Toyota ‘sudden acceleration’: CA-born scam costs firm billions

Toyota ‘sudden acceleration’: CA-born scam costs firm billions

PriusSharkFinThere are multiple reports that Toyota is about to pay nearly a $1 billion fine to the U.S. government for accidents related to the unintended acceleration of its vehicles, a story that went national after two incidents in San Diego in 2009 and 2010. In the first, an off-duty CHP officer and three family members were killed when their loaner Lexus went out of control; in the second, the CHP had to use a car to stop a speeding Prius.

This led to dozens of stories in the Los Angeles Times that described a series of similar cases involving Toyota and alleged a coverup of the accidents and serious problems with Toyota’s engineering and vehicle design. But there’s a gigantic problem with this story.

The case of the death of the CHP officer involved a misplaced floor mat pinning down the accelerator — not Toyota’s fault. The Prius case by all evidence appears to be a fraud by a con artist — not Toyota’s fault. And as some iconoclastic journalists pointed out as the case was unfolding, nearly all the cases involved elderly drivers who are far more prone to driver error such as hitting the wrong foot pedal.

In the L.A. Times’ first huge takeout on the controversy, here are the ages of the drivers involved in the incidents the newspaper cited (for some incidents, it didn’t offer any ages): 60, 61, 63, 68, 71, 72, 72, 77, 79, 83, 85, 89.

How odd — Toyotas are prejudiced against older drivers!

When government regulators use trial-lawyer dirty tricks

Forbes treats this scandal with the brisk contempt it deserves:

“The evidence strongly suggests [driver error is] what’s behind most cases of unintended acceleration involving Toyota vehicles. … the government has failed to find any evidence of an electronic or mechanical problem to explain why Toyota vehicles have accelerated out of control. There is a politically incorrect explanation: Age. The gremlin inside Toyota’s electronics seems designed to attack people over the age of 60, including the 76-year-old woman who convinced an Oklahoma jury to hit Toyota for $3 million over an accident that killed her 70-year-old passenger.

“Now the Wall Street Journal reports Toyota is close to paying $1 billion to settle a federal criminal investigation into its alleged failure to report the alleged incidents of unintended acceleration that federal authorities have already concluded mostly resulted from operator error. This comes after Toyota agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle private suits based on the novel theory that Toyota owners had suffered economic damages because their cars were worth less after plaintiff lawyers spread reports of an electronic defect that caused unintended acceleration. Which the government failed to find.

“If this all sounds a little crazy, get used to it. We are now firmly in the era of regulation by legal intimidation … . Regulators, prosecutors and attorneys general have learned a valuable lesson from their private counterparts, class-action attorneys. Build a big enough case, and the target company will settle. The alternative can be fiduciary suicide: Risking the entire net worth of the company on a jury’s whim.

“The Oklahoma jury that determined it was Toyota’s fault that a 76-year-old woman crashed her car exiting the highway demonstrates the stakes. That verdict, if upheld to judgment, might have provided the precedent requiring Toyota to admit fault in thousands of other cases.”

The L.A. Times abets a dishonest scam

While the Times, to its credit, has acknowledged those who doubt Toyota is to blame for these problems, most of its reporting skips over the lack of hard evidence that Toyota is at fault. Nor do LATers acknowledge that if Toyota is not to blame, the automaker can’t be accused of a coverup of these accidents.

Anti-business business columnist Michael Hiltzik is typical.

What’s unfortunate about this is that one of last year’s Pulitzer awards hinted we could finally be seeing journalists appreciating and using the scientific method to ferret out scoops. The Sun Sentinel of South Florida used records from toll stops to document outrageous behavior by local law-enforcement officers:

“A three-month … investigation found almost 800 cops from a dozen agencies speeding 90 to 130 mph on our highways.

“Many weren’t even on-duty — they were commuting to and from work in their take-home patrol cars.”

If the Times had relied on such hard evidence instead of trusting anecdotes shaped by remora-like lawyers peddling oh-the-humanity horror-story myths about malfunctioning Toyotas, its coverage would have been a lot different.

