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Toyota Recall: Exponent Testing Designed For Toyota's Lawyers, Not For Safety

43 comments

Toyota executives told Congress in sworn testimony that it gave a consulting company called Exponent an unlimited budget to research electromagnetic sources of Toyota’s sudden acceleration problems. However, after an automotive professor, David Gilbert, successfully demonstrated that Toyota’s "failsafe" electronics claims were false, Toyota has taken off the gloves and spent the last several days attacking Professor Gilbert and his findings.

Today, Toyota’s paid consultants held an internet press event to attack Professor Gilbert’s findings about Toyota’s unintended acceleration problem. I have a couple questions about Toyota’s hired guns:

(1) Who paid for Exponent’s work trying to debunk Professor Gilbert’s findings; and

(2) Is Toyota focused on finding and fixing the problem or is Toyota focused on attacking this automotive professor?

Can you guess the answers?

I find the very first page of Exponent’s report more telling than any other. Take a look for yourself. Do you see what I see?

Exponent's Testing Prepared By Toyota's Lawyers For Litigation, Not Safety

For whom did Exponent prepare this report? Was it done for Toyota’s engineers? For Toyota’s safety department? For Toyota’s corporate executives? Nope. Exponent’s testing was prepared for and at the direction of Toyota’s litigation counsel, Bowman & Brooke, LLP.

Toyota’s engineering department did not order these tests.

Toyota’s design department did not order these tests.

Toyota’s electrical engineers did not order these tests.

Toyota’s safety department did not order these tests.

Toyota’s executive officers did not order these tests.

It was Toyota’s litigation attorneys that ordered these tests.

If it wasn’t Toyota’s engineers that asked for this test as a safety evaluation, why did Toyota call in these hired guns? What is this test out to prove? Well, let’s see what Exponent’s report says:

Exponent's testing attacked Professor Gilbert; but did not focus on safety

Toyota’s lawyers hired Exponent to attack Professor Gilbert’s findings, not to figure what is really causing Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem. At Toyota, it looks like safety loses again.

Toyota’s report from Exponent shows nothing more than a giant company spending an unlimited amount of money to attack an automotive professor that had the gall to challenge Toyota’s lies. Toyota appears to be more worried about covering its tail than actually fixing the problem that causes these vehicles to run out of control.

Why is Toyota more focused on refuting Professor Gilbert’s testing than figuring out what is actually causing the Toyota sudden acceleration problem?

This is just one more example of Toyota’s well-documented history of attempted cover-ups of safety problems. Throughout the sudden acceleration time line, one thing has been consistent: Toyota has consistently misled the public about the nature and severity of the Toyota sudden acceleration problem. When given the opportunity to come forward with information, Toyota has chosen lie after lie after lie.

The Detroit Free Press has documented how Toyota has stonewalled the investigation of these problems since at least 2003. Now, Toyota has said its own data recorders are not reliable. What are these black boxes saying that has Toyota withholding this evidence?

After dragging its feet and being called "safety deaf" on the sudden acceleration recall, Toyota did it again when Toyota knew of the problems with its Prius brakes long before warning its drivers, customers and innocent motorists.

It is time that Toyota is finally held accountable for putting profits over safety and for putting money ahead of human life.

You can learn more at our safety blog and become a fan of Langdon & Emison on Facebook.

43 Comments

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  1. tedi says:
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    This is the last time I comment on your site.
    I don’t think you are winning over here.

    This is the engineering report. So fact stands.
    That’s it. Doesn’t matter who is working for who
    or who got paid. FACT!!!!!!

    My son was an engineering major at Undergrad and
    Law at Boalt. so I think he understtands a little bit better.

    Good luck.

  2. Brett Emison says:
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    Tedi,

    Thanks again for reading and for your comments. I have enjoyed our debate. It again looks like we have difference of perspective.

    You see an engineering test and demonstration of principles by Professor Gilbert and you are suspicious and distrusting. You believe in Toyota.

