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

Friday, February 21, 2014

Software-related recalls, police-state press, federal criminal investigation being bought off

No wonder renowned software expert Michael Barr found bugs in Toyota's software causing sudden unintended acceleration. Toyota's latest recalls involve defective software in the Prius, RAV4, Tacoma, and Lexus RX350. Some of the software issues affect anti-lock brakes, stability control, and traction control. Meanwhile, Toyota is in talks with NHTSA regarding another recall involving computer-related brake problems in Camry Hybrids. Software glitches galore. Whew.

Sayin' Recall King Toyota is now in "settlement mode" is an understatement. Toyota is apparently on the verge of forkin' over sumpthin' in the range of a billion dollars to put an end to the federal criminal investigation - begun four years ago - into Toyota's reporting procedures - or the lack thereof - regarding sudden unintended acceleration.

Actions speak louder than words. After the guilty verdict in the Oklahoma sudden unintended acceleration case, the Recall King rushes into court seeking a "global" settlement for hundreds of remaining civil suits involving sudden unintended acceleration. And now there's this sudden interest in concluding the federal criminal investigation involving not only reporting procedures, but also such niceties as lying to Congress, mail fraud, wire fraud, and whether stockholders were misled. Of course, mainstream media reports regarding another billion dollar settlement carefully omit any mention of Michael Barr findings, and Reuters banned me from commenting - on any of their articles - long ago.

It looks like Toyota will again be permitted to settle up without any troublesome guilty pleas or admitting to any wrongdoing. Might as well go all the way if yer gonna let someone buy their way out of a criminal investigation. And the issue of ongoing instances of sudden unintended acceleration - have software revisions, safeguards, etc. been put in place? - is being buried along with Michael Barr's findings. Amidst a barrage of misleading media reports, I applaud Mr. Barr for setting the record straight - especially insofar as the much ballyhooed "NASA investigation" is concerned - by publishing an update regarding Toyota's sudden unintended acceleration issue. As he points out, reports of sudden unintended acceleration in Toyotas are continuing.

Really, folks. If Toyota behaves in such a manner regarding undisputed safety issues, how have they been behaving about such things as oil-sludged engines and those pesky pre-cat problems - costing customers the better part of $10,000 - in MR2 Spyders? There's been a news blackout for years regarding thousands of signatures petitioning Akio to make amends for unresolved oil sludge issues.

Why should anyone be allowed to buy their way out of a criminal investigation? Mainstream media efforts to mislead the public about Toyota are poppin' up everywhere, with glaring omissions about the evidence Michael Barr found that led to the billion dollar Toyota economic loss settlement in December of 2012 - the largest such settlement in automotive history - and the guilty verdict last October in the sudden unintended acceleration case in Oklahoma. Revelations regarding the findings of an internationally acclaimed software expert (along with any mention of that pesky evidence of 150 feet of skid marks from the Oklahoma plaintiff's tires) are left to casual bloggers, trade journals, and a few comments on the Internet.

A prime example of the kinda sheer hogwash bein' bandied about by mainstream media is this putrid peice of "journalism" by Forbes staffer Daniel Fisher. What's "begged" is the question, "Do we really want to tolerate a corporate-controlled media instead of a free press?" Fisher n Forbes - "a jury's whim" indeed - don't dare discuss Michael Barr's findings. Not even a mention of his name. In the comments - at least they let me join in - I was "called out" by Mr. Fisher for referring to Mr. Barr's findings and the ongoing news blackout. Certainly better than the reaction I got from USA Today and Bloomberg. Bloomberg n USA Today simply removed my comment. Whenever I put the cursor in the comment box on USA Today's website, the word "false" would briefly appear. I encountered similar things years ago on Twitter when I started sending out tweets critical of Toyota.

Don't view this YouTube video on a full stomach if you're aware of Michael Barr's recent findings. Fox News' "interview" is repulsively theatrical, aimed at making the public think there's no evidence of bugs in Toyota's software causing sudden unintended acceleration.

