

Date of publication March 21, 2014, 

date of current version April 9, 2014. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/ACCESS.2014.2313296 
Independent Electrical Engineering Consultant, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE3 4XY, U.K. 
(pages 278-283 / cursor pages 21-26)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Attorneys John Bisnar and Brian Chase write the Toyota SUA timeline again in an August 2015 update

John Bisnar

Brian Chase

Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration Timeline
Last Updated: August 31, 2015

4. The Truth Comes Out:
In 2010, freelance translator Betsy Benjaminson was assigned to review and translate 1,500 documents from Toyota regarding SUA, when she found that Toyota was hiding information regarding car defects, and even lying about it to the NHTSA regulators and the United States Congress. In 2013, Benjaminson released a personal statement on her facebook page, claiming that she found documents with evidence that "Toyota's press releases [were] bland reassurances obviously meant to help maintain public belief in the safety of Toyota’s cars—despite providing no evidence to support those reassurances." In addition to this, Benjaminson stated that "Toyota’s engineers... were searching for UA’s root causes, but they could not seem to find them", and that they would sometimes admit that the root cause "was the electronic parts, the engine computer, the software, or interference by radio waves." This evidence directly contradicted the statements that Toyota made saying that ther was no defect in the electronic throttle control system (ETCS). Benjaminson's complete personal statement was released in April 2013, and can be found here.

Benjaminson posted her personal statement when she decided to go public with her findings and name herself as the primary whistleblower behind the condemning Toyota internal documents. At the same time, David Hechler interviewed Benjaminson and wrote the article Lost in Translation, which reveals some of the contents of the leaked Toyota documents, including Toyota senior staff saying "I can't completely take care of the pedal problem." There was even a document that showed numerous errors found within the ETCS when testing, although they were assumed to have been errors that were corrected before production. Regardless, it gave proof that the ETCS could fail dramatically, despite Toyota engineers claiming that it wasn't possible.

A Flawed NASA Study

Hechler also wrote about a joint NHTSA and NASA study, which was created to test the ETCS but didn't find any evidence of a defect. The final report was delivered in February 2011, in which the Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood said, "The jury is back. The verdict is in. There is no electronic-based cause for unintended high-speed acceleration in Toyotas, period." This statement was widely reported and called for the public to start trusting Toyota again, as the report blamed most of the reported incidents of SUA on driver error. In reality, this test was not without its own set of problems. Hechler writes that "some of the scientists on this team wouldn't sign NASA's final report," due to the unusual nature of study - in which the team was told to ignore electronics failures that did not specifically match criteria set for them. The team was given 10 months to figure out "why certain cars had failed, but they were given no access to those that actually had." Thus, LaHood's blanketing statement of blessing for the ETCS did not sit right with many of the NASA scientists, who objected that NASA's final statement saying that there was "no evidence that a malfunction in electronics caused large unintended accelerations,” did not mean that there was no defects to be found.

The Barr Group, an independent company specializing in auto firmware, was hired to conduct another investigation for the Bookout v Toyota Motor Corp case, which was an unintended acceleration case that settled in late 2013. The result of the investigation was a 800-page document that claimed to find bugs in the Toyota ETCS that could lead to unintended acceleration. Michael Barr, founder of the Barr Group, noted that they "did a few things that NASA apparently did not have time to do," and that they "uncovered gaps and defects in the throttle fail safes." Barr went on to claim that there were many "mistakes in the Toyota analysis that NASA relied on," and that the cars' black boxes "can record false information about the drivers actions in the final seconds before a crash." The Bookout case settled for 3 million dollars in favor of Jean Bookout, who was injured, and the family of Barbara Schwarz, who was killed in the SUA crash.

Toyota Tacoma runs into Iowa nursing home, killing Anna Dykstra

Tacoma: Part of a pattern


HULL, Iowa - (Courtesy KCAU-TV) A freak accident Monday afternoon left a resident of Pleasant Acres Care Center in Hull, Iowa dead and the facility with major damages.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff's Office, a 2012 Toyota Tacoma driven by 77-year-old Lawrence Sohl of Hull ran through an intersection, across a grass lawn striking the care center. The truck traveled through the rooms of two residents before coming to rest completely inside the building. The collision killed 88-year-old Anna Dykstra, a resident of the care center, who was in her room at the time of the accident.

