Fix Automobile Sudden Acceleration
ABS Brakes - The Stealth Killer

About me

Work Experience

    My name is Charles Brixey. I am a retired electrical engineer. I spent my career writing and debugging code in electro-mechanical systems. In the latter part of my career, I supervised the development of the electro-mechanical systems in many fields of applications.

    After completing the software code for a microcontroller application and testing prototype systems, the first microcontroller is manufactured and delivered to the customer to test in his system. After appropriate testing in the finished product, approval for mass production is given. Many times the customer would come back with issues of how the prototype worked in his system. Most failures were due to incomplete specifications or failure to test all possible combinations available in real world timing. If the customer could demonstrate the failure, the fix was generally easy.

    However, many times the stated problem could not be reproduced. In some cases, the programmer insisted the failure was not possible. These cases required significant efforts by a range of talents to narrow the possible causes and get agreement on changes required to be acceptable for production. Even with a "dream team" to investigate these problems, I am embarressed to admit to the number of times the agreed solution failed to fix the problem investigated. The reason the fix did not work, even with expert analysis and simulation, was that the real "root cause" was not correctly identified. The best effort fix by the "dream team" was implemented because of time constraints. A number of times this lesson that the "root cause" of a problem must be fixed or the problem does not go away was drilled into my character,

Brake failure experience

    I bought a new 2005 Mercury Grand Marqui (This is the same body as the Ford Crown Victoria used by police agencies across the US for years) with approximately 800 miles on it. I drove it a couple days with no flaws. As I approached a red stop light, my brake pedal went to the floor and there was no stopping force on the car. In a couple seconds, I was sitting under the stop light vulnerable to any cross traffic. After recovering  from my  panic, I pulled the car across the intersection and to my amazement, the brakes worked to stop the car. The brakes worked the next approximately 20 times to return the car to the dealer and I cancelled my purchase contract.
Only then did I find out the first owner had the same problem and complained to the dealer. The dealer service department checked the car and found nothing. The dealer took the car back attributing the fault to the crazy customer. A factory technician was called in to check the car and found nothing. I was sold the car and given the honor to prove the car had a real ABS Brake problem.

    Working in complex electro mechanical systems all my career, I did not find it odd that a system as complex as cars had a random failure. I was alive and able to walk away from the sales contract.

   In 2006, I rented a 2006 Town Car in a visit to Ohio. The weekend I drove the car, I experienced two brake failures, which I managed to escape with no accident. This convinced me that there was a serious ABS brake failure and I have spent several years attempting to get this deadly problem recognixed by NHTSA, car dealers, accident investigators, and news writers but have not been successful.

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