Another excellent article from EE Times and its reporters. Thanks for following Toyota's sudden unintended acceleration problems and exposing the facts.
With a 60 billion dollar stash of cash, the Recall King isn't worried about a few billion bucks to settle lawsuits and buy its way out of a federal criminal case. The REAL story - which EE Times has done a SUPERB job of reporting - is about renowned embedded systems expert Michael Barr finding bugs in Toyota's electronic throttle control software, prompting the guilty verdict in Oklahoma (there was also that pesky evidence of 150 feet of skid marks from the plaintiff's tires), the billion dollar economic loss settlement in December of 2012, and Toyota's current interest in out-of-court settlements for remaining lawsuits and criminal complaints regarding sudden unintended acceleration. Mainstream media is doing everything it can to keep Michael Barr's findings quiet.
I learned my lesson about the Recall King when the engine disintegrated in my MR2 Spyder. Owners' complaints have been all over the Internet for years, Toyota continues to stonewall. Been bloggin' 'bout Toyota at http://www.uc2.blogspot.com
Thanks for the compliments, Parris. Junko Yoshida has been really on the ball with this story.
I think it will be particularly interesting to see what the feds find out from looking into Toyota's PR practices. I suspect that this slap on the wrist might not change a whole lot for Toyota, long term.
Yes, this is a nice little wrist slap that leaves owners of Camrys with defective ECMs out in the cold - unless they happen to have an accident due to the defect - in which case they, their passengers and others may be killed or injured.
Nobody is forcing Toyota to either buy back these defective vehicles or correct the underlying defect.
A slap on the wrist, indeed - more like a golden handshake.
...uhhhh, settlement, yeah, I mean settlement for Atourney Specific Holder. Actually I like better another word. One that rhymes with dakeshown. Let's see, only 17 thousand more of these billion dollar "settlements" and he'll have plugged the hole in his boss' national debt number. All while delivering a body-blow to Governement Motors main competitor for the Volt. Score!
Sorry for the blunt cynicism folks but it seems like this is what he meant by "great deal more" is in his proud proclaimation that "This agreement will enable us to accomplish a great deal more than we otherwise would have." None of us should be happy about this. It's agressive government behavior that should trouble everyone. No one outside of govt will see a dime of this money. It serves no one but A.S. Holder. Toyota will pay their price at the market. (They'll never see a dime of my money, btw. Recalls asside, I've never been more bored by a company's products.)
Recalls asside, I've never been more bored by a company's products.
That made me smile okay.
I have to agree that this "settlement" doesn't fix a d*mned thing. For one thing, unless I read the article too fast, there was no mention of getting to the bottom of the supposed flaw in the Task X implementation. If it's real, if Barr was not just blowing smoke, then when is it going to get fixed? And if it's false, then why isn't Barr being sued? If I owned a Toyota, I would want to know.
The public at large is still totally oblivious of the Task X issue. They go on repeating the urban myth of how much better these cars are than any other on the road.
As far as I can tell, this is just lawyers getting rich, and nothing being corrected.
Car makers are more worried about -ve publicity than the fine. The fine typically mean to encourage car makers to do a better job in finding out the root cause than to actually hurt the company finanically. No doubt, $1.2B has made enough sound that Toyota has to sell million of car to make it back.
As vehicles become more intelligence, which equip with all kind of sensors and MCUs. The challenges of making sure safety first in embedding programming will become crucial. The reliability and stability of the MCUs are one of the foundations.
Thank you for the detailed coverage of this news from EE Times.
Note that it was not just Michael Barr. Phil Koopman of Carnegie Mellon was also involved in analyzing the software. With two well-known embedded system experts involved, my confidence in their conclusions is pretty high. It is sad that the mainstream media still focuses on floor mats.
When this news broke, I was travelling in China. And I kept thinking that this thing won't solve the real issue here.
DoJ made its judgement against Toyota based on Toyota's initial cover-up -- "it's the floor mat, it's the sticky pedal!"
So, as you say, at a time when the most public isn't even aware of the software issue (as proven in the Oklahoma case), DoJ knowingly or unknowingly legitimized Toyota's initial execuse, and helped Toyota cover up even a bigger software glitch issue. Well, at least, that's what it seems to me. Am I wrong about this???