Electronic Madness


1 June 2017 recall PRA 2017/16076: "Mercedes-Benz "SLK" Class Passenger Car ... The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) software does not correspond to specifications. In rare cases this may cause the brakes to remain slightly engaged after an automatic brake intervention by a driver assistance system (e.g.. cruise control) which would lead to continuous vehicle deceleration. ... The braking system may overheat[!] ..."
31 May 2017, recall PRA 2017/16078: "... 14-14.5MY ZJ [Mitsubishi] Outlander PHEV ... Due to improper engine software, EV software and spark plug specification, the petrol engine may shut down unexpectedly. This will limit the vehicle to EV drive mode only, with no electric charge by the engine. ...".
7 February 2017, recall PRA 2017/15890: "[VW] MY2016 & MY2017 Golf Wagon and Passat. ... A software error may cause an inoperative dipped beam, main beam, daytime running light, rear fog light or indicator bulb to not be indicated to the driver. Operative bulbs may also be shown to be inoperative. This may present a hazard to the occupants of the vehicle or other road users, especially in low light conditions or at night. ..." -- .gov.au
30 October 2016, .au, recall PRA 2016/15710: Ford Mondeo vehicles built from October 16, 2014 through December 22, 2015. "... due to a software error within the Headlight Control Module (HCM), vehicles fitted with Adaptive LED Headlamps could experience a condition that causes the headlamps to switch off. ..." [which would not be good] "... pull over [and] cycle their ignition off and on again. This will allow the headlamps to be turned on again. ..." -- !
10-12 August 2016: "... we show that the security of the keyless entry systems of most VW Group vehicles manufactured between 1995 and today relies on a few, global master keys. We show that by recovering the cryptographic algorithms and keys from electronic control units, an adversary is able to clone a VW Group remote control and gain unauthorized access to [i.e., rob/steal] a vehicle by eavesdropping a single signal sent by the original remote. ..." -- F. D. Garcia et al, 'Lock It and Still Lose It - On the (In)Security of Automotive Remote Keyless Entry Systems,' 25th USENIX Security Symposium 2016 [www].
7 June 2016: Security researchers called on Mitsubishi "to recall at least 100,000 Outlander hybrid cars after exposing a security breach that allowed the hackers to remotely turn off the car's alarm system, control the lights and drain the battery. ..." -- The G.
21 February 2016: Volvo was to recall 59,000 cars over faulty software that can briefly shut down the engine. ... The recall affected five-cylinder diesel models S60, V60, XC60, V70 and XC70 built from mid-2015.
13 November 2015: Toyota Lexus "ES350 & ES300h vehicles equipped with Pre-Collision System (PCS), there is a possibility that the system could interpret a steel expansion joint or plate that crosses the road surface as an object. If this occurs, the system may sound the warning buzzer and may automatically apply the brakes."(!) -- Recall 2015/15039.
2 October 2015: A motoring journalist road testing the new Volvo XC90 SUV reported that it "alarmingly activated the brakes on a number of occasions while passing a car parked on the side of the road."
15 August 2015, finally published: 'Dismantling Megamos Crypto: Wirelessly Lockpicking a Vehicle Immobilizer', R. Verdult & F. D. Garcia, 22nd Usenix Security Symposium, Aug. 14-16, 2013, Washington D.C.. Computer Scientists revealed weaknesses in the Megamos Crypto immobiliser, used by Audi, Citroen, Fiat, Honda, Volkswagen and Volvo, that could allow the cars to be stolen. Publication was held up by legal action for two years.
11 August 2015: Researchers from UCSD showed how to SMS an OBD2 "dongle" (as fitted by insurance firms and fleets to monitor vehicles) to wirelessly enable and disable the brakes of a Corvette.
22 July 2015: In a demonstration, "... hackers took control of a Jeep over the internet and disabled the engine and brakes and crashed it into a ditch. A security hole in [Fiat Chrysler Auto's] Uconnect internet-enabled software allows hackers to remotely access the car's systems and take control. ..." -- The G.
3 October 2014: Recall PRA 2014/14356, Mazda 6 (GJ1031) 2.5 petrol, "Due to a programming error, the Powertrain Control Module (PCM) may fail to provide an adequate supply of electric power to the fuel pump following i-Stop operation. This may cause the fuel pump to stop operating ..."
22 Sept 2014: Recall PRA 2014/14333, Nissan Infiniti V37 Q50, "Due to a software error, the traction motor inverter may function incorrectly and the inverter system may shut down" -- a hazard in EV mode.
8 July 2013: Recall PRA 2013/13658, Mitsubishi 13MY 'Outlander', including "Adaptive Cruise Control ... Forward Collision Mitigation" and "the Electronic Power Steering computer may fail" and "when driving in a tunnel with the Adaptive Cruise Control 'On', the system may judge the wall of the tunnel as an approaching vehicle and automatically operate the brakes". That could be inconvenient.
12 June 2013, .au PRA 2013/13626: Volkswagens with the "... 7 speed direct shift gearbox (DSG) are being recalled due to possible electrolysis in the gearbox control unit that can lead to a short circuit and blow the gearbox fuse ...". (Causing the car to slow -- very dangerous on a freeway.)
2012: Had a Maxda CX-9 hire car with an automatic gearbox having a pseudo-manual option. Touching the brakes on a descent, the box would helpfully change to lower gears to hold the speed -- but only down to the 5th(?) of seven ratios. Beyond that the driver had to use the manual option to get the next lowest ratio. If the speed dropped even further, the box would then automatically select lower gears, right down to 1st, but it then would not change back up. This is potentially dangerous when descending a very long steep hill to a stop-sign at the bottom: The car is now locked in 1st, which the driver (did not command and) may well forget when pulling out into the main road, and will not change up into 2nd.
2007: Hired a Peugeot 208 with an "intelligent" automatic gearbox that tried to anticipate what gear would be needed on the basis of what had just happened. Unfortunately its guesses were almost always wrong. This is much worse than a "dumb" gearbox that just follows orders.
And doubtless many others.

© 1994 . . . now,  L. Allison, www.allisons.org/ll/
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