Remember, modern vehicles are festooned with gadgets and gauges measuring their performance. Federal regulators looking at the Toyotas involved in these sudden-acceleration cases closely scrutinized these gadgets and gauges — and found no evidence Toyota was at fault in even one case.

If that’s not the lede of any story about this mess, it’s a comment on journalists’ innumeracy and love of a splashy scandal. Pathetic.



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  1. Parris Boyd
    Parris Boyd 11 February, 2014, 14:59

    Another hack job aimed at concealing software expert Michael Barr’s findings that Toyota’s software has bugs causing sudden unintended acceleration. His findings prompted the billion dollar economic loss settlement in December 2012 and the guilty verdict last October in Oklahoma (there was also that pesky evidence of 150 feet of skid marks from Bookout’s tires). Despite the NEWS BLACKOUT, word is circulating about Mr. Barr’s findings, his peers are speaking out in support of his conclusions, and the Recall King is runnin’ scared. I’ve been blogging about Toyota for quite some time: “Beware of Toyota. Their next victim may be YOU…” at

    Reply this comment
  2. Chris Reed
    Chris Reed 11 February, 2014, 17:43

    Groan. I believe the NASA and NHTSA study.

    Go to his website and it blames the Lexus crash on Toyota, when it was a floor mat in the wrong place. That shows the commenter’s credibility.

    Reply this comment
  3. Chris Reed
    Chris Reed 11 February, 2014, 17:46

    What’s also funny is that defenders of the scam don’t note the age breakdown of the “victims.” How odd that Toyota’s purported engineering problems only afflict the aged.

    Reply this comment
  4. Bob McCarty
    Bob McCarty 11 February, 2014, 18:21

    I tackled this issue in several pieces three years ago. The most-recent piece,, offers a good overview of how Toyota was screwed by Uncle Sam.

    Reply this comment
  5. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 11 February, 2014, 18:29

    The case of the death of the CHP officer involved a misplaced floor mat pinning down the accelerator — not Toyota’s fault.
    Chris, that is simply not true. There is no conclusive evidence the floor mat caused the sudden acceleration. We know the mat in the car was not the mat designed for the car, but that’s it.

    In addition Steve Wozniak, of Apple Computer fame, testified extensively about a sudden acceleration with his Toyota. Identical to what others have testified to.

    Reply this comment
  6. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 12 February, 2014, 08:51


    Where is Collapso?

    I miss his lumbering allegories.

    Reply this comment
  7. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 12 February, 2014, 14:22

    BTW Chris, the Pirus SHARK FIN pic is hilarious! If I owned one I would get it blown up and post it in the back window!

    Reply this comment
  8. Darin
    Darin 16 March, 2014, 15:16

    Boyd is spot on and the clown who believes the NASA report is an ignoramus at best. ‘I believe the Nasa report I love Toyota I do I do I do’. Lol! Wake up man! Toyota and the NHTSA sabotaged the whole thing, and just when nasa was starting to break down the software defects the NHTSA cut the timeline and halted the process! NASA NEVER claimed that the software wasn’t defective- rather that ‘they didn’t find any’….and how would they when Toyota lied to Nasa about the firmwares EDAC ability (that it had one when it didn’t) and cutting the research off just as they were finding issues….stinks to high heaven! Toyota is in cover up mode, their new models are the same defective ‘house of cards’ firmware embedded with ‘spaghetti code’. Toyota should be burned down to the ground because they knew all along!!

