Oh the Irony of it All... The Pulitzer Prize Story that the LA Times DIDN'T Get

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by DeadPhish, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    Of course...all those things were the primary cause. My point in bringing this up is that once all these things or others have gone wrong you should "try" and keep your cool and know how your car works so you can safely recover.

    Didn't I mention that these actions were last resort?

    The whole point of my post was that even if there is a problem...no matter who caused it...you should know what to do.

    Mike
     
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  2. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    +1
    Agree here.

    I just don't like the revisionist history, that toyota did nothing wrong. I also know this was not you, but its the thread. Many off us thought it was all accidental and user error until the saylor case, but there were all those things toyota did wrong that contributed to deaths and injuries. Ford and GM have been also been caught knowlingly continued to sell dangerous equiptment too. We have to protect ourselves and should know how to do things if our cars malfunction. Toyota and Lexus now does have brake interlock (always had a soft version in our gen III prius) so that even a malfunctioning accerator should be shut down in hardware or software with firm application of the brakes.
     
  3. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    In the case of the Ford Pinto, where they made a definitive decision to let people die (rather than fix the flaw), then yes they should receive the corporate death penalty (revoke the corporate license).

    As for companies like Toyota and VW that had/have engines dying at only 15-30,000 miles and the response is "Sorry that's not warranteed", then the courts should hit the corporation hard with massive fines & forced reparation for screwed customers.
     
  4. Troy Heagy

    Troy Heagy Member

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    In the case of the Ford Pinto, where they made a definitive decision to let people die (rather than fix the flaw), then yes they should receive the corporate death penalty (revoke the corporate license).

    As for companies like Toyota and VW that had/have engines dying at only 15-30,000 miles and the response is "Sorry that's not warranteed", then the courts should hit the corporation hard with massive fines & forced reparation for screwed customers.
     
  5. CPSDarren

    CPSDarren CPS Technician

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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    1.2 billion because the dealer added too many floor mats? and gm has only set aside 300 million for knowingly ignoring a problem that was obvious and had an easy fix? methinks the us government is slightly biased toward thier bailout baby.
     
  7. CPSDarren

    CPSDarren CPS Technician

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    Perhaps. But Toyota could have hired a lot more lawyers for 1.2 billion, especially if they actually did nothing wrong. Like I said, the Times may have missed the better story at GM, but they still found an issue settled for over a billion dollars. Not chump change, even in the world of automotive recalls and settlements.
     
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  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Toyota Agrees to $1.2 Billion Penalty Ending U.S. Probe - Bloomberg

    The fine isn't about the floor mats or pedals, but that Toyota wasn't being completely open about the issues and not reporting to US regulators when there were problems in other markets.

    It is too early to say for us how bad GM has been with the ignition switches.
     
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    from what i've read so far, if gm didn't have eric holder in their pocket. the fine would be 2 billion.
     
  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    So I noticed:
    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/20/business/toyota-reaches-1-2-billion-settlement-in-criminal-inquiry.html?hpw&rref=automobiles&_r=0

    So I'm wondering what sources:
    • Dimitrl Biller - former Toyota lawyer turned whistle blower
    • Betsy Benjaminson - former Japanese translator
    The agreement means these 'internal' documents will never have to see the light of day. Sometimes the banality of such documents leaves a lot to be desired. I'm loath to take someone's description of the documents over the original sources.

    Late additions:

    Perhaps over the next few days, we'll get more details. So far, these have been released and seem to make some sense:
    Source: Toyota Pays $1.2B to Settle DOJ Probe | EE Times
    Ok this makes sense in the floor mat entrapment. In May 2009, I took delivery of our 2010 Prius only to discover the floor mat was loose and there were no clips to secure it to the floor. I went by the dealership and got the clips, about three months before the Saylor crash in San Diego. The salesman responsible no longer worked at the dealership.

    Source: GM recall is bad, but not yet Toyota-bad

    This matches my memory of the various recalls. However, the reporter missed the transcript from the Texas case that reviewed the throttle control software in early Camry(?). But that testimony was about 'best practices' and I don't remember they found a way to in situ create a run-away acceleration.

