Engineer Says Electromagnetic Interference Factors Into Toyota Vehicle Problems

03.24.10 | FL News Team

Electronics and automotive experts are discussing the recent problems faced by Toyota involving unintended acceleration in their vehicles. The Japanese automaker has recalled millions of cars worldwide following growing reports of the problem. Speaking to reporters at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, British engineer Keith Armstrong says electromagnetic interference plays a big role in acceleration malfunctions. Armstrong says electronics systems have weaknesses and can go wrong in many ways. He also said the malfunctions can leave no trace of a flaw. Armstrong likened it to rebooting a computer, where no defect can be found after a restart. He also said the electronics malfunctions in cars "are not a question of if, but when."

 The engineer took Toyota to task with its claims of shielding against electronic magnetic interference, or EMI. He labeled such claims as false, saying protection against the problem is not possible and that some two-thousand latent bugs exist in electronically powered vehicles. Armstrong added even the most sophisticated military equipment is vulnerable to EMI.