Toyota’s boss: Gee, we sure are sorry

Akio Toyoda

Akio Toyoda, the chief executive officer of Japanese auto giant Toyota, says he sure is sorry his company rushed cars into production with safety defects that kill and maim people.

Turns out it was all about getting bigger and richer but not better.

“We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization,” Toyoda will tell a Congressional Committee today. “I regret that this has resulted in the safety issues described in the recalls we face today, and I am deeply sorry for any accidents that Toyota drivers have experienced.”

Apologies won’t cut it with Congress but Toyoda’s admission of guilt will be a rare sight on Capitol Hill where hearings usually showcase buck-passing and blame games.

Toyota has recalled 8.5 million cars and halted production of problem-prone models. At least 37 people have died in 29 accidents attributed to sticking accelerators.

Toyota’s U.S. president, James Lentz, hasn’t helped the situation by claiming “we are confident that no problems exist with the electronic throttle-control system in our vehicles” but then acknowledging “it has taken too long to come to grips with a rare but serious set of safety issues.”

Lentz also claimed Toyota fixed the problem then admitted in Congressional testimony that he was “not totally certain” the fix would work.

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22 Responses to "Toyota’s boss: Gee, we sure are sorry"

  1. Keith  February 24, 2010 at 9:35 am

    This whole issue doesn’t pass the “smell test”.

    Clearly, Toyota is being made a scapegoat by the US Government to drive new car sales toward “Government Motors” (GM) and Chrysler..both of which are now owned by (yep, you guessed it!) The US GOVERNMENT.

    What’s more, what none of our pious Congresspersons (or the media) seems to want to discuss is the fact that, over the years, the “big three” Detroit automakers have had SCORES of worldwide safety recalls (that have killed THOUSANDS of people) in THEIR vehicles. As I recall, this is one of the first (if not THE first) issue for Toyota.

    And other Japanese cars aren’t immune, either. I’ve had numerous similar issues with my 2001 Honda Civic, one to completely rebuild the manual transmission (it kept popping out of gear at high speed), one to fix the seat belt tensioner, and one to fix the driver’s side air bag inflator (which apparently had a nasty habit of going off in people’s faces in some cars for no apparent reason).

    Funny, but we never heard a PEEP from the media or our Congresspersons over any of THOSE issues, now did we?

    The bottom line here is that NONE of the auto manufacturers (US or foreign) are immune from these things. And while it is truly sad that a handful of people have been killed as a result of Toyota’s latest problem, the number of people killed versus the number of otherwise safe vehicles Toyota has manufactured over the last 50 or so years PALES in comparison to the safety record of some of the horrifically engineered junk that has come out of Detroit over that same period of time.

    These Congressional hearings are nothing but a political witch hunt designed to trick the American public into believing our Congresspersons are actually “doing something” for their constituents for a change.

    They aren’t.

  2. dave  February 24, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I think it is an over-simplification to asess this as a witch hunt. It has gone on too long. The D3 have had thier day in the public spotlight, the respose to which they are improving thier quality and reliability. What it boils down to is if a company is deserving of public scrutiny, then let it be so regardless of whether it be domestic or foreign.

    Would we assume that because it is Toyota, you would support suppressing news about thier defects?

  3. Not keith  February 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

    >>This whole issue doesn’t pass the “smell test”.
    It does for me

    >>Clearly, Toyota is being made a scapegoat by the US Government to drive new car sales toward “Government Motors” (GM) and Chrysler..both of which are now owned by (yep, you guessed it!) The US GOVERNMENT.
    The bailout of the US government is irrelevant and is distracting people from even taking five minutes to research what the reality is- that Toyota had numerous complaints of SUA when mats were not present in the car and they insisted it was the only cause, that they found out about the pedals being defective in March of 2009, that they “negotiated a limited equipment recall, saved $100M” (see internal Toyota documents released as part of a subpoena.
    Toyota also used former NHTSA workers that they employed to lobby to get investigations quashed. The real failure is not only Toyota’s, but over a decade of ineptitude at the NHTSA.

    So nice conspiracy theory, but it’s clearly wron

    >>What’s more, what none of our pious Congresspersons (or the media) seems to want to discuss is the fact that, over the years, the “big three” Detroit automakers have had SCORES of worldwide safety recalls (that have killed THOUSANDS of people) in THEIR vehicles. As I recall, this is one of the first (if not THE first) issue for Toyota.
    Everyone’s had recalls. Look at Toyota’s pressroom. They had plenty before this.

