Monday, January 20, 2014

From: Beware of Toyota. Their next victim may be you.....

Toyota U.S.A. spends buckets .....

on Gaggles of Attorneys to defend their product and blame YOU, the driver...

Toyota U.S.A. fights kicking and screaming.....


Toyota finally facin' the music

On the heels of a guilty verdict in a sudden unintended acceleration case in Oklahoma, news of an out-of-control Camry, and cops have nixed the notion of driver error. A 2003 Camry took off immediately after the driver - who was parking the vehicle and still had his foot on the brake - heard a loud, metallic bang. The vehicle - which was totalled - crashed through a wall, seriously injuring the driver's wife.

Meanwhile, in another case involving an out-of-control Camry, plaintiffs are being represented by the same law firm that successfully represented the folks in Oklahoma. "Mr. Kitrys’ 2004 Toyota Camry suddenly and without warning surged out of control and he was unable to stop the vehicle. As the uncontrollable Camry approached an intersection and concrete barrier, Mr. Kitrys jumped from the vehicle but received injuries that caused his death."

Let's hope Toyota doesn't "examine" these vehicles unless both sides are present. I remember the case of Koua Fong Lee, wherein Toyota acted like Koua's Camry belonged to them insteada him.

Meanwhile, electrical engineers are speaking out in favor of the Oklahoma verdict, and Shawn Kane of Safety Research and Strategies, Inc. has offered a detailed summary of the trial's technical issues, noting that experts used the term "spaghetti," which is programmer's slang for badly written and badly structured source code. The trial also revealed that back in 2007, even one of Toyota's own programmers had used the term when referring to the engine control application. Mr. Kane testified on Capitol Hill when congress "investigated" Toyota back in 2010.

Previous congressional testimony - especially from victims of sudden unintended acceleration - takes on new meaning in light of the technical disclosures associated with the guilty verdict in Oklahoma. Great time to recall the testimony of Clarence Ditlow, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety. Mr. Ditlow told our illustrious elected officials there was a cover-up, and implicated (gasp) NHTSA. I've maintained from the get go that a corporation that would behave like Toyota has about engine failures in MR2 Spyders simply cannot be trusted. Ditto for a government that lets 'em get away with it.

Amidst the heavy downpour of incriminating technical data from the Oklahoma case, Toyota's NHTSA-congressional whitewash is flakin' off. Toyota is finally facin' the music, which brings to mind a 2010 case of sudden unintended acceleration involving recording artist Kris Kitko. Back then, of course, Toyota was getting away with dumping their design problems on their customers, claiming driver error, even though Toyota's USA president had testified that 70% of sudden unintended acceleration cases couldn't be explained by driver error, floor mats, or sticky gas pedals. Thanks, Oklahoma. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's a hoot seein' the Recall King forced into a runnin'-scared rush to settle hundreds of remaining cases - 'bout 450 of 'em - lest there be further technical revelations, along with the fearsome prospect of juried determinations of punitive damages.

Kris Kitko wrote a song about her experience, punctuated with a video. "Toyota, Where Are Ya?" has an even better ring to it today than it did when she first released it. Talk about victims bein' vindicated when the truth comes out...
Beasley Allen representing family of man killed in Toyota sudden unintended acceleration incident
Lawyers from Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C. who successfully prosecuted the groundbreaking Bookout v. Toyota Motor Corp. (CJ-2008-7969) lawsuit against Toyota for its defective electronic throttle control system have filed a wrongful death complaint in Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County, on behalf of the family of Robert Kitrys, who was killed July 20, 2013. Mr. Kitrys’ 2004 Toyota Camry suddenly and without warning surged out of control and he was unable to stop the vehicle. As the uncontrollable Camry approached an intersection and concrete barrier, Mr. Kitrys jumped from the vehicle but received injuries that caused his death. Beasley Allen lawyer Graham Esdale, along with attorney Don Caminiti with Breslin and Breslin, P.A., in Hackensack, N.J., are representing Mr. Kitrys’ family in this case.

“Mr. Kitrys was only two blocks from his house when the car suddenly surged toward a busy intersection at a major highway and he couldn’t stop it,” Esdale says. “He jumped out of the car but was badly injured and died. It is a very tragic event, and one that could have been prevented had Toyota properly designed its electronic throttle control system that was found to be defective in court. The jurors in Bookout found that Toyota had a reckless disregard for human life. Such recklessness caused Mr. Kitrys’ death.”

Toyota recalled more than 8 million vehicles worldwide in 2009 and 2010 after reports that sudden unintended acceleration resulted in crashes involving serious injury and death. However, Toyota never recalled the 2002 through 2006 model year Camrys. The software problems in a 2005 Camry resulted in a jury verdict against Toyota in the three-week Bookout v. Toyota Motor Corp. trial held in Oklahoma about a month ago. The jury in that case returned a multi-million dollar compensatory damages award and determined that punitive damages were warranted. However, the case was settled before the jurors had a chance to determine the amount of punitive damages to be awarded. The amount of that settlement was confidential.

The jury in the Oklahoma City case also determined that defects in the Camry’s electronic throttle control system (ETCS) were directly responsible for the Camry’s sudden acceleration and resulting crash where the driver was seriously injured and a passenger killed. Toyota has long blamed the problem on faulty floor mats, sticky accelerator pedals and even driver error. But the real problem has been a defective electronic throttle control system. The upcoming case is Kitrys v. Toyota, Docket No. BER-L-9022-13.

And Now for Something Completely Different: Musical Tribute to Toyota Sudden Unintended Acceleration

What do you do when you make your living by guitar and you experience an SUA in your Toyota? You write a song about it, of course. Kris Kitko, a professional musician from Bismarck, North Dakota was in her 2002 low-mileage Camry, heading down Route 83 when her vehicle suddenly accelerated. She had set the cruise control to the 70 mph speed limit, and was traveling for several miles, without touching the accelerator pedal and without incident. Suddenly, she says, “it felt like I was in a rocket — it felt like the pedal hit the floor. I had a passenger in the car and she let out a scream. It made it close to 80 mph pretty quickly. Thankfully, pressing the brake was all it took. As soon as I touched the brakes it stopped.”
Kitko wasn’t sure what to do next, so she pulled over and called her answering machine and left a message explaining what had happened, in case the Camry misbehaved again with more dire consequences.

Kitko’s Internet research persuaded her that a visit to a Toyota dealer probably wouldn’t yield much more than a your-car-is-fine pat on the head, so she took to an independent mechanic. Pat Riepl, of Pro-Tune Plus, used a diagnostic scanner, but pulled no Diagnostic Trouble Codes. Riepl, a technician with 30 years experience, knew that vehicles don’t always set DTC when they experience a failure. So, he did some further diagnostic testing, and found that her accelerator voltages were out of spec – something that should have set a fault code. Then Mr. Riepl explained to us that the signals in Toyota’s fault detection system moved in parallel – instead of crossing, the way that do in other automaker’s systems. Hmmm. Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah. Dr. Dave Gilbert, another old hand under the hood, noticed that very same thing. (Dr. David Gilbert: Toyota Electronic Throttle Control Investigation)
Riepl replaced the accelerator pedal and installed a kill switch on her dash that would bypass the engine computer and cut the fuel supply to the engine, should the Camry ever accelerate unexpectedly again.

But back to Kitko’s song.

“I didn’t know what else to do,” she said. “I thought, I’ll just write a song about it. But I’m not trying to make a buck off this. People have died. I’m treating the song as a news release.”

We thought she had sized up the situation rather nicely. And we strongly believe that this song is going to go down in history as one the great consumer protest songs – right up there with “United Breaks Guitars.”