Toyota Challenges CNN Report on Sudden Unintended Acceleration


Lexus CNN Report

A sensationalist news story from CNN about sudden unintended acceleration in a Lexus pre-production test vehicle has been condemned by the automaker, who have called the report “grossly inaccurate” and a “worn-out fabrication.”

Citing a confidential engineering document written in Japanese, CNN ran a segment on Anderson Cooper 360 that tests of a Lexus LS 460 prototype revealed electronic software issues that resulted in “sudden unintended acceleration”, and suggested that Toyota held back this document from NHTSA & NASA investigators during their investigations.

Needless to say, Toyota was not amused with these accusations, here’s some quote from their public response:

Exhaustive investigations undertaken by some of the most respected engineers and scientific institutions in America – including NASA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Academy of Sciences – have thoroughly debunked this worn-out fabrication. Yet a group of trial lawyers suing Toyota for money and their paid advocates are continuing their efforts to manufacture controversy where none exists and have used CNN to support their narrow, self-serving agenda.

This [prototype] test, intentionally designed to artificially simulate a failed accelerator pedal sensor, demonstrated that Toyota’s electronics and fail-safes worked exactly designed within milliseconds to prevent the vehicle from accelerating. Contrary to CNN’s allegation, no “sudden unintended acceleration” occurred nor is it referenced in the Japanese language document. It was for this very reason that Toyota did not provide this document to the NHTSA in the course of its exhaustive analysis of Toyota’s electronics.

Importantly, the Japanese language document describes a condition intentionally induced during prototype testing of the ACC that has never existed in any vehicle ever produced or sold by Toyota anywhere in the world.

That CNN would use prototype testing as proof of problems with production models is beyond ridiculous, as was their interview with Lexus ES 350 owner Tanya Spotts, who claimed her car surged forward and caused her to hit a wall while parking — here’s what Toyota had to say about the Spotts incident:

In its broadcast, CNN also highlights unverified customer complaints to the NHTSA and includes reference to at least one expert paid for by lawyers suing Toyota.

With respect to the complaint by Tanya Spotts involving a low-speed parking incident, the vehicle’s Event Data Recorder conclusively demonstrates that the driver was on and off of the accelerator pedal in the seconds before impact and did not apply the brake pedal until approximately 0.4 seconds prior to impact, while travelling at 9 MPH. This data is entirely consistent with pedal misapplication.

So it’s now journalism to ignore real data and instead rely on statements from someone with a financial incentive to misrepresent the truth?

Honestly, I have no idea how this CNN report passed editorial inspection — just plain embarrassing.

View the CNN Report

Read Toyota’s Response

Comments


  • http://www.facebook.com/LexusandThePursuit WorldofLuxury

    sigh lady… It’s about time to start using your age as an excuse for everything, ma’am.

  • http://twitter.com/CruxFiveTen Crux

    Anderson Cooper, is running out of sh*t to say. This is just ridiculous & I’m thinking about filing a lawsuit just for the heck of it. #sensationalism 

  • http://twitter.com/_CyCo Winston Williams

    So Toyota/Lexus dominates Consumer Satisfaction Reports and this pops up again, I smell conspiracy again. Wonder if the tsunami started in Detroit :). 

  • http://twitter.com/BlackDynamiteNY BlackDynamiteOnline

    CNN will print any press release you send them. ESPN has gotten the same way.

    They’ve gotten so big, they need x amount of soap opera gossip, just to feed their channels on a daily basis……
    BD

  • http://www.facebook.com/LexusandThePursuit WorldofLuxury

    Your filing of such a lawsuit would be more legitimate than most lawsuits being filed in the US today!

  • Sebastien Kroetsch

    I’d really love to see real journalists with balls write about how CNN tried to screw Toyota over and over again during that huge media scam.

    Great article KREW!

  • guest

    Journalism is dead… sensationalism is alive.  + id like to punch that lady in the face so she can sue me.