    Reply this comment
  9. Darin
    Darin 16 March, 2014, 17:45

    Sounds like these Toyota supporters are paid shills regurgitating a summary of what Lahood claimed at the press conference – when the ACTUAL Nasa report didn’t abscond the embedded firmware at all. The report says that they merely didn’t find a defect in the software – how does this equate to it not being the cause? Enlighten me?! NASA even said in the report that the study was inconclusive as they weren’t allowed to even finish investigating ! Barr group picked up where NASA left off in a 20 month scientific study of Toyotas defective inadequate CPU and were shocked at how bad it really was. Scores of software engineers have weighed in supporting Barr’s findings! It’s painfully obvious what the problem is! The complaints of UA are coming into the NHTSA on 2010 and up Toyotas – check for yourself nothing has changed! Look at the brake failures, engine stalling, overheating Prius – all systems run by the inadequate,unsafe ‘kitchen sink’ computer archetecture – the recalls are also testiment, with more to come. Toyotas own in house R&D cheif engineer expressed his concerns nearly 10 yrs ago in an in house memo within Toyota! Toyota lied to the NHTSA , congress, federal court, it’s customers- everybody !! They lied to NASA about Error detecting active circuitry to Nasa (to throw them way off as Barr proved in court). Toyota has made plenty of enemies with their malfeasant business practices in Japan and worldwide. The Obama /Union/GM conspiracy theorists are nuts! Toyota has the NHTSA in their pocket and the media as well! Anybody who tells the truth about Barr’s court proven and peer proven science about Toyotas dirty secret and their malfeasance will have their advertising pulled (Toyota the biggest car advertising budget on the planet! The truth hurts eh Toyota Kool aid drinkers- if your Toyota doesn’t wreck you on its own I hope that at least your air bags deploy in a crash, because judging from what I’ve seen in the wrecking yards over the last 7 yrs they don’t seem to deploy very often ( also a recent recall with more to come)

    Reply this comment
  10. Darin
    Darin 16 March, 2014, 18:13

    Toyota – ‘build it cheaper’ ‘maximize per unit profit’

    Reply this comment
  11. CharleneBlake
    CharleneBlake 31 March, 2014, 11:11

    There remain some very tough questions for Toyota, the NHTSA, and the DOJ to answer:
    1) Why haven’t Professor David Gilbert’s and embedded systems expert Michael Barr’s findings of an electronic fault without adequate fail-safe in the Toyota ETCS been fully examined?
    2) Why hasn’t Dr. Antony Anderson’s logical debunking of NHTSA’s 1989 driver error determination of SUA been considered?
    3) Why haven’t the Toyota internal documents of Toyota Whistleblower, Betsy Benjaminson, been acknowledged and accepted as evidence in Toyota’s criminal investigation? Toyota engineers admit concern about the “ghost in the machine” and the unpredictability of the performance of the ETCS.
    4) Why are the Toyota owners both the field-testers and fail-safe applicators for their own vehicles’ questionably-designed ETCS?
    5) Most importantly, how many more deaths have to occur before someone takes charge of permanently eliminating the unacceptable risks to both the Toyota drivers and those they encounter on the roads and highways?

    Reply this comment
  12. CharleneBlake
    CharleneBlake 31 March, 2014, 12:34

    Jimmyhendricks, will you not agree that sudden unintended acceleration is a very dangerous phenomenon? Consider this. Cancer is oftentimes a fatal disease. We know some of the causes though we don’t know the exact mechanism at play. Cigarette smoking has been linked to lung cancer. We don’t know exactly what causes other forms of cancer. Scientists have studied the impact thar exposure to various chemical substances has. They have linked genetics to the development of cancer.

    SUA, sudden unintended acceleration is a known phenomenon that afflicts Toyotas to a greater degree than other makes of vehicles currently. Thanks to the wisdom of Toyota, we know that improperly installed or non-OEM floor mats can result in a mechanical cause of SUA. Defective or sticky accelerator pedals has been shown by Toyota to be yet another mechanical cause of SUA.

    Mechanical causes of SUA aren’t the only causes. Electronic causes have been shown to exist. Consider Professor David Gilbert, Michael Barr, and Dr. Antony Anderson and their recent work on uncovering the electronic faults or other ETCS phenomena that can initiate SUA, especially in the absence of a fail-safe mode as in impacted Toyota vehicles.

    Do we know the exact cause of the Toyota SUA in 70% of the cases? If not, does it necessarily mean that an electronic cause has been ruled out? Toyota engineers themselves referred to the “ghost in the machine.” Are the Toyota engineers concerned that there IS an electronic cause for the Toyota SUA and that they cannot figure it out? If you read Whistleblower, Betsy Benjaminson’s, recently publicly-submitted Toyota internal documents, you know the answer is, “Yes!”