Take a close look at what Michael Barr has to say about his findings, and check out his credentials. Is anyone surprised that Toyota is runnin' scared?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What you aren't supposed to know about Toyota's software (and hardware) causing sudden unintended acceleration

"Although the investigation focused almost entirely on software, there is at least one HW factor: Toyota claimed the 2005 Camry's main CPU had error detecting and correcting (EDAC) RAM. It didn't. EDAC, or at least parity RAM, is relatively easy and low-cost insurance for safety-critical systems." Michael Dunn, "Toyota's killer firmware: Bad design and its consequences"

Amidst computer-related problems galore prompting this week's recalls (Prius along with a number of other models), there's a few articles from Michael Barr's peers providing a detailed look at why the Oklahoma jury was justified in returning a verdict of guilty in what's now being referred to as a "landmark" case of sudden unintended acceleration, and why the jury underscored their conclusion by stating that Toyota acted with "reckless disregard" in its response to its electronic throttle control. Michael Barr's findings were corroborated by 150 feet of skid marks from Bookout's tires.

One of the best peer-group articles I found is "Toyota's killer firmware: Bad design and its consequences," by Michael Dunn. I'll call it article A. Further revelations can be expected at the upcoming EE Times conference which will feature presentations - including the keynote address - from Michael Barr himself.

It's downright alarming to compare article A (from EDN Network) with the presstitute media's misleading blabber, epitomized by Paul Barrett's hack job via no less of a media mogul than Bloomberg. I'll call that piece article B. Both articles came out shortly after the Oklahoma trial ended.

The Barrett/Bloomberg blabber is precisely that. No mention of the name Michael Barr. A feigned ignorance of those 150 feet of skid marks from Bookout's tires. Gibberish designed to brainwash rather than inform. "Should judges be allowing plaintiffs' lawyers to continue pressing the issue in court?" opines the mogul-backed Barrett. Pure, unadulterated garbage.

Problem is, it's not just Barrett and Bloomberg protecting the Recall King at the public's expense. It's the entire mainstream media gang. The kinda stuff that prompted former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Dr. Paul Craig Roberts to remark that "Anyone who wastes their time on the US media is a brainwashed idiot, a danger to humanity." (see "America Totally Discredited") For some strange reason, Bloomberg, Reuters, USA Today, and Minnesota's Star Tribune block my comments.

Compare the two articles. Get a proper perspective on Toyota's current rush to settle hundreds of remaining cases outside of court. Discern Toyota's underlying motive in buying their way out of the current federal criminal investigation as to how they handled complaints of sudden unintended acceleration. Get a firsthand look at how the U.S. media accomplishes mass indoctrination.

Blaming sudden unintended acceleration on driver error, floor mats, etc. is a well-orchestrated scam that's been goin' on for decades. Published after the landmark trial in Oklahoma, Tom Murray brings us up to date - including the government's longstanding efforts to protect the auto industry - in his 11/27/2013 book, "Deadly by Design." For another informative read, check out "The Myth of Driver Error."

The "land of the free" has become a corporate-controlled nightmare.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

NEWS BLACKOUT re bugs in Toyota's software causing sudden unintended acceleration

"Anyone who wastes their time on the US media is a brainwashed idiot, a danger to humanity." Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, from his article, "America Totally Discredited."

National disgrace when consumers have to depend on trade journals, bloggers, and social media for the facts. Especially when it's a matter of life and death.

Renowned computer expert Michael Barr spent 18 months examining Toyota's software relevant to sudden unintended acceleration. His findings convinced an Oklahoma jury to find Toyota guilty, underscored with a declaration that the Recall King acted with "reckless disregard" in its response to a faulty electronic throttle system. The jury was ready to calculate punitive damages when the Recall King suddenly saw fit to settle, avoiding what may well have been punishment consistent with the kinda stuff levied against big tobacco. The kinda stuff Toyota's friends in Congress and NHTSA shoulda come up with years ago. Punishment based on the wealth of the corporation as opposed to amplified slaps on wrist designed to wow the average consumer. A gang like Toyota needs what they were likely on the verge of gettin' in Oklahoma: a woodsheddin' in the billions 'steada the millions.

The Recall King is hastily moving to settle hundreds of remaining cases - can anyone imagine why? - in a "global settlement" given the green light by our ever vigilant legal system. Conjures up recollections of corrupt corporations too big to fail, surviving at the public's expense. But this time, more than money is at stake.