    SUA complaints are serious enough, but Toyota’s protraction of the recalls- whether it is some deep flaw in company culture/procedure, intentional & malicious (as Dimitrios Biller, Toyota’s national counsel from 2003-2007, claims- he just handed over 6000 documents to congress in a subpoena that overrode an injunction that Toyota got against him).

    >>And other Japanese cars aren’t immune, either. I’ve had numerous similar issues with my 2001 Honda Civic, one to completely rebuild the manual transmission (it kept popping out of gear at high speed), one to fix the seat belt tensioner, and one to fix the driver’s side air bag inflator (which apparently had a nasty habit of going off in people’s faces in some cars for no apparent reason).

    I doubt anyone has ever claimed that. The serious issue seems to be that Toyota seems to have knowingly covered up and lied to the federal government & safety agencies about the cause of safety defects across their entire fleet.

    >Funny, but we never heard a PEEP from the media or our Congresspersons over any of THOSE issues, now did we?
    Whenever I get an email from the NHTSA, I hear it on the news too. Toyota’s recalls weren’t news until it was released that Toyota had known that they blamed floor mats when numerous people who had SUA didn’t have floor mats in the call (and now that the pedal issue can’t cause SUA, as the spring in the pedal counteracts most of the friction- it can only go under 10mph, and it can’t accelerate)

    >>The bottom line here is that NONE of the auto manufacturers (US or foreign) are immune from these things. And while it is truly sad that a handful of people have been killed as a result of Toyota’s latest problem, the number of people killed versus the number of otherwise safe vehicles Toyota has manufactured over the last 50 or so years PALES in comparison to the safety record of some of the horrifically engineered junk that has come out of Detroit over that same period of time.

    Toyota has been dropping in reliability and American automakers, including Ford, have made great strides. Statistically, they are still are not as reliable as Toyota, but the gap has been closing for years.

    My anecdote would be that the used Land Cruiser (2000) I bought as of late seems to be running well. The Nissan Maxima is a total lemon, the Acura MDX has had more than it’s fair share of issues (complete transmission failure at 51k with a 50k warranty- yes, regular maintenance). The Ford Expedition (2005) has had no issues as well, and the ’97 Expedition that the 2005 model replaced was in great shape when I sold it.

    >These Congressional hearings are nothing but a political witch hunt designed to trick the American public into believing our Congresspersons are actually “doing something” for their constituents for a change.
    It’s election year, so, yeah, they’re trying to prove they can be tough on businesses. That doesn’t mean that Toyota hasn’t thoroughly earned the investigation.

    >They aren’t.
    That’s debatable.

  4. Sandune  February 24, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Keith, I wonder if they (Toyota)are too big to fail and we will be asked to pay for the repairs. I’m not trusting anyone in D.C. Will our car insurance go up? I have no representative in the House or Senate and I’m very skeptical of both parties.

    During the last campaign, I will never get over watching Senator McCain run like hell back to D.C. to insist on the bail outs.

    • woody188  February 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

      That’s not too far off Sandy, but it is the government of Japan that will bail them out like they did when the US government bailed out Chrysler and GM. Japan does consider Toyota too big to fail.

  5. Warren  February 24, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    A few facts: First, I have too much time on my hands. I went to the NHTSA website and downloaded the full complaint database and put it up in MYSQL. It’s a BIG database. Just beginning to go through it, but here’s an early and interesting tabulation. Below are the numbers of complaints filed with NHTSA concerning equipment failure resulting in injury or death in the entire database, by manufacturer:

    Chrysler – 2304
    Ford – 2976
    GM – 3133
    Honda – 632
    Toyota – 1002

    It’s hard to draw much in the way of specific conclusions, but it is obvious that ALL car manufacturers have had dangerous equipment failures. And, while the numbers of cars on the road by manufacturer vary (e.g. more GM on the road than Chrysler), it is fairly clear that driving a Toyota is no more dangerous than driving any other make.

    I, too, have to wonder how much of this is economy-driven politics.

    —W—

  6. Carl Nemo  February 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks Warren for your research. : )

    One thing this data demonstrates is that U.S. manufacturers have many more complaints concerning safety issues than these two Japanese manufacturers “combined” regardless of Toyota’s current crisis which will no doubt be rectified.