    As Dr. Antony Anderson put is so well in his recent paper on the subject, “Absence of proof is not proof of absence,” in terms of electronic causes of Toyota SUA. Cancer exists. Absence of proof of its cause does not imply that there is no proof it exists. Driver error is Toyota’s and the NHTSA’s “default cause” of SUA.

    The “default cause” of SUA was all there was UNTIL these recent, highly acclaimed engineers and scientists began to unravel the mystery of SUA in highly complex ETCS. It is time to allow this extremely important technical information to flow freely so that answers may be forthcoming. This is not the time for Toyota or the NHTSA to bury their heads in the outdated 1989 investigation into SUA. It is time for them both to OPEN THEIR EYES and apply the findings of these hard-working, dedicated scientists!

    It will be highly suspicious and counter-productive for Toyota to continue to keep going back to the “default cause” of SUA. It will also be an OUTRAGE to both the Toyota owners and the public, especially in terms of SAFETY.

    Reply this comment
  13. Charlene Blake
    Charlene Blake 15 June, 2014, 16:23

    Toyota’s ELECTRONIC throttle control system software was found to have glitches that could cause high speed, sudden unintended acceleration. Worse, such an electronic glitch could render the fail-safe (way to stop the SUA) INEFFECTIVE. Result? The Toyota could be a runaway stoppable only by impact. Even then, the engine will continue revving forward until something stops forward (or backward as the case may be) momentum.

    What has Toyota admitted to regarding ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration? Absolutely nothing, of course! It has washed its corporate hands clean of all things SUA-related since that huge $1.2 BILLION DOJ settlement. In the meantime, the NHTSA and Toyota have received countless complaints about Toyota and Lexus vehicles “taking off,” “having a mind of its own,” “going airborne,” etc. Storefront crashes and crashes-into-buildings/homes continue with a disproportionate number attributed to Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

    There’s a HUGE push to show driver “pedal misapplication” and much reference to this being a problem with “elderly” drivers. Drivers own complaints (showing remarkable similarity if one compares notes among these types of accidents) are discounted. Worse, drivers are discredited…some say even targeted…by those who wish to keep the truth from surfacing.

    Let’s see…have we seen an automaker hide key safety-related information before? Have we seen any cases where the NHTSA has even covered for an automaker in such unconscionable actions? OK…you get the idea. THINK…why would an automaker wish to keep ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration a secret? After all, isn’t SUA history and just about pesky floor mats, sticky accelerator pedals, or better-yet driver error? NO! That’s just what the automaker would like you to believe…and there’s a HUGE economic reason for that, isn’t there?

    Unfortunately, what you do not know about ELECTRONICALLY-induced SUA can be an issue as many of the current SUA victims are learning the hard way. An electronic sudden unintended acceleration event can result (and has!) in jail time for the driver. Why? Speculation of “pedal misapplication” is all that is left when the historically-unreliable EDR (black box) shows no braking even when the driver has two feet on the brake and incurs foot damage (see Tanya Spotts Lexus case). The Toyota electronic throttle control system software glitch has been found not to leave a fault code. The vehicle brakes which did NOT function at the time of the ETCS-i software glitch show no signs of a failure mode. The DRIVER is assumed GUILTY and the vehicle is found fault-free. It continues to happen DAILY.

    Absence of proof is NOT proof of absence. This electronic SUA problem is one that every driver should be concerned about. Drivers should be asking some tough questions of the automaker, Toyota specifically.

    Let’s not forget that these engines are complex and computer-driven. Electronics will have glitches. The important factor is how these glitches are handled within and what safety standards have been applied. An electronic software glitch which renders a fail-safe ineffective is totally unacceptable. Don’t make assumptions that strict safety standards have been applied when they have not!

