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Thursday, May 29, 2014

"City mechanic" checks Lexus - cops charge driver


Update 5/31/2014 - Tuesday, a runaway RAV4 smashed into Finkelstein Memorial Library in Spring Valley, New York. Police have now released security cam video, which caught the entire event. The RAV4 was SLOWLY turning into the parking lot when the vehicle suddenly took off like a rocket. Consistent with the video, the driver says his foot was on the brake pedal when he heard the engine rev up as the RAV4 simultaneously accelerated. This makes AT LEAST THREE CASES during the past two months suggesting electronically-induced unintended acceleration in runaway Toyotas. Common denominators include parking lots, turning corners, slow speeds when the events begin, and driver complaints that the brakes failed to stop the vehicles. NONE OF THE DRIVERS IN THESE CRASHES - WHICH HAVE RESULTED IN INJURIES GALORE AND THE DEATH OF A FOUR-YEAR-OLD - HAVE BEEN ELDERLY. All of the vehicles - various models - crashed into public buildings. A Solara into a daycare, a Lexus into a church, the RAV4 into a library.  


Be warned. If your vehicle speeds out of control - and the vast majority of complaints involve Toyotas - you may wind up facing criminal charges. You may wind up in prison.

Easter night, a Lexus - raising justifiable concerns of electronically-induced unintended acceleration - crashed into a church. In a previous blog post, I addressed the situation:

Case in point is this week's Easter night crash of a 2006 Lexus into a church full of people, injuries galore. All the earmarks of an unintended acceleration event, and given NHTSA's outright lies regarding the issue, nobody can be blamed for wondering. It's especially noteworthy that the driver says she was applying the brake when the Lexus suddenly accelerated. Embedded systems expert Michael Barr addressed this all-too-frequent situation in court testimony regarding the defects he found in Toyota's electronic throttle control. Mr. Barr pointed out that the driver would actually have to take their foot off the brake pedal and immediately press the pedal again in order to stand a chance of stopping the vehicle. I won't belabor the obvious unlikelihood that anyone would ever do that in such a situation. Note the eerie similarity of the Easter Sunday crash to a complaint filed with NHTSA on 4/14/08 regarding a 2006 Lexus:


News reports went on to say that the make and model of the Easter night Lexus had been spotlighted in complaints to the federal government of "brake failure or uncontrollable acceleration," and I went on to point out what Michael Barr found (see "Toyota's killer firmware: Bad design and its consequences") when he examined Toyota's throttle control:

>  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.

It's a major consideration - referenced by Michael Barr when he testified about brakes - that many of the events suggesting electronically-induced unintended accleration have common denominators. The events are triggered when the drivers are trying to park, and are in the process of shifting gears. And the vast majority of such cases involve transmissions designed so that drivers must push the brake pedal in order to move the shift lever. All of this tends to strongly corroborate statements from the driver in Easter night's Lexus crash that she was pressing the brake pedal when the unintended accleration occured.

Fast forward to this week's news announcing that the "investigation" of Easter night's crash has been completed. And we're told that the cops - in an effort to conserve tax dollars - hired a "city mechanic" to examine the Lexus. And the "city mechanic" found nothing wrong with the brakes. And the Lexus driver was therefore charged with careless driving. And because the crash involved serious injuries, the Lexus driver must appear in court...

Nuthin' like gettin' a good deal for the taxpayin' public. Who needs embedded systems experts, electrical engineers, and other pricey professionals when the cops can get an opinion - dirt cheap - from a city mechanic?

Well, as  a matter of fact...

Not that the sweet land of liberty and justice for all would ever railroad anyone in the name of corporate interests, but it was false testimony from a "city mechanic" - about brakes - that figured prominently in sending Toyota driver Koua Fong Lee to prison for four years. And Lee was lucky. Ironically, his "trial" was so egregiously wrongful that Texas attorney Bob Hilliard stepped in pro-bono (Lee's initial attorney had been a public pretender), got the penniless immigrant released, charges dropped, and is now in the process of suing Toyota.

Turned out the "city mechanic" - hired by the prosecution for the "trial" that sent Lee to prison - falsely testified under oath that Lee's Camry did not have anti-lock brakes. Given the absence of skid marks, this later-determined-to-be-false testimony weighed heavily in discrediting Lee's claims that he had been desperately trying to stop his Camry as it sped out of control and crashed, killing three people, injuring others.

Really, folks. Amidst well-publicized evidence that "city mechanics" may not even be able to tell whether or not a vehicle has anti-lock brakes, by what standard of fairness - or common sense - do cops decide to charge someone with careless driving based on a city mechanic's "investigation" of an event that raises questions of electronically-induced unintended accleration?

