Polistra, who neither forgives nor forgets, is happy to see a Jap company suffering, and even happier to see American automakers taking full advantage of the situation.
But there's something about the story
that doesn't ring true. The accidents are reportedly caused by sudden jumps
in speed, sudden accelerations.
The diagnosed cause is supposedly either a floormat getting stuck, or the throttle pivot mechanism getting stuck.
Neither of those problems can cause a sudden acceleration.
Both would cause an unexpected failure to decelerate
, in other words an unexpected steady speed.
Now it's true that human perception is based on [departure from past conditions] plus [departure from expected conditions]. If you're cruising along at 60 and you take your foot off the gas, you expect to feel deceleration in your inner ear and you expect to see the landscape slowing down. If you feel no deceleration, the immediate reading of your feature detectors
will be similar to an acceleration.
However! Unless I'm missing something, the problem is objectively measurable speedups, not merely perceived speedups.
= = = = =
2/3 update: It's scary to hear so much confused and bad advice about this, and also scary to think that Polistra is the only writer who understands the difference between steady speed and acceleration. (I say "writer" instead of "human" because surely there must
be some other humans who catch the distinction but aren't bothering to write or talk about it.) All the media and officials are still talking about "stuck pedals causing sudden acceleration", without noticing the blatant illogicality. And about half of the newsies are advising people to hit the brakes first. Some idiot on Bloomberg just said "Brakes will always overcome the engine." Possibly true with an automatic transmission, but NOT true with a stick, and bad advice in either case.