2012年1月23日月曜日

米トヨタ 急加速調査終了

米トヨタ車の急加速調査が終了した。
 トヨタ自動車の車両による意図せぬ急加速問題で、電子系統の欠陥が
見つからなかったとして米監督当局が調査を終了したことは妥当だったと
結論付けた報告書をNASの委員会がまとめた。ただ、報告書は将来欠陥が
見つかる可能性を排除しないとしている。

NAS報告書
・ソフトウエアや他の電子系統の欠陥では形跡が残らない可能性がある
・NHTSAは自動車の電子系統の規格設定により精通し、それに一段と関与
 する必要があると指摘。

NASA
・2003年型「カムリ」のアクセルペダル位置センサーの一部で、内部に
 スズのウィスカが見つかった。
・2010年の検査車両では、電子スロットル制御技術に異常が見当たら
 なかった。
Technical Assessment of Toyota Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Systems

米国製アクセルペダル、米販売店販促カーペット、電子制御ブレーキに
よる不具合が原因となった。電子制御ブレーキは効きを良くし、右足
アクセル、左ブレーキによる運転操作は、抑制装置で、保護するようだ。
米車製造会社が欲しがった電子スロットル制御技術は非公開となった。
通常の動作では、製造会社で試験しているから不具合はなくなっている
と思う。結局、「外部や内部からの電磁波や静電気等による影響を証明
することはできない」となった。できたら画期的だろう。

現在では多くの車種に取り付けていると言われるEDR。
事故で死亡する確率が割と低い車全てに高価なEDRを搭載し、計測する
信号や時間、書式、接続コネクタ、ピン配置等を国際規格で規制すれば、
純粋な不具合は見つかるだろう。しかし、人間に起因する原因は見つか
らないと思う。

慢心トヨタ フロアマットが死を招く
トヨタ マット以外にも欠陥か
TOYOTA 要請で販売中止へ
トヨタ 無心で恫喝か
トヨタ騒動 鎮静化へ
トヨタ事故 運転ミスが主因か
事件一段落
レクサス急加速事故 和解金1000万ドル
TOYOTA 災い転じて福か


---トヨタ車急加速の調査終了は妥当、電子系統は形跡残らず-米委員会---
更新日時: 2012/01/19 07:35 JST
http://www.bloomberg.co.jp/news/123-LY0JDM0UQVI901.html

 1月18日(ブルームバーグ):トヨタ自動車の車両による意図せぬ急加速問題で、電子系統の欠陥が見つからなかったとして米監督当局が調査を終了したことは妥当だったと結論付けた報告書を米国科学アカデミー(NAS)の委員会がまとめた。ただ、報告書は将来欠陥が見つかる可能性を排除しないとしている。
 同委員会は18日付の報告書で、ソフトウエアや他の電子系統の欠陥では形跡が残らない可能性があるとした上で、米運輸省道路交通安全局(NHTSA)は自動車の電子系統の規格設定により精通し、それに一段と関与する必要があると指摘した。
  同委員会の委員長を務めるニュージャージー工科大学のルイス・ランゼロッティ教授(物理学)は同日、記者団との電話会議で、「完全な否定を証明するのは不可能だが、われわれが入手した全てのデータからは、電子系統やソフトに問題がなかったという結論が示唆されている」と話した。
 意図せぬ急加速の報告を受け、トヨタは2009年と10年に「トヨタ」と「レクサス」で800万台余りをリコール(無償の回収・修理)した。トヨタとNHTSAは電子制御スロットルについて調査したが、アクセルペダルとフロアマットが原因だったと判断している。


---Drivers again faulted over Toyota acceleration---
By Paul A. Eisenstein
TheDetroitBureau.com
2012-01-18T22:54:23
http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/46045551/ns/business-autos/#.Txdb2oHB2PY

But 2-year review also suggests electronic issues may have played role

A two-year study looking for possible causes behind Toyota’s rash of unintended acceleration issues has put primary blame on driver error - but the review by the National Academy of Sciences also cautioned that some problems may have been caused by inadvertent interactions involving vehicle electronics - an issue frequently cited by the automaker’s critics.

Though there was no hard evidence of specific electronic defects, the 139-page report cautioned that “the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” Warning electronic faults may be “untraceable,” it calls for stricter government involvement in setting standards for the use of electronic control vehicle systems.

The new report completes a series of studies set in motion by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which, in March 2010, asked both the NAS’s National Research Council, as well as NASA, to see why there were so many complaints about what the media was referring to as “runaway Toyotas.”

The problem first made headlines in the summer of 2009, when a California Highway Patrol Officer and several members of his family were killed in a fiery crash involving a Lexus they had borrowed. The maker initially recalled several million vehicles due to a problem it described as “carpet entrapment,” but in January 2010 it added millions more due to a potentially sticky accelerator linkage.