Here's the deal. The only lawsuit based on claims of electronic defects in Toyota's electronics was won - hands down - by the plaintiffs. The jury - after hearing testimony from bonafide software experts - went even further, finding Toyota guilty of "reckless disregard" for public safety in the way it designed its throttle control. The Oklahoma case put the Recall King in settlement mode, and put the U.S. Department of Justice in "No comment" mode.

Acknowledged crook Toyota - admittedly guilty of misleading the public about safety defects - is now being allowed to ignore the evidence presented to the jury in Oklahoma. The only media organizations that dare to discuss the evidence are trade journals, bloggers, and one or two small publications. And the taxpaying public is left holding the bag. Short of expensive, time-consuming lawsuits that present testimony from bonafide experts, consumers - especially those with limited resources - have no recourse if their vehicle speeds out of control. Indeed, such cases may be determined by a "city mechanic."

Let's face it. Consumers have become pawns in a deadly game of corporate cover-up.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Media protecting Toyota in fatal day care crash

Regarding last month's fatal accident at a Florida day care, the facts are simple:

* The official diagram of the accident confirms that the vehicle - a Solara - that crashed into a Florida day care last month could not possibly have been shoved into the day care by the vehicle which hit it from behind. The Solara took off at an angle back toward the direction from which it was hit.

* Damages to the rear of the Solara and the front of the vehicle that struck it from behind are minor. Not nearly enough force involved to have propelled the Solara over a curb, across a parking lot, all the way through a wall and completely into the day care. Even if the wall was extensively damaged by termites. Even if geometry and physics hadn't already ruled out such a theory.

* The Solara driver's statements about the brakes not working and the vehicle accelerating on its own are consistent with established facts, all of which are clearly pointing to the likelihood of electronically-induced unintended acceleration.


The guy who hit the Solara has a rap sheet. Not exactly Public Enemy Number One, but Robert Corchado is the perfect candidate for gettin' hit with a rap that isn't by any stretch of the imagination justified. He may be guilty of many things, but evidence related to his latest misadventure shows that other factors were involved when the car he bumped from behind proceeded to plough into a day care, injuring 14 children, killing a four-year-old.

So Mr. Corchado is now being tried and convicted by the "news" media. All the courts will have to do is calculate a sentence.

Concerted efforts to misrepresent the facts got underway immediately after the official diagram of the accident was released. An anonymous, contrived animation popped up - now removed - on YouTube, "demonstrating" - in defiance of the laws of physics - that the Solara was "pushed" into the day care.

Then the news accounts - which had initially headlined the likelihood of unintended acceleration resulting from a defect - started to pretty much ignore the unintended acceleration issue, choosing instead to blabber about Corchado propelling the Solara into the day care. Never mind the official diagram, the Solara driver's statements, or the laws of physics. Time to convince the public that the culprit wasn't Toyota. The culprit was the party with the rap sheet. The party less able to defend itself. The party that qualifies for a public defender.

Media's sudden obsession with Robert Corchado's rap sheet must be a relief to a corporate crook like Toyota. The unintended acceleration issue - still a part of the investigation - is now all but ignored as reports blabber about a miscreant who shoved a vehicle into a day care. Amidst frenzied efforts to focus attention away from Toyota, a second video animation has now appeared, eerily similar to the first one, except the latest one is hardly anonymous. The latest effort - included along with an interview of one of the injured children's parents - is by NBC affiliate WESH2, and isn't even consistent with the Solara's position as depicted in the official diagram of the accident. Someone who visited the day care had this to say:

"Okay...this video is ridiculous. If you look at the building further along on Goldenrod, there are three actual cars in the parking lot in one of those spots today. Note the size of the vehicles...the REAL ones, not the animated ones. Now, compare the animated cars to the actual ones in terms of size. The animated ones are actually based on ratios the size of the building next door! This makes the distance traveled look much shorter when in fact it was quite a distance in terms of car lengths."

This latest video is yet another contrived animation that makes a mockery of common sense, not to mention simple laws of physics.

What on earth is going on in the state that boasts the headquarters of Southeast Toyota?

What prompted news media to suddenly start ignoring one of the central aspects of this tragic crash? To misrepresent the official diagram of the crash with an animated video and start reporting - in the face of conclusive evidence to the contrary - that the Solara was shoved into the day care by Robert Corchado?

In other posts, I've targeted this country's corporate-controlled mainstream media, its censorship as a propaganda arm of the state, and its allegiance to most anything except the truth. Media's response to April's tragic day care crash epitomizes this disgusting state of affairs. It's a repulsive little charade, dropping to a new low with the presentation of a contrived, animated video.

