Toyota decodes Black Boxes for Federal Government Inspection

By Automotive Staff | March 01, 2010
You know those accidents associated with Toyota’s problems with unintended acceleration? Well, there might be a way to settle the issue once and for all.Toyota, just like most worldwide automakers, have been equipping its vehicles with a “black box” recorder. This device is similar to the “black boxes” that are carried on airliners and which provide investigators with recorded flight data that can help them determined what caused a plane crash. The black boxes can be used to determine what caused the crashes being attributed to unintended acceleration. The problem is the Toyota black box is encoded and can’t be read by law enforcement personnel or the car’s owner. And there is only one such device in the U.S. that can read them. Yoshimi Inaba, head of Toyota North America, said that the company will send hundreds of units to the U.S. by the end of April. Moreover, the decoders will be commercially available by 2011. A federal rule now requires that data from these recorders must have the ability to be downloaded so that they can be read by car owners by 2012.
Our take? We don’t understand why say, five to 10 of these devices couldn’t be thrown into a box now and sent to the U.S.A. via Federal Express overnight! What do they say? “When it really has to be there...” via Detroit News