    Fellow CHB members can toot their horns about GMC, Ford and Chrysler products, but these statistics shine a powerful spotlight on their shoddy engineering and workmanship.

    Any crisis that deflects attention from this administration and its chronic failings relative to our citizenry is surely convenient.

    Your supplied data is demonstrative of the old saying: “figures don’t lie, but liars figure”… : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  7. Warren  February 24, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Here’s a bit more from the NHTSA database. First we have total complaints of stuck accelerator pedals resulting in injury or death, by manufacturer:

    Chrysler – 14
    Ford – 27
    GM – 11
    Honda – 6
    Toyota – 13

    Next we have similar data for failure of the antilock brake system (the Prius hot button):

    Chrysler – 87
    Ford – 105
    GM – 313
    Honda – 18
    Toyota – 29

    What can be drawn from this? First, as before, ALL car manufacturers have these issues. And, again, a Toyota doesn’t seem to be any more dangerous than any other make.

    Second, one’s chances of being killed or injured by a stuck accelerator pedal or by a failed abs system is minuscule no matter what make one drives. One’s chance of being hurt by a stuck accelerator pedal is as close to zero as you can get.

  8. silentSCREAM  February 24, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    It appears ‘Grasshopper’ has learned well… the lessons of the master.

    “Turns out it was all about getting bigger and richer but not better”

    Who says Americanization dosen’t work.

    Another place and enough time… and we’ll enlighten those sanctimonious Arabs to the seductive trappings of whirlwind capitalism too. So sayeth the neocons. Even though they’re wrong. Mostly because their own self-righteousness blinds them to the cultural distinctions between the fallen axis powers and the infallibility inherent to a spiritual foe.

    • Warren  February 24, 2010 at 8:43 pm

      No. That’s now what’s going on here. Toyota was taken to the woodshed for a good bruising. The message is now clear for all foreign car makers and other foreign manufacturers. That message is “You can build your factories here and hire our workers, but you damn well better not trash our indigenous industries.” Toyota became the #1 automaker. They took significant share from the locals. That’s a “NO NO”. They are the object lesson and their treatment is the message.

      —W—

      • Almandine  February 24, 2010 at 9:07 pm

        So how is it that we “made them screw up” their cars so we could give them a good bruising?

        • Warren  February 24, 2010 at 10:36 pm

          I never said we ‘made them screw up’ their cars. Their cars are no more screwed up than anybody else’s. The point is that Toyota has become a ‘send a message’ example for other foreign manufacturers.

          You should read through the NHTSA files. Much of it is fluff like ‘my air conditioner blows hot air’. The entries that are being used as justification for this Toyota bruising are mostly people who have ignored good driving practice and blamed it on their cars. I’m sure Toyota is not alone here. Take the reports on 2010 Prius braking. Most are people in bad driving conditions like snow, ice, etc., who slid through an intersection and blamed their resulting misfortune on their car. Understand that anyone can post a complaint to the NHTSA system at any time for any reason. It’s on the web. There is no fact check. Again, Toyota is not alone in this, but why are they singled out?

          The politicos have jumped on a a small amount of anecdotal, unverified material and have used it to create a major national media event. Look at what has happened. The politicians have good reason to focus on issues that distract from their failures on the economy and health care. They get to sit on a panel behind polished hard wood and bash bad Toyota in front of the TV cameras. Of course, Toyota is the bad guy because they are a foreign manufacturer. Never mind that the cars are made in the US with US labor and parts. But they are the bad guy because they’ve out-performed the locals. And just which US automaker is going to come to Toyota’s defense? None, of course. The media follow along because it makes a good story that sells commercials and viewers are tired of the economy and health care as issues.

          The bottom line is that the safety of Toyota’s cars is no worse than that of US competitors. Toyota has been made an example for other foreign manufacturers. To paraphrase what I said before, “You can build your factories here and you can hire our workers, but you can’t trash our indigenous companies. If you do we will fix it.”

          —W—

      • griff  February 24, 2010 at 10:40 pm

        The reason Toyota gainede so much market share was because they built superior products. After decades of buying American, I made the switch and bought two Toyotas three years ago. I couldn’t be happier.

        They are victims of their own success. The market will decide what happens henceforth, as it should.

