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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...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Toyota gets another cozy deal from NHTSA

"The fine, announced Tuesday, is a tiny fraction of Toyota’s earnings... Toyota said it agreed to pay the penalty without admitting any violation of the law."

Toyota's friends at NHTSA have once again given the automaker a lashing with a wet noodle. Yet another safety-related defect, another delay in reporting, and another cozy deal for the Recall King. Ah, those never-ending recalls, along with evidence raising questions of a coverup...

"The latest infraction raises questions about whether the fines are big enough to deter automakers that withhold information from NHTSA, and whether the government agency can do enough to stop repeat offenses."


Isn't it ridiculous that our government allows Toyota to kick consumers around in the interests of corporate greed? Grovels on its knees before a miscreant corporation and tries to mesmerize the taxpaying public with meaningless numbers instead of meaningful fines. I've held firm in my conviction - expressed elsewhere in this blog - that NHTSA is a sham, interested primarily in protecting corrupt corporate interests, and time is certainly bearing witness to my claim.

Toyota's safety-related defects (the definition of which, as I've previously pointed out, are strictly limited) have been coming to light in such a fast and furious manner that its hard to keep up with the Recall King's latest claim to fame. In November, it was a worldwide recall for a water pump and - of all things - a steering issue, both affecting Toyota's much ballyhooed Prius. And the "punishment" now referenced is not for Toyota's most recent, mind-boggling safety recall. I blogged about that one, and we're still waiting - with bated breath - to see whether government will once again step forth, landing blow after blow with that dreaded wet noodle.

Update, 12/30/2012 - Just a reminder that administrators with the car club Spyderchat.com have contacted - to no avail - appropriate government agencies about all those engine failures in MR-2 Spyders. Not that taxpayers are gettin' a federal runaround, or anything like that. 

Update 12/30/2012 - Best I can tell, a link to this post was censored from appearing in Facebook's Public Posts.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Toyota: Oh what a coverup?

The Recall King is once again making headlines with its lousy service, questionable business practices, and a never-ending parade of defective, dangerous products. Toyota's latest claim to fame features a fire hazzard which caused at least nine injuries - a Toyota spokesperson somehow forgot to mention the injuries - and evidence suggesting that the problem was kept quiet for four years as Toyota and its dealerships blamed a defective window switch on... cleaning products. That's right, folks. 161 blazes resulting from those pesky cleaning products. Only after its friends at NHTSA got nervous and upped the ante did Toyota finally declare a "voluntary" recall for a whopping 7.43 million units, their largest ever for a single component.

Lemme get this straight. The Recall King received firsthand knowledge of a faulty window switch that heats up and smells. Then, over the next four years (!) there were fires and injuries as consumers lodged a flurry of complaints with both Toyota and NHTSA. Things drag on as many consumers give up, vehicles are traded in or totalled in accidents, and Toyota avoids the expense and embarrassment of a major recall. And as recently as April of this year, Toyota alludes to its "extensive analysis" of the problem, telling NHTSA that all is well. Right. Buy more time, hoping to hold out until the problem magically disappears. And yet there's no indication that NHTSA has gotten so much as a whiff of the ol' proverbial rat in this matter.

The more I look at Toyota's business practices, the more I blame the government for an appalling lack of oversight and an unwillingness to levy appropriate punishments. Previous fines for delays in reporting defects have apparently done little to change Toyota's behavior. As I said at the time, NHTSA's "record-setting fines" were a mere slap on their friend's wrist, adding insult to injury by allowing Toyota to cut a cozy deal whereby the Recall King avoided any admission of wrongdoing. I shudder to think what Toyota is getting away with when it comes to defects that don't meet the government's criteria for "safety related." Like, for example, all those engine failures in MR2 Spyders.

Toyota is the story of complaints galore, a driver falsely imprisoned due to Toyota's problems with unintended acceleration, thousands of signatures on a continuing petition about oil sludge, eventual disclosure of every kind of defect imaginable, spectacular safety recalls, government fines, deaths, injuries, federal grand jury proceedings, a congressional investigation, prosecution under the RICO Act, zillions of lawsuits, confidential out-of-court settlements...

Maybe its time for the government to list Toyota as a terrorist organization.

Update 10/13/2012 - This post has been censored (for the past five hours at least) from appearing in Facebook's Public Posts. And I'd love to post comments on Yahoo, but about a month ago, I posted a comment implying that the CIA was stirring up anti-American activities in the Middle East. The comment was removed, and I was immediately blocked from posting any more comments below Yahoo news articles. Efforts to get Yahoo to correct this have been unsuccessful. 

Update 10/18/2012 - As of today, my Yahoo account has been completely restored, including the comment referenced above. I'll gladly chalk this entire matter up to nothing more than a Yahoo glitch. Also today, my first couple of Facebook posts - one in reference to this latest recall - have appeared in real-time in Public Posts. I'll continue to monitor. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

CNN censors my comments

I figured I'd been blacklisted a short while back when I attempted to post a comment critical of the Marines for gunning down unarmed men (one in a wheelchair), women, and children - including a two year old toddler - at Haditha, Iraq. Despite e-mails goin' back and forth for days twixt me and CNN - talk about a runaround - somehow CNN never did manage to get me logged in.

Now this.

I saw CNN's story about a late breaking disclosure regarding Recall King Toyota's ongoing problems with sudden, unintended acceleration, scanned the comments, and noticed that - strangely enough - I was already logged in. Cautiously optimistic that a previous glitch had been corrected, I submitted a somewhat less than favorable comment about the ol' Recall King, and sure-enough-wouldn't-ya-know-it a message popped up that the comment had to be moderated before being posted. Recalling my experience with Reuters, I expected the comment to be censored. Just to make sure, I monitored for awhile, and yes - good ol' free speech lovin' America was on the move again. COMMENT CENSORED.

Of course, I'll expose such blatant repression to some degree by bloggin' about it and spreading the word otherwise as best I can. Bottom line is that Internet censorship demonstrates American cowardice and deceit. The same kinda stuff that's responsible for lettin' a bunch like Toyota kick folks around in the first place.

For cryin' out loud, Uncle Sam: If the "home of the brave" is gonna have free speech, let's have it. If not, at least have guts enough to say so.

Update 3/2/2012 - I submitted three additional "comments" to CNN: #1, a link to this blog post, #2, a copy of my Facebook post, and #3, a copy of my tweet. Of course, none were published, but I think CNN got the message.