Now they tell us
Posted by ampontan on Wednesday, February 9, 2011
THIS REPORT from the New York Times tells us something we knew before they printed the story: There were no design flaws in Toyota automobiles despite claims a few had accelerated for no reason at all.
After dissecting Toyota’s engine control software and bathing its microchips in every type of radiation engineers could think of, federal investigators found no evidence that the company’s cars are susceptible to sudden acceleration from electronic failures, the government said Tuesday.
Rough justice was done by having Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood deliver the verdict:
“As a former member of Congress, I thought we should listen to these members,” said Mr. LaHood, who represented a district in Illinois until President Obama named him transportation secretary. Speaking of his former colleagues, he said, “I hope they get the message today.”
In claiming victory, though, Mr. LaHood was far different in his tone toward Toyota than he was last year when news of the acceleration problems broke. At one point, during a Congressional hearing, Mr. LaHood said that owners of recalled Toyotas should stop driving the vehicles if they were having a problem and take them back to the dealers, though he quickly backtracked.
It took the government quite a while to pull its thumb out and release the report, however. As the site Overlawyered points out, people suspected last summer that the Obama administration was sitting on the information that would have exonerated Toyota. Overlawyered also sticks its fork into the government’s media mouthpiece. Last July they wrote:
An editorial today in the New York Times — a newspaper that almost comically underplayed the revelations earlier this month about the NHTSA probe’s pro-Toyota results — flatly asserts that the Japanese automaker’s vehicles suffer “persistent problems of uncontrolled acceleration,” and demands that the sweeping new legislation “be passed into law without delay.” It’s almost as if they are afraid of what might happen if lawmakers pause to take a closer look.
Why was this predictable? We had a choice of taking the word of the Obama government, which had just taken de facto control of General Motors, and which was backed by its enablers in the dinosaur wing of the American mass media, or taking the word of Toyota engineers. Spotting politicized science doesn’t require a lot of thought, especially considering the sources.
As for linking to the New York Times and contributing to their hit count, I can only say, shikata ga nai.
The story won’t go away, however.
The government studies were conducted by NASA engineers, but that was before the patient came down with the American disease:
“Our experts tell us that the report is just wrong, and they are confident that they are going to be able to show that the electronic throttle control contributed to unintended acceleration,” said Steve Berman, co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel in a class-action suit filed on behalf of millions of Toyota owners who say the controversy caused their cars’ value to drop.
If they insist on using a class-action suit to gouge for money, the defendants should be the government and the news media.