    I see an engineering test by Exponent (who has been paid millions by Toyota) designed not for safety or to actually determine what causes the sudden acceleration problem, but designed by lawyers solely to refute the demonstration of principles done by Professor Gilbert and I am suspicious and distrusting. I have read and learned too much to believe in Toyota.

    The great thing about our country — and even this forum — is that those of us who disagree are free to express our opinions. I encourage you to keep reading and offering constructive debate.

    Thanks again for reading. I have enjoyed our debate.

  3. Milt says:
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    Exponent provides the best science that money can buy. They are at it again with their bogus study of EMF interference with Toyota car accelerators. an “For some history on Exponent, the book “Doubt is Their Product” by David Michaels is very telling. Michaels learned a few things about this organization as the Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environment, Safety and Health under the Clinton Administration, and put these facts into his book. More information is at http://defendingscience.org/.”

    Michaels was also awarded the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award in 2006.

  4. tom wittmann says:
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    FRIENDS OF THE INJURY BOARD

    Hopefully you read this:

    The discussion between EXPONENT and Dr. GILBERT is about a secondary issue and it is IRRELEVANT who is right

    The secondary issue is if the Computer will detect any false command to the throttle or not. GILBERT says that under certain possible circumstances thisis not guaranteed, TOYOTA says it is!!

    But assuming TOYOTA is right, this means that the computer will act correctly ONLY IF ITSELF WORK CORRECTLY. But if anything as magnetic field or whatever induces the computer to create wrong signals, probably this will CAUSE THE SAFEGUARDS TO FAIL TOO.. SO NOTHING WILL BE PROVED OR DISPROVED

    OK ?? TOYOTA ONLY ATTACK GILBERT AS A DIVERSION!!!

    The main issue is that the SHIM fix is a fraud.
    Supposedly the SHIM solve the problem supplying the PEDAL SPRING with more force to compensate the effects of the wear, and the are 8 seizes of SHIM depending of SUCH WEAR. But 2009 and 2010 models have the acceleration problem too, and who will believe that they have suffered any meaningful wear??. SO WHAT THE DEALERS ARE DOING WITH THE CARS???

    The truth is that both the floormat and SHIM are again (cheap)diversions and this is the best proof that something is wrong with the electronic, detectors, software and/or computer, AND TOYOTA KNOWS THIS FACT FOR TWO YEARS NOW. IF THE DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT IS OR SIMPLY ARE NOT WILLING TO BEAR THE COST TO REPAIR IT, I DO NOT KNOW!!

    E-MAIL ME IF YOU WANT MORE INSIGHT

  5. Tedi says:
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    We will see who is right.

    Chris Gerdes, the head of Stanford University’s Center for Automotive Research.

    Gerdes told the press he could not reproduce the findings of David Gilbert, professor at Southern Illinois University, who last month purported to show Congress how signals from the accelerator pedal in Toyota vehicles failed to be properly communicated. Gerdes told the audience today he “could not replicate a circuit malfunction under actual driving conditions” and called Guilbert’s study misleading.

  6. Brett Emison says:
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    Tedi,

    Thanks for you comment. I have no doubt that Toyota’s paid consultants said Professor Gilbert’s research and testing was wrong. I would been astonished if Toyota’s people had said anything different. However, that Toyota said it, doesn’t make it accurate.

    Toyota has been attacking Professor Gilbert since the day after the congressional hearings on sudden acceleration (however, on the day of the hearing, Toyota admitted it had replicated Professor Gilbert’s results and even offered to work with Gilbert in solving the sudden acceleration problem).

    The important difference between Gilbert and Exponent is the question asked in their respective testing. One cannot judge an answer without understanding the question. It is clear that Professor Gilbert and Exponent asked different questions in their testing.

    Gilbert’s testing asked: is it possible for an electrical short to induce sudden unintended acceleration without triggering a system fault in the vehicle computer. The answer was yes. An answer Toyota replicated and admitted was accurate in sworn testimony before a congressional committee.