No one was in the second room.

Deputies say at the time of the accident, Mr Sohl was following his wife who was driving a 2011 Chrysler Town and Country minivan. About a half block from the accident scene and for no apparent reason, Mr. Sohl struck the rear of the minivan sending his vehical on it's path.

Dykstra was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of her injuries. Lawrence Sohl was transported to the Sioux Center Hospital by the Sioux Center Ambulance for treatment of his injuries. The care center sustained $200,000 damage.

The accident remains under investigation by the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.

When will NHTSA invite Dr. Ron Belt and the Korean government researchers to present their scientific explanations of why these kinds of crashes can happen in Toyota vehicles? 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

NHTSA inexplicably reposts Dr. Gopal Raghavan's sudden acceleration defect petition
(contains all the relevant graphics)

Key quote--see page 4:
"As the figure shows, the EDR does not necessarily capture all accelerator pedal applications during an event and the accelerator pedal voltage recorded at each EDR time interval may not be the actual accelerator pedal voltage at that interval."

How can you use the EDR data to state there was no sudden acceleration if the values are incorrect in that interval? 

Isn't NHTSA using this to vindicate Toyota? 

My view: Absolutely!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Full text of NHTSA's denial of Dr. Gopal Raghavan's defect petition for Toyota electronics-based sudden acceleration

Here below is the text that NHTSA quickly took down. Is it fair to say that they took it down because they did not want it to be scrutinized too closely by people who can understand its shortcomings?

Formatting and graphics are missing--this is the best I can do for now.

This decision raises some questions:

1. Is EDR data reliable or not?
2. Is it just me, or do I detect that NHTSA is trying very hard to find causes of SUA that do not involve the vehicle electronics? Willful blindness seems to be coming into play for the umpteenth time. Remember, denying defect petitions for automakers is one way that NHTSA staff are preparing to apply for well-paying jobs with those self-same automakers in the future. They just love to close investigations. 
3. "Misconception" is an awfully arrogant word to use when rebutting such a well-qualified engineer as Dr. Raghavan, who appears to be far more qualified than the NHTSA ODI staff.
4. "Misconception" might be better applied to NHTSA's view that the EDR once-per-second data capture rate allows for complete non-capture of events such as a driver stomping on the gas pedal during the interval between two data capture moments. This sounds just like how Toyota would want NHTSA to "explain" the roaring engines. 
5. Can a gas pedal application that lasts less than one second produce such a change in the engine RPMs? and can the rapid changes in RPMs be attributed to the low resolution of the RPM data?

These are the first questions that come to mind.

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition AGENCY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, (NHTSA), DOT.

ACTION: Denial of a petition for a defect investigation.

SUMMARY: This notice sets forth the reasons for denying a petition submitted to NHTSA, 49 U.S.C. 30162, 49 CFR part 552, requesting that the agency open “an investigation into lowspeed surging in different models of Toyota automobiles in which the car starts accelerating and the engine RPM increases even when the accelerator pedal is not depressed.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Stephen McHenry, Vehicle Control Division, Office of Defects Investigation, NHTSA, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone 202-366-4883. E-mail

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1.0 Introduction Interested persons may petition NHTSA requesting that the agency initiate an investigation to determine whether a motor vehicle or item of replacement equipment does not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard or contains a defect that relates to motor vehicle safety. 49 U.S.C. 30162(a)(2); 49 CFR 552.1. Upon receipt of a properly filed petition, the agency conducts a technical review of the petition, material submitted with the petition, and any additional information. 49 U.S.C. 30162(c); 49 CFR 552.6. The technical review may 2 consist solely of a review of information already in the possession of the agency, or it may include the collection of information from the motor vehicle manufacturer and/or other sources. After considering the technical review and taking into account appropriate factors, which may include, among others, allocation of agency resources, agency priorities, the likelihood of uncovering sufficient evidence to establish the existence of a defect, and the likelihood of success in any necessary enforcement litigation, the agency will grant or deny the petition. See 49 U.S.C. 30162(d); 49 CFR 552.8. 2.0

Petition Background Information
In a letter dated June 19, 2015, Dr. Gopal Raghavan (the petitioner) requested that NHTSA open “an investigation into low-speed surging in different models of Toyota automobiles in which the car starts accelerating and the engine RPM increases even when the accelerator pedal is not depressed.” Dr. Raghavan based his request on his analysis of EDR data from an accident involving his wife and from two other accidents in Toyota vehicles.