  9. Carl Nemo  February 25, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I have to laugh at our sorry crimpols who enjoy grilling a Japanese aristocrat who has more honor in one of his fingernail parings than any of them within their entire bodies. What do they expect him to do, commit public seppuku on their behalf? / : |

    They seemed to be getting gleeful pleasure over this recall incident as if Toyota motors has become the whipping boy for all the ills of our failed economy.

    Little do they seemingly realize they’ve met the enemy and “he is them”, not Akio Toyoda or anyone else they might want to attack concerning auto recalls or any other issue threatening this nation.

    This is the same bunch of curs who have been eagerly passing legislation that encourages massive offshoring of our industries from manufacturing to simple “call centers” for consumers to register their complaints with some of the largest centers being in the Philippines due to their prowess in the English language.

    None of these clowns grilling Akio can speak Japanese or possibly any other language; but giving the man credit he faced off them off and handled the situation in a competent fashion, surely moreso than most the sleazy appointees that are grilled regularly for their malfeasance; ie., ‘Timmy’ Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Janet Napolitano and an endless host of lowborn slugs that have made it to the highest level of their incompetence.

    I thought I’d supply a link concerning Mr. Toyoda.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akio_Toyoda

    Rest assured they will clean up their act and will come on like gangbusters in terms of seizing market share in the future.

    Sorry folks, but American auto manufacturing is a dinosaur thrashing in the tar pits of time soon to be covered by the ash of the financial asteroid incoming.

    Carl Nemo **==

  10. Warren  February 25, 2010 at 12:28 am

    OK. So on to the latest Corolla steering frenzy. Want to know what’s actually in the files that all the stink is being made of? Here it is. Four, count ‘em 4, instances reported in 2009 and 2010 that allege injury due to Corolla steering issues. No deaths. You read ‘em and be the judge.

    “I TOOK MY 2004 TOYOTA IN FOR SERVICE FOR STEERING PROBLEMS 8 TIMES, BETWEEN THE DATE OF PURCHASE IN APRIL 2004 AND SEPTEMBER 2004. I WAS DRIVING ON I-75 ON THE SOUTHBOUND SIDE IN WILDWOOD FLORIDA, ON A DRY SUNNY DAY – THE CAR BEGAN TO LOSE CONTROL, AFTER I MOVED TO THE LEFT TO AVOID A COLLISION WITH A CAR INCOMING FROM MY RIGHT SIDE – THERE WAS SMALL CONTACT BY THE UNKNOWN VEHICLE, WHICH CONTINUED. I WAS UNABLE TO STEER OUT OF THE PROBLEM, AT FIRST, AND THE CAR WENT TO THE LEFT SIDE PARKING STRIP. WHEN I TAPPED THE BRAKE TO SLOW THE CAR, IT DID NOT LOSE SPEED. I BEGAN TO STEER OUT OF LEFT LANE, ONTO THE HIGHWAY, BUT THEN WHILE I WAS STEERING RIGHT, THE CAR STEERED ITSELF TO THE LEFT. I AM CERTAIN THAT THE CAR FAILED TO ALLOW THE CRUISE CONTROL TO RELEASE. I REPORTED ALL OF THIS AT THE TIME OF THE INCIDENT. THIS WAS IGNORED BY TOYOTA. THE REPORTS OF THE PROBLEM USING THE LEMON LAW WERE ALSO DENIED, AND TOYOTA WOULD NOT SUPPORT ME WHEN I MADE CONTACT WITH THEM ON SEVERAL ATTEMPTS, BETWEEN APRIL 2004 (ON PURCHASE) AND THE INCIDENT. THE SERVICE MANAGERS AT GATORLAND TOYOTA REFUSED TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE PROBLEM. I PURCHASED THIS IN OCALA, FLORIDA. THE OWNER OF THAT DEALERSHIP ALSO REFUSED TO LISTEN WHEN I WROTE AND SPOKE TO HIM ABOUT THE PROBLEM. I PURCHASED THE CAR FROM THAT DEALERSHIP. I HAVE ALL OF THE MATERIAL THAT WAS SUBMITTED TO TOYOTA, AND TO ARBRITRATION. IT WAS A VIBRATION AND STEERING PROBLEM THAT I REPORTED, HOWEVER, I BELIEVED AT TIME, THAT THE CAR MAY HAVE HELD THE DEALER (DELUCA, IN OCALA FLORIDA) INSTALLED CRUISE CONTROL THAT MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED. THIS WAS LIKELY A PEDAL PROBLEM. AT THE TIME, I THOUGHT IT WAS CRUSE. I TOOK THE CAR TO DELUCA TOYOTA REQUESTING REPAIR ABOUT 5 TIMES (HAVE DOCUMENTS) AND TO GAINESVILLE, FL TOYOTA, 3X, & WITH A SCHEDULED REPRESENTATIVE (REGIONAL) INSPECTION. THE ALL REFUSED TO ACKNOWLEDGE A PROBLEM. THE CLAIMED TO HAVE ALIGNED THE FRONT END & BALANCED TIRES (A VIBRATION ISSUE). NO CHANGE. THEY THEN REFUSED”

