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Who is to blame for Toyota’s sudden acceleration recall mess? According to a Rush Limbaugh caller, it is President Obama.

RUSH: Marion, Illinois, John, you’re next, Open Line Friday. Hello.

CALLER: Mr. Rush, mega dittos from southern Illinois.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: It’s a pleasure to talk with you. I don’t know if you’ve talked about the Toyota issue very much, but I read an article in the Wall Street Journal of where the Obama administration had talked with Toyota and they had put the onus on Toyota to do something about this (quote, unquote) "problem" with the gas pedal sticking and all that good stuff that’s going on. I sold Toyota for the last six years prior. I’m not selling anymore. I know several people in the business, including service managers that have worked on them for years. I’ve never had one customer complain. I’ve never seen it. The service manager said that it’s impossible for them to go in and recreate the situation that’s causing the gas pedal to stick.

RUSH: Well, wait a minute, now. There is a recall, isn’t there?

CALLER: Well, Toyota is recalling them to change them, and the only reason they’re doing that is to preempt the government from doing more. Now, I know I’m not a Toyota executive, but I worked in Toyota and I know how they work, and they want to be aboveboard no matter what’s going on. They want to have the best attitude and look the best they can to their customers by saying, "Okay, we don’t even know if there’s really a major problem but we’re going to recall them."

RUSH: Well, I think Obama Motor Company’s also exploiting this.

CALLER: That’s exactly right. That goes to my main point: You know, this Government Motors that we own now still can’t sell cars. They’re still losing major money because they’re bending over backwards for the unions. They’re crying about jobs not being created, yet they’re trying their best to cause Toyota to lose jobs in the United States, and then they just happened to have all these commercials ready to go for national television saying, "Well, you bring your Toyota in to us and we’ll give you an extra thousand dollars for it." Don’t tell me that this is not planned out and that Obama didn’t know. He knows exactly what he’s doing, and this is just another nail in the coffin, hopefully, in 2012 when he runs again, and people have enough of this and they’re just sick of it. It just infuriated me.

RUSH: I can tell. I can hear it. I can hear the infuriation in your voice. I can hear it. I’m trained that way and I can tell that you’re angry. I can also see that Honda is going to recall 640,000 cars. I don’t know what the reason for it is. I’ll find out. But your theory is it would be to keep Obama off their back.

While I applaud Rush for bringing the Toyota sudden acceleration problem to light on his radio program, I think the caller might be a little bit off on this one. Fox News documented Toyota’s knowledge of sudden acceleration problems dating back to 2007. Independent safety experts across the country trace Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem back to at least 2002.

We need to keep politics out of safety. No matter what your political stripe (conservative, liberal, or somewhere in the middle), safety should be an American priority. Toyota has a duty to make safe cars and the safety experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") have a duty to ensure Toyota makes safe cars no matter which party controls the White House.

More than 2,000 documented cases of Toyota sudden accleration demonstrates a real problem. At least 314 injuries and 19 deaths demonstrates a real crisis. In my experience, car companies do not recall more than 9 million vehicles without there actually being a very serious problem.

As I have documented here for the last several months, Toyota has known about — and ignored — its sudden acceleration problem for more than five years. Instead of acknowledging and repairing this widespread defect, Toyota waited years to acknowledge the defect and instead blamed its own customers.

In fact, Toyota was criticized last fall by government safety regulators for making "inaccurate and misleading" statements concerning the accelerator problems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") issued a statement that the recalled Toyota and Lexus vehicles do have an "underlying defect".

Find out more information about the Toyota sudden acceleration recall at our safety blog and become a fan of Langdon & Emison on Facebook.

10 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Jack

    John from Illinois is spot on. This is Chicago style hardball from the Obama administration, especially from Obama himself and that weasel Rahm Emanuel. You see, the "Cash For Clunkers" program was designed to help GM, Chrysler and Ford, as most of the clunkers were their vehicles. As usual, the administration miscalculated because the lions share of the program ended up going to Toyota and Honda. That infuriated them and the result is the retribution against Toyota and Honda we are now experiencing. Toyota and Honda HAD to be punished. The Obama administration jumped on minor problems and blew it out of proportion forcing Toyota to react in order to avoid Democratic congressional scrutiny from Detroit. Well, it's going to happen anyway. Guess who is behind it...? Congressman Stupak from Michigan. Duh... don't you smell a rat? The fact is that Detroit vehicles are crap and they can not compete against Toyota and Honda. The only way for them to gain any traction is to attack Toyota and Honda with the hopes of driving customers to the "big" 3. (LOL) It is a joke. If you Google the 10 Worst recalls in history you will find it is dominated by GM and Ford. Recalls are a way of life for them. Isn't it curious that other recalls have NEVER gotten the degree of presss currently being aimed at Toyota from the Obama controlled media? Even when cars were exploding on impact, or spontaneously combusting when the car wasn't even running. Wake up people...the past year should prove to you what this corrupt administration is capable of perpertrating on the American people.