NHTSA has reviewed the material cited by the petitioner. The results of this review and our evaluation of the petition are set forth in the DP15-005 Petition Analysis Report, published in its entirety as an appendix to this notice. After a thorough assessment of the material submitted by the petitioner, the information already in NHTSA’s possession, and the potential risks to safety implicated by the petitioner’s allegations, it is unlikely that an order concerning the notification and remedy of a safety-related defect would result from any proceeding initiated by the granting of Dr. Raghavan’s petition. After full consideration of the potential for finding a safety related defect in the vehicle, and in view of NHTSA’s enforcement priorities, its previous investigations into this issue, and the need 3 to allocate and prioritize NHTSA’s limited resources to best accomplish the agency’s mission, the petition is denied.
4 Appendix - Petition Analysis - DP15-005 1.0 Introduction On June 29, 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received a June 19, 2015 letter from Dr. Gopal Raghavan, Ph.D. EE (the petitioner), petitioning the agency “for an investigation into low-speed surging in different models of Toyota automobiles in which the car starts accelerating and the engine RPM increases even when the accelerator pedal is not depressed.” In support of this request, the petitioner provides his analysis of Event Data Recorder (EDR) data from three accidents, which he alleges, “shows a troubling similarity amongst EDRs of Toyota cars showing sudden acceleration.”

2.0 Petition Analysis 2.1 EDR pre-crash data
Since the petition is based on several misconceptions about Toyota EDR pre-crash data, a short background of this system is provided. The Toyota EDR collects pre-trigger data (vehicle speed, engine speed, brake switch status, and accelerator pedal position sensor #1 voltage) from the vehicle’s High Speed Controller Area Network (HS-CAN), which is refreshed either periodically or immediately by the respective control modules. Parameter Refresh Rate Resolution Brake Switch Immediately On/Off Engine RPM 24 ms 400 RPM1 Vehicle Speed 500 ms 2 km/h2 Accelerator Rate 512 ms 0.039 volts
Table 1. EDR Pre-Crash Parameters, by Refresh Rate. 2 The EDR continuously performs 1 Hz sampling of HS-CAN pre-trigger data and stores the data in a temporary buffer. The EDR only saves this data, along with the trigger data, when 1 EDR recorded data are rounded down in the indicated resolution increments. 2 These values apply to ES350 and Camry vehicles involved in two of the incidents identified by the petitioner. The third vehicle, a 2010 Toyota Corolla, has a slower refresh rate for Engine RPM (524 ms). 5 it detects a triggering event such as a crash. 3 Table 1 shows the refresh rates and resolutions for the pre-crash data signals.

Any analysis of EDR data for Toyota vehicles should apply these data time tolerances and resolutions at each of the pre-crash data points. In 2010, NHTSA’s Vehicle Research and Test Center (VRTC) conducted testing to validate the EDR pre-crash data used in NHTSA field investigations.

4 Figure 1 shows accelerator pedal sensor voltage data from one test performed by VRTC in the validation testing.5 As the figure shows, the EDR does not necessarily capture all accelerator pedal applications during an event and the accelerator pedal voltage recorded at each EDR time interval may not be the actual accelerator pedal voltage at that interval. Subsequent studies have confirmed the limitations of stored EDR pre-crash data in capturing the entire crash event due to the data refresh rates, data resolutions and EDR sampling rates.
6,7,8 3 An event is triggered by detection of a deceleration of approximately 2 g’s. 4 "Event Data Recorder - Pre Crash Data Validation of Toyota Products," NHTSA-NVS-20ll-ETC-SR07, February 2011. 5 "Event Data Recorder - Pre Crash Data Validation of Toyota Products," NHTSA-NVS-20ll-ETC-SR07, February 2011, page 13. 6 Brown, R., White, S., "Evaluation of Camry HS-CAN Pre-Crash Data," SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-0996, 2012, doi: 10.4271/2012-01-0996. 7 Brown, R., Lewis, L., Hare, B., Jakstis, M. et al., "Confirmation of Toyota EDR Pre-crash Data," SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-0998, 2012, doi: 10.4271/2012-01-0998.

