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Apple Co-Founder Slams Prius Software Problem

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 66 comments

Could there be a second accelerator problem plaguing Toyota Owners?

Toyota has made headlines over the last two weeks because of a huge recall that was issued due to faulty accelerators. However, while millions of vehicles have been recalled because of sticking gas pedals, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reports that the gas pedal on his Toyota is suffering from another issue; one he's insisting is software related.

Speaking at an event in San Fransisco, Wozniak claimed to be having a "very scary" problem with his 2010 Toyota Prius.

"Toyota has this accelerator problem we've all heard about," CNet quotes Wozniak as saying. "Well, I have many models of Prius that got recalled, but I have a new model that didn't get recalled. This new model has an accelerator that goes wild but only under certain conditions of cruise control. And I can repeat it over and over and over again--safely. This is software. It's not a bad accelerator pedal. It's very scary, but luckily for me I can hit the brakes," he said.

"I don't get upset and teed off at things in life, except computers that don't work right," Wozniak said before adding that he had been trying to get through to Toyota and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) for three months but could not get anyone to explore an alleged software-related acceleration problem.

A Toyota spokesperson said they hadn't heard of such a problem. "We're in the business of investigating complaints, assessing problems and finding remedies," John Hanson, national manager environmental safety and quality communications at Toyota, told CNet. "After man years of exhaustive testing we have not found any evidence of an electronic [software] problem that would have led to unwanted acceleration."

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    jossrik , February 2, 2010 4:44 PM
    I like the part about the man years.
  • 20 Hide
    darkknight22 , February 2, 2010 4:48 PM
    jossrikI like the part about the man years.


    In Wozniak's case it's bear years. Am I right? Am I right?
  • 17 Hide
    darkknight22 , February 2, 2010 4:46 PM
    Did I miss something where Apple decided to come out of the closet guns blazing? Seems like anyone associated with apple have declared war on just about everyone...
Other Comments
    Display all 66 comments.
  • 22 Hide
    jossrik , February 2, 2010 4:44 PM
    I like the part about the man years.
  • 17 Hide
    sickofsoyo , February 2, 2010 4:45 PM
    Fail...

    Hopefully a few people will try out Ford's and GM's newer cars, they seem to be getting on the right foot now.
  • 17 Hide
    darkknight22 , February 2, 2010 4:46 PM
    Did I miss something where Apple decided to come out of the closet guns blazing? Seems like anyone associated with apple have declared war on just about everyone...
  • 20 Hide
    darkknight22 , February 2, 2010 4:48 PM
    jossrikI like the part about the man years.


    In Wozniak's case it's bear years. Am I right? Am I right?
  • -4 Hide
    extremepcs , February 2, 2010 4:49 PM
    Woz is having LSD related flashbacks, kicked off by a Krispy Kreme overdose. God I hate hippies!
  • 6 Hide
    botabota , February 2, 2010 4:53 PM
    "let me install OSX on my Prius! NOW!"
  • -3 Hide
    jerreece , February 2, 2010 4:57 PM
    I'm actually planning to buy a new Toyota product sometime this year, even amidst the current problems. Quite frankly, this is not status quo for Toyota, so I'm sure they'll resolve the issues.

    On the other hand, I spoke with a couple of folks at my local Toyota dealership recently. One of them told me that they're thinking the problem is a software issue, and not a pedal issue in the first place.
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , February 2, 2010 4:59 PM
    TOYOTA Wake up...
    If the Woz says he can repeat the error then it most probably IS a software error. SOmehow I have more respect for the Woz than Toyota when regards to electronics.
    And if he says he has tried to tell toyota Mr Hanson should give an apology and get to it not try and wave Woz off as a crackpot. Seems Toyota has gotten GMitis.
  • 7 Hide
    tipoo , February 2, 2010 5:02 PM
    How many woman years is that?
  • 9 Hide
    LORD_ORION , February 2, 2010 5:06 PM
    I am betting he wouldn't open his mouth like that if he couldn't prove it.
  • 1 Hide
    climber , February 2, 2010 5:16 PM
    If Americans needed an excuse to buy American over the supposed superiority of foreign cars, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I will admit that foreign cars spent years creating high quality products to gain market share, but now they're in the position of trying to squeeze out profits from a decelerating profit margin (pardon the pun) and they're hit with the same shoddy workmanship issues that the American automakers had to deal with and "may have" corrected to some degree. After all they are in the business of making money, and making a perfect piece of engineering is not profitable.
  • 8 Hide
    djackson_dba , February 2, 2010 5:18 PM
    A real software engineer would have decompiled the system, fixed the software and emailed the patch to Toyota.

    LOL!

    I would like to see the sequence that causes the accelerator to "go wild". So much for supporting details. Don't get me wrong, I had respect for Wozniak all the way to back to when the products he designed only stored 140K on a floppy. Let's see what the pattern that causes the issue!

  • 4 Hide
    tenor77 , February 2, 2010 5:21 PM
    LORD_ORIONI am betting he wouldn't open his mouth like that if he couldn't prove it.


    He'll open his mouth for anything. I mean look at how big he is......
  • 13 Hide
    DoofusOfDeath , February 2, 2010 5:24 PM
    djackson_dbaA real software engineer would have decompiled the system, fixed the software and emailed the patch to Toyota.LOL!


    A real business major would form a derivatives product that pools life insurance policies of Prius owners.
  • 9 Hide
    djackson_dba , February 2, 2010 5:25 PM
    DoofusOfDeathA real business major would form a derivatives product that pools life insurance policies of Prius owners.


    Touché sir. Touché.
  • 4 Hide
    ethanolson , February 2, 2010 5:26 PM
    So make a video of the problem and post it on Youtube. I wanna see how to do this.
  • -3 Hide
    notty22 , February 2, 2010 5:28 PM
    I can tell you why this BAD Apple came out with this idiotic b/s.
    Its sour grapes over Toyota announcing their sales halt, accelerator problem, on the day of the Ipad announcement. The market and Apple was set for a banner day, the buzz and Apple stock had been going up for days prior and thats also why Toyota chose that day.
  • 0 Hide
    The Greater Good , February 2, 2010 5:30 PM
    Whilst I'm no Apple fan, you have to give credit to Woz for helping spark the "PC" era. Before Apple, computers were mainly found in universities and offices. I don't get the hate for Woz, like calling him fat. He's done WAY more for this world than anyone commenting on this site. That's for sure.

    My point- if Woz says there's a software problem... I'd put my money on that there is one.
  • 6 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , February 2, 2010 5:30 PM
    For what it's worth, the phrases "man hours", "man days", and "man years" are bona fide phrases in the corporate world, especially among the bean counters.
  • 0 Hide
    mdillenbeck , February 2, 2010 5:44 PM
    djackson_dbaA real software engineer would have decompiled the system, fixed the software and emailed the patch to Toyota.


    In the least, the person would make sure to test the bug on more than a single system... after all, a faulty component and not faulty software may be behind the issue if it cannot be reproduced on another machine.

    Oh yeah, and then record another person following the said procedure on the same machine to reproduce the error.

    Now, I do believe his error does exist, and that Toyota's quality has fallen a bit (I had an 80s Camry at 180k miles that leaked transmission fluid and oil - despite my wife forgetting the 3rd day level checks, she'd drive it near bone dry for a month and it never failed... gave it to my brother in law, who gave it to a friend... so there may be an Undead Camry out there on the highways still, probably looking for Christine.) However, I generally find American cars lacking several things - like a decent fuel efficient engine.
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