  • Shane From Australia

    att : Winston – As Toyota and Lexus rebounds from the SUA & multiple-recall saga, so will it’s agressive competitive edge against the Detroit3 resulting in an increase in market share ofwhich some will not like . With this – sadly – will probably come an increase in conspiracy theory’s aswell. My opinion … Toyota shold grow a set of balls and start legal action against media organisations whom misrepresent the truth.

  • BOSS

    I always hated that tool Anderson Cooper, from this stupid face to his voice and show.

  • jonathan

    At LEAST stop buying advertising time from them.

  • Mike DeLorca

    Sad that this can make CNN news after all that Toyota/Lexus went through in the past…..just shows the greed and fraudulent litigation that occurs in America…..everyone wants a peice of Toyotas’ very deep pockets and reputation. Smear so that the other automakers can steel market share as they have already.

  • emptystreets130

    No offense to anyone but people are just stupid. I mean, how come this is only happening in the US and not in other countries. It’s beyond me.

    Like someone said before Journalism is dead. All they do is dig up dirty and don’t do any real research before they put crap like this out. A true Jornalist would find supporting facts and go in depth before it gets out to the public. All CNN had was google translate, bing translate and probably someone who is learning Japanese to read Toyota’s research in active cruise control.

  • emptystreets130

    I say that we email Anderson Cooper or CNN to explain why they use a pre-production vehicle for this story? I was looking at the comments made by those people who posted on CNN and they agree that this was very unprofessional of CNN.

    http://edition.cnn.com/feedback/

  • RAL

    On my ES, one has to hardly touch the gear selector to shift into neutral.  Maybe I’m showing my ignorance, but how can the car continue to accelerate if you shift the transmission into neutral?  Can there really be anything to all the episodes of out-of-control cars?  Can all the sophisticated tests be wrong?  Toyota did what they had no choice but to do.  But besides the reworking of electronics, all the recall accomplished was exchanging our good all-weather floor mats with thin cheap replacements and chopping off our accelerator pedals.  And then there is the question of CNN’s credibility . . . Can anyone say they’ve ever been directly involved with the press without distortion? . . . not in my limited experience.  Good journalism is probably very rare.  

  • Infraboy

    It was quite onbvious from the very begenning that this entire thing was a setup joint venture with GM, Ford and the American Media to tarnish the Japanese Auto industry..

    And despiet what you may think it actually did achieve success, Toyota is no longer the top selling brand in USA..

  • Anonymous

    No unintended acceleration. just super high idle speeds. my old SC400 went 15mpg idle coasting speed. During my ownership, my right calf muscle was an inch karger than my left.  no official way to adjust this at the Lexus dealership.  it was “normal”.   if I did not clamp down on the brakes, the car would leap forward

  • emptystreets130

    I notice that on a lot of older Lexus. I was test driving a LS 400 and boy, it just jumps out when you put it into drive. I’m pretty sure there is an IAC valve that you can adjust. It was like that on my ’85 Cressida. Toyota just put a rubber cover over the adjustment screw.

  • Anonymous

    Actually I was really disappointed by this story.  I was even more disappointed when I tried to post my informed opinion about the quality of the translations on CNN and they put my post in endless moderation never to be revealed to the CNN audience.  

    My background is Phd Engineering and fluent Japanese.  To be honest, the translations are very direct literal translations, some bits good some bits bad; it would be normal for an inexperienced person to write such translations if they did not discuss with the original technical author of the document.  As an outcome of such an approach, CNN appear to have ignored the context of the document and made it into a international news article that misleads people.  All this despite Toyota trying to explain to them.  If this were part of an internal CNN investigative process that would be different, but to make it international news before the facts are established is very wrong in my opinion.  At the same time as blocking my comment, CNN allowed the same unproven dogmatic and anecdotal “my Lexus bit me on the backside” like comments from anyone…  “My husbands an engineer and he says blah blah.”  He may well be, but how about we discuss these translations and these specific allegations?CNN are not only reporting news in a haphazard reckless and potentially biased fashion, unless there was a glitch with my browser they are also moderating their forums to give a biased and non-factual discussion.  If the US government and automakers want to protect their industry then fair enough, Japan is hardly an open field for foreign makers.  But for a news organization to be truly international as CNN aspires to be, then it should in my opinion be more fair and responsible.  If this is how they treat Toyota, I shudder to think what other misleading antics they are up to.

