IDG News Service - Despite continual assurances from Toyota that a recent rash of uncontrolled accelerations of the company's automobiles aren't caused by their electronic braking systems, the U.S. Department of Transportation will review possible electronic causes for the failures, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said at congressional hearing today.
Although stopping short in declaring that the agency would conduct a full-fledged investigation LaHood told the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will conduct a "very comprehensive review," of the possible electronic causes of the unattended acceleration.
"We are going to do a complete review of the electronics to determine if this is a reason. We heard from enough drivers that we think that it is an issue," LaHood said, adding that the agency has 125 electrical engineers who can be used for the task, and the White House's proposed 2011 fiscal budget for the federal government calls for 66 more positions within NHTSA.
On Tuesday, David Gilbert, a professor of automotive technology at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, testified before the House committee that, under certain conditions, runaway acceleration on some Toyotas can be caused by partial or full circuit failure of the electronic throttle control system.
LaHood said the agency will examine this claim, and others, closely.
Toyota officials have attributed the problem to loose floor mats or sticky accelerators, but denied any possible electronics or software-related causes.
"The electronic throttling system is designed for safety first. Whenever there is any abnormality or anomie in [the electronic throttle control] system, the fuel supply to the system is cut off," said Toyota President Akio Toyoda in his testimony before the committee today.
"Even under a very vigorous testing conducted internally or by NHTSA, no problem [or] malfunction was identified. Therefore I am absolutely confident that there is no problem of the design of the system," he said, through a translator.
Toyoda added that, despite the company's confidence in the electronic throttling system, it will be adding an electronic-based brake override system to new models, beginning in the second half of 2010, to address customer concerns.
Thus far, 39 deaths have been attributed to Toyota-related unintended acceleration, and additional 2,500 complaints have been filed with the NHTSA. In response, Toyota has recalled 5.3 million vehicles in the U.S.
- Google I/O 2013's Coolest Products and Services
- 10 Star Trek Technologies That are Almost Here
- 19 Generations of Computer Programmers
- 25 Must-Have Technologies for SMBs
- A walking tour: 33 questions to ask about your company's security
- 15 social media scams
- The 7 elements of a successful security awareness program
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Federal IT Innovation Caught in a Catch-22
- Fed resources shoring up old infrastructure, holding back new technologies.
- Harness IT -- An Introduction to Business Intelligence Solutions
- Learn the key selection criteria required to provide your organization with the capability to address structured data, unstructured data and mobile demands so...
- Business Intelligence Shows its Smarts
- Today's Business Intelligence (BI) tools provide a new way to think about data with self-service capabilities and user-friendly analytics that can be used...
- Proactive Planning for Big Data
- Big data is less about the terabytes and more about the query tools and business intelligence needed to make sense of massive amounts...
- Inquiry Spotlight: Consumer-Facing Identity
- The challenges of consumer-facing identity management, access management, and authentication differ in ways subtle and dramatic from those of the employee-facing variety. All Government IT White Papers
- Becoming An Analytics Driven Organization
- Join us on Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT and learn how your agency can create an analytics culture that will enable...
- 3 Reasons Why Sepaton is the World's Fastest Backup Solution
- Leading analyst, Storage Switzerland learns how Sepaton backs up and deduplicates massive data volumes while maintaining the industry's fastest performance - all in...
- Enterprise File Sharing: All You Need to Know
- Security. Scalability. Control. These are just some of the many benefits of enterprise cloud file-sharing that you'll discover in this KnowledgeVault, packed with...
- Bridging HTTP and FTP with FileXpress Internet Server
- What if you could take an FTP server on your internal network, and allow external users (partners or customers) to securely access it...
- MFT and FileXpress - An Overview
- Business users and applications exchange files on a regular basis. File transfer is a core part of the flow of business activity. All Government IT Webcasts