Figure 1. VRTC validation testing of EDR accelerator pedal sensor voltage from simulated collisions in a 2007 Toyota Camry. 6 The Bosch CDR report provided with the petition clearly notes these issues in the first two items of Data Limitations section on page one of the report:
• Due to limitations of the data recorded by the airbag ECU, such as the resolution, data range, sampling interval, time period of the recording, and the items recorded, the information provided by this data may not be sufficient to capture the entire crash.
• Pre-Crash data is recorded in discrete intervals. Due to different refresh rates within the vehicle’s electronics, the data recorded may not be synchronous to each other.

2.2 Crashes cited by petitioner
2.2.1 2009 Lexus ES350 The first incident identified by the petitioner involved a sudden acceleration accident experienced by his wife as she attempted to park the family’s 2009 Lexus ES350 on Friday, February 13, 2015 (VOQ 10732103). When interviewed by ODI, Mrs. Raghavan stated that the engine roared as she was coasting into a parking space. She stated that the surge occurred before she applied the brake and that when she applied the brake there was no response or braking action. The vehicle accelerated up onto a sidewalk and into some bushes and a fence. On February 24, 2015, a Toyota representative inspected the vehicle, including a download of EDR data (Table 2). Time (sec) -4.6 -3.6 -2.6 -1.6 -0.6 0 (TRG) Vehicle Speed (MPH [km/h]) 3.7 [6] 3.7 [6] 3.7 [6] 3.7 [6] 5 [8] 8.7 [14] Brake Switch OFF OFF OFF OFF OFF ON Accelerator Rate (V) 0.78 0.78 0.78 0.78 2.38 0.78 Engine RPM (RPM) 400 400 400 800 1,600 1,600 Table 2. Pre-crash data for VOQ 10732103. 8 Ruth, R., Bartlett, W., Daily, J., "Accuracy of Event Data in the 2010 and 2011 Toyota Camry During Steady State and Braking Conditions," SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-0999, 2012, doi: 10.4271/2012-01-0999.

7 According to the EDR data, immediately prior to impact (t = 0.6 s) the brake pedal was not applied and the accelerator pedal was depressed to approximately 71 percent of full apply.
9 Based on the recorded vehicle speeds at this time, the vehicle was inside the parking space when the acceleration occurred. At this time and distance from impact, the driver should be applying the brake and not the accelerator to safely stop the vehicle and avoid the collision. Although the driver alleged that the brakes were not effective during the incident, the brakes were not applied until the moment of impact (t=0 s). Moreover, the brakes had no history of prior malfunctions and the post-incident inspection did not reveal any brake system deficiencies. Based on the available information, this incident is consistent with pedal misapplication by the driver and provides no evidence of a vehicle defect.

