Saturday, October 18, 2014

Jury awards Plaintiff $12 million in Toyota lap belt case

“The whole courtroom was in tears, and so was the jury. The evidence was strong; it was an absolute slam dunk.” - Chelsie Hill's father, quoted by KSBW.com news.
 
Who woulda thought? Coverup King and now-admitted-crook Toyota is having problems convincing juries that it's telling the truth. No wonder Toyota prefers out-of-court, confidential settlements. Even more so since it lost that landmark unintended acceleration case in Oklahoma last October.
 
It's a real shame that consumers have to file expensive, time consuming, and emotionally draining lawsuits to stand a chance of prevailing against crooked corporations like Toyota. Equally bad that we have a corporate-controlled government kissin' up to these crooks by manufacturing bald-faced lies - no, NASA did NOT rule out electronic defects as a cause of unintended acceleration - and simply "refusing to comment" if anyone dares to confront the auto industry's repulsive little puppets with a few facts. 
 
In Hill's case - involving a 4Runner - admitted-crook Toyota is "expected to appeal." Is anyone surprised?

Update 10/18/14 - Another article puts the situation in proper perspective. Hill's lawyer says "Toyota misled the public about the safety of their lap belts and now there are millions of people out there driving those cars," and Ben Kelley, a Center for Auto Safety board member who testified at the trial, points out that "As of 2014, there are more than 3 million Toyota vehicles with at least one lap belt - similar to the one Hill wore - driving in the U.S."

Update 10/19/2014 - VIDEO: former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts offers some GREAT comments on the revolving door twixt this corrupt government's so-called regulators and the industries they puppet for, paving the way for lucrative jobs in those industries. NHTSA (No Help To Solve Anything) and Toyota are prime examples, which probably explains how Toyota's lap belts squeaked by "safety regulators" in the first place. Kudos to Dr. Roberts for pointing out that Americans no longer care if someone has the reputation of being a crook. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Longtime customer who got EDR readout fed up with Toyota

“'There are five Toyotas in my family. We’ve been loyal Toyota people,' Mr. Ruginis said. 'Now I plan to replace all five cars.'"

There'll be no more Toyotas for Bob Ruginis, the guy who lucked out and managed to get his hands on data that confirms his wife's account of what happened when her Corolla sped out of control. In a late breaking interview with local news reporter Patrick Luce, Ruginis discusses his disillusionment with Toyota, and the predicament he's now in, still making payments on a vehicle he doesn't feel safe driving and has moral reservations about selling to anyone else.

Coverup King Toyota has a way of abandoning customers. Ask Jessie Powell. She's in a similar predicament with her Prius. It too sets on a dealership lot as Jessie struggles through a lawsuit against now-admitted-crook Toyota. Jessie has picketed her dealership in a lemon costume, she blogs about her experiences, and she has a Facebook page titled "Route 44 Toyota Sold Me A Lemon".

Caveat emptor.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Details emerge re meeting at Ruginises home to discuss EDR readout

"Even when ODI witnesses Unintended Acceleration with no input from the driver with their very own eyes, they dismiss it." Sean Kane's 9/23/2014 article, "What Good Can Come of Reporting Toyota UA?" 

Sean Kane, founder of Safety Research Systems, attended the meeting last Wednesday when two attorneys from the office of Toyota's "Independent" Monitor sat down with the Ruginises - at their home - to discuss matters associated with an EDR readout Mr. Ruginis lucked out and happened to get his hands on. It'll be interesting to see how the Washington gang - especially NHTSA - explains away the hard, cold evidence (see exhibit) of electronic defects in Toyota's throttle control. Evidence that corroborates what embedded systems expert Michael Barr found after an 18 month study of Toyota's much ballyhooed source code. As an adjuct to Mr. Kane's article, read trade journal EDN's article, "Toyota's Killer Firmware: Bad Design and its Consequences." Here's what Mr. Barr found that NHTSA has ignored, Holder's "Just Us" department refuses to comment on, and the government's mainstream media stooges have tried to make sure you don't know about:

* Toyota's electronic throttle control system (ETCS) source code is of unreasonable quality.
* Toyota's source code is defective and contains bugs, including bugs that can cause unintended acceleration (UA).
* Code-quality metrics predict presence of additional bugs.
* Toyota's fail-safes are defective and inadequate (referring to them as a 'house of cards' safety architecture).
* Misbehaviours of Toyota's ETCS are a cause of UA.

