Posts Tagged toyota
Toyota announces a gut-wrenching innovation: Crash test dummies with intestines. I remember the unappetizing times when crash tests were performed with (dead) pigs, or, even more gross, with human corpses (not for public consumption.) The crash test dummy changed all this. No species developed faster than the anthropomorphic test device, a.k.a. the crash test dummy. Now, it made a big leap forward.
From crude beginnings in the 70s, more and more sophisticated dummies evolved. The dummy had a wife. The dummies had children. Following generations progressed rapidly. As crashes were more and more computer simulated, computer simulated crash test dummies begun to populate the virtual world.
All the while, the crash test dummy species was haunted by a big problem: Lack of internal organs. Itâ€™s damage to internal organs that kills you, and those organs could not be easily replicated. Until now.
In the labs of Toyota city a humanoid was created that would make Dr. Frankenstein faint with envy. The new guy is called THUMS 4, as in Total HUman Model for Safety, version 4.
The adult male of average build has detailed models of internal organs, which sets him apart from previous iterations that were all bones and brain. The brain was added in the previous release.
According to Toyota, THUMS 4 will yield 14 times more information than the previous generation of dummies, and represents a quantum leap in the studies of internal injuries. Damages to internal organs account for approximately half of all injuries sustained during automobile collisions.
Soon, THUMS 4 will receive a wife and a larger male cousin. With all internal organs properly in place, a child should not be far off, and with the help of Toyota technicians, even more sophisticated generations will be bred.
Toyota will not keep THUMS 4 to themselves. In fall of 2010, you can place an order with Toyota Technical Development Corporation, a TMC subsidiary, and theyâ€™ll sell you one.
The well-publicized runaway 2008 Toyota Prius and its driver that hit the news last week have come under intense scrutiny. Later today, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Toyota will announce they could not re-create the incident.
To many, that might not prove anything, since past incidents have also been hard or impossible to re-create. However, a Toyota representative who was at the California dealership where the car was tested by the government and the company says there is little possibility the driverâ€™s story is accurate.
The congressional observer who was there concurred. “In this case, knowing that we are able to push the car around the shop, it does not appear to be feasibly possible, both electronically and mechanically, that his gas pedal was stuck to the floor and he was slamming on the brake at the same time.â€
However, the spokesman also said he was not accusing the driver of lying.
Automotive blog Jalopnik has been digging into the past of the driver, Jim Sikes, and uncovered a past of financial problems and accusations of fraud from a former business partner.
The California Highway Patrol says there is no evidence of a hoax and would not pursue an investigation unless â€œthey can completely disprove Mr. Sikes.â€ The CHP says that because there were no injuries or property damage, it does not need to keep the investigation open.
Safety Expert Says New Fix Still Won’t End Runaway Cars
New Toyota accelerator pedals have passed tests for problems and are being shipped this week, according to the supplier, CTS of Elkhart, Indiana.
Toyota has recalled more than two million cars and stopped sales and production because of “sticky” accelerator pedals that could cause cars to race out of control.
“New pedals are being made to their new specification to solve this recall issue and they’re being tested and parts are beginning to be shipped,” said Mitch Walorski, director of investor relations for CTS.
There was no immediate comment from Toyota.
At the same time the new parts were being tested and shipped, Toyota expanded the recall by at least two million cars, to include cars and trucks in Europe and China with the same gas pedals from CTS.
CTS, however, suggests it is being made a scapegoat by Toyota.
“The products we supplied to Toyota, including the pedals covered in the recent recall, have been manufactured to Toyota’s specification,” said Walorski.
“It’s a rare set of conditions and that rare set has only occurred in very few instances causing no accidents or injuries,” said the CTS executive.
A leading safety analyst said he believed that “the largest number” of the reported accidents and deaths are the result of other problems with Toyotas beyond gas pedals and loose floor mats that have not yet been fully explored.
“It’s not one single issue that’s causing these unintended acceleration complaints to rise to the top of the defect chart today,” said Sean Kane, of Safety Research & Strategies, a private auto safety firm in Rehoboth, Massachusetts.