  • http://translators.blog65.fc2.com/ Shunichi Nagae

    I agree with what Mr. OneMoreCoffee says about the translations. I am not an engineer (meaning I am not qualified to understand the technical issue discussed in the referenced engineering document fully), but I am a Japanese and a translator, meaning I have an ordinary level of comprehension ability understanding the source document and have the professional level of competency comparing documents in two different languages. The fact that these translations are used for news report by such an esteemed international broadcaster is beyond my comprehension. Isn’t there any responsible news editor at CNN who makes sure of the integrity of their news source?

    There is one phrase which is quite important to understand the whole text, which says in my humble English:
     
    Full speed range ACC activated by itself 
    (For the benefit of the readers, I understand that full speed range ACC is one type of cruise control which is not introduced in US market by Toyota, so some of you may not be familiar with the name of this component.)
     
    According to the translations provided at CNN (According to CNN explanations, only translation 1 and translation 2 were commissioned by CNN), this phrase is translated as follows: 
    Translation 1:the cruise control activates by itself at full throttleTranslation 2:sudden unintended acceleration due to wrong judgment made by the full speed range Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) SystemTranslation 3:the accelerator malfunction that caused the vehicle to accelerate on its own

    Translation 1 seems close to mine, but for “at full throttle”. Translation 2 and 3 introduced two new ideas; “sudden unintended acceleration” and “caused the vehicle to accelerate”.  
    Not only are these CNN translations mired with various levels of interpretations (rather than to be faithful to the original text) of what is written, but also do they vary among themselves. If they are correct translations of the same one phrase, they are supposed to convey exactly the same meaning also in English in all three translations. But they are not. This alone should be enough to provide prudent CNN editors with a “smoking gun” so to speak. at full throttle? sudden unintended acceleration? accelerator malfunction causing the vehicle to accelerate on its own? Which one is true? One core message common among these three translations is to give readers an impression that the vehicle experienced a sudden unintended “acceleration”, which was a key message conveyed by the broadcaster. 

    Well, somehow I don’t see it in the original Japanese document. In Japanese “accelerate” is “kasoku” and there is NONE of that word used in the original.

    Shunichi Nagae

    (Disclaimer: I wrote this voluntarily with no obligations at no pay. Therefore, the content may or may not include wrong information. I will not bear any liability if information I offered turned out, unintentionally, to be untrue. If any reader is offended or feels unhappy, I am ready to delete any offending part according to any reasonable request.) 
      

       

  • Shunichi Nagae

    Sorry, correction: Should read as follows:According to the translations provided at CNN (According to CNN explanations, only translation 2 and translation 3 were commissioned by CNN)

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    I believe this Toyota sudden unintended acceleration scenario is pretty predictable at this point. Toyota’s agenda will be to show the following:

    1) Driver “pedal misapplication”–Toyota will cite the EDR which has inconsistent, incomplete, and often inaccurate data (See document link above: Dr. Antony Anderson). Drivers are wrongfully incriminated when they are told that they did not use their brakes based on inaccurate EDR information.

    2) Driver floored the accelerator–Toyota will try to show a “panic situation” with no evidence to support.

    3) Durango owner’s fault–Toyota will look to blame someone else if the above items do not work.

    4) Mechanical failure–Toyota will concede to mechanical failure if it has to but it will blame the owner for not following through with the recall procedures. This might include either floor mats or accelerator pedal assembly.

    5) What Toyota will NOT do is to concede that an ELECTRONIC failure has occurred. This could be caused by a number of failures/faults. It could be related to a sudden change in voltage before or after the hit from the Durango (Dr. Ron Belt). It could be from a case of “tin whiskers” which causes an electrical short (Dr. Henning Liedecker). It could be from an ETCS-i software glitch (Michael Barr’s findings Bookout V. Toyota). It could be related to a cruise control fault (Dr. Antony Anderson).