    Toyota’s defense counsel did not like that answer, so they ordered additional “testing”. This is why the “prepared for” entity was Toyota’s litigation defense counsel and not Toyota’s engineering department. Toyota was not interest in safety, its lawyers were interested in discrediting Professor Gilbert who had proven than electrical malfunctions could induce sudden accleration. That is why Toyota’s testing question was different.

    Toyota’s litigation defense team asked: how can we attack Professor Gilbert’s testing. Having tried cases against many of those on Toyota’s defense team, I would have been surprise if they could not come up with something.

    The important thing is not what Toyota said about their test results (again, the remarkable think would have been if Toyota said anything different) — it is the purpose of the testing.

    Toyota is more worried about protecting its image and preparing for liability defenses than it is about safety and figuring out what actually causes the sudden acceleration problem. That’s my concern with Toyota’s testing and position. Toyota has continuously refused to acknoweldge that faulty electronics could play a role in the sudden acceleration problem.

    When lives are on the line, shouldn’t every option be in play? Most times in life, the actual fix is not as simple as replacing a floor mat or inserting a shim. As more sudden acceleration events arise even for cars that have had the recall fixes, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Toyota’s remedies are’t working.

    Tedi — again, I respect your position and your passion. Thanks for engaging in a spirited debate.

  7. Brad says:
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    In my opinion, Toyota (and their attorneys) would be much better served by ACTUALLY DETERMINING WHAT IS CAUSING THE SUDDEN ACCELERATION rather than getting into an academic pi$$ing contest about whose test is better.

    I understand the defense attorneys are looking for a leg to stand on in defending these cases, but as someone else pointed out – it’s all sleight of hand. The public is letting Toyota say “watch THIS hand performing irrelevant testing, while the other hand is grasping at straws (or more accurately seemingly doing nothing productive to solve this problem).”

    Does anyone really care what is NOT causing the problem, when the problem still exists?!

  8. Facebook User says:
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    I am surprised by the number of Facebook people who think Toyota’s problems are a conspiracy to help support the GM bailout. For the conspiracy theorists, the real headline is buried in the text of this article. I have to remind them that long before the GM bailout was created by Bush (2008), The Detroit Free Press documented how Toyota stonewalled the investigation of these problems since at least 2003.

  9. Dan says:
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    I have listened to the reports and the fixes and the cases even after the fixes for me I can’t help but see a clear patern, none of these run away cars are never in reverse a mechnical issue would not know the difference but software would?

  10. tedi says:
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    MEDIA Problem?
    CHICAGO (MarketWatch) — An accident here the other day claimed the lives of four women when their car slammed into a tree. But since they were riding in a 2000 Pontiac Bonneville instead of a 2010 Toyota Prius these women didn’t rate the top slot on any national newscast — or much mention on any newscast at all — nor send people tweeting away in outrage nor stoke Internet chat room furor.
    They died in a car crash of unknown causes, returning home from a birthday celebration for Cathina on Saturday night, the Chicago Sun Times reported. Police continue their investigation. As the circus grows around every little Toyota engine burp, turn a thought to those four women. It’ll help you keep your perspective on true tragedy

    I hope James Sikes are telling the truth. Timing are too good.

    CHP Officer Says Out-Of-Control Prius Did Not Appear To Have Stuck Pedal
    By SAN DIEGO — A California Highway Patrol officer described a harrowing, high-speed ride on Interstate 8 as he tried to help a Prius driver whose car wouldn’t stop accelerating.
    Result of inspection
    “Everything was free and clear and, like I said, the brake and the accelerator were in their normal resting position as if you were just parked,” said Neibert.

    FLINT (WJRT) — (03/09/10)–A Flint family is speaking out as Toyota executives prepare to answer questions surrounding the death of their loved one. It was nearly two years ago when 77-year-old Guadalupe Alberto was killed while driving a 2005 Toyota Camry
    I don’t rule out Toyota’s fault but very fishy.

