Skip to comments.U.S. Senator Believes “Tin Whiskers” Were Cause of Toyota Sudden Acceleration
Posted on 07/14/2012 7:53:22 AM PDT by smokingfrog
The Toyota sudden acceleration debacle may be a thing of the past, but one U.S. Senator thinks the government investigation is worth another look. Sen. Charles E. Grassley claims the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with NASA, may have let what he calls a serious issue fall through the cracks.
In a letter sent to NHSTA administrator David Strickland, Grassley raised questions about the investigation, asking whether vehicles were tested for a very serious defect called tin whiskers, reports the Los Angeles Times. Tin whiskers, as described in a NASA report, are electronically conductive, crystalline structures of tin that sometimes grow from surfaces where tin is used as a final finish. According to Grassley, who reportedly received tips from informants, a NASA report found evidence of the whiskers in one Toyota pedal assembly, causing a short circuit. A short like that, Grassley wrote, could cause the electronic system to become vulnerable to another fault that could theoretically lead to unintended acceleration.
(Excerpt) Read more at wot.motortrend.com ...
Thanks ROHS and lead free solder.
We had similar issues on the space shuttle program as well with “tin whiskers” “growing” on circut boards for the main engine controllers. Not a good thing. And, I don’t know for sure but, do modern vehicles actually still have cables that go straight to the fuel supply? (Man am I gettin’ old or what?) ‘69 Road Runner had direct linkage to carb but do today’s cars just send a signal to a controller that sends a signal to the injector supply module or whatever? If they had a “volt” they probably wouldn’t have had this problem. Mainly because the battery would probably have crapped out before this could have happened. LOL! In addition, my scrip to motor trend just ran out.
Helping keep mankind warm for 65 years
I do not think it was coincidental that Toyota was being investigated, Obama was railing against them, at the same time he was bailing out Detroit. And then the final report where they didn’t find anything wrong with the Toyota was mentioned as an afterthought, after Toyota’s reputation was trashed.
The gas pedal has a postion sensor on it that tells the computer how far down it is pushed. I had to replace mine on my truck, and the new one is much touchier than the old one.
Bingo, lead-free solder strikes again.
It is my understanding that the switch to lead-free solder has made the tin whisker problem many times worse.
Aren’t “tin-whiskers” only a problem in space?
There ya go!!! EPA and do-gooders have done it again.
PUT THE LEAD BACK IN.
No, tin whiskers were first seen in telephone equipment, long before the space program started.
Solved with lead in solder, which unfortunately has been declared an environmental “problem”.
When I first read that NASA was investigating “tin whiskers” on cars, I thought it was a joke, now I understand the problem.
A sincere thank you to the auto and mechanical “geeks” who have explained the problem.
Except, now I’ll have another thing to worry along with “chemtrails.”
As a child, I played with tiny spheres of mercury (from broken thermometers) in the shadow of the pollutant belching steel mills and Standard Oil refinery in Cleveland. Our house was slathered in leaded paint and as a teen I pumped thousands of gallons of leaded gasoline working at a gas station.
No way should I have lived to be 64, LOL.
Me too! Plus, we drank from a cool garden hose on a hot day, made un-govt-inspected lemonade for our stands, had no seat belts in the early 50s’ cars, shot BB guns and ran with sharp objects in our hands. Somehow, we survived (I’m only 62) to today.
Yeah, we did all of the above....and rode in the back of many pickup trucks.
Yup. Remember “three-on-the-tree” shifters? LOL.
We always went downtown in Washington DC on the weekends so my mother could go shopping.
My dad would drop me off at the Smithsonian castle and pick me up there at 4 pm when the shopping was done. I was 12 at the time. I knew the castle like the back of my hand, and the quonset hut out back that was the air and space museum.
We got to play with Gilbert chemistry sets too. If we had possession of some of those chemicals today, we'd probably be on the terrorist watch list.
There could be a good Burma Shave rhyme here.
The first time I went to the dentist he took a penny, cleaned it with his machinery, coated it with mercury and handed it to me.
All nice and shiny. I put it in my pocket, carried it around all day.