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    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 fail-safes. 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 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.

    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.

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    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, Parris went for assistance. What he faced was an unresponsive, stonewalling company in 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!

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    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.

    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.

  • emptystreets130

    You know what? Why don’t you blast Volvo for a lost of acceleration due to a defective ETM that Volvo never recalled or blast Audi for their UIA. Why don’t you also blast GM for not recalling all those defective ignition switch.

    Or why don’t you blast all those people who doesn’t know how to operated a vehicle? The brakes will always out power acceleration. Don’t believe me on that? Go look up some burnouts on youtube. Or why can’t they just throw the car in neutral? The last thing you want to do is panic in a situation like this. You know what should be require? A professional driving course that can teach you how to deal with situation like UIA.

    Another thing is why is the US the only place where UIA is happening? You don’t see reports around the world about this.

    And why bring up a 2 year old story when we know you’re going to copy and paste your previous post. I’m not going to ask the site’s creator to block your IP address from posting. Everyone has the freedom to voice their opinions.

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    Brakes can ALWAYS overpower the engine?
    http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2010/03/video-consumer-reports-demonstrates-how-brake-override-stops-runaway-cars-toyota-test.html
    (5:56 min video – note stopping distances and pedal pressure required – IF – the brakes are never pumped even once.)
    ——–
    Where is the EDAC RAM Toyota indicated was in their ETCS-I system; which caused NASA NOT TO LOOK for additional areas of potential failure?
    http://www.edn.com/designlautomotive/4423428/Toyota-s-killer-firmware–Bad-design-and-its-consequences
    ——
    Only a U.S. problem?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTPSfBlM6KQ
    (KBS News in Korean – 1:34 min video)
    ——–
    Explain WHY Toyota and Lexus have some of the highest, if not the highest, normalized complaint
    rates of SUA? Provide the ETCS-I system design documentation regarding the incorporation of fail-safe
    design principles from the initiation of its development effort – similar to that contained in the second
    item and link below.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/15/AR2010031501693.html
    http://www.carprogrammer.com/z28/pcm/FAQ/Delphi_Drive_by_wire_2000-01-0556.pdf
    [see text bottom left and upper right-hand side of page 6 (cursor page 8 of 13)]

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    Video: Consumer Reports demonstrates how “brake override” stops runaway cars
    Mar 23, 2010 8:28 PM
    http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2010/03/video-consumer-reports-demonstrates-how-brake-override-stops-runaway-cars-toyota-test.html
    (5:56 min video – note stopping distances and pedal pressure required)
    (140 feet to 513 feet – 3.66 times larger)

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    Toyota’s killer firmware: Bad design and its consequences
    Michael Dunn – October 28, 2013
    http://www.edn.com/designlautomotive/4423428/Toyota-s-killer-firmware–Bad-design-and-its-consequences

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    Not just in the U.S.

    Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration Feb 24, 2014
    Published on Feb 26, 2014
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTPSfBlM6KQ
    (KBS News in Korean – 1:34 min video)

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    No easy answer for the Toyota problem
    By Jeremy Anwyl Tuesday, March 16, 2010
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/15/AR2010031501693.html
    (see included comparison chart)
    ——————————————
    SAE TECHNICAL PAPER SERIES 2000-01-0556
    http://www.carprogrammer.com/z28/pcm/FAQ/Delphi_Drive_by_wire_2000-01-0556.pdf
    [see text on the bottom left-hand side and upper right-hand side of the document on page 6 (cursor page 8 of 13)]
    [Delphi designed their ETCS to near aerospace industry (higher criticality) standards – while all the manufacturers – and especially Toyota?]
    (Are there similar SAE ETCS system design papers for Toyota, Ford, and the other ETCS systems?)

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    Hope one CAN shift their Prius into neutral with its completely electronically controlled transmission.

  • emptystreets130

    Umm. Do a little more research. All the shifters in newer cars are Electronic.

