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The Big Cost of Software Bugs

By Jordan Robertson, Marcus Chan and Mark Milian - 2012-08-03T19:53:28Z

Photograph by Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

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Bad Brake for Toyota

When Toyota recalled more than 400,000 of its hybrid vehicles in 2010, it wasn't because of a mechanical issue. The cars, including Toyota's Prius line, had a software glitch, which would cause a lag in the anti-lock-brake system. The news came at a time when Toyota had come under scrutiny for safety issues related to physical defects in millions of other cars it had made. Class-action lawsuits resulting from those recalls, including the software glitch, were estimated to cost Toyota as much as $3 billion, according to an estimate by the Associated Press.