    Then there was the NASA Goddard 'tin whisker' analysis of a Camry accelerator assembly. This is the same design found in the 2001-03, NHW11 Prius, and we have seen problems that are cleared by disassembly and cleaning. IMHO, a sleeping dog that a decade later remains unacknowledged in part because the control software often detects the fault and 'safe home' modes the car.

    I would still prefer to read the original 'internal documents' and not a synopsis by a lawyer shared with a reporter. Third-hand information tends to pickup noise. But now to test the system.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  11. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Absolutely not. Toyota criminally conspired to hide information. They were knowingly selling cars that they knew were causing deaths, while witholding the information from customers. They hid information from dealers, and encouraged dealers not to investigate.

    They obstructed the government from requireing the company in making the cars safer (brake interlock).
    Toyota Japan hid information from both dealers and NHTSA.

    They not only kept information of faulty accelerator pedals secret, they told everyone in court who might have been driving with bad break pedals that it was driver error, landing some drivers in jail for manslaughter. Toyota's obstruction of safety information lasted for many years. They even hired an NHTSA employee to then make press releases about it being a which hunt, when Toyota knew they had safety problems.

    They obstructed justice by making sure black boxes would not be read.
    They lied publicly about the design and testing of the electronics and software. We now know the softwared not only was designed without best practices, but it was designed with poor practaces, and toyota willfully made the diagnostic tools to diagnose problems unavailable.

    For a company that will have a $19B profit this year, the fine is small compared to their criminal behavior.

    What is interesting is that toyota was finanlly forced to admit that its behavior was criminal.

    They have said they have changed these practices. I hope this case is behind them.

    On GM it appears that the case is also criminal. The investigation is on-going. I would expect that damages are smaller since the cars were no longer being sold when gm should have resolved the issues. I hope they have a criminal finding in this case. They already have changed the management, that allowed this to happen.
     
  12. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    Do you have links that verify each of the claims you are making? I have seen reports that talk about the floor mats and sticky pedals, for example. Also, that they did those recalls and failed to properly report info to the NHTSA. But as far as the software design and best/poor practices -- is that a criminal offense? Recall that NASA reviewed the design and said it was OK, correct?
    As for diagnostic tools...what company makes these available? What is required by law? (I have no idea)

    Note that I am NOT defending Toyota's actions, but your description seems a bit one-sided. They should have to report incidents as required by law, perform recalls, etc. But, if in fact there is/was a defect other than floor mats and sticky pedals why has the number of reported unintended acceleration events gone to ~zero. Surely everyone who owns a Toyota did not actually bring it in immediately (or at all). I would have the same view if this was Ford, GM or whoever.

    Mike
     
  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    gm has a great excuse. i read mary barra day after day. oh yes, that gm made a great many mistakes, but WE are not THEM. and they will take all the post bankruptsy protection eric holder will give them.
     
  14. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    The design of software and electronics were shown from the documents given to congress. These were used in the lawsuits that toyota settled.

    Bad design practices are not illegal. Lieing to the NHTSA for years about the design practices while they are investigating unintended acceleration claims is evidence that toyota was engaged in criminal behavior in misleading a safety agency. NASA did not clear toyota of bad design, they just could not replicate the unintended acceleration. If toyota had actually read black boxes over those years they would have vindicating evidence but they went out of their way to make sure no one could read the information. Once the design documents came out we knew why toyota was so elaberate in their attempts to block reading of safety information.


    When a large corporation engages in criminal behavior that directly causes deaths I find no sympathy for them. There is no point counter point to this.

    If they had poor design practices that is fine, its simple neglegence. Lieing about this to a safety agency has no excuse other than thinking the maximum fine was low. Not doing the minimum legal means people died.
     
  15. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    True that. The FBI criminal case concerned the TM/TMS' statements and actions concerning the floormat entrapment and sticky pedal situations. As far as I'm concerned both were handled wrongly from the start by everyone at every level of Toyota.

