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Engine failures in MR2 Spyders

6/11/2014 - Updated the original post by entering direct links to reference material, and added remarks about the legal issues involved with...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Twitter experience smacks of scare tactics

Having been active on Twitter for about two months, I've found the experience to be a strange mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Accounts are nicely formatted with wonderful design options; tweets are generally informative and often humorous. But my first "followers" had accounts loaded with obscenities. Four letter filth. Pictures of drug addicts and thugs. I blocked them, but there was a weird pop-up when the cursor was paused over the word "you" in the message, "retweeted by you," that accompanies retweets. Instead of my name appearing, the pop-up mimiced the message, stating "Retweeted by You," and linked to an account titled "You" which referenced a "wallace" located in "Wilsonville." There was four letter filth, and emblazoned in large letters across the top was "I kill people who nudge me." This situation persisted for about two or three weeks after I compalined to Twitter. No proof of a connection, but searching Twitter, I found a David Wallace who owns one of those "reputation management" companies that protect corporations from "Consumer Generated Media." Kinda made me wonder if someone was tryin' to discourage me from criticizin' Toyota.

Many tweets are peppered with obscenities. That seems inconsistent with Twitter's avowed concern for a "quality" search experience, and I won't belabor the aggravation of apostrophies appearing as ' (commonly understood to stand for "annoying piece of s..."). Then there's Twitter's policy of punishing rules violations by suddenly blocking tweets from search. Common courtesy dictates the need for a polite warning before taking such drastic action. I don't think most folks - especially newcomers - intentionally violate Twitter's directives, and some accounts violate the rules with apparent impunity, repeatedly submitting similar or identical tweets and identical links.
Twitter leaves quite a bit to be desired, but has the potential to become a class act. Here's another critique:   

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

NHTSA lets Toyota off with a wrist slap

$16.4m would be a lot of dough for most folks, but Toyota isn't among them. Having made something in the range of $52 billion last year, its little wonder that Toyota agreed to pay the fine in exchange for not being required to admit guilt.  If only the taxpayers could levy a fine aginst NHTSA.

More troubling still, I don't believe sentiments such as mine are getting adequately publicized.  The article below is the only one I've come across that criticizes the "punishment" Toyota received for allegedly covering up safety defects.  I was unable to access the comments, and when I tried to link up with Twitter, my tweet appeared on my home page, but I could find no evidence that it was published.  Worse yet, several other efforts to tweet about this issue were - as far as I can tell - unsuccessful.  What gives here?  Hopefully,  just a glitch.  Problem is, a pattern of strange "glitches" is emerging with regard to my efforts on Twitter, and government censorship on the Internet - not to mention blogger allegations that Toyota deletes negative posts in China via so-called "e-PR" agencies - has become a hot topic.  But I'll reserve further comments on that issue for a future post.

Right on for the Motley Fool tellin' it like it is:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Toyota exec: "We need to come clean."

Honest, folks.  It wasn't me - it was one of Toyota's own.  Upper echelon own.  Five days before their recall re sudden unintended acceleration, an executive fired off an email advising the big T to come clean.  Gee.  That's what Toyota's customers have been sayin' for years.  Over 3,140 have signed a petition complaining of Toyota's stonewallin' re oil sludged engines, MR2 Spyder owners have been documenting engine failures on Spyder club websites, and blogs attempting to expose Toyota are poppin' up right n left.

Here's a link to some nice news coverage (video) of the execs advice:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Toyota halts sale of 2010 Lexus 460

Oops. Toyota caught again. This time, Consumer Reports says the Lexus 460 SUV poses an extreme rollover risk. So extreme that CR has issued a rare "Don't Buy" warning to consumers.

Toyota has halted sales of the 460, but here's the question:  where is quality control at Toyota? Furthermore, are we to believe Toyota didn't know about this until CR issued a safety warning?

Given all the recent revelations about Toyota, maybe Consumer Reports is a little gun shy 'bout not doin' what it claims to do. I lost faith in CR because they refused to investigate and warn consumers about 1zz engine failures in Toyota's MR2 Spyders. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Associated Press says Toyota is deceptive when sued

According to an Associated Press investigation, 'ol "Mr. T" resorts to incredibly sleazy tactics if anyone dares to sue them. Questionable, evasive, and deceptive, says AP. Even goin' so far as to ignore court orders to produce key documents. 

Nothin' Toyota deceitfully does would surprise me, but this story raises the question once again: Who (or what) does Toyota think they are?