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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...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Guilty verdict in unintended acceleration case has Toyota runnin' scared

Not too scared of course, 'cause the Recall King can depend on a well-established network of government and industry cohorts to keep incriminating evidence quiet. Nonetheless, an Oklahoma jury's guilty verdict in a sudden unintended acceleration case is a troublesome development for T(he) O(ne) Y(ou) O(ught) T(o) A(void). The lawuit involved the crash of a 2005 Camry that left one woman dead, another seriously injured. Trial highlights featured testimony from renowned software expert Michael Barr confirming bugs in Toyota's software. Evidence of 150 feet of skid marks from the plaintiff's tires corroborated Mr. Barr's findings.

The jury went even further, stating that "the automaker exhibited 'reckless disregard' in its response to a faulty electronic throttle system." Doncha jus' love it when people put things in perspective?

Now we can speculate (not to worry - after all, it only concerns public safety) as to how much of the incriminating evidence ("You know, I'm not allowed to say what Task X is.") presented at the trial will be made available to the general public. Once the guilty verdict was announced, the ol' Recall King immediately hushed things up - and avoided a punitive damages determination - by suddenly reaching a settlement, which we can rest assured included a confidentiality agreement and made it crystal clear that Toyota wasn't admitting - oh, thank goodness - to any wrongdoing. Such out-of-court settlements are one of the Recall King's favorite maneuvers. Reminds me of the Toyota rep I spoke with about engine failures in MR2 Spyders saying he "didn't want to hear" about complaints galore posted all over the Internet.

"What happens when an automaker decides to wing it and play by their own rules? To disregard the rigorous standards, best practices, and checks and balances required of such software (and hardware) design? People are killed, reputations ruined, and billions of dollars are paid out. That's what happens." (link to article)

Slob government, run by slob corporations. Complete with a two-headed, one party SHAM of an electoral system, and a gullible citizenry that believes it can change the system by voting. The only thing I can't figure out is whether to laugh... or whether to cry.

Update 1/1/2013 - A similar case - federal, this time - was scheduled to start next week, but has now been delayed until March due to (hee hee) "court congestion." Somehow, I'm reminded of the old TV series, "Wagon Train."

Update 2/14/2014 - Toyota is now seeking a "global settlement" for cases involving sudden unintended acceleration.