After ABC News aired a segment yesterday where an expert was able to recreate a case of unintended acceleration, Toyota has taken to the offensive and challenged the news outlet and its source. In a video segment (see below), David Gilbert, an automotive technology professor at Southern Illinois University, recreates the problem in a Toyota Avalon, by introducing a short circuit to the controls to show that in such a circumstance the ECU does not record a fault and does not go into a "limp-mode." The "short circuit" that Mr. Gilbert has introduced is intended to replicate a similar situation caused by moisture or wear.
Toyota has said that it has already been in touch with Mr. Gilbert using a similar setup in a Toyota Tundra and that in that circumstance the introduction of a transistor to create the short circuit creates, "an abnormal connection between two otherwise independent signals coming from the accelerator pedal sensors." In other words, Toyota is asserting some pretty basic science, that the introduction of a new variable pretty much negates the process.
In an effort to set the record straight, Toyota has said it would like to investigate Mr. Gilbert's new method and the Avalon in question, inviting ABC News to come along.
Click on the link below for the ABC news video and Toyota's response.