If we had a free press, at least the misdeeds of Robert Corchado and Toyota might be presented in proper perspective. Enter countless cases - hundreds still pending - of wrecked Toyotas associated with deaths, injuries, and accompanying claims of vehicle defects. Enter a guilty verdict in an Oklahoma unintended acceleration case last October where the jury said Toyota displayed reckless disregard for public safety when it designed its electronic throttle control. Toss in federal criminal investigations, record-setting federal fines, lawsuits galore, billion dollar settlements, confidentiality agreements, and an admission  - in a federal criminal case - of misleading consumers and a federal regulator about safety defects associated with unintended acceleration.

Compared to the "Toyota Way," Robert Corchado is a small-timer.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Did Toyota's $1.2B criminal deal involve a coverup of electronic defects?

A few days ago, I got an interesting reply from a troll. Not just any troll. This one has been really persistent in posting obnoxious, name-calling replies - which I generally ignore - to comments critical of Recall King Toyota. Not that an avowed crook like Toyota would feel the need to hire reputation management firms, but it's a thigh-slappin' hoot the way such trollish, anonymous "replies" pop up, unfazed if the people who are targeted have given real names. I always give mine. Lately, the troll usernames are often prefaced with "disqus," and "disqus_oJp8Vkk4DJ" is the current subject's choice.

Lately, I've been commenting about two attorneys and a TV station saying Toyota's $1.2 billion payola - er I mean settlement - to end the federal criminal investigation involved an admission of electronic defects in the Recall King's throttle control:

3/20/2014 Podcast, Bob Hilliard (segment 20:00-20:53)
4/24/2014 article, Eric Snyder, Bailey and Glasser Law Firm
4/25/2014 article, WESH.com

These statements are quite at odds with Attorney General Eric Holder saying Toyota's plea deal was about floor mats and sticky gas pedals. The electronics issue raised eyebrows when the Justice Department mouthpieced a curt, corporate-kissin' "No comment" after David Benjamin, a freelance writer for the trade journal EE Times dared to confront the DOJ with the evidence embedded systems expert Michael Barr presented to an Oklahoma jury last October resulting in a landmark guilty verdict in an unintended acceleration case. The specifics of Toyota's $1.2 billion settlement has now become the source of speculation, and I've mentioned the issue in recent blog posts. By what rhyme or reason would the Justice Department refuse to comment when asked if it was aware of evidence of electronic defects in Toyota's throttle control? It looks like the U.S. Department of Justice lied to the public in an effort to keep things quiet about electronic defects associated with Toyota's unintended acceleration scandal. If so, the public needs to know, especially now that NHTSA has been exposed as a liar and a cheat for its complicity in GM's deadly ignition switch scandal. Good ol' corporate-controlled NHTSA. Same gang that broadcasted the big lie claiming NASA had ruled out electronics as a cause of Toyota's unintended acceleration. NHTSA's big lie is now laid bare by NASA physicist Henning Leidecker warning of increased unintended acceleration risk in '02-'06 Camrys, comparing it to a game of Russian roulette.

Cuttin' back to the chase, I had just finished posting comments questioning the Justice Department's credibility, and here came the troll:


As your baseless, ignorant comment makes clear, only a complete idiot would believe the attorneys over the engineers. And yes, the DOJ basically lied when they pulled off this $1.2 billion extortion attempt.

Granted, this is an anonymous comment. Nonetheless, given the context of disqus_oJp8Vkk4DJ's activities, the remarks tend to underscore discrepancies in the DOJ's public statements versus the public statements of two attorneys and a TV station. Not to mention the "hints" dropped by mainstream media that electronic defects were involved in the criminal settlement.

As crashes bearing the earmarks of electronically-induced unintended acceleration continue, somebody needs to file a freedom of information request with the curt, no-commentin' "Just Us" Department, find out what's goin' on, and let the public know. Legitimate questions have been raised. The time has come to investigate the investigators.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Government the "Toyota Way"

A government serving the interests of the public would be sending Toyota executives to prison. Instead, consumers are confronted with corporate-controlled thugs refusing to acknowledge - publicly, at least - compelling evidence of electronic defects in the Recall King's throttle control. So what if people get injured or killed? Isn't it ridiculous when taspayers have reason to doubt the government's story of what the terms were when a crook like Toyota handed over $1.2 billion in payola to end a federal criminal investigation? Toyota is notorious for confidentiality agreements, and nobody can be blamed for wondering if an admission of covering up electronic defects associated with unintended acceleration was part of the deal Toyota cut with the feds.