    Gas Pedal syndrom
    People especially aged tends to hit gas instead of Brakes.

  11. Brad says:
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    Tedi,

    I would love it if you told everyone why you are drinking Toyota’s Koolaid and blindly defending them. Are you a Toyota salesman? Or perhaps you own a whole Toyota dealership.

    We know Mr. Emison’s background, and that he is interested in promoting safety and holding companies accountable when they are responsible for some wrongdoing. I will tell you that I am a concerned citizen that doesn’t want to be the victim of a runaway Toyota (or any other dangerous product for that matter).

    I find it odd that you post an article about a suspicious Pontiac Bonneville crash as some sort of evidence that there’s not a problem with Toyota. That’s insane logic (or more accurately no logic at all) and only someone that is grasping at straws to defend Toyota would present that as defense against the allegations against Toyota.

    Further, you present a story that a Highway Patrol Officer believes that the pedal on the runaway Prius was not stuck. Do you believe the driver fraudulently carried out a stunt? Does the fact that the pedal seemed “free and clear” not support Mr. Emison’s assertion that it could be a computer or other electronic problem and that Toyota is “barking up the wrong tree” with the pedal “fixes?”

    I have read your debates with Mr. Emison on his other posts and your arguments lack merit and in many cases defy belief, so please shed some light on why you feel such love for a company that has seemingly told so many lies and carried out so many coverups.

  12. tedi says:
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    I tried to be fair.

    Since I have four children, I have 6 cars.
    Two Buick, Two Honda, one Dodge Ram, and
    Yes, Of course one Toyota Camry.

    Lots of Hyenas, and Vultures flying over
    Toyota. I guess.

    This is from San Diego Union Tribune
    Questions over Prius story
    Steve Schmidt

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    Monday’s scare involving a runaway Prius in East County drew national attention, but it left some wondering if it happened at all. My colleague Mike Lee does a good job today fleshing out the story. James Sikes of Jacumba says he barreled down Interstate 8 at speeds exceeding 90 mph before he was able to bring his hybrid to a stop, with the help of the California Highway Patrol.
    This story here should not be reported as ‘fact’. It should be ‘the driver stated.’ “Sounds a little sketchy to me.”

  13. Luis says:
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    In this entire article and the following comments, I cannot believe that the fact that David Gilbert was paid by Sean Kane is omitted.

    “Gilbert’s testing asked: is it possible for an electrical short to induce sudden unintended acceleration without triggering a system fault in the vehicle computer.”

    No…actually, after they paid him his question became, “Can I make this thing accelerate for a demonstration?”

  14. happytom says:
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    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2010/mar/08/chp-helps-stop-runaway-prius/
    excerpt
    Just reported: Runaway-prius

    Sikes has had two claims of burglary of his home in the past few years. To the tune of $59,000
    BOTH of these claims were found to be unsubstantiated.

  15. Brad says:
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    Tedi,

    By “hyenas and vultures circling over Toyota” am I to assume you are referring to trial attorneys? Correct me if I’m wrong as I don’t want to put words in your mouth.

    I am not a trial lawyer, and as such I am not particularly offended by your insinuation, however I think we should each thank a trial lawyer (Thank you Mr. Emison!!) for holding Toyota accountable for their actions. The nation’s normal regulatory methods sure haven’t had much success at getting this problem solved. As Mr. Emison has pointed out, Toyota has for years denied the existence of a problem. Only after trial lawyers got involved did they start to take the problem seriously and start searching for solutions.

    Further, you may (or may not) know that the Camry, while not subject to recall, is amongst the worst SUA offenders. Heaven forbid your Camry ever accelerated out of control (I WOULD NEVER WISH THAT ON ANYONE!), I trust you would not seek the assistance of a “hyena” or “vulture” to help try to “make you whole” again.

