Wednesday, March 10, 2010
ADVICE FOR TOYODASAN AND CO...
Try and sell a brand new Prius following yesterday's and today's news. Would you put your loved ones in a Prius given the potentially fatal "unknown unknowns"? Toyota's crisis management FUBAR is going to cost them billions.
Instead of launching corporate denial campaigns to convince drivers that the acceleration and braking problems are "one off" and unfair, or launching a super sale, Toyota should do something more important...find a safe and simple solution.
Oh, its technically too complicated. The e-systems are software intensive. It's going to take a deliberate program, but its A-O-K to drive one in the meantime?
But, what would you have us do Banzai7san?
You know, I'm glad you asked. Here is my quick solution:
Here is a deluxe version:
Data snippet: kill switch (also called an e-stop) is a security measure used to shut off a device in an emergency situation in which it cannot be shut down in the usual manner. Unlike a normal shut down, which shuts down all systems naturally and turns the machine off without damaging it, a kill switch is designed to completely abort the operation at all costs, and be configured so that it is quick to operate, and relatively obvious to someone other than the usual operator. Often, they are used to protect people from sustaining an injury or being killed, in which case damaging the machine may be considered to be acceptable. (Source: Wikipedia)
Put a modern version of one of these in every Prius and no one has to worry about high speed flip overs, emergency highway patrol interventions and high speed collisions in the event of a critical malfunction. Think about it, is it better to glide to a slow halt or to speed along at 90MPH apeaking with a 911 operator in mobile handsfree mode?
My old mechanic Manuel did not charge much to install one. Whatever the cost in today's labor market, it has to be 1000% more palatable than staring at big ticket wrongful death and product liability claims, brand evaporation, Congressional witch hunts and criminal liability.
Toyota minasan wakarimasu ka? Gambata!
Very truly yours,
PS: An aerospace engineer's thoughts can be read: here.
Here is a follow up report relating to the San Diego incident. The results on inconclusive.