Meanwhile, as Mr. Kane points out, Toyota is rushing to settle unintended acceleration lawsuits "faster than you can say Michael Barr." Fact is, Coverup King Toyota has been in settlement mode ever since that pesky unintended acceleration trial in Oklahoma last October whereby Mr. Barr's testimony resulted in a landmark guilty verdict. It's a hoot watching the now-admitted-crook shy away from jury trials in an effort to keep Mr. Barr's findings quiet.

Before you buy a Toyota, reflect carefully on the facts. Their little glitch-mobiles can take you places you don't wanna go.

Update 9/29/2014 - Today, the Associated Press published an update on Mr. Ruginis' request to NHTSA. "The consumer provided 163 reports from other drivers who experienced a surge at low speed or no speed. But NHTSA said it eliminated duplicates, those outside the scope of the 2006-2010 model years and those from foreign countries to get 141. No injuries were reported." The article doesn't name Ruginis, referring only to an "unidentified consumer" who filed an unintended acceleration complaint on 9/11/2014. Of course, that avoids publicizing all those messy details about the EDR readout and what prompted the "unidentified consumer" to file such a complaint.

Update 9/30/2014 - re immediately preceding update, other reports copyrighted AP give complete details, so apparently some news media are deleting relevant information from AP's release.

Update 10/2/2014 - As word spreads about evidence of electronic defects in throttle controls, it's apparent that unintended acceleration affects many makes and models worldwide. Hyundai is being targeted in Korea, and Saudi Arabia is keeping an eye on Coverup King Toyota.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Admitted-crook Toyota coddled at NHTSA hearing

"Car safety whtchdog turns to lapdog: Our view" - Headline, Editorial Board, USA Today.

Last Tuesday's much ballyhooed Consumer Protection Subcommittee's NHTSA hearing - and a similar exercise from the House - was almost as theatrical as the "Congressional Investigation" into Toyota's unintended acceleration scandal. Informed consumers didn't know whether to laugh or cry as David Friedman - head honcho of NHTSA's auto industry stooges - took a "blame someone else" posture.

Strangely enough, the day before the hearing, in a 30 minute Detroit News interview, Friedman strayed from NHTSA's culpability in GM's ignition switch scandal, and blabbered that no evidence had been found that electronics were to blame for Toyota's unintended acceleration scandal. Actually, it wasn't strange at all. A few days earlier, word had gotten out regarding one Robert Ruginis, who, by fortuitous circumstance, had managed to get his hands on a very embarrassing EDR readout which confirmed his wife's account of her runaway Corolla. Mr. Ruginis - much to Toyota's chagrin - had hard, cold evidence that the accelerator was not pressed, and her foot was on the brake when rpm's suddenly doubled, and speed more than doubled, resulting in a crash. In a 9/11/2014 letter to Friedman, Mr. Ruginis had petitioned NHTSA for an investigation and was squealing to news media. He had also written a letter to David Kelley, Toyota's "Independent" Safety Monitor who had been appointed by the Department of Justice - with input from Toyota - as part of the now-admitted crook's settlement to end a federal criminal investigation. By the time Friedman had his Detroit News interview, Toyota's "independent" monitor had already arranged to meet with the Ruginises - at their home - the day after the NHTSA hearing.

So far, media has remained silent about the meeting at the Ruginises home. But stay tuned. The Ruginis readout corroborates the incriminating evidence of electronic defects unearthed by embedded systems expert Michael Barr last October at the landmark unintended acceleration case in Oklahoma. Evidence that the Holder gang had refused to comment on; evidence the government's mainstream media stooges have been trying to keep quiet. Read trade journal EDN's article, "Toyota's Killer Firmware: Bad design and its consequences." Here's what Mr. Barr found:

* Toyota's electronic throttle control system (ETCS) source code is of unreasonable quality.
* Toyota's source code is defective and contains bugs, including bugs that can cause unintended acceleration (UA).
* Code-quality metrics predict presence of additional bugs.
* Toyota's fail-safes are defective and inadequate (referring to them as a 'house of cards' safety architecture).
* Misbehaviours of Toyota's ETCS are a cause of UA.