2.2.2 2010 Toyota Corolla The second incident identified by the petitioner involved a MY 2010 Toyota Corolla that accelerated into a parked vehicle during an attempted curbside-parking maneuver in a residential neighborhood on June 8, 2014 (VOQ 10637908). NHTSA examined this incident in Defect Petition DP14-003, which the agency closed on April 29, 2015.10 In the police report for this accident, the driver states that she stopped at an intersection with the intention of turning right and parking along the curb behind a parked vehicle. When interviewed by ODI, the driver indicated that as she applied the brakes during the incident, the car responded by accelerating. She stated that it did not slow down, and it continued to increase in speed until it hit the back of the parked vehicle. Similar to the current petitioner’s incident, the EDR data for this incident (Table 3) shows no recorded service brake application until the airbag module trigger point (t = 0s). 9 According to Toyota, an Accelerator Rate of 2.38 volts indicates an accelerator pedal application of 71 percent. 10 McHenry, S., “Denial of Motor Vehicle Defect Petition,” DP14-003, May 2015. 8 Time (sec) -4.8 -3.8 -2.8 -1.8 -0.8 0 (TRG) Vehicle Speed (MPH [km/h]) 3.7 [6] 3.7 [6] 3.7 [6] 3.7 [6] 5 [8] 7.5 [12] Brake Switch OFF OFF OFF OFF OFF ON Accelerator Rate (V) 0.78 0.78 0.86 0.78 0.78 0.78 Engine RPM (RPM) 800 800 800 800 800 1,600 Table 3. Pre-crash data for VOQ 10637908. Based on the vehicle speeds recorded just prior to impact (t = -0.8 s), the Corolla was less than a car length from the parked vehicle and traveling 7 to 9 feet per second with no indication of service brake application. At this speed and distance, the driver should be applying the brake to safely stop the vehicle and avoid the collision. Although the recorded accelerator rate voltages do not show a pedal application corresponding with the surge,11 VRTC simulation testing verified that unrecorded accelerator pedal applications could produce the increases in vehicle speed and engine speed shown by the EDR in the trigger data. 12 In addition, VRTC accumulated over two thousand miles of testing of this vehicle during DP14-003 with no problems noted in the throttle, transmission or brake systems.13 As previously determined by NHTSA, this incident does not provide evidence of a vehicle defect.

2.2.3 2009 Toyota Camry The third incident identified by the petitioner involved a MY 2009 Toyota Camry that accelerated into a building when attempting to park in a storefront facing parking space on December 21, 2009 (VOQ 10299750). This incident was among 58 accidents investigated by NHTSA in 2010 as part of the joint study with NASA. A description of the incident, identified 11 The data do show a small accelerator pedal application 2.8 seconds prior to the impact. 12 Collins, W., Stoltzfus, D., “Evaluation of 2010 Toyota Corolla from DP14-003,” DP14-003WDC, April 2015, pages 11-13. 13 Collins, W., Stoltzfus, D., “Evaluation of 2010 Toyota Corolla from DP14-003,” DP14-003WDC, April 2015. 9 as Case 33 in the NHTSA study, was included as an example of the 39 accidents classified as pedal misapplications in a 2011 report summarizing NHTSA’s field investigations. 14 Time (sec) -4.7 -3.7 -2.7 -1.7 -0.7 0 (TRG) Vehicle Speed (MPH [km/h]) 3.7 [6] 3.7 [6] 3.7 [6] 9.9 [16] 13.7 [22] 19.9 [32] Brake Switch OFF OFF OFF OFF OFF OFF Accelerator Rate (V) 0.86 0.82 0.98 0.78 3.71 1.37 Engine RPM (RPM) 400 400 800 1,600 3,200 4,400 Table 4. Pre-crash data for VOQ 10299750, EDR tool version As described in the 2011 report, the driver had turned from a lane of traffic to enter a parking space and was about to come to a rest facing a shopping plaza storefront when the vehicle lunged forward through the façade of a hair salon. The driver reported having his foot on the brake when the acceleration occurred. Table 4 shows the EDR pre-crash data for this accident, as published in the 2011 report.15 The EDR data for this incident shows no recorded service brake application during the event. Immediately prior to impact and after the vehicle had entered the parking space, the driver pressed the accelerator pedal to the floor when intending to apply the brake. 16 As noted in the 2011 report, this incident is consistent with pedal misapplication by the driver and does not provide any evidence of a vehicle defect as suggested by the petitioner.