  • emptystreets130

    Where’s more proof?

  • emptystreets130

    Technology doesn’t solve stupid drivers.

  • emptystreets130

    Oh, did I provoke you? This is going to be fun.

  • emptystreets130

    And Consumer Reports is the worst at reporting things. They don’t even know how to drive properly, let alone knows cars.

  • emptystreets130

    So the braking part. Even with a brake override system the car is still trying to slow down. I’m betting you don’t even know how a brake override system works.

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    Terror in runaway Lexus–It wasn’t the
    floor mat; reported in 2010 to Toyota’s
    highest quality control exec Yokoyama
    http://betsybenjaminson.blogspot.com/2014/06/terror-in-runaway-lexus-it-wasnt-floor.html

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    I’m betting your real name won’t be publicly displayed and that you won’t come forward to publicly debate this serious issue.

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    Ask the site’s creator to block me? For what? I’m not surprised because Toyota reputation management companies have been trying to shut down the truth-seekers for quite some time. Bury the real Toyota and Lexus ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration…that’s the goal. The corporation has NHTSA and the media on its side. Those corporate advertising dollars make Toyota quite the BULLY. I’ve learned that the corporate staff also use heavy corporate coercion techniques to make the SUA victims accept blame where none is due. One victim, Tanya Spotts (a popular realtor in Leesburg, VA) said a team of corporate folks at Toyota flew out to see her to attempt to convince her that she was at fault. This Lexus owner knew better than to drink the Toyota poison. You see, this isn’t a problem of “pedal misapplication” or elderly drivers. It certainly isn’t about floor mats.

    I’ve got plenty of stories to tell about what it takes to get the truth out. Read Automotive News article from May 13, 2002 entitled “Charlene’s Web.” There’s a lot more to tell than is in the article. Toyota anonymous pro-corporate posters stalked me as I attempted to network with ENGINE OIL SLUDGE victims all over the country. A major complaint site went down in 2004 just when Toyota was #1 in complaints there! There were over 10,000 complaints and many were concentrated on the thick, black goo that was destroying the insides of their Toyota and Lexus engines at low mileage and in the presence of maintenance according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

    What did Toyota do? It came out with a mantra via Mike Michels and John Hanson that stated, “We are unaware of a SINGLE case of engine oil sludge in a properly-maintained Toyota or Lexus.” It repeated this mantra just as much as it repeats the claim that there is no electronic cause for sudden unintended acceleration in any of its vehicles. They were very much aware as thousands of Toyota and Lexus owners TOLD THEM formally in letters and emails. Toyota even had a “Engine Oil Sludge Policy” link on its own TFS website. When I exposed it online, the TFS site removed the link within 48 hours!! Talk about worried the truth would get out!

  • emptystreets130

    You want to see me in court, you’re paying. This is going to be fun fun fun Charlene. You still haven’t answer my question. Do you know how a Brake override system works? If so, explain it in your own term without asking this dude you keep referring for reference.

  • emptystreets130

    Oh look GM the killer ignition switch where you lose control of braking and steering. Bad design and its consequences.

  • emptystreets130

    For trolling and bring this topic from the dead. This happen almost 2-3 years ago. The consumer isn’t buying this crap and it hasn’t hurt Toyota/Lexus/Scions sales. There are no more incident in the US that I’m aware of (As of the beginning of 2014.)

    All hype up just to get people to buy the big 3. Like how Gangnam Style was a huge hit for half a year and disappear thereafter.

  • emptystreets130

    Really a blog? If you show this is any professor or any corp person at any company this isn’t a valid source of information. A quick Google did not bring up any information from any media outlet about Keiichi Fukushima.

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    Toyota and Lexus are #1 in cases of sudden unintended acceleration and FORD is #2. The current unintended acceleration plaguing newer vehicles is the electronically-induced type. The engine throttle control systems depend on computer software to command them. Sometimes glitches occur…like in some of your other electronic devices…which can cause the command to be different than what you desire. The evidence of the glitch is often undetectable after the vehicle is restarted. Unfortunately, the EDR (black box) is not always accurate as shown by expert Dr. Antony Anderson in his analysis of a 2012 Toyota Highlander. The EDR results indicated the driver was not braking when she was doing so. The EDR results are inconsistent.

