Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Toyota/Japanamerica on ABC's "Good Morning America"

Here's a slightly different angle with reporting from Tokyo and me in Miami via ABC's "Good Morning America," taking into account shame and suicide at the corporate level.

1 comment:

ArthurFrDent said...

a good spot, including the one thing I hadn't thought of, which was that a deep bow is equivalent to offerening your neck. Once you said it, of course it made perfect sense.

I hope that nobody takes their own life over this, but it will be interesting to see how the company responds to all the differences in the cultures it sells to across the world.

Practically speaking we are going to see this far more often as time goes on, because the electronic black boxes are becoming legion in our cars, and elsewhere. As with other systems like computers, the failure modes become a difficult matrix to understand, and I'm not sure how well they do full regression tests, including the end to end system test. The Prius defect is in software, and how it responds to failures in it's hardware. The accelerator issue is similar. Once, when braking was an absolute hydraulic/mechanical system, you could have stopped any vehicle if it was running wasy. But now that the engine management system and ABS are controlling your breaks too, it doesn't necessarily work that way. Coupled with pushbutton start/run and electronic transmission control... driver input is no longer direct. But does each subsystem designer look at the whole? That'd be my question.

I'm thinking what cars will need is a master control key as a failsafe... especially as they age. Everything may work quite well at the start, but it is a mistake to think of only the first owner. Nissan already learned that lesson once. Hopefully the whole industry hasn't forgotten.