Ultimately, more than 8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles were recalled in the U.S. alone. But the NHTSA received numerous additional complaints - with plaintiffs’ attorneys lining up to file lawsuits against the automaker - alleging some unknown electronic gremlin was also at work.

Last February, the NASA panel issued its report, contending it had found no indication of electronic defects. The National Research Council study echoes that, putting the primary blame on driver error. That had been the conclusion of other investigators in a number of instances - in one, police investigators found that a woman driver involved in a crash had been pressing on the gas pedal, rather than the brake, so hard she had bent its linkage.

Nonetheless, the latest study does not rule out electronic issues, which it cautioned can result in “untraceable faults,” with no physical evidence - other than a crash - to show when there might have been a problem such as a momentary software glitch.

“Some failures of software and other faults in electronics systems do not leave physical evidence of their occurrence, which can complicate assessment of the causes of unusual behaviors in the modern, electronics-intensive automobile,” the report cautioned.

Nonetheless, Louis Lanzerotti, the chairman of the panel and a New Jersey Institute of Technology physics professor, said during a conference call that, “All the data available to us indicated the conclusion that there was no electronic or software problem” that may have caused the Toyota unintended acceleration reports.”

The new study called for a number of steps to be taken to reduce the likelihood that electronic hardware and software do cause problems in the future - a critical issue considering the increasing use of digital technology in modern automobiles. Among the recommendations:

NHTSA should convene an advisory panel to set uniform industry testing standards for electronic systems;
New vehicles should be equipped with aircraft-style black boxes to make it easier to trace and identify defects;
Regulators need to continue research on pedal design and placement.

The study also called for closer cooperation between NHTSA’s researchers and the Transportation Department’s Office of Defect Investigations.

While some critics questioned the latest study - as they did earlier NHTSA and NASA findings, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that in his eyes the latest report “does close the book” on the Toyota scandal.

At one point, following the second unintended acceleration recall, LaHood had said owners of Toyota vehicles involved in the recalls might think about parking those products until they were repaired.

The NHTSA ultimately levied a series of record fines against Toyota, including one for $33 million for delaying action on the sticky accelerator problem.

The maker, long known for seemingly bullet-proof quality, also recalled products in 2009, 2010 and 2011 for a variety of other issues, ranging from electronic brake issues with its Prius hybrid to excessive corrosion that could cause metal parts to fell off while driving the Sienna minivan.

As a result, Toyota had more recalls than any other maker in the U.S. market in 2009 and 2010, and with 3.5 million vehicles involved in service campaigns in 2011, came in just behind Honda, which last year recalled 3.7 million vehicles.

The long-term impact to the company’s reputation is unclear. Toyota - along with Honda - was one of only two major makers to suffer a sales decline in 2011. Analysts put most of the blame on the March earthquake and tsunami that severely limited global production for much of the year, but they also note cool consumer response to the latest update of the Toyota Camry at the same time as competitors like Ford are becoming increasingly aggressive in market segments long dominated by Toyota.

A new study by KBB.com shows that Toyota has regained its long-standing position as having the highest loyalty rate in the industry. But the maker is still heavily dependent on “conquesting” buyers from other brands. That, many analysts warn, could become more difficult in light of the hits Toyota’s reputation has taken.


---Toyota and Electronic Throttles Cleared - Again - in New Unintended Acceleration Report---
By Bill Visnic, Senior Editor | Published Jan 18, 2012
http://www.insideline.com/toyota/toyota-and-electronic-throttles-cleared-again-in-new-unintended-acceleration-report.html

Just the Facts:

A new report issued today by the National Research Council cites results of a NASA investigation that found electronic throttle-control systems were not the cause of the nationwide 2009-'10 rash of accidents attributed to "unintended acceleration."
The report backed the initial National Highway Traffic Safety Administration finding that unintended acceleration incidents were caused either by sticky throttles and "trapped" throttle pedals or drivers pressing the wrong pedal.
However, the NRC also said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will have to become more proficient at understanding increasingly complex automotive electronic systems - and issued another recommendation that libertarians will find troubling.


WASHINGTON - The National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council released a report today that said after months of research the NRC commissioned from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, accidents that caused the unintended acceleration scare of 2009-'10 can't be traced to any problems with engines' electronic throttle control systems, the so-called "drive-by-wire" technology some attempted to cite as the cause of unintended-acceleration accidents.

After a horrific 2009 accident in California that killed four, the unintended-acceleration furor settled on vehicles made by Toyota Motor Corp. An ensuing investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), while ruling out electronic throttles as a potential cause, led to Toyota recalling more than 10 million vehicles globally to replace potentially sticking throttle pedals and to address the possibility of improperly placed floor mats "trapping" the gas pedal once it was depressed. Toyota subsequently paid a record of nearly $50 million in fines after NHTSA determined the company was slow in addressing customer complaints about sticking throttles. The cost to Toyota's formerly impenetrable quality reputation may never be accurately calculated.