    Does your colleague Mr. Lee have any insight into the runaway Prius in New York that was reported this afternoon? Perhaps that 56-year-old woman is a nutjob too? And same for the Rav4 driver in Massachusetts?

    Are you trying to raise doubt about this one potentially untrustworthy runaway Prius driver to make you feel better about your own Toyota? You choose to focus on this one case while ignoring the thousands of other legitimate cases?!

    If you are so insecure about your own Camry, rather than burying your head in the sand and diverting your attention to persecuting those damn “hyenas and vultures”, I would encourage you to sell the car and buy something a little safer.

  16. Brad says:
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    Luis,

    Are you really so suspicious that $1800 (according to testimony before the U.S. Congress) would corrupt Dr. Gilbert to the point of falsifying his study? By that logic, think how corrupt Exponent’s study must be with an “unlimited budget!” I would hardly call Dr. Gilbert’s payday outrageous or out-of-line. Further, do you seriously expect Dr. Gilbert to work for free?!

    Like Tedi, you, too, must have spent the past week or so chugging Toyota’s koolaid. As Mr. Emison points out in the first paragraph of this blog post, Toyota has spent the last several days attacking Dr. Gilbert’s study, despite the fact that they were able to reproduce his results. You swallowed their story hook, line and sinker. It must be nice to blindly believe a corporate entity that has been, at best disengenuous and deceitful, and at worst downright criminal.

    You and Tedi can keep blindly believing that Toytoa is a virtuous entity, I will continue hanging out in the real world…

  17. tedi says:
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    Fm AP News
    Excerpt
    Many reported Toyota Prius problems are psychological, experts say

    NEW YORK — Reports of sudden acceleration in the Toyota Prius have spiked across the country. But that doesn’t mean there’s an epidemic of bad gas pedals in the popular hybrid.

    Experts on consumer psychology say Toyota’s relentless attention since the fall makes it much more likely that drivers will mistake anything unexpected for actual danger.

    “When people expect problems, they’re more likely to find them,” said Lars Perner, professor of clinical marketing at the University of Southern California.

    In just the first 10 weeks of this year, 272 complaints have been filed nationwide for speed control problems with the Prius, according to an Associated Press analysis of unverified complaints received by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    This week came one of the most high-profile Toyota cases: A man driving on a Southern California freeway said his 2008 Prius reached 94 mph before a patrol officer helped him bring it to a stop.

    Investigators are looking at that and a New York case, and authorities have questioned either’s legitimacy.

  18. happytom says:
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    SAN DIEGO — As Toyota and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration investigate Jim Sikes’ Prius, 10News looked into the obstacles Sikes may face going forward.
    10News uncovered files from Sikes’ 2008 Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and criminologist Suzanne Goodney Lea said anyone who reports problems with Toyotas is likely to come under additional scrutiny.
    “Seems like an easy way to cash in and make a lot of money,” said Lea.
    While no on is claiming Sikes wants to cash in, experts said he may face questions because of his financial situation.

    According to his bankruptcy records, he had a $700,000 debt. Additionally, his debts included two homes he was upside down to the tune of $240,000. He had credit card debt to deal with, including $12,000 owed to Bank of America, $38,000 owed to Citibank and $15,000 owed to Discover.

  19. Brett Emison says:
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    Luis,

    You said:

    “In this entire article and the following comments, I cannot believe that the fact that David Gilbert was paid by Sean Kane is omitted.

    ‘Gilbert’s testing asked: is it possible for an electrical short to induce sudden unintended acceleration without triggering a system fault in the vehicle computer.’

    No…actually, after they paid him his question became, ‘Can I make this thing accelerate for a demonstration?'”

    A couple of comments in response:

    First, this article is not about Professor Gilbert, it’s about Toyota and Toyota’s doctored testing.

    Second, I linked directly to Toyota’s attacks on professor Gilbert where you can find out how and why Toyota is attacking professor Gilbert.

