Veil Of Secrecy Covers Toyota Cars ‘Black Boxes’

As per an Associated Press report of lawsuits nationwide and interviews accompanying auto crash experts, Toyota has prevented access to data stored in devices same as that of airline “black boxes” that could explain crashes blamed on sudden unintended acceleration for many years.

The AP investigation identified that Toyota has been illogical and sometimes even uncertain in explaining exactly what information the devices record and don’t record, like critical data regarding whether the brake or accelerator pedals were pressed at the time of a crash. Whereas many other automakers usually allow more open access to data from their event data recorders, usually called EDRs.

AP also recognized that Toyota:

  • Has repeatedly refused to provide important information related to crash victims and survivors.
  • Employs proprietary software in its EDRs. There was just a single laptop in the U.S comprising of software which can read the data of this EDR after a crash.
  • In some lawsuits, when forced to provide recorder information Toyota either submerged the issue or offered printouts with the important columns empty.

Toyota’s “black box” information is originating as a crucial legal issue during the recall of 8 million vehicles by the world’s largest automaker. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said that 52 people have died in crashes associated to accelerator problems, triggering more number of lawsuits.