ABC News Videos Unintended Acceleration

A very interesting story broke on the Internet yesterday, when ABC news released a video showing how a Toyota vehicle which experiences unintended acceleration behaves. The video shows David Gilbert, an automotive technology professor at the Souther Illinois University ABC's Brian Ross testing what happens when a Toyota goes berserk.

What is interesting, aside from the video, of course, is that what the two managed to prove is that an electronic fault can cause unintended acceleration. By deliberately causing a short circuit in the car's electronic system, Gilbert managed to get the Toyota to accelerate like mad.

This means the car's floor mat or the accelerator pedal had nothing to do with the acceleration. Even more, the car's on-board computer registered no error code coming from the electronic circuits while the car was accelerating.

To stop the car, Gilbert had to put the car in neutral and then apply the brakes.
Toyota was quick to respond to the story, denying an electronic fault is the cause for the unintended accelerations. Despite this, the possibility the electronics are at fault become more and more apparent.

Below are excerpts from Toyota's official response to the video posted by ABC news. In it, you will find a challenge launched by Toyota to prove the report false.

"Toyota spoke with Mr. Gilbert on February 16 in an effort to understand his concerns. During this discussion, Mr. Gilbert explained that he had connected a resistor between the output wires of the two accelerator pedal sensors on a Toyota Tundra."

"In other words, he had artificially introduced an abnormal connection between two otherwise independent signals coming from the accelerator pedal sensors. Mr. Gilbert advised Toyota that he believed that his intentional misdirection of these signals could cause the vehicle to accelerate unexpectedly."

"In response to Mr. Gilbert's claim as communicated to Toyota, Toyota confirmed that what Mr. Gilbert described would not cause unintended acceleration to occur. In fact, under the abnormal condition described last week by Mr. Gilbert, if there is a short with low resistance between the two signals, the electronic throttle control system illuminates the "check engine" light and the vehicle enters into a fail-safe mode of engine idle operation."

"If there is a short with high resistance, outside the range of "check engine" light illumination, the accelerator pedal continues to be responsive to driver input and the vehicle will return to the idle condition when the foot is taken off of the accelerator pedal. Unintended acceleration would not occur."

"After watching the story today on ABC News featuring Mr. Gilbert, Toyota was surprised to learn that Mr. Gilbert appears now to be making a different claim regarding the electronic throttle control system and in a vehicle other than as described to Toyota last week."

"In order to set the record straight, Toyota welcomes the opportunity to evaluate the Toyota Avalon shown in today's story and the method by which Mr. Gilbert allegedly caused the vehicle to accelerate unintentionally. We welcome the attendance of ABC News at any such evaluation of this vehicle and Mr. Gilbert's testing."
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories