The Bosch torque-based engine controller is used by auto manufacturers world-wide for the electronic throttle control systems of their cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, and boats. Simulation of the Bosch engine controller shows that it can experience a runaway open-throttle condition when operating with a slightly higher throttle gain associated with an incorrect battery voltage compensation caused by sensing the battery voltage during a negative-going voltage spike on the battery supply line produced by one of the vehicle’s accessory electric motors turning on. This runaway open-throttle condition has all the characteristics of sudden acceleration in automobiles, and can explain the sudden acceleration of all vehicles with electronic throttles worldwide. This paper describes the Bosch torque-based engine controller, its simulation, and approaches for testing for the runaway condition in actual vehicles. Implications of the paper’s results are described.
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