First off, there was the weird language used by mainstream media, "hinting" that Toyota had admitted to covering up electronic defects. Then the feds exhibited a high-handed attitude when confronted with evidence of electronic defects in Toyota's throttle control. Now, claims are being made that Toyota's billion dollar federal criminal settlement did in fact have to do with concealing electronic defects in its throttle control. At least two attorneys, and an Orlando TV station have come right out and said so. One of the attorneys is the highly prominent Bob Hilliard, currently representing unjustly imprisoned Toyota driver Koua Fong Lee. Furthermore, two of the news reports addressed Toyota's criminal settlement in the context of reporting a fatal crash strongly suggestive of electronically-induced unintended acceleration. It's beginning to look like the public has been lied to - not only by NHTSA - but also by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Don't be misled by the government's mainstream media stooges. Unintended acceleration events are continuing - probably on a larger scale than most folks realize - and it's a hoot the way news media avoids divulging too many details - such as a vehicle's model and year - when accidents are reported. Cases suggesting electronically-induced unintended acceleration pop up constantly, such as this 5/3/2014 mishap in Natick, Massachusettes. The vehicle's year wasn't reported, but it was a Toyota Camry. And it's amazing the way accident investigators are usually so quick to consider every conceivable possibility - dutifully reported by the news media - except an electronic problem. Of course, as word spreads regarding evidence of electronic issues, the tune seems to be changing. Exceptionally well-credentialed electrical engineer Dr. Antony Anderson - as part of his recent study published in the prestigious IEEE Access - estimates that 10,000 unintended acceleration events occur worldwide each year. In fact, so many vehicles are crashing into public buildings that the issue of storefront safety is now being addressed by non-profit organizations. Problem is, amidst government efforts to keep things quiet, these well-intentioned groups are failing to address compelling evidence of electronic issues while admirably encouraging the installation of safety barriers.

Granted, storefront crashes are caused by a variety of things, and nobody knows what percentage of these crashes are caused by electronically-induced unintended acceleration. But the mere fact that parking is involved is enough to raise eyebrows. Accounts of unintended acceleration events show some common denominators. Most of these events begin at a slow speed, driver's foot likely on the brake pedal when the unintended acceleration starts. Events occurring in parking lots, driveways, and garages are typical, as evidenced by today's report of a Camry crashing into a home in Rochester, New Hampshire last night. Embedded systems expert Michael Barr addressed this situation in testimony that won the landmark lawsuit against Toyota last October in Oklahoma. He found that a driver in such a situation would have to remove their foot from the brake pedal and instantaneously reapply pressure to stand any chance at all of stopping the vehicle. With only seconds to spare before a collision, it's unlikely that enough pressure could be applied quickly enough to avoid a crash. Elderly drivers are at even more of a disadvantage, because extra forceful pedal pressure is required. Let's review once again (see trade journal EDN Network's article, "Toyota's killer firmware: Bad design and its consequences") what Mr. Barr concluded:

>  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).
>  Misbehaviours of Toyota's ETCS are a cause of UA.

It's a shame when the public has to depend on a few trade journals for information about what led a jury to find a crook like Toyota guilty of reckless disregard in the design of its electronic throttle control. Take a look at yesterday's EE Times article, "Video: Michael Barr Speaks of Software That Kills."

The government - Repukes and Demagogues alike - isn't ignorant. Or underfunded. Or merely inefficient. The government is crooked. Enter NHTSA's big lie that NASA had ruled out electronics as a cause of unintended acceleration in Toyotas. Enter NHTSA's complicity in allowing GM to avoid recalling millions of units for defective ignition switches, ignoring evidence of a problem, including deadly crashes. Driving the point home, NASA physicist Henning Leidecker is warning of increased risk of unintended acceleration in '02-'06 Camrys due to "tin whiskers" in the throttle control. The models Dr. Leidecker are concerned about have one of the highest rates of unintended acceleration. And never mind that Toyota's unintended acceleration events increased dramatically after the company introduced electronic throttle controls in 2002.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what's going on as the government now wrings its blood-drenched hands over GM's ignition switch scandal. Not to worry. Ol' Sammy's "Justice Department" will make sure, Toyota style, that nobody at GM - not to mention NHTSA - winds up in prison. Meanwhile, as Toyota rushes to settle hundreds of remaining unintended acceleration cases, the tax-paying public is left to wonder if the Recall King has corrected the problems Mr. Barr found in the automaker's electronics.

It takes gall for NHTSA and Toyota to say that the increased risk of unintended acceleration in '02-'06 Camrys isn't enough to warrant public concern. And it's downright insulting when the "Justice Department" simply refuses to comment when questioned about Michael Barr's findings. How much longer are Americans gonna put up with a government - Repukes and Demagogues alike - that lies with impunity, thumbs its ugly nose at anyone who dares to ask justifiable questions, and allows crooks like Toyota and GM to treat people like dirt?