    The key to avoiding a horrific crash during a SUA event is whether or not the vehicle has an effective fail-safe in the event a glitch occurs. If it does not, as in the case of the glitch-prone Toyota ETCS-i, then the vehicle may become a runaway with an ineffective means to stop it. Unfortunately, the safety standards aren’t as strict in automobiles as they are in airplanes. Some manufacturers have more effective fail-safes than others. In the case of Toyota, an embedded software expert, Michael Barr (see Oklahoma Bookout vs. Toyota court case involving a 2005 Camry) found that an electronic glitch could induce a SUA event. Another expert, Dr. Henning Leidecker, found that a SUA event could also be triggered by “tin whisker” formation, particularly in 2002-2006 Toyota Camry vehicles.

    SUA events have been DEADLY for vehicle occupants as well as pedestrians and people in storefronts, buildings, and even homes. The numbers of such crashes are ever-increasing with the advent of the very complex ELECTRONIC throttle control systems.

    With the increase in such serious vehicle crashes, there is a concerted effort to show driver “pedal misapplication” or a “medical condition” or some other reason for the incident…anything other than a vehicle defect. Investigators aren’t scrutinizing the buggy electronic throttle control software or other conditions that can elicit a terrifying sudden unintended acceleration incident. They usually just examine the *mechanical* causes which tend to be just red herrings in these cases. Investigators simply don’t have the expertise to find such electronic glitches. In fact, the staff at the NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, do not have this very specialized training!

    Think of it…the next step in electronically-controlled vehicles seems to be so-called “self-driving cars.” Do YOU want to be in a such a vehicle when there is no evidence that strict safety standards, particularly in the throttle control system’s software, have been adhered to? Will you just BLINDLY trust the automaker (criminally-investigated and nearly-prosecuted Toyota and soon-to-be GM and others?) to come through for you and your family’s safety *on its own*?

    A recently published Huffington Post article by Jonathan Handel,
    How Do We Know Driverless Cars Are Safe? Google Says ‘Trust Us’
    Posted: 07/01/2014 7:23 pm EDT Updated: 07/02/2014 1:48 pm EDT speaks to these very issues and poses tough questions about Google’s “driverless” vehicles. Educate yourself carefully before you put your faith in automakers who have knowingly lied to their customers and the government for decades. Study the issue of vehicle electronic sudden unintended acceleration and ask WHY we aren’t seeing it addressed publicly. WHY is blame placed on the driver with little more than speculation about which pedal was used or with little more than an assumption on medical condition. This is being done *even when the drivers steadfastly cite a VEHICLE PROBLEM as the cause of the crash. Absence of proof is not proof of absence of a serious ELECTRONIC computer glitch or other electronically-caused SUA.

    Charlene Blake

  • Charlene McCarthy Blake

    GM and Toyota are cut from the same cloth! Bob Hilliard along with Trudy Baltazar and others were instrumental in freeing imprisoned Koua Fong Lee, Toyota owner whose Camry suddenly accelerated and crashed, killing several members of one family. Koua Fong Lee served four years of his eight year sentence after he was wrongfully convicted. He missed the birth of one of his children. He is so honest that he refused to cut a deal by admitting fault.

    Toyota did NOTHING. Unfortunately, Koua Fong Lee is far from alone. An embedded software expert. Michael Barr, has found the ECTS-i in Toyota and Lexus vehicles has poorly designed software and glitches can lead to an ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration with an ineffective fail-safe. Translation: a runaway Toyota with ineffective brakes. Problem? Mr. Barr’s 300-page report is court-sealed. It was a big part of the Oklahoma Bookout vs. Toyota SUA case won by the 2005 Toyota Camry owner.

