Monday, March 1, 2010

Sudden Acceleration

Complaints of sudden acceleration surfaced, in the public arena, around the early 1980's. At Purdue, in the 1970's, I studied the issue. All materials degrade over time, because of expansion and contraction, due to temperature changes, including computer silicon chips. Engineers design products based on warranty periods. I guess some people expect a product to last a million years.
In 2003, the largest known judgment on sudden acceleration was ordered against General Motors. An injured woman and her husband claimed sudden acceleration in their 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass resulted in a crash, and a Missouri jury agreed, awarding the woman and her husband $80 million.
Congress is currently having hearings about sudden acceleration. I guess a licensed engineer, who understands the complex issues before Congress, is not needed in Congress.

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