@JCreasy I agree, proactive recalls are much better than after the fact. I heard from amate that BMW had issues in the US that they didn't want to recall, and Mazda here did something similar. Buyers should vote with their feet, not necessarily for the car with the least problems but rather the best after sales care
As a lifelong gear head, I know that worn or broken parts can kill you, but I don't believe claims about unintended acceleration, given functional mechanical pedals, linkages, etc.
I developed a verification and testing process for a firm that developed embedded engine controllers and this all sounds familiar. I'd been dubious about the Toyota failures, but I didn't realize that this car was drive by wire. Buggy software as the root cause of the failure mode is therefore completely plausible, despite no finding of mechanical or electronic failures.
If Barr's report is accurate, the software design, programming, and testing was ignorant, sloppy, and inadequate. The real shame is that this is completely unnecessary – we've known how to achieve very high reliability software systems for a long time without breaking the bank. Model-based testing is now a big part of that.
I'm not sure who's responsible for the hype and inflammatory language ("a single bit flip could...," task death, dead task, dead app), but I guess that's what you have to do to make software failures tangible to a jury. It is interesting no smoking gun is reported (recorded input/state with incorrect output that directly caused the failure - i.e., it is not correct to say that a single bit flip caused the failure.) In a tort case, circumstantial evidence can be sufficient, so it seems that evidence of poor software development alone was enough to convince the jury that it probably caused the failure.
This may be the first time that indicators of bad code (not actual results) were sufficient to get a judgement. If so, I hope this is a wake up call for people who manage this kind of system development and its risks: software hygine isn't a fool's errand.
Hi, Bert. I appreciate a level of skepticism...but let's get too cynical before we know all the facts.
Actually, I find the fact that the experts' group was able to demonstrate at least one way for the software to cause unintended acceleration is a "breakthrough," at a time when the Toyota case -- up until last week -- was viewed by many as an issue of floor mat, sticky pedal or a driver's error.