CALCE Finds Toyota Tin Whiskers a 'Significant' Threat - Page 2 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Buetow   
Thursday, 25 August 2011 10:46
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CALCE Finds Toyota Tin Whiskers a 'Significant' Threat
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That runs counter to the NHSTA report. On Feb. 8, Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood released Technical Assessment of Toyota Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) Systems and Technical Support to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the Reported Toyota Motor Corporation Unintended Acceleration Investigation. The two reports, LaHood said, exonerated Toyota's electronics as the alleged cause of unintended acceleration complaints: "The verdict is in," LaHood said. "There is no electronic-based cause for unintended, high-speed acceleration in Toyotas."


In their discussion about the printed circuit board manufacturing processes of Toyota Camrys, CALCE scientists questioned the lack of a safety standard regarding automotive electronics, given broad range of whisker-induced failures. They also took the NHTSA to task for its published findings, noting, “It is highly likely that tin whiskers could induce a failure that is later undetected. For this reason, best practices for electronics design stipulate that tin not be used as a plating material. It is very questionable why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with a stated mission to ‘save lives, prevent injuries and reduce economic costs due to road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards, and enforcement activity,’ has not come out with a requirement that no electronics use pure tin as a material component, since the potential for tin whiskers presents an unreasonable and unnecessary risk.”

Other researchers, including automotive watchdog Safety Research & Strategies, have also taken issue with the NHTSA and NASA findings.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 August 2011 23:08


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