2.3 Petitioner claims and misconceptions
2.3.1 “Strong signature” According to the petitioner, “The fact that all three cars were coasting at 3.7 mph when the sudden-acceleration happened appears to be a strong signature of a common issue.” However, even though the EDR data for the three incidents may have reflected speeds of 3.7 14 "NHTSA Toyota Pre-Crash EDR Field Inspections during March - August 2010," NHTSA-NVS-20ll-ETC-SR10, February, 2011, pages 15-16. 15 The petitioner based his analysis of this incident on a different EDR readout reviewed later in this report, in Section 2.3.3, “Case 33.” 16 The recorded Accelerator Rate of 3.71 volts is well beyond the accelerator rate needed for 100 percent throttle. 10 mph before the acceleration occurred, the vehicles may not have actually been travelling the same speed. The common speeds recorded in the three vehicles are simply an artifact of the EDR vehicle speed resolution of 2 km/h. In all three incidents, the vehicles were travelling 6.0 – 7.9 km/h (3.7 – 4.9 mph) prior to the accelerations, which the Toyota EDR records as 6 km/h (3.7 mph). These are common speeds for low-speed parking maneuvers. The “glitch” in accelerator pedal voltage that the petitioner alleges occurs after the 3.7 mph speed recording, is the voltage increase resulting from the accelerator pedal applications by the drivers. The petitioner claims that the voltage spike suggests a potential vehicle based cause, speculating, “the accelerator is either calculating an incorrect accelerator value or receiving a noise spike on the accelerator sensor.” However, such speculation ignores the facts that the accelerator pedal has redundant sensors and that NASA already thoroughly examined this subject during the joint study. The common pattern is that the “glitches” occur at the moments in the events when the driver should be initiating braking, but no braking has occurred. Thus, the only common signature evident in the incidents is that in all three the surges occurred when the driver should have initiated braking for a vehicle entering a parking space at low speed. The fact that the vehicles suddenly accelerated just as they were beginning to enter their intended parking spaces instead of braking to a stop as intended is a signature of pedal misapplication by the driver. NHTSA has observed this signature in investigations of sudden acceleration dating back to the first such investigation that ODI opened in 1978. It is not isolated to any particular makes or models of vehicles or to any throttle design technologies.

2.3.2 Engine RPM increases The petitioner claims that each of the incidents he analyzed displays evidence of engine speed increases without any application of the accelerator pedal. For example, in his analysis of 11 his wife’s incident he states, “by -1.6 seconds the engine RPM has DOUBLED to 800 with no depression of the accelerator.” This assertion reflects a misunderstanding of the manner in which the Toyota EDR samples and records pre-crash data as previously described in this report and in prior reports published by NHTSA. First, as indicated in this report and in the Data Definitions section on page two of the Bosch CDR report attached to the petition, the Toyota EDR records engine speed in 400 rpm increments (rounded down). For example, a recorded value of 400 rpm indicates that the measured engine speed was between 400 and 799 rpm. Thus, an increase in recorded engine speed from 400 to 800 rpm could result from a change in engine speed of just 1 rpm. Second, the nominal idle speed for a MY 2009 ES350 when the engine is warm, the transmission is in gear (i.e., either Drive or Reverse), and no accessory loads are operating is approximately 600 rpm. Air-conditioning use and steering input may result in the idle speed increasing to 700 to 800 rpm to compensate for the additional loads placed on the engine by the air-conditioning compressor and power-steering pump. Thus, the actual engine speeds associated with the recorded values of 400 rpm were likely closer to 800 rpm than 400 rpm.17 Finally, it is not accurate to state that engine speed increases did not result from accelerator pedal applications based strictly on the recorded EDR data, since the data do not necessarily show all accelerator pedal applications (see section 2.1 and Figure 1) and because of the differences in refresh rates for engine speed and accelerator rate. Although actual engine speed will closely follow accelerator rate, the recorded accelerator rate may slightly lag behind recorded engine speed due to the slower refresh rate of the accelerator signal (see Table 1). Thus, the increase in recorded engine speed at -1.6 seconds prior to impact could very well have 17 Engine speeds that drop below 500 rpm are uncommon in motor vehicles and have been associated with engine stall due to idle undershoot in some ODI investigations of non-Toyota products. 12 resulted from the initial stages of the large pedal application that the EDR recorded at -0.6 seconds.

