GM CEO Mary Barra said that the Valukas report “highlights a company that operated in siloes, with a number of individuals seemingly looking for reasons to not act, instead of finding ways to protect our customers.” (Source: General Motors)
No design engineer in any universe ever had full design decision freedoms without the management holding their feet to the fire. I really feel bad for the poor bastards who got blamed for "knowingly" allowing faulty designs, while Management stays on the sidelines looking completely shocked and appalled. Yeah, right.
I know it looks good in the boardroom. We'll save $1 million dollars with that change. Looks good on paper. Then later on, how good does it look IN THE PAPER when you are being sued for millions? You can skimp on household items, nothing too bad happens, but you can't skimp on something that takes lives. No amount of money ever pays for the wrongdoing. So when do we start trusting car companies to NOT skimp? I don't have an answer for that. We all want cheaper cars, but we don't expect to get death traps. Sorry, this just bothers me. I know they eventually find out about the flaws and recall cars, but it is usually after many lives have been lost. To me that is NOT ok.
I think it's scary. We all know how companies skimp on parts to save a penny. I wouldn't want to have one of the first auto cars that fail after 10,000 or even 20,000 miles and they decide to drive off cliffs for no reason. Then they come back and say...yeah we should have used that $5 part instead of the $2 one.
I've said this before, but...if they can't even make a car that is safe to operate. Who the heck is going to trust one that drives itself....with no steering wheel or pedals to help in an emergancy? They can't make a safe car yet. Let them iron that out before they start thinking we will trust a car to drive itself.
On my car there are wings on the ignition switch that allow it to be turned by hand without the key sticking out. I guess on newer cars if you cut the key off you couldn't turn the thing.
Any body that gains entrance to the vehicle could steal it if they realized that the key was in the ignition. Not many thiefs are out after '92 cars, and if they broke into the car they probably wouldn't realize the key was already in it, whereupon they would break the steering column to shreds to defeat the lock.
Many years ago (more than I care to remember) I got asked to test ABS sensors from a GM subsiduary that were causing vehicle crashes. I had 100 'good' and about 50 'bad units' for testing. Of the 100 'good' units the tests revealed 25% failures and of the 50 'bad' units about 1/2 were actually good.
The failure effect was that the output from these sensors gave no (or low) output which indicated that the wheel has locked up so the ABS did not apply the brakes to that wheel.
Apparently the daughter of a VeePee totaled her car which started the investigation because 3 of the sensors had failed leaving the brakes only on one wheel!
The failures were caused by dropped turns on the sensor resulting in internal shorts.
Not sure if this ever became public knowledge but I doubt it!
The amount of plastic clogging the ocean continues to grow. Some startling, not-so-good news has come out recently about the roles plastic is playing in the ocean, as well as more heartening news about efforts to collect and reuse it.
Some of our culture's most enduring robots appeared in the 80s. The Aliens series produced another evil android, and we saw light robot fare in the form of Short Circuit. Two of the great robots of all time also showed up: The Terminator and RoboCop.
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