  2. Gravatar for Lucy

    Everyone keeps talking about the sudden acceleration problem and I don't hear anyone talking about the fact that there are "no brakes" as well. This is bigger than just acceleration! It is a two fold problem which is major!

    This is definitely an huge safety concern and I'm positive Obama is going to manipulate in any way he can with his progressive agenda.

  3. Gravatar for Chatty Kathy

    I have 12 inches of snow in my yard, when the weather report called for 4-6. I blame Obama for bad weather reports.

  4. Gravatar for Don

    You miss the point. Mr. Limbaugh exploits every opportunity to bash the President for any reason that he can possibly invent. Limbaugh couldn't care less about Toyota, the automotive industry, gas pedals, safety recalls, customers, dealerships, service departments, mechanics, car mats, or anything else related to cars. He simply wants to bash, bash, bash.

    If Mr. Obama had a BLT sandwich for lunch, we'd hear Limbaugh decrying cruelty to pigs and tomatoes.

  5. Gravatar for James in Indianapolis
    James in Indianapolis

    Rush is right. My knee pain is not from my playing basketball. It is because Obama is not giving me new knee. He should give me NEW KNEES! C'mon, Obama, where are my new knees?

    My wife has the same problem. She desperately needs big boobs. Where are they, Mr. Obama?

    Rush is right on!!

    Wait a minute!

    Rush, you are on Obama's side? You are making millions of dollars out of this!

    How dare you Rush?

    C'mon, you want to fight with me?

    Bring it on!

  6. Gravatar for winknnudge

    Hey Brett,

    I assume you are more of a plaintiff's attorney than a defense attorney. Yes?

  7. Gravatar for Brett Emison

    Hi "winknudge" (if that is your real name),

    I must admit that I do not understand the premise of your assumption (and you know what happens when you assume). Does it matter whether I am a plaintiff's attorney or defense attorney when it comes to safety? Does it matter if I am a democrat or a republican or an independent or tea partier or a conservative or a liberal when it comes to safety?

    We should all be on the same side on this one. Toyota finally admitted it dropped the ball on this one, but only after Toyota tried to cover it up when the news broke that people were dying.

    Toyota has changed its story at least 4 times, and then finally recalled nearly 10 million vehicles worldwide and shut down production. Toyota fixed its problems in Europe while Americans were dying and while it continued to deny the problem here.

    Does it really matter what "side" I'm on when people are dying?

    But, since you asked, I represent real people whose lives have been ruined by tragedy. I help the families of those who have been injured, paralyzed, maimed, burned and killed - not by any fault of their own - but by the fault of others.

    I make sure that those responsible for these injuries bear the resonsiblity for those injuries. I make sure that responsibility is not cast aside so that taxpayers - through Medicare and Medicaid - end up acting as liability insurance for wrongful actors.

    I put my own money and livelihood on the line for my clients. I take the risk and responsibility for giving my clients back just a portion of the life they had stolen from them.

    I am a proud trial lawyer.

    I'm on the side of safety and accountability.

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

  8. Gravatar for Brett Emison

    Annie,

    I'm not sure what you mean by another "John Edwards type lawyer". If you mean an adulterer or a liar, then I can assure you I am not.

    I'm curious as to why you didn't say, "Oh oh -- another Rush Limbaugh, Sr. type lawyer". Or, for that matter, a Steven Limbaugh type lawyer. The Honorable Steven Limbaugh is Rush's cousin. Incidentally, I worked with Judge Limbaugh (now a federal court judge) while he was Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court.

    I am curious as to why you would automatically put a negative spin on a trial lawyer posting safety information about a deadly defect and wanting to help those who have been injured? In this case, Toyota has now recalled more than 10 million vehicles worldwide. Toyota fixed accelerator problems in Europe while Americans were dying.

    If trial lawyers do not fight for the little guy, injured by a powerful corporation, who will?

    Our founders were geniuses - they established a civil jury system that is unequaled in the world. They established a civil justice system where the playing field is meant to be level. A playing field where a farmer from Kansas City or an iron worker from Chicago or a teacher from St. Louis can fight back against a multi-billion dollar corporation that injured him or her because of negligence.

    We should all support our civil justice system. Let's live up to the ideals set forth by our founders. I think they knew what they were doing.

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