Toyota says black box speed data may be inaccurate

Takeshi Uchiyamada, executive vice president in charge of research and development for ToMoCo has said that the crash data boxes that it provides in its vehicles are reliable, but that a bug in the software may provide inaccurate vehicle speeds. The disclosure comes amidst a continuing investigation by the NHTSA.

“Toyota has acknowledged previously that the event data recorders are not accurate,” said Uchiyamada. “We have been able to determine that there is no defect in the event data recorders.”

But, “we have found that there was a software bug in the event data recorder readers that download data. The bug had to do with data that indicated speed,” he said.

ToMoCo had said last month that it had reviewed 3,000 complaint s of unintended acceleration since March and concluded that no electric glitches were behind vehicle surges. Although Toyota offered a number of alternative causes, Uchiyamada said Monday that during a study involving a 2007 crash involving Tundra that hit a tree, it was discovered that the EDR had recorded a speed of 170 mph. That is when it was concluded that the speed was not feasible, and it was concluded that the EDR was not to be trusted.

Despite that prior claim, Uchiyamada said that he wanted to clarify that that was not the case, and that the EDR was reliable, that the speed was the only inaccurate reading.

– By: Stephen Calogera

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)