An at-risk public has a right to know about the incriminating evidence Mr. Barr found. Especially since other computer experts are speaking out in favor of his conclusions. This is not the time for silence in the name of protecting Toyota. This is the time for fundamental fairness to the public. As with engine failures in MR2 Spyders, such fairness certainly hasn't been offered by Toyota. And regarding sudden unintended acceleration, not by Congress, and not by NHTSA. Dirty rotten shame when the taxpayin' public has to uncover facts and seek recourse through expensive, time-consuming, emotionally draining lawsuits because government agencies are beholden to the industries they're presumably set up to regulate.

Where is our "free" press? Why haven't there been lengthy articles focusing on the gist of what happened in Oklahoma? Headlines making sure an at-risk public can put in proper perspective Toyota's sudden rush to settle hundreds of remaining lawsuits involving sudden unintended acceleration. Adding insult to injury, a USA Today article - ostensibly addressing Toyota's current problems with heated seats - made it sound like the sudden unintended acceleration issue had been conclusively related to nothing more than driver error, floor mats and sticking gas pedals. Hard to believe such stories - how many more are being circulated? - are published out of ignorance. I sent e-mails to reporters with Minnesota's Pioneer Press and Star Tribune newspapers, both of which took keen interest when efforts were made to get local resident Koua Fong Lee out of prison after his Toyota sped out of control, people died, and the economically challenged immigrant was railroaded. I suggested followups informing the public of Michael Barr's findings and any bearing they might have on Lee's lawsuit, which the Recall King is trying to get dismissed. My e-mails were ignored. Reuters continues to ban me from commenting, and then there's this "story" about the University of Iowa's $17.2 million "driving safety research" grant. Another bona fide hack job, making it appear as though sudden unintended acceleration is all about driver error. No mention of Michael Barr's findings, and no reply to my e-mail explaining that it's time for media to quit focusing on "driver error." The "grant," incidentally, came via Toyota's "settlement" for economic loss claims over sudden unintended acceleration. And that settlement too was prompted by Michael Barr's findings.

In a superb article, "Toyota's killer firmware: Bad design and its consequences," Michael Dunn, writing for engineering journal Design News, provides a summary of Mr. Barr's findings:
  • Toyota’s electronic throttle control system (ETCS) source code is of unreasonable quality.
  • Toyota’s source code is defective and contains bugs, including bugs that can cause unintended acceleration (UA).
  • Code-quality metrics predict presence of additional bugs.
  • Toyota’s fail safes are defective and inadequate (referring to them as a “house of cards” safety architecture).
  • Misbehaviors of Toyota’s ETCS are a cause of UA.
In what sense, pray tell, do we have a "free" press?

It will be interesting to see the "presstitute" media's response - or lack thereof - to the upcoming EE Times conference featuring a keynote address by none other than Michael Barr himself. Evidence of the respect Mr. Barr's colleagues have for his conclusions about Toyota's software. An occasion that should make national news, top spot. But don't hold your breath.

Next thing ya know, it'll be said that America is nothin' more than a tacky little corporate-controlled police state.

Update 2/7/2014 - Thanks to #Whistleblower Daily News for headlining this post.

Update 2/10/2014 - Toyota is reported to be on the verge of a billion dollar settlement to end the federal criminal investigation involving reporting procedures for sudden unintended acceleration complaints, concerns about mail fraud, wire fraud, and whether stockholders were misled. Nothin' like buyin' yer way outta hot water. Stay tuned.

Update 2/11/2014 - Minnesota's Star Tribune newspaper - referenced in this blog post - is refusing to publish a comment I submitted this morning (it's now 4:50 PM EST) exposing the news blackout regarding Michael Barr finding bugs in Toyota's software causing sudden unintended acceleration.

Updates 2/12/2014 -
> Software problems have now prompted a major Prius recall. Other models are also on the list, and some of the issues involve SKID control. Toyota's software problems sure are lending credence to Michael Barr's findings. Bloomberg has removed a comment I made to that effect a few moments ago regarding their article about the Prius recall. Bloomberg's censorship of my comments is nothin' new.  

> My comment putting Toyota's current software problems in proper perspective re USA Today's article is being repeatedly removed. Toyota can't stand the truth.