It may not lessen Toyota's woes to hear that the problems the company has been having with faulty gas pedals could be blamed on cosmic rays from space. Sound unbelievable? The concept is actually a lot more plausible than you might think.
Toyota's sticky gas pedals caused sudden and unintended acceleration in several of the automaker's top-selling Toyota and Lexus-brand cars, which led to a massive recall of more than 9 million vehicles worldwide, beginning in November. While ongoing inquiries attempt to locate the source of the problem and figure out a fix, investigators might find it useful to examine a far-out culprit: cosmic ray radiation from deep in the cosmos, which has been known to plague vulnerable data and memory chips in electronics.
Cosmic rays could be at least partially to blame for Toyota's mechanical defects, scientists now say. And the problem could get worse in the future, as the increasing use of tiny computer chips — replacing mechanical parts — makes cars more and more vulnerable to space radiation.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Toyota recall might be caused by cosmic rays.
From Live Science: