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Old 03-19-2014, 03:04 PM   #1
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Toyota Fined $1.2B - Crackdown or Shakedown?

The U.S. has reached a $1.2 billion settlement with Toyota Motor Corp., concluding a four-year criminal investigation into the Japanese automaker's disclosure of safety problems focused on whether Toyota was forthright in reporting problems related to unintended acceleration troubles.

Toyota has blamed drivers, stuck accelerators or floor mats that trapped the gas pedal for the acceleration claims that led to the big recalls of Camry's and other vehicles. The company has repeatedly denied its vehicles are flawed.

However, two months ago an Oklahoma jury awarded $3 million in damages to the injured driver of a 2005 Camry and to the family of a passenger who was killed.

The ruling was significant because Toyota had won all previous unintended acceleration cases that went to trial. It was also the first case where attorneys for plaintiffs argued that the car's electronics - in this case the software connected to a midsize Camry's electronic throttle-control system - were the cause of the unintended acceleration.

Jurors said they believed the testimony of an expert who said he found flaws in the car's electronics.

What do you think? Crackdown or shakedown?

U.S., Toyota Reach $1.2 Billion Settlement Over Its Disclosure Of Safety Problems

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Old 03-19-2014, 03:45 PM   #2
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What do you think? Crackdown or shakedown?
Who knows. They lost the case, so that's all that really matters.
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:48 PM   #3
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Absolute Shakedown... [again] if you recall this:

Trans. Sec'y: Don't Drive Recalled Toyotas - YouTube

Hmmm, how much outcry have we heard about the current GM ignition switch recall?
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Old 03-19-2014, 03:56 PM   #4
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Hmmm, how much outcry have we heard about the current GM ignition switch recall?
A lot lately.
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Old 03-19-2014, 04:57 PM   #5
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As for the stuck accerator on the floor mat...I have had that happen too with aftermarket mats. I just stomp the the accerator very quickly...after that I threw the mats away. The average smart person which just turn the ignition switch off and just coast to a stop. As for the defective peddles, haven't heard much on them. Now or GM, I guess the union told them simply...No Donations Guys. Get It.
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:25 PM   #6
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Well this isn't a Don King trial (he pays to send jurors to Hawaii after acquittal). Sounds like Toyota consulted with their attorneys and they told them the potential downside in Court would have been steep given the number of deaths. The Oklahoma jury must have spooked them, if a red state jury were willing to give those hated trial lawyers some money who knows what might have been coming on the horizon.


These cases are extremely difficult to win for a plaintiff. Deep pockets pay for excellent corporate defense lawyers who can have the case tossed before it even reaches a jury. At trial they can pay the smoothest talking expert witnesses that will convince a jury that there's a man on the moon right now. And jury's these days who spend many hours watching courtroom dramas are not easily impressed unless you can demonstrate pretty convincingly that there is something rotten in Tokyo. The deck is stacked very much in favor of the deeper pocket, which is typically the defendant. Statistically you've got a very small probability of success. Unless of course there are "bad documents". And for obvious reasons the gubimint is often better at getting these turned over than a high-powered corporate law firm. Something was up.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:17 PM   #7
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A lot lately.
Really?

The US Transportation Secty has been on TV advising people to not drive any GM and it's been replayed every hour on any conceivable media outlet?

Did 20/20 and 60 minutes have "investigative" reports on this past weekend?

Huh, I must've missed it all...
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:26 PM   #8
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Really?

The US Transportation Secty has been on TV advising people to not drive any GM and it's been replayed every hour on any conceivable media outlet?

Did 20/20 and 60 minutes have "investigative" reports on this past weekend?

Huh, I must've missed it all...
Watch TV every evening. Never heard of any GM recall.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:33 PM   #9
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Really?

The US Transportation Secty has been on TV advising people to not drive any GM and it's been replayed every hour on any conceivable media outlet?

Did 20/20 and 60 minutes have "investigative" reports on this past weekend?

Huh, I must've missed it all...
Read it in the paper today and saw it on NBC news last night. A little more recent issue in the news than the Toyota stuff.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:47 AM   #10
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Didn't NASA, the pinnacle of the world's technology, concluded that there's no evidence that there's electronic malfunction regards to the accelerator?
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:03 AM   #11
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Wait until we see what happens to GM over ignition switches.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:08 AM   #12
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Wait until we see what happens to GM over ignition switches.

Yeah, it'll probably be Toyota's fault - LOL
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:09 AM   #13
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^the government will persecute its own self, the Government Motor!
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:34 AM   #14
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Didn't NASA, the pinnacle of the world's technology, concluded that there's no evidence that there's electronic malfunction regards to the accelerator?
Yes and no. It is correct that NASA did not find any fault with Toyota's electronic control system.

However, Toyota would not allow NASA to have access to the actual code so NASA's analysis was very top level and was generally considered inconclusive from a technical viewpoint.

I am trying to find the background of the analysis which convinced the jury in Oklahoma to agree with the plaintiffs.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:29 AM   #15
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Shakedown. Come back and report when you see when and who cashes the 1.2B$ check.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:39 AM   #16
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you mind provide reference to your statement?
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...

However, Toyota would not allow NASA to have access to the actual code so NASA's analysis was very top level and was generally considered inconclusive from a technical viewpoint.

....
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:05 PM   #17
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you mind provide reference to your statement?
Yes, I'll try to find it...
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:08 PM   #18
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I am trying to find the background of the analysis which convinced the jury in Oklahoma to agree with the plaintiffs.
Last month, Toyota hastily settled an Unintended Acceleration lawsuit – hours after an Oklahoma jury determined that the automaker acted with “reckless disregard,” and delivered a $3 million verdict to the plaintiffs – but before the jury could determine punitive damages.

What did the jury hear that constituted such a gross neglect of Toyota’s due care obligations? The testimony of two plaintiff’s experts in software design and the design process gives some eye-popping clues. After reviewing Toyota’s software engineering process and the source code for the 2005 Toyota Camry, both concluded that the system was defective and dangerous, riddled with bugs and gaps in its failsafes that led to the root cause of the crash.

Bookout and Schwarz v. Toyota emanated from a September 2007 UA event that caused a fatal crash. Jean Bookout and her friend and passenger Barbara Schwarz were exiting Interstate Highway 69 in Oklahoma, when she lost throttle control of her 2005 Camry. When the service brakes would not stop her speeding sedan, she threw the parking brake, leaving a 150-foot skid mark from right rear tire, and a 25-foot skid mark from the left. The Camry, however, continued speeding down the ramp and across the road at the bottom, crashing into an embankment. Schwarz died of her injuries; Bookout spent five months recovering from head and back injuries.

Attorney Graham Esdale, of Beasley Allen, who represented the plaintiffs is the first to say that the Bookout verdict – in some measure – rested on those two black skid marks scoring the off- ramp.

“Toyota just couldn’t explain those away,” Esdale said. “The skid marks showed that she was braking.”

One of the outside software experts testified:

There are a large number of functions that are overly complex. By the standard industry metrics some of them are untestable, meaning that it is so complicated a recipe that there is no way to develop a reliable test suite or test methodology to test all the possible things that can happen in it.

Some of them are even so complex that they are what is called unmaintainable, which means that if you go in to fix a bug or to make a change, you’re likely to create a new bug in the process.

Just because your car has the latest version of the firmware — that is what we call embedded software — doesn’t mean it is safer necessarily than the older one….And that conclusion is that the failsafes are inadequate. The failsafes that they have contain defects or gaps. But on the whole, the safety architecture is a house of cards. It is possible for a large percentage of the failsafes to be disabled at the same time that the throttle control is lost.

Even a Toyota programmer described the engine control application as “spaghetti-like” in an October 2007 document Barr read into his testimony.

http://www.safetyresearch.net/2013/11/07/toyota-unintended-acceleration-and-the-big-bowl-of-spaghetti-code/
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:27 AM   #19
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^ Before punitive damages? Yikes.. reading that link they would have gotten hammered in punitive damages hearing. It is rife with protocols that weren't followed, quality control that was never done, all intentionally. One famous trial lawyer in Atlanta, Jim Butler, managed to win two $100 million verdicts against separate auto companies. I think he wheeled in one severely burned victim in front of the jury on a wheel chair.
That particular trial lawyer in another infamous trial managed to have the Supreme Court uphold a $700 million verdict (punitive plus interest) and this was over some very shady business dealing between a private equity fund and one of its corporate partners... the biggest award paid in full by defendant ever. The rationale was that a defendant with assets in the billions had to be pay punitive damages at a level that would deter them them from intentional monkey business. And no one actually died in that case... Very wise for Toyota to settle here.

Question is.... have all those cars been fixed since that death? I'd be taking those exit ramps real slow if I'm driving a Toyota.
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Old 03-21-2014, 11:46 AM   #20
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you mind provide reference to your statement?
From Appendix A, Software, of the formal NHTSA report:

In order to support the confidentiality of the 2005 Camry source code, the software was maintained within offices controlled by Toyota. The software teams traveled to these offices from NASA for study of the source code and Toyota documentation.

As noted, the NASA engineers performed the study on Toyota premises within an access controlled area. The NASA Software team/NHTSA/DOT had agreed not to remove Toyota intellectual property from this location, most notably software source code and design documents.

The focus in analyzing the Camry05 source code has been on a thorough static source code analysis of the ECM to find possible coding defects and potential vulnerabilities in the code.


Static analysis of source code is almost irrelevant in terms of finding deep logic errors. This is the equivalent of making sure that the code will compile and not much more.

Without full access to both the source and executable code in NASA labs and simulations, NASA's hands were tied behind their back and they never had a chance to truly evaluate the ECU software for hidden errors.

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