THIS is a prime example of what is WRONG with the new cars - Too much secretive reliance on "Black Boxes" and computerize BULLSH-T. I like my OLD JEEP as it is a basic transportation...no weird components that complicate what doesn't need to be complicated.
Keep your PRIUS- NO THANKS!!! Send your computerized econobox to the scrapheap where it belongs!
AP IMPACT: Toyota secretive on 'black box' data
By CURT ANDERSON and DANNY ROBBINS, Associated Press Writers Curt Anderson And Danny Robbins, Associated Press Writers
Thu Mar 4, 6:30 pm ET
SOUTHLAKE, Texas – Toyota has for years blocked access to data stored in devices similar to airline "black boxes" that could explain crashes blamed on sudden unintended acceleration, according to an Associated Press review of lawsuits nationwide and interviews with auto crash experts.
The AP investigation found that Toyota has been inconsistent — and sometimes even contradictory — in revealing exactly what the devices record and don't record, including critical data about whether the brake or accelerator pedals were depressed at the time of a crash.
By contrast, most other automakers routinely allow much more open access to information from their event data recorders, commonly known as EDRs.
AP also found that Toyota:
• Has frequently refused to provide key information sought by crash victims and survivors.
• Uses proprietary software in its EDRs. Until this week, there was only a single laptop in the U.S. containing the software needed to read the data following a crash.
• In some lawsuits, when pressed to provide recorder information Toyota either settled or provided printouts with the key columns blank.
Toyota's "black box" information is emerging as a critical legal issue amid the recall of 8 million vehicles by the world's largest automaker. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this week that 52 people have died in crashes linked to accelerator problems, triggering an avalanche of lawsuits.
When Toyota was asked by the AP to explain what exactly its recorders do collect, a company statement said Thursday that the devices record data from five seconds before until two seconds after an air bag is deployed in a crash.
The statement said information is captured about vehicle speed, the accelerator's angle, gear shift position, whether the seat belt was used and the angle of the driver's seat.
There was no initial mention of brakes — a key point in the sudden acceleration problem. When AP went back to Toyota to ask specifically about brake information, Toyota responded that its EDRs do, in fact, record "data on the brake's position and the antilock brake system."
But that does not square with information obtained by attorneys in a deadly crash last year in Southlake, Texas, and in a 2004 accident in Indiana that killed an elderly woman.
In the Texas crash, where four people died when their 2008 Avalon ripped through a fence, hit a tree and flipped into an icy pond, an EDR readout obtained by police listed as "off" any information on acceleration or braking.