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  14. Charlene Blake
    Charlene Blake 15 June, 2014, 16:24

    Who knew that driving a Toyota or Lexus could result in jail time and worse if a sudden unintended acceleration accident occurred? Toyota said all this is over because the recall has been done and it has paid its $1.2 billion fine. THINK again if you believe that claim! The real problem currently is ELECTRONIC SUA and accidents are happening daily. Many of these involve vehicles in parking lots when braking is initiated. Storefront crashes and crashes-into-buildings/homes are reported. Toyota finds the vehicle faultless…no code stored and EDR (black box) shows no braking. However, Toyota and Lexus drivers report the vehicle “taking off” or “having a mind of its own.” These same vehicles have been reported going airborne from a standstill starting point in a parking lot!

    Here are the critical issues:

    Sloppily-designed Toyota electronic throttle system software (see Michael Barr’s findings) equals RUNAWAY—a.k.a. sudden unintended acceleration—-Toyota and Lexus vehicles.

    Worse? The electronic fail-safe—a.k.a. the way to stop the runaway—is also rendered ineffective at the time of the SUA glitch (Michael Barr, embedded software expert).

    Translation? Your runaway Toyota or Lexus is not going to stop until something stops it!

    Even worse? Your Toyota or Lexus EDR—a.k.a black box—is going to record inconsistent, unreliable data (see Dr. Antony Anderson’s findings).

    Problem? You will be CHARGED for any deaths or injuries to others as a result of an accident your runaway vehicle causes based on the faulty EDR results and an assumption of “driver pedal misapplication.”

    More of a problem? You may go to JAIL or prison if the EDR erroneously shows that you are not braking—which it has for others more often than not. Essentially, you will be deemed not telling the truth or confused in media coverage because Toyota will say its EDR is accurate—even though it admitted this data was unreliable previously.

    Even a bigger problem? If there is any chance a detail comes out that supports the driver, the media will take sides with the automaker and support your character assassination publicly. Are you on prescription meds or any medications? Are you an older citizen? Are you a woman and older? Bingo! Elderly pedal misapplication, according to media and Toyota.

    Don’t worry…all your skeletons will be dug up as Toyota goes full steam ahead to escape blame for faulty electronics! Just keep track of all these mysterious vehicles-into-homes and storefront crashes and read the headlines. Read the PR propaganda supporting driver error.

    Toyota’s $$ goes far and wide…even to the heart of the very agency commissioned to protect your SAFETY! The DOJ and NHTSA are still looking the other way—a.k.a. protecting corporate interests. They do not want to open up the ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration issue as then there will be a public cover-up scandal which rivals the best—or worst—of them.

    All the above doesn’t factor in the so far little-known in the U.S. whistleblower, Betsy Benjaminson. She’s has copies of hundreds of internal Toyota documents. Many of these show clear evidence of concern over an electronic throttle system problem—a.k.a. “ghost in the engine”—and the lack of fix for it. Betsy has a blog where she has posted some of the evidence. She’s been the feature of several articles and a podcast interview outside the U.S. Google her name to find.

    Toyota, the media, and the government seem to be handling each new suspicious runaway vehicle accident—a.k.a. driver states pressing brake when the vehicle takes off, becomes airborne, has a mind of its own, etc.—on a case-by-case basis. Apparently, there is the hope that each case will blow over with little public attention. There is hope, too, that the public buys into the PR machine working overtime with law enforcement and media to BLAME the vehicle driver. SUA victim = SCAPEGOAT.

    As far as Toyota is concerned, it is DONE with the topic of sudden unintended acceleration. Period. It got the free pass with a huge U.S. Government fine—a.k.a. permission not to face the music regarding ELECTRONIC SUA. Floor mats, pedals, driver error…done DEAL.

    Toyota’s well-orchestrated smoke screen continues aided and abetted by our very own safety regulatory agency. Can’t beat that! The sky’s the limit now…think of all the untoward consequences for Toyota owners, not to mention the driving public.

    Toyota is #1 in numbers of sudden unintended acceleration events. BUT…it is not alone! This is an industry-wide phenomenon and not one automaker wants the public knowledgeable about ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration.

