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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reuters bans my comments re Toyota

Reuters news organization has informed me that my account has been "banned from commenting."  This comes as no shock, because Reuters has previously removed my remarks regarding Toyota.  This is, however, the first time I've been banned per se from expressing my opinion on a website.

The way Reuters' ban came about is interesting.  A few weeks ago, I submitted a comment critical of the Recall King.  It was published, but immediately removed.  I resubmitted a time or two with the same result, whereupon I exposed Reuters' blatant censorship on Twitter and Facebook and submitted copies of the posts to Reuters via another comment, which, of course was never published nor did I expect it to be.  Apparently, however, Reuters took notice.

Yesterday, I submitted a comment on Reuters' article regarding Toyota's latest recall of 333,000 units - RAV4s and Highlanders - for an airbag defect.  What I immediately encountered was difficulty signing in, even if I used my Facebook account.  So I finally requested password assistance and got logged on.  Then I submitted a comment rakin' Toyota over well deserved coals for their never ending parade of defects.  But unlike before, the comment wasn't published, even temporarily.  Instead, I got a message that the comment would be "moderated."  Apparently, that's Reutersese for "censored."

So I waited an hour or two - not expectin' much - and again fired off a complaint tweet and a post on Facebook exposin' Reuters' rebuff of free speech.  Then - like before - I attempted to send Reuters copies, and that's when I immediately got the message that my account had been banned from commenting.  Yessir, I'll bet ol' Reuters already knew about me exposin' 'em again on Facebook and Twitter, and decided to throw a tantrum by just flat out bannin' my remarks altogether.  "That'll teach the guy to get smart with a kingpin of mainstream media such as Reuters."

If it weren't for serious issues of free speech, Reuters' childish response to my opinions about Toyota would be downright funny.  Do they wish to control the dissemination of newsworthy information?  Or is it merely hubris confounding common sense in the age of the Internet?  Hard to say at this point, but it sure makes a body wonder what kinda relationship Reuters has with Toyota.

Rest assured, Reuters, that I'm not anywhere close to intimidated.  I'll be exposin' the likes of you and Toyota every chance I get.

Update 4/23/2011 - Reuters must have complained to Facebook, because when I referenced this blog post, Facebook blocked the information from Posts by Everyone.

Update 4/24/2011 - Today I referenced this blog post again on Facebook, and the reference was published in Posts by Everyone.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Latest Toyota recall shows true colors

Moody's Investors Services' recent analysis of  Toyota puts things in post earthquake perspective for Japanese automakers:  Nissan considered for a credit upgrade, Honda viewed as stable, and the Recall King placed under review for another drop in credit rating.  "The rating agency also said that the company's high level of incentive spending and its declining share in major markets like the U.S. indicated that consumer perceptions of the company's quality may have weakened compared with some of its competitors." 

Speaking of consumer perceptions, Toyota's continuing lousy attitude toward cusotmers was epitomized by their latest recall.  Thanks to a whistleblower -  supported by his colleagues - media exposed several defects, including a brake problem.  Then the Recall King acknowledged the defects but refused to issue a recall until an outraged public changed Toyota's mind.

Amidst Toyota's handwringing public apologies and promises to put more emphasis on customer satisfaction, here's yet another example of actions speaking louder than words.  Evidence that Toyota has yet to learn any "big lessons," and will keep trying to get away with whatever it can, profits before people.  As one consumer wrote, "Does it mean that the safety of the Vietnamese people is not a matter of concern to Toyota Vietnam? They know (about the flaws) but they've decided to ignore everything.”  Furthermore, based on the whistleblower's allegations, Toyota has knowingly sold some 60,000 of these defective vehicles.

The whistleblowing and public protests coincide nicely with Moody's analysis of a company that obviously has a long way to go when it comes to building trust.  No surprises for me.  Its the Toyota I've come to know and expect. 

Update 4/16/2011 - The scandal has now worsened, prompting a recall of nearly 66,000 units, the largest ever in Vietnam.  This is even more than the whistleblower revealed had been sold.  And apparently the Recall King still doesn't get it.  Toyota apologized for the recall but neglected to apologize for not listening to warnings from their whistleblowin' engineer and his colleagues.

Update 4/22/2011 - Whew.  Its hard to keep up with all the Toyota recalls.  Their "latest" is now a whoppin' 330,000 units for an airbag defect.  RAV4s, Highlanders.  Oops - yesterday (4/26/2011) Toyota announed a 51,000 unit recall of Tundra trucks re a drive shaft defect.     

Update 4/27/2011 - Top Gear auto news has asked Toyota how the Vietnam recall will affect Thai-built Fortuners sold in the Phillipines, but the Recall King has yet to reply.

Update 6/19/2011 - Amidst Toyota's adamant denials of the obvious, the Recall King has now taken action against the whistleblower: http://www.thanhniennews.com/2010/Pages/20110614123057.aspx