Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stuck on "sticky pedal"

"Sticky pedal" --oh what a good buddy for those D&P lawyers!! 

DOJ - Toyota Statement of Facts, March, 2014

Sean Kane writes somewhat more factually than the Statement of Facts:

"Haggerty [owner of the New Jersey Avalon] had what’s called a long duration event at high speed. A sticky pedal is a pedal that is slow to return to idle. Vehicle speed doesn’t suddenly increase with a sticky pedal – as Haggerty’s did.  In fact, on February 23, Toyota Motor Sales President Jim Lentz told the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that sticky pedals don’t cause high-speed events. Here’s the exchange between Rep. Bart Stupak and Lentz:
“REP STUPAK: Do you have any analysis, any evidence that sticky pedals can cause a sudden, unintended acceleration?
MR. LENTZ:  It depends on the definition of "sudden."  If it means that you can be depressing a pedal, take your foot off the pedal and the car continues its speed, it does cause that.
REP. STUPAK:  Quoting your counsel, "typically does not translate into a sudden high-speed acceleration event" -- sticky pedals.  So sticky pedals really isn't doing anything about sudden high-speed --
MR. LENTZ:  Not for high speed.”

After Haggerty had his last SUA experience, ABC News spoke with the service manager at Muller Toyota in Clinton, New Jersey. Today, ABC News confirmed for the Safety Record Blog that the service manager stated that the pedal on Kevin Haggerty’s vehicle was examined and was not stuck or out of position.  The service manager also affirmed that he provided that information to NHTSA.

So why would NHTSA Office of Defects Investigation Division Chief Jeffrey Quandt stand before the National Academies of Sciences panel looking into electronic throttle controls and tell the room that Kevin Haggerty’s SUA event was caused by a sticky accelerator pedal? Under Quandt, eight investigations were opened and quickly closed with no findings or a conclusion of pedal interference. There has been no serious, science-based examination of the potential for other non-mechanical causes. Unfortunately for NHTSA, the public record is fairly littered with examples of the agency re-arranging facts or misrepresenting data or persuading vehicle owners that what happened didn’t really happen."

Now let's add the DOJ to NHTSA as somehow or other having gotten its facts mixed up in the Statement of Facts. Who wrote the Statement of Facts, anyway?