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#25 of 59 Re: Toyota [steve_]
Mar 08, 2010 (3:44 pm)
I believe it's part of federal regulations as to what the flight data recorder contents can be used for. I don't think a lawyer could subpoena the contents of a FDR. The use of such data is restricted so that problems can be thoroughly aired, investigated, and root causes determined, with the goal being to improve airline safety by correcting a problem - not enriching some ambulance chasing lawyer. At the end of an investigation (which may take years), usually led by the FAA or some other federal agency, the results I believe are part of the public record, including the contents of the FDR.
That's just the opposite of the way things works in other industries. Companies are afraid of airing their dirty laundry - of admitting that, in hindsight, they maybe should have done something different, because of the very real possibility that such disclosures could be used against them in a lawsuit.
Because of that, there is an incentive to hide and deny problems, and try to fix them in a manner that doesn't draw any attention. Also, there is no reason to share their findings or experiences with anyone else in the industry because of competitive pressures.
#26 of 59 Re: Toyota [srs_49]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Mar 08, 2010 (6:53 pm)
Here's a quote from my link:
"During the trial, the jury listened to the last minute of the cockpit voice recorder as they watched a computer-animated reconstruction based on the flight data recorder."
I guess part of the question comes down to who you trust more to ferret out why a crash occurred - the NHTSA, FAA or other government agency or the ferret* and his experts.
(*aka trial lawyers).
#27 of 59 Re: Toyota [steve_]
Mar 08, 2010 (10:09 pm)
Here is the EDR information scanned from my 07 Sequoia owners manual. Looks like a lot of possible data. Though one statement that does not give the owner much hope. It is for use by Toyota as a defense in a lawsuit. If they are the only ones that can read the data. The consumer is screwed.
#28 of 59 Re: Toyota [gagrice]
Mar 08, 2010 (10:11 pm)
My guess is Toyota knows a lot more than they are saying from the information contained in the EDRs on vehicles that have complaints filed against them.
#29 of 59 Re: Toyota [steve_]
Mar 09, 2010 (4:25 am)
Yes, I skimmed the original article you posted. I think in the case mentioned there, the issue was whether or not a hydraulic actuator (?) was not just at fault, but defective - the lawyers looking for the deep pockets of the actuator's manufacturer. I was surprised that the FDR contents was able to be used by the plaintiffs.
I went back through some my reference material. In the case of TWA Flight 800 that went down off the New England coast in 1996, some of the airline passengers tried to sue Boeing and the manufacturer of a fuel pump that was suspected, but never proven, to have been the cause of the center fuel tank explosion. I don't know if they were successful or not. Some of the results of the NTSB investigation was also used in those litigations.
With the Swiss Air flight 111 that went down off the coast of Nova Scotia, one of the reasons given for the loss of the aircraft was the flammability of some Dupont cabin material. Again some survivors of the passengers chose not to accept the airline's settlement offer and instead decided to sue Boeing and Dupont to the tune of $11 billion, I believe. That case was thrown out.
So I may be off base when I said FDR contents and NTSB results cannot be used in a lawsuit. Some of the information in the court record for those two incidents was only obtained by filing a FIA request, and even then some of the results were inconclusive, particularly as it related to interpreting the analog recording on parts of the FDR and CDR tapes.
In any case, I still think it's very scary that we willingly accept carrying around things that could be used against us like that. That goes for GPS enabled cell phones as well as EDRs. Heck, I don't even want an electronic toll device (Easy Pass) because it's too easy for someone to see where I've been. Maybe I'm just too paranoid.
Guess I'll keep the '87 BMW running for a few years longer. No EDR there.
#30 of 59 Re: Toyota [srs_49]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Mar 09, 2010 (11:26 am)
Well, it works both ways. If you T-Bone me and claim you had braked and the wreck wasn't your fault, I can use the black box info to cast doubt on your claim.
Requiring a court order gives you a chance to try to fight my having access to the data recorder.
Since you're keeping the old Bimmer, I'll have to rely on the black helicopters and drones overhead to help me out when you plow into me.
#31 of 59 Re: Toyota [steve_]
Mar 10, 2010 (9:33 am)
"It works both ways"
We had an elected official killed by a drunk driver here in Pennsylvania.
The drunk driver is STILL claiming the state senator wandered into his lane even as the trial ended and it was ridiculously obvious that the drunk was at fault from data collected at the scene and the vehicles, don't even mention his blood alcohol level.
Perhaps the drunk is now believing he has been the victim of an "Orwellian" big brother nightmare more than his failure to realize he's just a scum bag that dismissed his responsibilities to other citizens on a PUBLIC road?
I doubt the greater PUBLIC shares his "big brother" viewpoint - especially the senators wife who was seriously injured also.
I'm constantly amazed by how Joe Road Rager demands insane amounts of scrutiny for his short airline flight to Boston, CVR's, FDR.s, TSA, maintenance records, quips to the flight attendant "the pilots up there all nice and rested" demanding absolute safety and responsibility.
He then promptly climbs into his "private" vehicle at the airport lot after having two liquor shorts, beers in the terminal and expects NOT to be scrutinized on a PUBLIC road after the flight by data recorders and cameras on the dashboard of the police that just pulled him over for menacing a Toyota (pardon the pun) that wouldn't get out of his way after they braked to avoid a deer and he..... didn't.
#32 of 59 insurance company black box
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Nov 13, 2011 (9:58 am)
Seems like Progressive is more heavily advertising their Snapshot gizmo that tracks your car usage, and the results will lower your premium. Unless you drive like an idiot or late at night anyway.
You get a better discount if you practice gentle braking, drive fewer miles than the average driver in your state, and minimize driving during peak hours or between midnight and 4 a.m.
The device tracks time of day and vehicle speed, which helps determine how many miles you drive and how often you make sudden stops (G force).
The Snapshot device doesn't contain GPS technology or track vehicle location. It also doesn't track whether you're exceeding the speed limit.
The FAQ says it can't tell if you're exceeding the speed limit, but it tracks speed and time info, so my guess is that if you are doing 80 anywhere but Kansas and parts of Texas, you'll get dinged as a speeder.
You can also log in and track your own driving by day of the week and time of day and get an overview of your driving habits.
Looks like the discount is at least 25% and except for the occasional speeding, I'd qualify. But Progressive never has given me a competitive quote, so even 25% off probably is more than I'm paying now.
#33 of 59 Re: insurance company black box [steve_]
Nov 13, 2011 (11:01 am)
I'd never sign up for that. Too much of an open door for shenanigans - and with the behind the scenes link between ensurers and revenue enforcers, nothing good can come of it.
#34 of 59 Re: insurance company black box [fintail]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Nov 13, 2011 (11:39 am)
On the other hand, if you were in an accident and fault was in question, getting access to the data could show that you weren't the cause.
Might even be able to convince a judge that a revenue enforcer wasn't being completely candid on the speeding ticket.