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  15. Charlene Blake
    Charlene Blake 15 June, 2014, 16:25

    Toyota and Lexus vehicles…especially the Toyota Camry…have taken the lead in terms of sudden unintended acceleration-related crashes, particularly storefront crashes. Toyota vehicles have been found to have electronic glitches in the throttle system software (see Michael Barr’s finding at embedded gurus dot com) which can result in a full-throttle condition with an ineffective fail-safe. This is a serious state which can lead to fatality or significant injury. A Toyota owner recently won a big court case (Bookout V. Toyota) against Toyota which involved death and injury to the Toyota Camry occupants.

    In addition, Dr. Antony Anderson has analyzed the crash of a 2012 Toyota Highlander into a house. He has compared the recordings of the EDR (black box) with the video footage caught in the home security system. Dr. Anderson found discrepancies between the two. He found inaccurate recording of the EDR. This is significant because often the driver of the vehicle which has crashed into a building or storefront is INCRIMINATED based on the EDR alone. The driver is often braking at the time of the SUA initiation, but Toyota claims he/she is not doing so based in the EDR. In some cases prison time has resulted because the EDR results are accepted over the vehicle driver’s sworn statement. Toyota owners BEWARE of Toyota’s lack of support after an SUA event!

    Sudden unintended acceleration is NOT a problem related only to the elderly or women; it is not a driver error problem; it is not a simple stuck accelerator pedal or drifting floor mat issue. This is a DEADLY issue which the automakers, NHTSA, or the Department of Justice (I.e. Toyota’s criminal investigation) have not properly addressed. In fact, there is strong DENIAL that the problem exists at all. Yet…the crashes continue at an alarming rate now.

    Barriers placed in front of storefronts is a noble gesture. However, this is just a treat-the-symptom maneuver. The CAUSE must be recognized and fully addressed instead of being ignored.

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  16. Charlene Blake
    Charlene Blake 15 June, 2014, 16:33

    According to NASA expert, Dr. Henning Leidecker, some Toyotas can grow “tin whiskers” within certain electronic components. This can result in short circuits which can lead to yet another type of electronically-induced SUA event. Dr. Leidecker and associates actually DID FIND and study a case of “tin whiskers” found within the accelerator pedal assembly, rendering a Toyota vehicle UNDRIVEABLE.

    Dr. Leidecker suggests driving the affected Toyota vehicles is “a game of Russian roulette.” Dr. Leidecker is most concerned about 2002-2006 Toyota Camrys with their potential to grow “tin whiskers.” He indicates the risk of this condition increases over time.

    As you contemplate your purchase of a Toyota Camry, you might just want to seriously consider the recent laboratory-based findings by this expert scientist. Consider the fact that these vehicles in question are a potential threat to ALL OF US on the roads. The number of reports of Camrys careening into walls, buildings, and even groups of innocent bystanders on private property is increasing with time. This is NOT about “pedal misapplication!” These scientific findings are troublesome for both the vehicle occupants and those not riding in the affected vehicles. Remember SMALL CHILDREN…BABIES…are among those with potential to be injured or killed.

    So just why isn’t the NHTSA opening a formal defects investigation into this potentially fatal electrical malfunction in these Camry vehicles? If you own one of these vehicles, are you just willing to accept the risk? Or, are you going to speak up and demand action by Toyota and NHTSA? Can you trust the Toyota Camry knowing that this problem exists and has not been formally addressed by either Toyota or the NHTSA?

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  17. Charlene Blake
    Charlene Blake 15 June, 2014, 16:38

    Are you aware of the latest SUA debacle at Toyota? If not, catch up to speed by going to the blog “Beware of Toyota. Their next victim may be YOU…”. Check out the findings of embedded systems expert Michael Barr by visiting embeddedgurusdotcom and click in his name. He and his cohorts found the specific software defects that the NASA engineers could not find. Mr. Barr’s study was far longer than NASA’s study and yet Toyota, the NHTSA, and the DOJ have yet to acknowledge his findings of electronically-caused sudden unintended acceleration.