    Third, do you make it a habit to work for free? Neither does professor Gilbert. Engineering and automotive experts get paid for their work like everyone else. Professor Gilbert was paid $1,800 for his time and effort.

    Fourth, that professor Gilbert was paid does not alter the question he was asked to answer. Toyota has consistently said that it has failsafe mechanisms in place that make it impossible for sudden acceleration to be triggered by faulty electronics. Professor Gilbert was asked to determine if Toyota’s statement was accurate. Professor Gilbert was able to answer the question: Toyota was wrong.

  20. Brett Emison says:
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    happytom,

    What is your real name? Why is your email address registered in Japan (“…@yahoo.co.jp”)? What work do you do for Toyota?

    I publish my name on every post I write. If you are going to publish comments in this forum, don’t you think you should be honest with us all as well?

  21. Brad says:
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    Tedi

    If your participation in this debate has been reduced to posting news stories rather than opinions, I’m very unimpressed with your ability to think, evaluate and express YOUR OWN unique ideas… The internets are a big and neat place where we can find an article to corroborate almost any opinion if we look hard enough.

    I’m willing to grant you that the latest Prius cases MIGHT be bogus. Are you willing to acknowledge that the thousands of other incidents leading to hundreds of serious injuries and deaths MIGHT be legitimate?

    Do you suppose Apple co-founder and multi-billionaire Steve Wozniak, who had a SUA in a Prius was out to make a quick buck by publicizing the event? And how exactly would he have profited from this event with no damages?

    http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/tech/Wozniak-My-Prius-Speeds-Up-On-Its-Own–87107692.html

    The fact is that Toyota has acknowledged a problem, has taken the unprecedented step of shutting down production on eight models of vehicles and has recalled millions more vehicles. Why do you defend them and insinuate there is no problem?! EVEN TOYOTA ADMITS THERE’S A PROBLEM!!!

    From day-one Toyota has insisted it is not an electrical problem (and maybe there isn’t), but why do you not want Toyota to examine EVERY POSSIBLE cause, rather than discounting from the beginning an electrical or computer glitch.

    Finally, you never answered my questions regarding your “hyenas and vultures” comment and whether you think it is appropriate for serious injury victims and the families of those killed in these accidents to consult an attorney to help “make them whole”?

  22. Luis says:
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    I think how much money Gilbert was paid was irrelevant. I think just giving him the challenge was incentive enough.

    I think a few segments on ABC News is pretty good incentive too, and what it may do for the school’s publicity.

    Furthermore is it feasible that Gilbert would have felt satisfied if he were unable to do what they asked? Do you really think trial lawyers are going to say, “See what you come up with..if you can’t do it, that’s OK.”??

    He was given a result to reverse engineer, and that’s just bad science. (I used to do that in Chemistry lab, and I was *not* a good Chemistry student)

  23. Luis says:
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    Let me also say that “drinking the Koolaid” is a very immature and irrelelvant attempt at debasing character.

    I suppose anytime someone opposes your viewpoint, their “drinking the Koolaid.”

    I believe at this point you should have licensing agreement with Koolaid.

    Not that it’s relevant, but I’m not particularly fond of Toyota’s cars, I do believe there is a large-scale defect in the pedal actuation, and I’m not particularly fond of corporate processes.

    But moreover, I’m not fond of irrational though and hysteria.

  24. Brett Emison says:
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    Luis,

    First you said: “I cannot believe that the fact that David Gilbert was paid by Sean Kane is omitted.”

    Then you said: “I think how much money Gilbert was paid was irrelevant.”

    Well, which is it? Is relevant or irrelevant?

    If you oppose Gilbert’s testing, do you also oppose Exponent’s testing?

    I suppose I do not understand your logic.

    Every test begins with a hypothesis. What I took umbrage with was the question Exponent asked in its testing.

    You seem to agree that the question asked is important, but never actual refer to precise question Prof. Gilbert was tasked with answering. Instead, you make unsubstantiated assertions that Gilbert is out for publicity.

