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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, January 17, 2014

Toyota guilty verdict renews interest in sudden unintended acceleration

On the heels of a gulty verdict in a sudden unintended acceleration case in Oklahoma, news of an out-of-control Camry, and cops have nixed the notion of driver error. A 2003 Camry took off immediately after the driver - who was parking the vehicle and still had his foot on the brake - heard a loud, metallic bang. The vehicle - which was totalled - crashed through a wall, seriously injuring the driver's wife.

Meanwhile, in another case involving an out-of-control Camry, plaintiffs are being represented by the same law firm that successfully represented the folks in Oklahoma. "Mr. Kitrys’ 2004 Toyota Camry suddenly and without warning surged out of control and he was unable to stop the vehicle. As the uncontrollable Camry approached an intersection and concrete barrier, Mr. Kitrys jumped from the vehicle but received injuries that caused his death." 

Let's hope Toyota doesn't "examine" these vehicles unless both sides are present. I remember the case of Koua Fong Lee, wherein Toyota acted like Koua's Camry belonged to them insteada him.

Meanwhile, electrical engineers are speaking out in favor of the Oklahoma verdict, and Shawn Kane of Safety Research and Strategies, Inc. has offered a detailed summary of the trial's technical issues, noting that experts used the term "spaghetti," which is programmer's slang for badly written and badly structured source code. The trial also revealed that back in 2007, even one of Toyota's own programmers had used the term when referring to the engine control application. Mr. Kane testified on Capitol Hill when congress "investigated" Toyota back in 2010.

Previous congressional testimony - especially from victims of sudden unintended acceleration - takes on new meaning in light of the technical disclosures associated with the guilty verdict in Oklahoma. Great time to recall the testimony of Clarence Ditlow, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety. Mr. Ditlow told our illustrious elected officials there was a cover-up, and implicated (gasp) NHTSA. I've maintained from the get go that a corporation that would behave like Toyota has about engine failures in MR2 Spyders simply cannot be trusted. Ditto for a government that lets 'em get away with it.

Amidst the heavy downpour of incriminating technical data from the Oklahoma case, Toyota's NHTSA-congressional whitewash is flakin' off. Not so easy anymore for the Recall King to get away with dumping problems on their customers. Of course, Toyota's USA president even testified back then that 70% of sudden unintended acceleration cases couldn't be explained by driver error, floor mats, or sticky gas pedals. Thanks, Oklahoma. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's a hoot seein' the Recall King forced into a runnin'-scared rush to settle hundreds of remaining cases - 'bout 450 of 'em - lest there be further technical revelations, along with the fearsome prospect of juried determinations of punitive damages.