2.3.3 Case 33 The EDR data used by the petitioner for Case 33 was from the initial readout ODI performed with the original version of software available from Toyota (Table 5). This version converted accelerator pedal sensor #1 voltages to an accelerator status of OFF, MIDDLE or FULL. A supplemental report to the NHTSA February 2011 report included a copy of this readout.18 This incident is one of many incidents from early field investigations that ODI read a second time after receiving an updated version of Toyota software that provided a more precise indication of accelerator pedal position.19 Time (sec) -4.7 -3.7 -2.7 -1.7 -0.7 0 (TRG) Vehicle Speed (MPH [km/h]) 3.7 [6] 3.7 [6] 3.7 [6] 9.9 [16] 13.7 [22] 19.9 [32] Brake Switch OFF OFF OFF OFF OFF OFF Accelerator OFF OFF OFF OFF FULL OFF Engine RPM (RPM) 400 400 800 1,600 3,200 4,400 Table 5. Pre-crash data for VOQ 10299750, EDR tool version 1.3 (original readout). Table 4 shows the data from the readout obtained using the updated software. Rather than maintaining a consistent voltage as may be misinterpreted by the OFF accelerator levels shown in Table 5, the accelerator pedal rates in the updated readout in Table 4 show that the driver was applying the accelerator pedal at varying rates throughout the event. Thus, the petitioner’s conclusions that the vehicle was coasting and the driver had not depressed the accelerator pedal when the idle speed was increasing are incorrect and do not provide evidence of a vehicle defect. 18 "Toyota EDR Data from NHTSA Pre-Crash Field Inspections," NHTSA-NVS-20ll-ETC-SR12, February 2011. 19 "Toyota EDR Software Versions Used in NHTSA Unintended Acceleration Field Investigation Cases," NHTSANVS-20ll-ETC-SR08, February 2011, page 8. 13 2.3.4 NASA “high-speed study” The petitioner incorrectly characterizes the joint NASA-NHTSA study as a “high-speed study.” In fact, the joint study focused on all potential vulnerabilities in the Toyota ETCS-i system that were not associated with the floor mat entrapment or sticking accelerator pedal conditions addressed by multiple Toyota safety recalls in 2009 and 2010.20 Most such incidents examined during the study involved allegations of sudden acceleration in vehicles initially moving at low speeds. The most common scenario for the incidents was acceleration when attempting to park. Thus, contrary to the petitioner’s characterization, low-speed surges were the primary focus of the study by NHTSA and NASA in 2010. The incidents analyzed by the petitioner fall within the scope of prior work conducted in the joint NHTSA-NASA study of Toyota ETCS-i and, more recently, the analysis conducted in evaluating Defect Petition DP14-003. His claims appear to be based on upon several misconceptions regarding the manner in which Toyota EDR sample and record data, as well as a misunderstanding of the scope of and results from prior work conducted by NHTSA, NASA and others related to sudden unintended acceleration and the use of EDR data in related field investigations. The petitioner has presented no new evidence or theories not already considered by NHTSA that warrant reconsideration of any of the analyses or conclusions from that prior work.

3.0 Conclusion In our view, a defects investigation is unlikely to result in a finding that a defect related to motor vehicle safety exists, or a NHTSA order for the notification and remedy of a safety-related 20 The floor mat entrapment and sticking pedal defect conditions were both “stuck throttle” type defect conditions, which typically occur at higher speeds when larger accelerator pedal applications necessary to cause the entrapment are more likely. 14 defect as alleged by the petitioner, at the conclusion of the requested investigation. Therefore, given a thorough analysis of the potential for finding a safety related defect in the vehicle, and in view of NHTSA’s enforcement priorities, its previous investigations into this issue, and the need to allocate and prioritize NHTSA’s limited resources to best accomplish the agency’s safety mission and mitigate risk, the petition is denied. This action does not constitute a finding by NHTSA that a safety-related defect does not exist. The agency will take further action if warranted by future circumstances.

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 30162(d); delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.50 and 501.8. Frank S. Borris II, Acting Associate Administrator for Enforcement. BILLING CODE 4910-59-P [FR Doc. 2015-20333 Filed: 8/17/2015 08:45 am; Publication Date:8/18/2015]