    Do you hold the same opinions for Exponent’s testing that you hold for Prof. Gilbert’s testing — did Exponent reverse engineer its test result in order to appease Toyota’s lawyers and the unlimited budget provided to Exponent? If not, how do you reconcile your opinions?

  25. Brad says:
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    Luis, you say: “…is it feasible that Gilbert would have felt satisfied if he were unable to do what they asked?”

    Perhaps he would not have felt satisfied, but is that in any way relevant to the discussion? He may not have been satisfied, but then again none of us would have ever heard of him. The only reason we are debating this is because HE WAS SUCCESSFUL!

    Nobody is claiming that what he demonstrated is what is causing the SUA. Gilbert himself, in Congressional testimony, said that he modified the wiring for the purposes of the test.

    As Tom Wittman pointed out above, the test was about whether the computer would detect a failure under ALL circumstances. Toyota insists it will, Dr. Gilbert was able to prove that it wouldn’t, and Toyota was able to duplicate the results. End of story.

  26. Luis says:
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    I am merely asserting that if a money exchange is relevant for Exponent, it should be relevant for Gilbert, and should be mentioned, overtly, in your article.

    I won’t argue that Exponent was paid, and I will concede that the potential exists that they, too, were guilty of reverse engineering.

    But the tone of your article suggests that they were alone in housing a potential bias.

    (Also, “out for publicity” is a hyperbolic paraphrasing. I’m sure most people see it as a positive incentive to be on a network television program. This is opinion, of course)

  27. Brad says:
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    I can’t speak for Mr. Emison, and hopefully he will respond as well, but my take on the his article is what is laid out in the title: “Toyota Recall: Exponent Testing Designed for Toyota’s Lawyers, Not for Safety”.

    The main point that I took out of the article is that, at this point, Toyota is spending valuable time and resources preparing for litigation defense rather than trying to get to the bottom of the problem.

  28. Luis says:
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    Fair enough.

  29. tedi says:
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    http://mediamovement.net/mm/?p=170
    Brian Ross’ Toyota Death Ride – ABC News caught in a fabrication Filed Under ABC News, Faulty Reporting

    Brian Ross knowingly edited in video of a revving tachometer that was shot while the car was in park and did not use footage of the car’s gauges while it was being driven (in the original video you can clearly see the red BRAKE light is illuminated on the dashboard).

  30. Milt says:
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    Interesting development in California.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8565637.stm

  31. Brad says:
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    Tedi,

    I finally figured it out, when it’s been so obvious all along – you’re a defense lawyer! You have nothing constructive to add, you just want to throw out random, largely irrelevant tidbits to interject tiny shreds of doubt…

    How exactly does ABC’s questionable editing change anything? Does it change all the people that have been injured and killed? Does it change the fact that both Gilbert and Toyota were able to produce the same results using the same methodology?

    I hope your Toyota never has this happen, as I’m sure you’ll be too busy trying to rationalize that it’s not really happening to actually deal with the problem.

    P.S. – did you see how the article described Exponent? Did they call them an engineering firm? No – they called them a PR firm that helps companies deal with massive recalls. Hmm…

  32. Brad says:
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    Tedi,

    I finally figured it out, when it’s been so obvious all along – you’re a defense lawyer! You have nothing constructive to add, you just want to throw out random, largely irrelevant tidbits to interject tiny shreds of doubt…

    How exactly does ABC’s questionable editing change anything? Does it change all the people that have been injured and killed? Does it change the fact that both Gilbert and Toyota were able to produce the same results using the same methodology?

    I hope your Toyota never has this happen, as I’m sure you’ll be too busy trying to rationalize that it’s not really happening to actually deal with the problem.

    P.S. – did you see how the article described Exponent? Did they call them an engineering firm? No – they called them a PR firm that helps companies deal with massive recalls. Hmm…

  33. Brad says:
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    Tedi,

    What say you about Milt’s post? Is the state of California trying to cash in on this like the alleged porn mongering Prius hoaxer?