Toyota, NHTSA, the DOJ, and the "Independent Monitor" musta been terrified when they realized what Mr. Ruginis had managed to get his hands on (see exhibit). I'd like to have seen the looks on their faces when they got word that Mr. Ruginis wuz refusin' to be bullied by Toyota and had gone public with the facts of his case. "Quick. Meet with the guy at his home. That'll make us look good while we figure out how to explain the EDR readout."

Talk about a thigh-slapper. For years, Toyota - now an admitted crook - has bent over backwards keeping EDR readouts secret, and then a minor paperwork delay lets the cat outta the bag. No wonder Mr. Friedman began the week of the NHTSA hearing with deceitful, highly publicized remarks equating the issue of electronic defects in Toyota's throttle control to a search for ghosts.

Next day, Friedman appeared at the hearing, and the dear senators sat there like dummies - like shills for the auto industry - as they let their friend from NHTSA get away not only with his disingenuous remarks to the Detroit News, but also a wisecrack he threw in at the hearing itself, declaring that there was no problem with Toyota's electronics. Never ever not once did the senators dare to bring up evidence of defects galore in Toyota's throttle control. Or the big lie broadcasted by NHTSA that NASA had ruled out electronics as a cause of Toyota's unintended acceleration scandal. Nor did they confront their friend Friedman about NASA physicist Henning Leidecker's warning of increased risk of unintended acceleration in '02-'06 Camrys due to "tin whiskers" growing in the electronic throttle control, demanding an explanation of why NHTSA hasn't ordered a recall of those models. The little glitch-mobiles are notorious for unintended accleration complaints, and it was an '05 Camry speeding out of control that resulted in Toyota's landmark guilty verdict in Oklahoma. Kinda makes ya wonder what sort of questions the senators should have asked - but decided not to - about GM's ignition switch scandal.

I quit voting long ago - Demagogues and Repukes are equally repulsive - and "representatives" like the ones who questioned Friedman are the epitome of why. If they're unaware of the evidence of electronic defects in Toyota's throttle control (which casts aspersions on all makes), and the current epidemic of vehicles crashing into buildings from parking lots (the typical setting for crashes suggestive of electronics issues), they should resign from their prestigious, high-payin' jobs. Fat chance of that happening. And if they're aware of the evidence - which they certainly should be - they oughta be charged with fraud for the way they conducted their NHTSA (No Help To Solve Anything) hearing. Problem is, Holder's "Just Us" gang would never in a million years do such a thing. So I've got an idea.

You bring the tar. I'll bring the feathers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

EDR readout puts admitted-crook Toyota in the hotseat

Coverup King Toyota is notorious for being "secretive" with readouts from "their" Event Data Recorders (EDR's). An Assciated Press investigation found that "Toyota has frequently refused to provide information crucial to crash victims and survivors, and that in some lawsuits, the automaker has routinely provided printouts with key information missing."  

Enter Bob Ruginis, who happened to obtain a copy of the "secret" black box (EDR) readout after his wife's Corolla sped out of control and crashed into another vehicle. More on that in a moment.  

The Ruginises' Corolla had been plagued with unintended acceleration events ever since it was purchased new in 2010, and prior to the accident, the Ruginises had lodged UA complaints with their Toyota dealership. The dealership blamed the transmission.

When yet another unintended acceleration event occured, this time resulting in an accident, the Ruginises filed a claim with Toyota, whereupon Toyota sent the Event Data Recorder off to the manufacturer (Bosch) to obtain a readout. But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. There was a paperwork delay which prompted an employee at Bosch to telephone Mr. Ruginis. During the phone conversation, Mr. Ruginis asked if he could have a copy of the readout, and Bosch's employee sent him one.

Listen up, Toyota. These things happen. Plans to keep secrets do go awry. And hey, Coverup King: If there's nothing to hide, don't hide it.