    Be sure to look up Betsy Benjaminson on YouTube to find her publicly-accessible Toyota internal documents. She is the Whistleblower who exposed Toyota’s internal worry among engineers about “the ghost in the engine” and related electronic misbehavior of the Toyota ETCS-I. She gave all of the documents to both the NHTSA and the DOJ, as well as individual lawmakers. To date, nothing has been publicly mentioned about the documents by these agencies.

    Toyota has slammed the door in many Toyota owners’ faces when news of frightening SUA events were brought to its attention. You see just as in the engine oil sludge debacle, Toyota doesn’t want to know about these recurrent electronic failures. It it does, it might actually be expected to take action to prevent the near death or fatal incidents from occurring. Toyota is running like the Gingerbread Man in hopes of hiding permanently.

    Now that Toyota has lost a major court battle against a Toyota owner who suffered permanent damage in a horrific crash as a result of SUA, it has scrambled to settle all of the remaining SUA cases. Guess it must be awfully worried that word is getting out that the SUA crisis is about more than the wrong kind of floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals. According to experts, the GHOST in the engine is related to the ELECTRONIC software defects. And the scary part? There is no fail safe and the brakes are often rendered useless! Now there’s a real comforting thought!

    Everyone who experiences this GHOST-like state in their Toyota vehicles should file reports with the NHTSA as well as the Center for Auto Safety. Network with other similarly-affected individuals and post your experiences online. Let your lawmakers know if Toyota is stonewalling you and ignoring the problem.

    This Toyota sudden unintended acceleration issue is far from over. Toyota did settle a CRIMINAL investigation with the DOJ for $1.2 BILLION but that was for floor mats and the sticky pedals only. Do NOT let Toyota sweep your SUA events under the rug in an effort to maintain SECRECY…a.k.a. DECEPTION.

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  18. Charlene Blake
    Charlene Blake 15 June, 2014, 16:40

    Singer/songwriter, Kris Kitko did an AWESOME job on her YouTube video, “Toyota Where Are Ya?” The video was directed at Toyota regarding her own real world experience with Toyota SUA, sudden unintended acceleration. With her satirical approach, she completely destroyed the Toyota and NHTSA myth about SUA, namely “pedal misapplication” by drivers. Unfortunately, Kris Kitko’s YouTube video is no longer available for viewing online.

    In the wake of the NHTSA/DOJ $1.2 BILLION settlement following a CRIMINAL investigation, Kris should be encouraged to use her finely-honed musical skills to do a sequel to her first Toyota SUA YouTube video. The U.S. Federal Government allowed Toyota “deferred prosecution” in this settlement provided it follow the steps outlined in the terms of the agreement. No one…not one single Toyota executive…is going to serve any prison time for knowingly withholding evidence that could have saved many lives and ensured public safety on the roads.Toyota ADMITTED that it LIED to both the Toyota customers and the government.

    Michael Barr, renowned embedded systems expert, after studying Toyota’s ETCS-I far longer than NASA did, found the existence of faults in the software which could lead to a real-world, potentially-catastrophic SUA event with a number of potentially ineffective failsafes. Imagine flying down the road in a Toyota with no functioning brake override to exit a software task-death! Isn’t that a bit like being on a high-speed roller coaster and having the track fail to keep you on? And want to know the most SHOCKING part? Toyota reportedly didn’t have a copy of the code in their OWN monitor chip! Michael Barr and company had to SHOW them! Can we just say, “Scary!”

    Toyota cites that there is no electronic cause for SUA in its vehicles based on the short-duration investigations by NHTSA and NASA. Michael Barr and other experts have shown these studies to be scientifically seriously flawed. First, the ETCS-I software investigation was extremely limited. Only a SMALL FRACTION of the embedded software was tested by NASA.

    Secondly, Toyota misrepresented the presence of EDAC RAM (error detection and correction random access memory) while indications of this issue were apparently redacted in the original NHTSA report. This misled NASA into NOT LOOKING INTO a number of potential sources of failure – which they may otherwise might have.

    According to NASA expert, Dr. Henning Leidecker, some Toyota’s can grow “tin whiskers” within certain electronic components. This can result in short circuits which can lead to yet another type of electronically-induced SUA event. Dr. Leidecker and associates actually DID FIND and study a case of “tin whiskers” found within the accelerator pedal assembly; rendering a Toyota vehicle UNDRIVEABLE.