    I suspect they wouldn’t be suing if they didn’t think Toyota had perpetrated some wrongdoing.

    I doubt you’ll respond to this post though because you haven’t added anything substantive to this debate in days…

  34. tedi says:
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    I tried to be fair.
    My son is a litigation lawyer.(boalt alum)
    and my d is in law school.(columbia)

    But I am just a retired old man who lost a fortune from Toyota stock which has been damaged by unnecessary false claims and reports.
    Bye

  35. Brett Emison says:
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    Tedi said: “… I am just a retired old man who lost a fortune from Toyota stock….”

    So then, are you also putting profits over safety?

    Isn’t the better plan to have Toyota figure out what is actually causing the sudden acceleration, fix it, and get back to being perhaps the world’s best carmaker?

    Toyota has admitted it lost its way in trying to gain marketshare over GM. Now it has an opportunity to do the right thing, fix these defective cars and win back the public’s trust.

    I’d say that would do far more good for its stock price than continued safety cover-ups. Toyota needs to prove that it values its customers, that it values safety, and that it values life.

    Toyota still has a lot of work to do.

  36. tedi says:
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    Prius Harrison New York
    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/03/18/investigation-points-to-driver-error-in-prius-wreck/

    Permalink Investigation points to driver error in Prius wreck
    Early evidence points to driver error as the reason a 2005 Prius sped into a stone wall on March 9, federal investigators said Thursday.

    “Information retrieved from the vehicle’s onboard computer systems indicated there was no application of the brakes and the throttle was fully open,” according to a statement from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    The statement suggests the driver may have been stepping on the accelerator, instead of the brake, as she told police.

    Investigators from Toyota and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration inspected the wrecked 2005 Prius on Wednesday and extracted data from the car’s event data recorder.

  37. tedi says:
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    since ABC admitted its false report, it will be
    interesting.

    http://gawker.com/5496549/toyota-demands-retraction-and-apology-from-abc-news-over-manufactured-death-ride?skyline=true&s=i

    Toyota Demands Retraction and Apology From ABC News Over Manufactured Death Ride
    Toyota’s general counsel is calling on ABC News president David Westin to retract and apologize for a cocked-up story by America’s Wrongest Reporter, Brian Ross

  38. Brad says:
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    Tedi…

    I wasted my time by reading the article you linked us to and nowhere could I find where “ABC admitted it’s false report.” I saw where the reporter “staged a shot of the surging tachometer while the car was in park”, but not where ABC “admitted it’s false report.”

    Is there some hidden code in all of these stories that give you information that is not obvious to some of the rest of us?

  39. Brett Emison says:
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    tedi,

    Brad is right. Nowhere in the “article” did ABC admit any wrongdoing. In fact, it expressly states that ABC refused to apologize. The “article” was nothing more that a Toyota publicity piece. One-sided and inaccurate like everything else Toyota has done.

    tedi – why don’t you remind our readers about financial interest in Toyota? How much has your Toyota stock gone down because of Toyota’s unscrupulous conduct?

  40. DickOvens says:
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    The Walt Disney Co. unit, in a letter to Toyota obtained today, responded to a demand from the Japanese automaker to retract and apologize for a broadcast report suggesting unintended acceleration was linked to a flaw in electronics.

  41. Brett Emison says:
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    ABC, Inc. responded to Toyota’s letter and expressly denied any wrongdoing and denied misleading the public. Toyota is the only company here that has been caught red-handed misleading the public. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that Toyota made “inaccurate and misleading” statements about its sudden acceleration problem in late 2009 when Toyota misrepresented NHTSA’s findings about sudden acceleration.

  42. Milt says:
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    http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/04/07/toyota-recall-pr.html?ref=rss

    “Coming clean” and hiring Exponent are mutually exclusive.