    I personally think that that floormat entrapment is solely the fault of the owner/operator ( I've never had the pedal-shaving recall done on my Prius ). The sticky pedal fiasco OTOH was just a really poor job by Toyota management. It deserves what it got.
     
  16. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    I have a different take on this mess:
    • Does NHTSA actually do any correlation studies?
    The reason I ask is having seen "Bell the Hybrid" invented from the thinnest of possible evidence, statistical studies of dubious credibility, I am really wondering if the NHTSA is objectively looking at correlations in the FARS and associated data?

    The GM ignition problem is another case of individuals having to 'carry the water' and after-the-fact, NHTSA coming in to find something. I'm not sympathetic with the IIS with their 'moving the goal posts' testing protocol but I agree their 1/4 offset test is valid but terribly late:

    In 1972 I saw the accident photo of a fellow Marine who fell asleep at the wheel and died when his car hit a power pole. He left a wife and child. My uncle Eddy died in a similar accident in the 1960s leaving six kids and a wife. A square dancing lady died in 1990s leaving two daughters from a similar accident when the on-coming vehicle pushed the driver side tire into her driving seat and ripped off the side of her car.​

    What bothers me is these late, after-fact, picking up the scraps analysis are so different from what we see in aviation . . . not that the FAA and NTB are doing that great of a job. We know active, positive flight stability systems all but end uncontrolled flight out of instrument conditions. But my real concern is what most of us spend some part of every day driving around the streets.

    About 10 times as many people will die on our roads and highways as died in the recent aircraft loss. A little bit of empirical analysis and preventative action, just using the facts and data, could do a lot more than just blaming "texting" and "drunk driving" as the last NHTSA administrator did.

    Lane keeping and collision braking systems have been available since 2009. Even now, I'm looking forward to September to see if a Lincoln MKZ hybrid is coming off of lease with these systems. So what does it take, safety is important and it is about time some car manufactures wake up and stop smelling the roses at the funerals of their repeat customers . . . with hand-ringing NHTSA and IIS.
    Source: NHTSA initiates probe of its own actions in GM recall delay | Detroit Free Press | freep.com

    Maybe the new NHTSA acting head, David J. Friedman, will knock some heads . . . if Congress will let him know it is his job. The last guy was a lawyer, a profession with limited empirical skills.

    Bob Wilson
     
  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    It has been discussed here:
    After losing verdict, Toyota settles in sudden acceleration case | PriusChat
    The DOJ response to Toyota's press release is posted at the end of the OP here:
    Toyota Pays $1.2 billion USD Fine to US Related to 2009-2010 Recalls - CleanMPG Forums
     
  18. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    That's sort of a circular answer. There isn't anything in that thread except the same things in this thread. Austingreen even summarizes in the 3rd post as follows:

    I still want to know if anyone has a theory as to why the unintended acceleration reports have gone to zero. In all the various Toyota models. Even considering that surely some people did not do recalls and some people still use double mats.

    Someone at work said he had double mats (Why? what's wrong with that?)...and several Toyota owners immediately asked if he knew about the acceleration problems ... said he never heard about it. He's a recent college grad, his first car, wants to keep mud off the nice floor mats.

    Mike
     
  19. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    All of the complainers have been bought off between the recent Toyota settlement and this case. In effect, a bunch of landsharks got paid off along with their 'clients.' They have to take a siesta until the next "crisis d'jour."

    Bob Wilson
     
  20. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Probably because Toyota has been implementing the brake interlock across all models for the past several years.

    There is also the possibility that it hasn't gone to zero, but that it isn't considered news worthy. Some, maybe even the majority, of SUA were due to the mats, pedals, and driver error. The media has had there field day with it, and have now moved on to something more likely to get page clicks and ratings.

    SUA reports had already gone to zero here before the suite where Toyota's software practices came out. Now the $1.2mil fine is out, but those are new info on the SUA case.
     
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