• Mar 3, 2010
If you're like us and wondering what lengths are required to get your hands on a 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, we may have the answer. All you need to do is solve the mystery of Toyota's unintended acceleration issues and our friends over at Edmunds will give you a cool million dollars.
Edmunds CEO Jeremy Anwyl claims his company has heard "compelling testimony" from customers, and much of what's been documented (including a 2006 forum on Toyota Sienna unintended acceleration) hasn't been addressed by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigations. The online vehicle information resource site says it's coming up with rules for a competition that will earn a lucky person (or more likely a group) $1 million for determining the true cause of Toyota's unintended acceleration woes. Anwyl compares the challenge to the 'open source' software challenge, adding "let's see if this kind of 'crowd sourcing' can work in the pressing area of automotive safety."

We're thinking there are quite a few technical schools out there that may want to offer extra credit for the win. Who wouldn't want to attend the institution that solved the unintended acceleration mystery? The cool million in prize money could buy a lot of band uniforms, too. We'll bring you more details on the contest as they become available.


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[Source: Edmunds]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota's poor quality control, zing!
        • 4 Years Ago
        The real issue is going to be finding a car with a repeatable unintended acceleration.

        Kind of like finding a virgin 21-year old in Washington, DC.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If most of the cases really turn out to be an Audi-repeat how is anybody going to be able to prove that to Edmunds unless they go and personally ride with like thousands of people or something?
        • 4 Years Ago
        User error, Bazinga!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Interesting, but I don't see any good coming from it. Anybody who claims to have solved it will just have Toyota coming after them to discredit them, and sue them for slander or libel, whichever it is. And unless you have full access to the source code in Toyota ECUs I don't know how you could do it unless you rigged up a test like Gilbert did for ABC news, to which people have different opinions of wether his results are legit or not.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's no mystery; Toyota knows... guess they should get the million US$.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bring it on, let's get at the truth. Whoever underwrites Edmonds's prize on this (hopefully there's no conflict of interest) will certainly want validated evidence before rewarding the prize.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yep.
        Step one: Show me a vehicle with repeatable unintended acceleration.
        Step two: Demonstrate that this vehicle is representative of other vehicles made by Toyota.
        Step three: Find and define the root cause of the vehicle unintended acceleration.
        Step 4: Find and define and produce a fix for the root cause of the vehicle unintended acceleration.

        Steps one and two are MOST difficult.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is so easy. The "the true cause of Toyota's unintended acceleration woes" is the AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION! Inherently unsafe in the simple fact that if you die and your foot hits the gas pedal, or for any one of millions of other chance possibilities, your car will UNINTENTIONALLY and UNCONTROLLABLY accelerate to its maximum speed, your automatic transmission happily and dutifully swapping gears. This is very different from a manual transmission system, where acceleration is INTENDED in 99.99% of cases.

      And if the driver is conscious, his TRAINED and REFLEXIVE response is to disengage the clutch and go to neutral. Unlike all the people driving automatics that have no such reflexes.

      I want my million dollars now, please.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ok, give me access to the firmware code and the micro
      • 4 Years Ago
      A prize that will never be awarded.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly - easy marketing. Edmunds is probably going to be mentioned on every news outlet reporting on this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly. This is nothing more than Edmunds feeding off the carcass the media has taken down. Doubt they'll be getting invitations to exotic places where you are put up in 5 star hotels all on Toyota's tab to test their cars.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly. Damn, beat me to it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's most likely driver error.

      What Toyota should do is install a "foot cam" of each car so the driver can see which pedal their foot is on so they don make a mistake.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Stop letting american workers put them together.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is so ridiculous. Toyota should immediately start calling everyone at Edmunds' offices every two minutes demanding their $1 million for researching the unintended acceleration that they've already issued recalls for. What if someone pledged $1 million dollars for research into how much money various auto manufacturers have spent taking Edmunds employees out for dinner, or paying for hotel rooms on site at press events or test drives? I bet if you put up $1 million to investigate ANYONE, there's SOMEONE who can cook up a believable story to get their money and slander the subject.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They're a private company. They can offer that kind of money for many things if they want... doesn't matter if it offends you. It's their money. I don't see anything illegal or unethical going on here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Catch is the price is for "determining the true cause of Toyota's unintended acceleration"

        Comon, sticky pedals, floor mat entrapment? Who really believed that. For starters, neither of those problems will cause unintended acceleration - they will cause the car to continue accelerating, but there is no way for either issue to cause the throttle to go further open then the driver pressed it, and a great many people are experiencing just that.

        Now, if you are referring to the mysterious controller reflash that accompanies the "sticky pedal" recall, then you might have a point. But that would require Toyota to admit that the problem is software-based, which they have denied thus far.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe the Bush administration actually infected these cars with some kind of computer virus to make them go haywire back in the early 2000s to distract us from 9/11, but a coding error delayed the activation of the program so we're only now seeing the effects come to fruition. Isn't there a barrel of alien urine you're about to be outbid for over on eBay?

        Toyota may not care about you and your family being thrown through the window of a Camry at 80mph, but they do care about selling cars. If some other cause was at the root of these problems, they would be fixing it because they know full well the consequences of lying about it now and dealing with another round of circus trials and bad press.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The driver hit the accelerator instead of the brake???!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your check is in the mail - Edmunds ;)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Is it intentional accelerating?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The winnah!

        Seriously, there may be something that can be found, but if it's a software glitch in the ECU, it's probably going to be one of those once-in-a-million times kind of things that's hard to capture.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've urged every automatic transmission equipped Toyota-made vehicle owner to practice shifting into neutral without looking or fishing for the shift. Because so many drivers of these vehicles treat them like appliances, they have little interest in how their cars work, relearning the controls over and over. Many are unable to do this simple task, even after practicing several times.
      Driving with both feet, to segregate and train their bodies to do different tasks so that they can't self-accelerate, thinking they're hitting the brake? Just about impossible.
      Now, add bad sensors sending wrong signals to computers with bad software...
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