Toyota “Throttle-Gate”

Toyota “Throttle-Gate”

Posted on February 23 by Phil Edmonston
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Denial, Deception, and Deflection

At today’s congressional hearings, Toyota denied early knowledge of the sudden unintended acceleration problem and rejected allegations that the defect was electronic, preferring to limit the problem to ‘sliding’ floor mats and ‘sticky’ accelerators. “They are into denial to save their skins and their money,” says Edmonston, a former NDP Member of Parliament from Quebec. “If any official admits to prior knowledge of the defect, or electronic causes, they can be personally charged with criminal negligence and forced to recall their vehicles for a third ‘fix’”.

Confidential document

Lemon-Aid has secured a copy of a Toyota bulletin that is a ‘smoking gun’ which shows Toyota’s prior knowledge since 2002 and links the car’s electronics to its runaway cars and trucks. It is attached at the end of this release. This internal service bulletin covers the 2003 Camry, a vehicle not recalled and points out the car can suddenly accelerate because of a faulty computer module. “Will Toyota CEO Akido Toyoda and Toyota Canada Managing Director Stephen Beatty confirm the authenticity of this bulletin and put an end to Toyota’s deception?” Even, if it means a multi-million dollar fine and jail time?” asks Edmonston, a Canadian auto consumer advocate for over 40 years.

Transport Canada caught in the headlights

“Toyota has successfully stonewalled Canadian and American government auto safety auto safety officials over complaints of sudden unintended acceleration, rollovers, and structural rust damage for the past eight years. And then brags about it saving the company over $100 million dollars in secret documents turned over to the U. S. Congress.” “Indeed, money was saved, but how many lives were lost? Toyota’s deception and deflection is no different than the criminally negligent driver who drives drunk or with bald tires or bad brakes, kills or maims the innocent, and then says other drivers are worse.”

What needs to be done following all these inquiries and lawsuits?

Edmonston, author of the Lemon-Aid 2010-11 New Car and Truck Guide, says, “The Toyota and Lexus recalls need to be expanded. CTS Toyota’s throttle manufacturer says that they made the accelerator for Toyota only since 2005, but the sudden accelerator complaints started snowballing in 2002.” Here’s what else Edmonston says should be done:
  • Toyota/Lexus USA officials should be charged with criminal negligence.
  • The maximum NHTSA fine of $16.4 million dollars should be levied.
  • Toyota/Lexus must agree to install brake over-ride devices in all future vehicles.
  • Toyota/Lexus retroactive warrantees should apply for 10 years.
  • Toyota/Lexus must set up a toll-free complaint desk and share its logs.
  • All safety settlement plaintiff gag orders should be lifted. The Minister of Justice should hold public hearings to collect and analyze Toyota’s conduct and the scope of the danger on our soil.
  • Canadian Toyota officials should be charged with criminal negligence, if merited.
  • The Minister of Transport should set up on line a public archive of owner complaints taken by MOT call centre staffers, as is done by the United States NHTSA agency
  • Ministry of Transport and NHTSA officials who failed to act earlier should be fired.

    Phil Edmonston

    Posted by Dundurn Guest on October 30, 2014
    Phil Edmonston photo

    Phil Edmonston

    Phil Edmonston, Canada’s toughest customer, is a former MP and a long-time consumer advocate. For over forty-five years, he has written more than 150 consumer guides in the bestselling Lemon-Aid series. About three decades ago Nissan and Honda sued Phil for five million dollars — and lost.