January 30, 2013 8:15 AM

Sudden Acceleration A Real Problem

Ambulance.jpgJanuary 27, 2013--Piscataway, New Jersey--A paper presented to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2009 by Samuel J. Sero outlines the reality of the sudden acceleration phenomenon that has plagued Toyota vehicles and caused several deaths and serious injuries. According to Mr. Sero, sudden acceleration is "not a myth." Victims who have been injured in sudden acceleration accidents may be entitled to compensation.

Sudden Acceleration Problems Cause Auto Makers To Cast Blame

Sudden acceleration events have been noted ever since the widespread use of fuel injection systems. As early as 1986, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration commented on the phenomenon, noting that sudden acceleration events seemed to happen most often as the driver attempted to put the car into drive or reverse from the park position.

It was not until 2009, however, that large-scale recalls of automobiles with this problem began. During the 2009 to 2010 time period, Toyota recalled thousands of vehicles for unintended acceleration problems. However, the company blamed floor mats that it said were incorrectly installed by owners rather than any electronics issues. In fact, Toyota went on record as stating that the issue could not have been caused by an electronics fault due to the company's high standards for vehicle electronics.

Expert Argues With Electronics Fault Logic

In his paper, Mr. Sero counters this argument. He states that the culprit may be a regression to "drive-by-wire" vehicle configurations that lend themselves to sudden acceleration issues. He states,

"Drive-by-wire combined with the increase in number and complexity of electrical and electronic devices with their numerous interconnections and lack of adequate EMI protection means that not only will sudden accelerations continue but numerous other electronic anomalies will occur."

According to Mr. Sero, it was Toyota's decision to incorporate this structure into its vehicles that led to the proliferation of sudden acceleration problems, not driver errors. According to his research, Ford Motor Company found that the integrated speed controls in vehicles, similar in structure to the drive-by-wire configuration, resulted in six to ten times the number of sudden acceleration events of vehicles with standalone cruise controls.

Sudden Acceleration Victims May Be Entitled to Damages

Toyota claims that it has recalled the affected vehicles and repaired the problems that relate to sudden acceleration. However, there is no evidence that this problem will not continue to arise in other vehicles.

If you have been a victim of an accident caused by sudden acceleration, a West Virginia personal injury attorney can explain your rights and help you recover damages from the auto manufacturer.


Source: Renaissance Engineering, "Your car could take off by itself: Sudden acceleration is not a myth," Samuel J. Sero, BSEE, P.E.

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