    Notice that this is five years after the ‘fact’.

    Next:

    “I WAS DRIVING ON TO THE OFF RAMP AND OFF THE FREEWAY DECELERATING FROM ABOUT 65 MILES PER HOUR. I FELT AS IF A STRONG GUST OF WIND PUSHED MY CAR TO ONE SIDE AT THE SAME TIME THIS OCCURED THE STEERING WHEEL JERKED TO THE LEFT PULLING MY HAND WITH IT. AT THIS POINT I HAD NO IDEA WHAT HAD HAPPENED I TRIED TO RECORRECT THE WHEEL AND INSTEAD IT WENT WILDLY BACK TO THE RIGHT. THIS HAPPENED ANOTHER TIME WITHIN A COUPLE OF SECONDS. THE NEXT THING I KNOW THE CAR SPUN AROUND 180 DEGREES FACING ONCOMING TRAFFIC OF CARS COMING OFF THE FREEWAY AT WHICH POINT THE CAR DRIFTED, HIT THE CURB AND ROLLED INTO THE EMBANKMENT. THE CAR WAS TOTALED. MY PASSENGERS LEG WAS ALSO INJURED AND WE ARE LUCKY TO BE ALIVE. UNTIL ALL THIS NEWS CAME OUT ABOUT TOYOTA I HAD THOUGHT THAT WHAT HAD CAUSED MY ACCIDENT WAS STRONG WINDS BECAUSE HONESTLY THAT IS WHAT IT FELT LIKE WHEN I WAS DRIVING BEHIND THE WHEEL AND ON TOP OF THAT I WAS TRAUMATIZED SO I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THE ACCIDENT HAVING ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE CARS MECHANICAL FAILURE. LOOKING BACK I DON’T EVEN BELIEVE THE WIND WAS EVEN BLOWING THAT DAY THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME I DROVE THAT CAR ON THE FREEWAY AFTER PURCHASING THE CAR. MY SISTER ALSO DROVE IT ONCE ON THE FREEWAY AND SHE ALSO MENTIONED THAT THE STEERING WHEEL FELT HARD TO HANDLE. SHED MENTIONED THAT DRIVING FROM SAN JOSE TO SAN FRANCISCO SHE HAD TO HAVE A FIRM GRIP WITH TWO HANDS ON THE STEERING WHEEL BECAUSE IT FELT STRANGE. THE ACCIDENT WAS IN 2008 AND IT WAS A 2009 COROLLA. BECAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT WE WEREN’T EVEN ABLE TO HAVE A CHANCE TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT THE STEERING WHEEL ACTUALLY HAD A DEFECT.”

    All small cars with front wheel drive have noticeable torque steer. Learn how to drive!

    Next:

    “TL-THE CONTACT OWNS A 1998 TOYOTA COROLLA. THE CONTACT STATED THAT WHILE DRIVING AT APPROX 40 MPH, THE VEHICLE SUDDENLY VEERED TO THE LEFT, AS IF IT WERE SLIPPING ON ICE. THE VEHICLE CRASHED INTO A MEDIAN AFTER MOVING ACROSS FOUR LANES OF TRAFFIC AND WAS TOTALED. THE CONTACT SUSTAINED INJURIES (CONCUSSION, BACK, LEFT WRIST AND HAND, AND BRUISES). A POLICE REPORT WAS TAKEN AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT. THE CONTACT STATED THAT SHE NOTICED THE VEHICLE WOULD DRIFT TO THE LEFT FROM TIME TO TIME. SHE HAD NOT SPOKEN WITH THE DEALER OR THE MANUFACTURER TO-DATE. THE CURRENT AND FAILURE MILEAGES WERE APPROXIMATELY 85,000-BK ”