The NRC's 140-page report, which can be downloaded for free here is the result of a third-party scientific investigation requested by NHTSA in the wake of the unintended-acceleration furor. In effect, the report indicates that NASA researchers could find nothing to indicate drive-by-wire throttles could have caused unintended-acceleration accidents - if for no other reason than the vehicle's brakes should always be able to overcome the power of a runaway engine, even one running at full throttle.

The report said, "While untraceable electronics faults may be suspected causes of unintended acceleration, this explanation is unsatisfactory when the driver also reports experiencing immediate and full loss of braking. However, such reports are common among complaints of unintended acceleration, and NHTSA attributes them to pedal misapplication when investigations offer no other credible explanation for the catastrophic and coincidental loss of braking."

Further to exoneration, the report continued, "In all vehicles that it has examined - with and without ETCs - NHTSA has found no means by which the throttle control system can disable a vehicle's brakes. The agency, therefore, cannot explain how the application of previously working brakes, as asserted by some drivers, would fail to overcome engine torque and halt acceleration commencing in a vehicle that had been stationary or moving slowly."

So where's that leave us? NHTSA said it definitely needs to "become more familiar with how manufacturers design safety and security into electronics systems, identify and investigate system faults that may leave no physical trace and respond convincingly when concerns arise about system safety." The agency also admitted it is troubling that the unintended-acceleration panic demonstrated NHTSA couldn't "convincingly address public concerns about the safety of automotive electronics." The conclusion, driven by today's report: NHTSA plans to develop "additional specialized technical expertise" to help it understand increasingly complex automotive electronics.

There was another conclusion from the report, though, that shakes the hornet's nest of personal freedoms: NHTSA thinks all vehicles should have event data recorders (EDRs), the so-called "black boxes" that can record certain vehicle operating parameters prior to a crash. Most new vehicles do have EDRs, but they record only certain amounts of information - and usually only for crashes in which airbags deploy or there are "vehicle accelerations in multiple directions." The report said NHTSA is considering making a rule mandating that EDRs be installed on all new vehicles and record much more data - and record it continually.

Less big-brotherish are other recommendations from the report to improve NHTSA's ability to deal with similar future problems, including more intensive pedal-placement research and better mining of information from consumer complaints and reports from the agency's Office of Defect Investigation.

Inside Line says: The "ghost in the machine" explanation for unintended acceleration doesn't hold water. But government regulators want to mitigate the potential for similar tech-related panics in the future.


---トヨタの急加速事故をNASAが再検証、スズのウィスカが一因か---
2012年01月11日 15時55分 更新
http://eetimes.jp/ee/articles/1201/11/news083.html

 急加速による事故が報告された2003年型「カムリ」のアクセルペダル位置センサーの一部で、内部にスズのウィスカ(金属表面に成長するひげ状の結晶)が見つかった。アクセルペダルの踏み込み方によっては、ドライバーの意に反した急加速が起きる可能性があるという。
 「アクセルペダル位置センサー(電子スロットルセンサー)の一部に、回路の短絡を引き起こす可能性があるSn(スズ)ウィスカの発生が見られた」――NASA(米航空宇宙局)は、2011年9月にメリーランド大学カレッジパーク校で開催された「国際スズウィスカシンポジウム(International Tin Whisker Symposium)」で、トヨタ自動車製車両のアクセルペダル位置センサーを再検証した論文を発表し、このように述べた。センサー内部でSnウィスカが発生すると、アクセルペダルの踏み込み方によっては、ドライバーの意に反した急加速が起きる可能性があるという。
 Snウィスカは、急加速による事故が報告された2003年型「カムリ」のアクセルペダル位置センサーの他、同センサーと類似した機能を持つ2種類の部品でも発見されている。ただし、アクセルペダル位置センサー以外の部品について、動作の不具合は報告されていない。
 問題となっているアクセルペダル位置センサーは、2002~2006年型モデルのカムリに搭載されている。NASAが再検証に使用したカムリは、8万2000マイル(約13万2000km)を走行したものだった。このカムリを提供したオーナーは、「アクセルペダルを踏んだら、『ガソリンが無い』と応答が返ってきたり、突然猛スピードで発進したりするので、とても運転できる代物ではなかった」と述べている。この車両のアクセルペダル位置センサーの内部には、少なくともウィスカが17カ所で発生しており、そのうち1つは接続を短絡させていた。
 同センサーをさらに調査した結果、Snウィスカが発生する現象は、ある特定のロットで起きることが判明した。Snウィスカによる回路の短絡がこれらの事故を引き起こしたとすれば、自動車業界が掲げる安全性に対して懸念が生じることになる。
 NASAの30ページに及ぶ論文では、Snウィスカの物理的作用や、ウィスカ検出のガイドラインなどについても詳述している。

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