The next day my leg was swollen and red where that pocket touched.
Had to go to the doctor and get a salve to put on the area.
Am I mercury poisoned? must be, here I am. :^)
YOUR HAIRY BOARD
HAS HAD IT’S DAY
SO SHAVE THOSE PINS
THE MODERN WAY
Tin whiskers are NOT unusual, and have been a problem even where no solder is involved.
Assertions that NASA determined that there was no electronic cause for the problem were from a preliminary report (Feb. 2011), a later report (Sept. 2011) changes all that:
As I have been saying all along, regardless of what caused of the “unintended acceleration”, the underlying problem with Toyotas was the fact that there was no brake override of the throttle, a problem that was quietly fixed during the course of the recalls.
This problem (and the solution) was demonstrated in this video:
All this stuff about the government “going after” Toyota is just hot air.
Toyota DID have a problem, and now they have fixed it.
OUR FROTHY FOAM
WILL GET YOU HOME.
Interesting. I didn’t know you could lose your power assist if you let your foot off the brake in a situation like that.
BINGO... the communists and their unintended consequences strike again.
I had paper routes in DC as a kid in the 50’s. After I finished collecting for the week, I’d get on the bus and go to the Smithsonian, or sometimes take the trolley to Glen Echo.
11 or 12 years old at the time.
One Sunday morning the paper (Washington Post) weighed 4 & 1/2 pounds. My 10 y.o. sister helped me deliver that morning. Times sure have changed.
“Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” Rev 2:5 NIV
CAUSE ALL THE TROUBLE
VOTE IN NOVEMBER
AND BURST THEIR BUBBLE
- OBAMA SHAVE
Yes, for a power assist that is run from engine vacuum (very common), this can happen. You don’t actually lose braking, it just becomes much harder to get it, to the point that the weak or elderly can’t manage it. Pumping the brakes, as opposed to simply standing on the pedal, is the issue here.
Park your car and shut off the engine. Step on the brake a few times and note the pressure it takes. After a few pushes, the pedal gets “harder”, that is, it takes more pressure to operate it as the vacuum in the accumulator is bled off.
At full throttle, engine vacuum drops down to almost nothing. I remember my Dad’s ‘49 Plymouth with vacuum operated wipers, which slowed to a crawl under acceleration, but operated at full speed at idle or cruising.
At full throttle, there is little chance for the vacuum in the accumulator to build up so that the power brakes function normally.
RoHS!!!!! Yet another unintended consequence from the glorious European Union.
"I do not think it was coincidental that Toyota was being investigated, Obama was railing against them, at the same time he was bailing out Detroit. And then the final report where they didnt find anything wrong with the Toyota was mentioned as an afterthought, after Toyotas reputation was trashed."
The Senate needs to require Grassley to get an examination to see how many “tin whiskers” are growing out of his head.
Do a web search on ‘rohs’ and ‘whiskers’ and you can read a lot on this subject. Not surprised.
>> a NASA report found evidence of the whiskers in one Toyota pedal assembly,
Remind me why NASA was/is having financial problems.
We were definitely mini-terrorists back then. Dad worked for Allied Chemical, so he was always refilling my supplies and bringing home new ones for me to try (with strict supervision). Amazing that we didn't blow-up the entire house. Heh.
I never had a chem set. No way, no how my parents would’ve ever trusted me with one!!!
For sure. I remember when I was 13 my Mom had to go to the drugstore with me to sign for my supply of hydrochloric and sulfuric acid. But the guys at the hardware store thought nothing of selling us chunks of carbide for our carbide cannons.
Those were the days when people could still buy dynamite, caps and fuse at the hardware store. I don't recall a single terrorist among them. The explosives were used for removing tree stumps, breaking up ice jams in canals, splitting boulders for removal, etc. Now and then some damn fool would injure or kill himself playing with dynamite caps but that's Natural Selection at work.
I had one of those, too, when I was about 11. The "experiments" in the book were boring, So I mixed everything together to see what would happen. All I got was a brown-grey mess that didn't do a thing - until I lit it on fire. Then it burned like hell and gave off an incredible stench.
I was happy.