The readout (see exhibit) - who woulda thought? - is consistent with Mrs. Ruginis' account of what happened: Brake on, accelerator not pressed, yet engine revs had suddenly doubled, and speed had suddenly more than doubled. Follows the usual format for the vast majority of unintended acceleration events. They begin at very slow speeds - events are usually associated with parking - when a sudden surge catches the driver by surprise.

The showdown started when Toyota's "investigative" report of Mrs. Ruginis' accident conveniently omitted the EDR data, blamed the accident on her, and denied her claim. And when the Muginises confronted Toyota about the omission, the ol' Coverup King got downright huffy, declaring that the EDR readout wasn't relevant. But instead of cowering down to such bullying tactics from an admitted crook, Mr. Ruginis - who happens to be an embedded systems expert with 35 years experience - petitioned NHTSA to launch an investigation of his case (and hundreds of other cases registering similar complaints), sent a letter to Toyota's new "Independent Safety Monitor" suggesting that Toyota had violated the terms of its federal criminal settlement by concealing the EDR data, and started talking to news media. And wouldn't ya know it? NHTSA agreed to investigate, and Toyota's new "Independent Safety Monitor" hurriedly arranged to meet with the Ruginises at their home on Wednesday of this week. 

But beyond these grand theatrics, don't expect much.

Bear in mind that NHTSA broadcasted the big lie that NASA had ruled out electronics as a cause of Toyotas speeding out of control, and the auto industry stooge - complicit up to its neck in GM's ignition switch scandal - has also ignored NASA physicist Henning Leidecker's warning of increased risk of unintended acceleration in '02-'06 Camrys due to electronic defects known as "tin whiskers" growing in the pedal sensors. In Mrs. Ruginis' case, NHTSA is blabbering about a "dual pedal application," a speculation clearly at odds with the readout.

As for Toyota's new "Independent Safety Monitor," the guy was appointed by U.S. Attorney Eric Holder with input from none other than the admitted crook the guy is supposedly charged with overseeing. Holder's "Just Us" department showed its true colors earlier this year with a curt "No comment" when confronted with compelling evidence of defects galore in Toyota's electronic throttle control. Ah, the heartwarming sincerity of a corporate-controlled government...

Toyota has chimed in with blabber about "late braking," and that's a hoot. The readout shows a big increase in speed - accelerator not pressed - a split second before the brake was applied. It evidences a sudden surge that came too late to give the driver hardly any time to attempt to stop the vehicle before it crashed. "Late braking," Toyota? The evidence points to electronically-associated late surging. And after all, prior complaints had been lodged...

Real hoot seeing a corporate bully and its government cohots squirm. No court redactions of the evidence, no confidential settlements, and no mainstream media blackouts like the kinda stuff that took place October of last year when an Oklahoma jury said Toyota exhibited "'reckless disregard' for the public's safety" in the design of its electronic throttle control.

Stay tuned. This is one of several recently publicized events that evidence the involvement of electronics in cases of unintended acceleration. To find out just how big the government and industry coverup is, read Tom Murray's book, "Deadly by Design." It was published after Toyota lost the big case in Oklahoma, and puts the unintended acceleration issue in proper perspective.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Unattended Lexus takes off from carwash

A friend of mine sent me a link to an interesting example of the risks admitted-crook Toyota would take if they dared to produce "driverless" cars. As I stated in my immediately preceding post, "Admitted-crook Toyota chickens out on driverless cars," they know better than to dabble around in that world. As the above-referenced article confirms, their unattended vehicles are bad enough.

Thank goodness the National Carwash Association is continuing to document the horrifying risks the public is being exposed to as our corporate-controlled government - Repukes n Demagogues alike - refuses to acknowledge compelling evidence of electronic defects in throttle controls. I'll say again: It's pretty ridiculous when a carwash association is better than NHTSA is at discerning safety defects in vehicles.

Ignore those fancy automaker ads and the propadanda from the government's mainstream media stooges. Read trade journal EDN's article, "Toyota's Killer Firmware: Bad Design and its Consequences." Once again, here's the evidence you're not supposed to know about:

* Toyota's electronic throttle control system (ETCS) source code is of unreasonable quality.