    And finally:

    “ON JANUARY 11TH 2009 I GOT IN AN ACCIDENT IN MY 2009 TOYOTA CORROLA. I WAS TRAVELING AT APPROXIMATELY 65 MPH ON THE I-5 SOUTH IN SAN DIEGO. I NOTICED A CAR INCHING INTO MY LANE CLOSE TO HITTING ME SO I IMMEDIATELY TOOK EVASIVE ACTION AND TURNED MY STEERING WHEEL TO THE LEFT AND IMMEDIATELY LOST CONTROL. I SKIDDED TO THE LEFT THEN TO THE RIGHT TRYING TO COUNTER STEER THE WHOLE TIME TO NO EFFECT. I HIT THE CAR THAT I WAS TRYING TO AVOID AND THEN SPUN 180 DEGREES AND SLAMMED INTO THE CENTER DIVIDER. I FEEL THATY I LOST CONTROL WAY TO EASILY. I NOTICED NOT BEING ABLE TO KEEP THE WHEEL STEADY AS WELL PRIOR TO THE CRASH. I RECIEVED WHIPLASH AND WASH TREATED AT A MILITARY HOSPITAL.”

    The person overreacted and lost control. I’ve seen it happen just like this on the highway.

    That’s what all the Corolla brouhaha is about. Those four. What’s the truth?

    —W—

    • Carl Nemo  February 25, 2010 at 1:13 am

      Thanks again Warren for all the research you’ve done concerning this issue. Seemingly this is about deflecting attention from the quasi-traitorous malfeasance and ineptitude on the part of our duly elected, ferociously partisan crimpols that now sit in Congress.

      This hearing is no different than any other they conduct; ie. a “circus…circus” event to distract the unwashed masses from the true problem; ie., “THEM”! : |

      Carl Nemo **==

  11. Stratocaster  February 25, 2010 at 2:45 am

    The attitude seems to be, well, gee, they didn’t kill that many people. How many people do you have to kill before it becomes a crime?

  12. Bogofree  February 25, 2010 at 9:17 am

    The only issue is what did Toyota know and when did they know it? Their actions speak volumes as money certainly took precedent over safety and lives. The issues may not even be resolved. Time for Nader to write another book.

  13. woody188  February 25, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I think the lesson here is don’t try to save money when lives are at stake. Shareholder prosperity isn’t worth a single life. Toyota couldn’t have picked a worse time to learn that lesson for themselves. They will be lucky if they are able to turn a profit again in 2 years time.

  14. Warren  February 25, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    I’m getting a bit frustrated. Many don’t seem to get what’s going on. This isn’t about automobile safety. This isn’t about who-knew-what-when.

    There is no such thing as a perfectly safe car. Never has been, never will be. Every make and model has strong points and weak points, including safety issues. Manufacturers don’t become aware of what the issues with particular models are until some time has passed since introduction and real-word failures start to become apparent. The data that I have seen suggests that there is still quite a bit of uncertainty whether any issues actually exist with the Toyota models in question, let alone isolating what is at fault and how to fix it. I do not fault Toyota to this point for any inaction. The performance of their cars is simply not different from similar makes and models from a statistical standpoint. What’s to act on when the data is buried in the noise? (as an engineer like me would say).

    What this IS about is a statement by our government to foreign industry. Toyota has been made an example of, unfairly IMHO, in the interest of international economic policy. That policy has been made perfectly clear through the government’s actions on Toyota. That policy is, and I repeat: “You can build your factories here and you can hire our workers, but you can’t trash our indigenous companies. If you do we will fix it.”

    —W—

    • woody188  February 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm

      I have to respectfully disagree, because dead people don’t fill out forms on the NHTSA website and therefore have no representation in your available data. Only the near fatal reports will be listed in that website data and the sticking pedal seems to be claiming quite a few lives.

  15. Carl Nemo  February 26, 2010 at 12:36 am

    “What’s to act on when the data is buried in the noise?” (as an engineer like me would say)….extract from post

    Great post Warren. Thanks for this gem of a quote too. It’s a keeper… : )

    Carl Nemo **==

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