Featured Post

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...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Admitted-crook Toyota coddled at NHTSA hearing

"Car safety whtchdog turns to lapdog: Our view" - Headline, Editorial Board, USA Today.

Last Tuesday's much ballyhooed Consumer Protection Subcommittee's NHTSA hearing - and a similar exercise from the House - was almost as theatrical as the "Congressional Investigation" into Toyota's unintended acceleration scandal. Informed consumers didn't know whether to laugh or cry as David Friedman - head honcho of NHTSA's auto industry stooges - took a "blame someone else" posture.

Strangely enough, the day before the hearing, in a 30 minute Detroit News interview, Friedman strayed from NHTSA's culpability in GM's ignition switch scandal, and blabbered that no evidence had been found that electronics were to blame for Toyota's unintended acceleration scandal. Actually, it wasn't strange at all. A few days earlier, word had gotten out regarding one Robert Ruginis, who, by fortuitous circumstance, had managed to get his hands on a very embarrassing EDR readout which confirmed his wife's account of her runaway Corolla. Mr. Ruginis - much to Toyota's chagrin - had hard, cold evidence that the accelerator was not pressed, and her foot was on the brake when rpm's suddenly doubled, and speed more than doubled, resulting in a crash. In a 9/11/2014 letter to Friedman, Mr. Ruginis had petitioned NHTSA for an investigation and was squealing to news media. He had also written a letter to David Kelley, Toyota's "Independent" Safety Monitor who had been appointed by the Department of Justice - with input from Toyota - as part of the now-admitted crook's settlement to end a federal criminal investigation. By the time Friedman had his Detroit News interview, Toyota's "independent" monitor had already arranged to meet with the Ruginises - at their home - the day after the NHTSA hearing.

So far, media has remained silent about the meeting at the Ruginises home. But stay tuned. The Ruginis readout corroborates the incriminating evidence of electronic defects unearthed by embedded systems expert Michael Barr last October at the landmark unintended acceleration case in Oklahoma. Evidence that the Holder gang had refused to comment on; evidence the government's mainstream media stooges have been trying to keep quiet. Read trade journal EDN's article, "Toyota's Killer Firmware: Bad design and its consequences." Here's what Mr. Barr found:

* 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.

Toyota, NHTSA, the DOJ, and the "Independent Monitor" musta been terrified when they realized what Mr. Ruginis had managed to get his hands on (see exhibit). I'd like to have seen the looks on their faces when they got word that Mr. Ruginis wuz refusin' to be bullied by Toyota and had gone public with the facts of his case. "Quick. Meet with the guy at his home. That'll make us look good while we figure out how to explain the EDR readout."

Talk about a thigh-slapper. For years, Toyota - now an admitted crook - has bent over backwards keeping EDR readouts secret, and then a minor paperwork delay lets the cat outta the bag. No wonder Mr. Friedman began the week of the NHTSA hearing with deceitful, highly publicized remarks equating the issue of electronic defects in Toyota's throttle control to a search for ghosts.

Next day, Friedman appeared at the hearing, and the dear senators sat there like dummies - like shills for the auto industry - as they let their friend from NHTSA get away not only with his disingenuous remarks to the Detroit News, but also a wisecrack he threw in at the hearing itself, declaring that there was no problem with Toyota's electronics. Never ever not once did the senators dare to bring up evidence of defects galore in Toyota's throttle control. Or the big lie broadcasted by NHTSA that NASA had ruled out electronics as a cause of Toyota's unintended acceleration scandal. Nor did they confront their friend Friedman about NASA physicist Henning Leidecker's warning of increased risk of unintended acceleration in '02-'06 Camrys due to "tin whiskers" growing in the electronic throttle control, demanding an explanation of why NHTSA hasn't ordered a recall of those models. The little glitch-mobiles are notorious for unintended accleration complaints, and it was an '05 Camry speeding out of control that resulted in Toyota's landmark guilty verdict in Oklahoma. Kinda makes ya wonder what sort of questions the senators should have asked - but decided not to - about GM's ignition switch scandal.

I quit voting long ago - Demagogues and Repukes are equally repulsive - and "representatives" like the ones who questioned Friedman are the epitome of why. If they're unaware of the evidence of electronic defects in Toyota's throttle control (which casts aspersions on all makes), and the current epidemic of vehicles crashing into buildings from parking lots (the typical setting for crashes suggestive of electronics issues), they should resign from their prestigious, high-payin' jobs. Fat chance of that happening. And if they're aware of the evidence - which they certainly should be - they oughta be charged with fraud for the way they conducted their NHTSA (No Help To Solve Anything) hearing. Problem is, Holder's "Just Us" gang would never in a million years do such a thing. So I've got an idea.

You bring the tar. I'll bring the feathers.