    Dr. Leidecker suggests driving the affected Toyota vehicles is “a game of Russian roulette.” Dr. Leidecker is most concerned about 2002-2006 Toyota Camrys with their potential to grow “tin whiskers.” He indicates the risk of this condition increases over time.

    Meanwhile, whistleblower Betsy Benjaminson remains scared for Toyota drivers. She is convinced Toyota’s own internal documents strongly indicate SOMETHING IS WRONG with their ETCS-i ELECTRONICS . She says “ghosts” indicate glitches can cause a runaway car. Betsy now blogs on a Blogger website where she continues to EXPOSE key documents that she says open the company’s PR KIMONO. Betsy’s goal is to reveal the true inside story of Toyota’s SUA problem and to demonstrate and expose the differences between the company walk and company talk.

    How did Betsy turn whistleblower? As a Japanese-to-English translator, Betsy was hired by Toyota’s legal team to translate documents for the criminal investigation of Toyota. Just like the DOJ, Betsy SMELLED A RAT. After checking with top experts, she came forward to alert the public to the major safety issues involved.

    Toyota owner, turned consumer activist-blogger, Parris Boyd has been blogging about what he calls “The Recall King” (a.k.a. Toyota) for years. His blog, “Beware of Toyota. Their next victim may be YOU…,” was initially an outlet for his frustration with Toyota–after his MR2 Spyder’s engine disintegrated at low mileage. What Parris faced was an unresponsive, stonewalling company operating within a state of denial.

    During the height of Toyota’s engine oil SLUDGE debacle, Parris created his blog with the goal of using his free speech to help other similarly-affected Toyota owners. He also wanted the public to know just how Toyota and its dealerships treated their “valued customers.” Parris’s Blogger website currently receives over 100 views a day!

    So, WHY is Toyota trying so hard to CONVINCE its own customers and the public that its vehicles suffer from SUA caused only by 1) improperly placed or type of floor mats (huh?); 2) sticky accelerator pedals (like those pesky sticky Sienna minivan sliding doors?); or 3) pedal misapplication (oh…the little old lady theory?). Why does it IGNORE the recent findings of the electronic experts? WHY isn’t it currently LISTENING to its own customers?

    Well, YOU be the judge. The FACTS are before you.

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  19. Edward Power
    Edward Power 29 November, 2014, 07:36

    I own a 2014 Toyota Avalon XLE. On March 21 my car had a sudden acceleration on an up ramp and after going approx. 40 ft I was able to stop the car.
    On Oct. 19 I was parking the car going 3 miles per hour when it accelerated
    and hit a tree resulting in $ 8,000 damage. As usual Toyota could find no
    problem with the car. If you own this car I would suggest that you keep your
    foot on the brake when slowing down and keep your seat belt on until the engine is turned off. It could save your life.
    I have a drive wise device from Allstate in my car and it shows that I have
    a rating of A plus when the average is a B plus.

    Reply this comment
  20. Victer
    Victer 23 September, 2015, 14:30

    How much ignorance! The expression “absence of proofsis not proof of absence” Is irrational ant manipulative. The report says “they did not find defects in the software”. That is the proper way to say that to the best of their ability there is nothing wrong with the software but human knowledge is not perfect, the scientists who wrote the report do not want to be God and claim perfect knowledge.

    I the doctor tells you the tests did not show the aids virus is in your blood he is not saying there are no virus at all in your blood because it is obviously possible you may have one virus somewhere. The tests are not absolute proof of the absence of the virus, they can not be. Only a patient out of his mind would demand that. If he did th. Dr would lead him to the door and wish him a good day. If the patient insisted on proof of absence he would be referred to the psychiatrist.

    It is amazing how so many people in the US has lost their common sense and use their reasoning to twist reality to make money off whoever they can. The lawyers and th. hiperactivists are destroying the US econmically, socially, totally. No wonder the country is going down the tubes.

    Reply this comment

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