* Toyota's source code is defective and contains bugs, including bugs that can cause unintended acceleration (UA).

* Code-quality metrics predict presence of additional bugs.

* Toyota's fail-safes are defective and inadequate (referring to them as a 'house of cards' safety architecture).

* Misbehaviours of Toyota's ETCS are a cause of UA.

The outcome of the above-referenced Lexus case (Were chages filed? Was the vehicle examined for defects? What did the carwash attendant have to say? What did the Lexus' owner have to say? and so forth) has been hushed up. As with other alarming runaway cases that point to electronic defects in throttle controls, critical details have been concealed, and the entire matter has now disappeared into corporate-controlled media's "black hole," never to be heard from again.

Just remember: The next victim of a runaway vehicle may be YOU.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Admitted-crook Toyota chickens out on driverless cars

Talk about a thigh-slappin' hoot:

Toyota - that paragon of the best money can buy when it comes to electronic throttle controls - sez they're not interested in this "driverless" car thing. And nobody can blame 'em. After all, if their vehicles didn't have a driver, who would the admitted crook blame when their little glitch-mobiles sped out of control?

Yessir, with hundreds of pending lawsuits revolving around evidence of electronic defects in that pesky ol' throttle control, they know better than to dabble about in the world of cars that drive themselves. Just think how utterly terrified Toyota must be at the thought of wunna their vehicles speeding out of control with no driver to blame. No possibilities for blabber about pedal confusion, medical conditions, floor mats, or sticky accelerators.

I'll bet Toyota's Washington gang is breathin' a sigh of relief. U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, along with the admitted crook's new "safety monitor," the "investigators" at NHTSA, and our "representatives" in Congress must be high fivin' each other. No tellin' how much sleep they've lost worrying about wunna Toyota's "driverless" vehicles takin' off with nobody and no thing to blame but their good friend's electronics. In fact, I'll bet the entire auto industry is relieved by Toyota's decision to stay out of the "driverless" car business.

Embedded systems expert Michael Barr must be rollin' in the aisles. He's the guy who examined Toyota's much ballyhooed source code for 18 months, found electronic defects galore, and convinced an Oklahoma jury to return a guilty verdict in that landmark unintended acceleration case last October. In spite of a well-orchestrated effort by government, the auto industry, and mainstream media stooges to keep things quiet, word has gotten out about the "house of cards" architecture in Toyota's electronic throttle control. Read trade journal EDN's article, "Toyota's Killer Firmware: Bad Design and its Consequences." Here's what Mr. Barr found:

* Toyota's electronic throttle control system (ETCS) source code is of unreasonable quality.

* Toyota's source code is defective and contains bugs, including bugs that can cause unintended acceleration (UA).

* Code-quality metrics predict presence of additional bugs.

* Toyota's fail-safes are defective and inadequate (referring to them as a 'house of cards' safety architecture).

* Misbehaviours of Toyota's ETCS are a cause of UA.

The jury was so incensed they declared Toyota guilty of reckless disregard in the way the throttle control was designed. Looked bad for the entire auto industry, 'cause other makes - Jeeps are notorious for speeding out of control at carwahes - have also been involved. In fact, as NHTSA (No Help To Solve Anything) stonewalls the evidence, the National Carwash Association has been takin' notes. Is it any wonder that Toyota immediately went into settlement mode when the Oklahoma jury's sentiments were revealed?

Just think of the money ol' Sammy's corporate friends in the auto industry would be be out if they had to install the kinda failsafes that have been required for years in the airline industry. Amidst the current epidemic of runaway vehicles crashing into buildings and causing deaths, injuries, and close calls galore, it all boils down to teamwork. By not dabbling in driverless cars, admitted-crook Toyota is simply doing their part to see that their team prevails. Can't blame 'em fer that, can ya?

Consumers should be thrilled.

Update 9/10/2014 - Speaking of driverless cars, Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts featured some apt remarks in his introduction to a guest article, "Putting Big Brother in the Driver's Seat: V2V Transmitters, Black Boxes & Drones."