    Toyota and Lexus vehicles continue to violently accelerate from parking lots and stopped positions and crash into storefronts, buildings, and homes where deaths have resulted. Jail time has been served. Lives have been forever changed. Vehicle owners continue to complain to Toyota but Toyota says the vehicles are fine…no traceable problem found. BUT…does Toyota know the truth and is it keeping it secret?

    No public corporate response has been given to Toyota whistleblower and translator, Betsy Benjaminson’s publicly-disclosed Toyota internal documents which show evidence that Toyota knows what’s happening. However, Toyota is currently attempting to stop Betsy’s actions behind-the-scenes via legal motions. Is Toyota more customer-responsive as promised or more public information-suppressive as historically-demonstrated?

    It seems that Mary Barra may follow in Toyota CEO, James Lentz’s footsteps. Denial is so much easier. Blaming the vehicle owners is more lucrative and less damaging to the self-lauded public image, after all. What the public doesn’t know can’t hurt it…or can it?

    As we’ve seen with both GM and Toyota, the vehicle owners and their families have to become vocal and organize in order to be heard by the automaker. Even then, the automakers dance around the issues and choose words carefully in order to escape full responsibility. What’s wrong with this picture? Why isn’t NHTSA protecting the vehicle owners instead of the automakers?

    The system is severely broken and needs repair. It will take public outrage about the lack of safety standards in vehicles before change is impacted. Unfortunately, the public is in the dark thanks to the automakers and the beholden media. Couple this with an in-the-back-pocket government regulatory agency and you’ve got a runaway train, right? Add Reputation Management Companies and on-line suppression of vehicle owner complaints and dialogue and you’ve got criminal culpability, don’t you?

    Until the fix is in effect, vehicle owners are the “test pilots.” Driving these vehicles with unsafe parts and poorly designed software is like playing Russian roulette, isn’t it?

    Charlene Blake

  • disqus_oJp8Vkk4DJ

    Clearly, you don’t realize that this article is more than 2 YEARS OLD! Nobody reads your garbage/lies anyway…

  • http://toyotaownersuniteforresolutiononline.blogspot.com Charlene McCarthy Blake

    Apparently, sudden unintended acceleration victims and other consumer advocates do:) Seems to be a fair number of Toyota owners with major vehicle problems who do, too.

  • disqus_opJ5VKk8FJ

    Are they imaginary problems like the ones you believe in?

  • Azar Hadi

    Here I am a real victim of sudden unintended acceleration

    Sudden Unintended Acceleration is real, it happened to me in 2005. I had purchased a
    brand new 2004 ES 330 Lexus while sitting at the red light my car took off like
    a rocket going through the red light. By the time I realized what was happening
    my car was going over 100 miles an hour and I realized that I did not have brake and I
    could hear the accelerator revving. All I was able to do hold on to the wheel trying to avoid hitting anyone. All I could think that my car was going to kill people. I was so fortunate that no one was kill and what eventually happen I end up on the other side of the street hitting a SUV head on totaling both cars. The dashboard fell on my legs and crushed both legs severely. The SUV driver had some minor damages. As the result of my Lexus suddenly accelerating, I have had 24 surgeries and more in future. My left leg will have to be amputated above the knee since surgery can not do any good anymore and my right ankle will have to be fused since I am in sever pain. I hope Toyota stops the lies and fix those cars rather than blaming the elderly, teens, medical issues or anything else Toyota can come up with…

    Azar Hadi Brannan

  • Azar Hadi

    It is not imaginary is very real!! I am a real case of sudden unintended acceleration.. Toyota an Admitted Crook!! Lying, deceiving, wrongdoing, covering up..paid over $5 billion so far and more lawsuits going through mediation as we speak..More trials coming up

  • Azar Hadi

    Real deep conversations you thugs have here.

  • disqus_opJ5VKk8FJ

    Did it happen in your homeland of DurkaDurkastan?

  • disqus_opJ5VKk8FJ

    Speaking of lying and deceiving, why don’t you prove what you say with the report from the engineer that examined your car? Or is there one?