Wednesday, October 29, 2014

SECRECY: the hallmark of crooks like Toyota

I just love it when the public is suckered by "proposed legislation" that stands no chance whatsoever of passing after elected officials (don't blame me - I quit voting years ago) are bribed - er I mean educated - by lobbyists. Buys time until well-entrenched business interests can do their thing with America's two-headed, one party sham of an electoral system.

Admitted-crook Toyota is perhaps the most notorious of all when it comes to those "confidentiality agreements" Senator Blumenthal says he wants to outlaw. The Coverup King has been rushing into such agreements like crazy ever since embedded systems expert Michael Barr spilled the beans on the auto industry's unintended acceleration scam about a year ago in that landmark case in Oklahoma. Electronic defects galore were exposed in Toyota's throttle control, ushering in a barrage of settlements structured to keep things quiet the "Toyota Way."

Really, folks. By what convoluted reasoning are crooked corporations like Toyota allowed to purchase the public's right to free speech as part of "settlements" involving deadly defects? It's a bullying tactic that's been going on for many years, Mr. Blumenthal, and never should have been allowed in the first place.

Toyota is still in tantrum mode because word of defects in their throttle control is spreading, thanks to that landmark lawsuit the Coverup King lost in Oklahoma last October. Lately, the admitted crook and first-class bully has been targeting whistleblower Betsy Benjaminson - a single, unemployed mother of four - with a slew of pricey, court-sanctioned actions aimed at intimidating Benjaminson - and anyone else - from daring to exercise free speech. Crooks like Toyota are outraged that in this age of the Internet, bloggers, trade journals, and shrewd use of social media can play havoc with the efforts of bigshot "news" organizations and auto-industry stooges like NHTSA to keep safety issues quiet. Note the graphic - a blood-spattered Toyota emblem - featured in today's update about Benjaminson.

Meanwhile, the latest scandal - exploding, shrapnel-laced airbags that injure and kill - leaves consumers at the mercy of auto-industry thugs, propped up by a corrupt, corporate-controlled government that has "no comment" when truth is exposed.

Update 10/31/2014 - Amidst scandals and recalls galore, the airbag fiasco may be the straw that broke the camel's back. Marketing research shows that consumers are finally getting wary of Toyota's never-ending safety problems now that fundamentals such as airbags and seatbelts are making headlines.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Airbags: Toyota sez "Stay outta the front seat." Better yet, just stay outta their vehicles.

Updates 10/28/2014
> Appearing on CNBC, Toyota's Jim Lentz has the gall to say "trust us" regarding airbags. Trust a corporation that pled guilty to a federal FRAUD charge? Talk about a thigh-slappin' HOOT...

> Lawsuits claim Takata knew about the airbag defect in 2001. "Car owners allege they were duped into buying models that weren’t as safe as they were made to believe because of the potentially dangerous air bags ... Representatives for Takata, Honda and Toyota declined to comment..."

So we're expected to believe that Honda has known about the airbag fiasco for years, but Coverup King and admitted-crook Toyota was left unaware. Forgiveness is sought for those of us who find that a bit difficult to believe, and pardon me for bringin' this up, but wonder what else the "world's largest automaker" is "unaware" of. Whatever. Toyota's response to those deadly, shrapnel-slingin' airbags gets more interesting by the minute.

The Coverup King is now advising folks to "keep passengers out of the front seat of several models." Really. And never mind that this sage advice for U.S. customers comes four months after Toyota took similar actions in Japan. Well, I guess stayin' outta the seat is better than trustin' Toyota to disable the things. Bear in mind that among the multitude of recalls Toyota has become infamous for, on occasion they've had to issue second recalls for the same problem 'cause initial efforts to fix things didn't work. Does anyone in their right mind wanna trust an admitted crook to "disable" what amounts to a roadside bomb?

Frankly, with all the software problems Toyota has encountered - not the least of which is computer expert Michael Barr finding electronic defects galore in Toyota's throttle control - I wouldn't bet too heavily on their airbags performing properly even without the bungling from parts supplier Takata. Here's a peek at problems associated with Toyota's airbags.

"Oh what a feeling" indeed. Just make sure passengers don't have it while riding in that front seat.

Updates 10/22/2014 -
> Believe it or not, Coverup King Toyota is supporting Takata's bungling - er I mean handling - of the airbag fiasco. Birds of a feather...

> Just in from USA Today: "NHTSA didn't say why it only now is raising an alarm about the imminent danger of the bags, some of which have been on the roads since 2000, and which began being recalled by automakers in 2008." So the feds are "confused" now that the facts are coming out? Really, folks: If Americans are DUMB enough to tolerate murderous crookedness out of this repulsive little oligarchy - Repukes n Demagogues alike - as it panders to thugs in the auto industry, so be it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Picketing: Don't glare at ME, Mr. Salesperson. Glare at TOYOTA.

Yesterday as I picketed Toyota in front of West Columbia, South Carolina's new Fred Anderson Toyota dealership, wunna their sales force came out, stood about 10 or 15 yards away, and glared at me for several minutes. That's fine, if that's what the guy wants to do, but I have a suggestion for the lad: Instead of glaring at me, glare at admitted-crook and Coverup King Toyota. You know. The thug you've chosen to sell vehicles for.

You see, I didn't bring this situation about. Toyota brought it about when they refused to acknowledge an obvious manufacturing defect in MR2 Spyders, turning their crooked backs on hapless owners such as myself, out the better part of $10 grand when the engines disintegrated. Leave it to a bully like Toyota to take advantage of the fact that Spyders were a limited production vehicle, thereby making class-action lawsuits as impractical as individual court pursuits.

Crooked automakers like Toyota, GM, and now Honda have learned that it pays to ignore manufacturing defects. After all, they can get free passes from their bought-and-paid-for "safety" stooges like NHTSA, as the government agency's bigshot employees look forward to being rewarded with high payin' jobs in the auto industry. Meanwhile, the Department of "Just Us" stands guard to make sure nobody goes to prison if and when dirty facts are exposed. Short of time-consuming, expensive lawsuits, there really isn't any viable recourse for consumers. Factor in a tail-tucked public, bullied into accepting any kind of crookedness imaginable, and there you have it: a formula par excellence for immoral and illegitimate profits galore at the consumer's expense, both physically and financially. It's called tyranny, something that's come to be the hallmark of this little police-state, corporate-controlled oligarchy and its corrupt, two-headed, one party sham of an electoral system.

What do you expect me to do, Mr. Salesperson? Knuckle under to the crook you work for, and simply kiss the better part of $10 grand goodby? The next time you get the urge to glare at someone, Mr. Toyota Salesperson, focus your gaze on the culprit instead of the victim.

Update 10/21/2014 - NY Times published a GREAT article yesterday about the growing airbag scandal. "Toyota said it would in some cases disable the air bags, leaving a note not to ride in the front passenger seat."

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.