Who knew that driving a Toyota or Lexus could result in jail time and worse if a sudden unintended acceleration accident occurred? Toyota said all this is over because the recall has been done and it has paid its $1.2 billion fine. THINK again if you believe that claim!
The real problem currently is ELECTRONIC SUA and accidents are happening daily. Many of these involve vehicles in parking lots when braking is initiated. Storefront crashes and crashes-into-buildings/homes are reported. Toyota finds the vehicle faultless...no code stored and EDR (black box) shows no braking. However, Toyota and Lexus drivers report the vehicle "taking off" or "having a mind of its own." These same vehicles have been reported going airborne from a standstill starting point in a parking lot!
Here are the critical issues:
Sloppily-designed Toyota electronic throttle system software (see Michael Barr's findings) equals RUNAWAY---a.k.a. sudden unintended acceleration----Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
Worse? The electronic fail-safe---a.k.a. the way to stop the runaway---is also rendered ineffective at the time of the SUA glitch (Michael Barr, embedded software expert).
Translation? Your runaway Toyota or Lexus is not going to stop until something stops it!
Even worse? Your Toyota or Lexus EDR---a.k.a black box---is going to record inconsistent, unreliable data (see Dr. Antony Anderson's findings). OR, your EDR will show accurate data but Toyota will NOT give you access to it and may lie about the significance of the data.
Problem? You will be CHARGED for any deaths or injuries to others as a result of an accident your runaway vehicle causes based on the faulty EDR results and an assumption of "driver pedal misapplication."
More of a problem? You may go to JAIL or prison if the EDR erroneously shows that you are not braking---which it has for others more often than not. Essentially, you will be deemed not telling the truth or confused in media coverage because Toyota will say its EDR is accurate---even though it admitted this data was unreliable previously.
Even a bigger problem? If there is any chance a detail comes out that supports the driver, the media will take sides with the automaker and support your character assassination publicly. Are you on prescription meds or any medications? Are you an older citizen? Are you a woman and older? Bingo! Elderly pedal misapplication, according to media and Toyota.
Don't worry...all your skeletons will be dug up as Toyota goes full steam ahead to escape blame for faulty electronics! Just keep track of all these mysterious vehicles-into-homes and storefront crashes and read the headlines. Read the PR propaganda supporting driver error.
Toyota's $$ goes far and wide...even to the heart of the very agency commissioned to protect your SAFETY! The DOJ and NHTSA are still looking the other way---a.k.a. protecting corporate interests. They do not want to open up the ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration issue as then there will be a public cover-up scandal which rivals the best---or worst---of them.
All the above doesn't factor in the so far little-known in the U.S. whistleblower, Betsy Benjaminson. She's has copies of hundreds of internal Toyota documents. Many of these show clear evidence of concern over an electronic throttle system problem---a.k.a. "ghost in the engine"---and the lack of fix for it. Betsy has a blog where she has posted some of the evidence. She's been the feature of several articles and a podcast interview outside the U.S. Google her name to find.
Toyota, the media, and the government seem to be handling each new suspicious runaway vehicle accident---a.k.a. driver states pressing brake when the vehicle takes off, becomes airborne, has a mind of its own, etc.---on a case-by-case basis. Apparently, there is the hope that each case will blow over with little public attention. There is hope, too, that the public buys into the PR machine working overtime with law enforcement and media to BLAME the vehicle driver. SUA victim = SCAPEGOAT.
As far as Toyota is concerned, it is DONE with the topic of sudden unintended acceleration. Period. It got the free pass with a huge U.S. Government fine---a.k.a. permission not to face the music regarding ELECTRONIC SUA. Floor mats, pedals, driver error...done DEAL.
Toyota's well-orchestrated smoke screen continues aided and abetted by our very own safety regulatory agency. Can't beat that! The sky's the limit now...think of all the untoward consequences for Toyota owners, not to mention the driving public.
Toyota is #1 in numbers of sudden unintended acceleration events. BUT...it is not alone! This is an industry-wide phenomenon and not one automaker wants the public knowledgeable about ELECTRONIC sudden unintended acceleration.