Toyota: A Poll

Do you think that Mr. Toyoda will be indicted on federal charges of voluntary vehicular homicide while he is in the United States this week to testify before Congress ?

I do.

If you’re talking about fallout from the recent Toyota problems and recall, I hadn’t heard that anyone had actually died as a result of the problems. If you mean just generally for making a car, and tens of thousands of people die as a result of car collisions every year, I think you’re onto something interesting. :slight_smile:

Who would be filing, on whose behalf, in what jurisdiction?

Oh gosh, pick your jurisdiction. How about San Diego CA?

CatWhisperer says he/ she hasn’t actually heard of anyone dying. Go on- give a listen. Now you will have heard.

Why use mere words to discuss the deaths due to the Toyota cover-up and lies when you can listen firsthand to what it sounds like to die going 125 mph in a car that cannot stop because of this problem ?

The documents detailing “wins” made by covering up the problems, minimizing, lying to the dealers and customers, it’s all there. The former attorney for Toyota in the USA has documents that are being brought out by subpoena. ( Toyota attempted to suppress them using state law. Fortunately for us and kinda sucky for the Japanese car maker, Federal law in this case neatly trumps state injunctions. So, the truth might just win out ).

I said I hadn’t heard - I didn’t say it didn’t happen. Now I know.

You know, what Toyota has done isn’t right, but you can’t have it both ways - 42,000 plus US Americans dead in car collisions every year isn’t enough to make legislators and the general public make better training and testing a priority (the vast majority of those collisions were preventable, driver error collisions). 19 deaths because Toyota is a big corporation of jerks sucks, but it’s really a drop in the road deaths bucket every year.

Agreed the number is miniscule. I used to be an EMT, I know intimately what an accident is and what it is to survive it or not.

Accidents are terrible.

Willfully covering up problems and causing deaths really aren’t accidents, are they ?

18 Deaths

Not really a poll-moving thread from IMHO to Great Debates.

No, of course not.

You know what they say, once you start driving a Toyota, you never stop.

Am I missing something? People have time to call a 911 operator and explain the problem, but not to turn off the ignition or put the car in neutral? Or try the emergency brake at least?

It’s terrible to hear this, but I have to wonder if there’s some technology on Toyotas that prevent this? I normally drive a manual transmission, in which this would be an easy solution, so not that familiar with automatic transmissions.

Willful malfeasance is of course criminal. Still, I suspect that per capita, Toyotas are probably still safer vehicles than many other makers’.

Is voluntary vehicular homicide even a federal crime?

I’ve seen this mentioned, and yes it is an issue.

As far as turning off the car, the driver apparently needs to hold down the fancy no-key starter button for 10 seconds. Sure, if you know this, it can be managed. But in at least one case it was a rental, so the driver didn’t know this. Kind of like how I take it for granted that pushing the power button on an ATX computer for 5 seconds will shut it down, but the vast majority of people out there don’t know that.

ISTR that there is something that just keeps you from slipping it into neutral as well. Definitely not the case in my wife’s car, a 2005 Altima, which she has a habit of bumping into neutral from the passenger seat when she’s reaching for something in the back seat…


Regarding the 911 call, I haven’t listened to it and don’t plan to, but my understanding is that it was made by a passenger in the car, not by the driver.

Minor nitpick: they were not going 125 miles per hour, they were on California Route 125.

They are not going to arrest the President of Toyota. While I agree that this recall situation is a serious problem and it was handled about as poorly as a problem can be handled, they haven’t stopped selling Toyotas in the US. Wouldn’t that necessarily have to be the first step in a criminal proceeding? It doesn’t make sense that a country/state would charge someone with some sort of product malfeasance while continuing to sell the product, does it?

" Witnesses said the vehicle was going more than 100 mph on state Route 125 shortly before it collided with an SUV, crashed through a fence and ended up on fire in the bed of the San Diego River."

We all know that witnesses are unreliable. I am searching for a definitive speed from the crash investigators. If it is proven to be 100 + mph, then I would agree it is a minor nitpick. If the vehicle was going more than 125, then it would be fair to say it is a sad coincidence that 125 is also the highway number.

Would you accept the first-person statement by the person who made the 911 call as a reasonable proof that the vehicle was going 120 mph 30 seconds prior to the crash?

I would.

word for word quote from 911 call

It appears the straight dope is that they were going 120 mph at least on Highway 125.

It’s 3 seconds, as far as I’ve heard reported, but the point remains.

You must be too young to remember the Ford Pinto.

No, Mr. Toyoda is not going to be indicted. Distinctions between Federal and State jurisdiction are left as an exercise for the student.