Sunday, January 24, 2016

Where are you, America? --Bernie Sanders ad

My face is there too, looking for America, the deeper America, far below and beyond the superficial America of lawyers and corporate executives and the politicians they've purchased.

This America draws on the best of the past to face the future with grit, determination, daring, vision, trust, and hard work.

The 1% does not care whether we live or die, as long as they have workers to work for them. So we must care for each other. If we do that strongly enough, Bernie's revolution can win.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Another out of control 2010 Toyota Corolla "I couldn't stop the car"

Dear Ms. Benjaminson. I own a 2010 Toyota Corolla, and this past Saturday I was backing out of a parking lot at a local bookstore. I backed out of the spot, braked and completely stopped, then I put my car into drive, and with my foot still on the brake pedal, the car began lurching forward, and I couldn't stop. Another car was passing me on my left, and my car was heading towards his, so I tried to turn right to avoid him, but the steering wheel was locked in the straight position, and my car sideswiped the man's SUV and severely damaged the fender, front end and hood of my car. I just called a Toyota 800 number I was given by my dealer's manager, and I have case. I was told a man would call me within 24 hours to set up an inspection. I am beside myself over this. I know my foot was only on the brake pedal, but also the steering wheel locking straight is upsetting me because I fear Toyota will deny this and say I was at fault, but I wasn't. My foot never left the brake pedal, when I put my car into drive, but I couldn't stop the car. I was able to keep the speed at about 5 mph, but with the steering wheel locking, I could not turn to avoid hitting the other car. I hope there is something that can be done and that Toyota will stand behind this. Even the manager of Orland Park Toyota, where I bought this car, admitted of having a few incidences like mine with their cars. 

I believe this driver. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Acceleration issue awaits federal answers

 waiting a long time for truthful answers....

In Winchester on New Years’ Eve, three people were killed in a terrible accident involving a 2008 Kia which slammed into the back of a minivan.  Both the driver of the Kia, who told first responders that the car had ‘run away from her,’ and twin 7 year old boys in the minivan died.
But that was not the only fatal accident involving an apparently unstoppable car that day.
In Ontario, Calif., just outside Los Angeles, a Toyota Yaris slammed into another vehicle, killing five people, including a 7-year old boy who was a passenger in the Yaris. The driver of the Yaris is reportedly cooperating with investigators and indicated the vehicle’s brakes were not responding, and the accelerator seemed stuck down.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has agreed to look into the California accident.  Winchester has also requested the NHTSA send a team to look at the wreckage in the police impound lot here.
Earlier this week, Winchester detectives heard back from the federal government and sent in a requested copy of the accident report for their review.  Winchester authorities are still hoping a forensic team from the government investigates the wreckage.
....still hoping....

The problem is, dear police, that NHTSA has its own reasons to say that the cause was driver error, whether or not it really was. Like the rest of us, you will be waiting a very very long time for NHTSA's truthful answers
...a    v  e  r  y     l  o  n  g       t  i  m  e

NHTSA surrenders to automakers with prospective agreement on voluntary safety standards

NHTSA surrenders by agreeing to unenforceable auto safety 

NHTSA's Rosekind is smart enough to realize that Congress will never give him the resources to actually become the cop on the auto safety beat. So he is doing the next best thing--I can't really blame him, what other option does he have? ...Congress will not ignore the 600+ auto industry lobbyists---and so he is attempting to work with automakers to establish voluntary safety standards. The automakers and their product liability defense counsel must be truly elated.
The new standards are rumored to be voluntary in nature, and will not carry the weight of law.
If that is the case, NHTSA will soon be hearing from consumer advocates, who are already angry at the prospect of the agency leaving regulation of these safety features in the hands of the automakers.
"If the agency surrenders its authority to private companies and makes these standards voluntary, the companies get to call the shots," said Harvey Rosenfeld, founder of the nonprofit public interest organization Consumer Watchdog. "If that happens, NHTSA will abdicate its own authority to regulate these matters."

"Real safety is finding and fixing defects before someone gets hurt, rather than just punishing after the damage is done," DOT Secretary Foxx commented.
Well said, Secretary Foxx, and certainly the automakers do some of that already, but you are living in a world where automaker blind eyes are not going to go away anytime too soon, given the enormous costs of finding and fixing certain kinds of defects, most notably those rooted in auto electronics.


Friday, January 15, 2016

Bernie Sanders for President

I add my voice to the growing chorus of American voices in support of Bernie Sanders' candidacy for President of the United States.

I am inspired to do so as a direct result of my five years of personal experience trying to stand up for auto safety in defiance of Toyota's agenda and that of the US federal government.  In close cahoots with Toyota, while pretending otherwise, the US federal government--Congress, NHTSA, DOT, and the DOJ--has failed to protect Americans' basic right to personal safety. People everywhere rely on Toyota's ETC software to stay safe, but they are actually not safe. The government has also failed to hold Toyota accountable for the harm it has caused by turning a blind eye to its obviously dangerous products.

Toyota's SUA problem is a perfect case in point for why the American people are now ready to stand up and demand that their public officials protect their basic human rights against harmful corporate policies and practices. It is past time for the federal government to wield its power on behalf of the people, not on behalf of corporations.

What Bernie and his revolution can do to Wall St. and big pharma, we can also do to the auto industry.

Bernie!  Bernie!   Win!

Doc Watson - Ready for the Times to Get Better

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Accelerating Audi kills a kind woman, Val Deakin

The last cup.

Val Deakin, a 74 year old woman was having “a cuppa” with her eldest daughter, on Christmas Eve day, at the Costa coffee shop in Westerham, U.K.

An Audi A4 came crashing through the window on the side street, killing her and injuring others.

The Kent, U.K., Serious Collision Investigation Unit is aware of Audi SUA events. They have not charged the elderly driver, nor made the usual statements concerning a “possible medical condition,” or the driver “may have confused” the accelerator and brake pedals, etc.

They must have some reasons for believing what the driver has apparently told them concerning a possible malfunction in the Audi.

[Does the Audi A4 involved have the same electronic throttle control system as the 2004 VW Touareg referenced below?]
Prayers for Costa crash victims after Christmas Eve tragedy in
27 December 2015
by Suz Elvey
Kent Police's Serious Collision Investigation Unit is investigating the crash. Officers have
asked anyone with information to call 01622 798538 quoting reference 24-378 or
© KM Group2015
"It could have been me," says woman who visited
coffee shop
26 December 2015 at 2:11pm
Last updated Sat 26 Dec 2015
(with 2:43 min video segment)
(Witness stated he heard “over-revving engine” -- 1:25-1:35 min marks)
One dead after car crashes into Costa
Coffee branch in Kent
Josh Halliday
Thursday 24 December 2015 08.56 EST
(with 0:30 sec video)  (Audi A4)
Jill Probert, who works in a nearby hair salon, said
the driver made the comment to a local off-duty
paramedic who treated him at the scene. “A
paramedic that lives down the road came in [to
our shop] and said that the driver said all the
lights came on his car, it just accelerated itself and
he lost control,” she told LBC.
[Condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.  Wishing
full recoveries for all those injured in this tragedy. What did the
driver and passenger in the Audi A4 indicate happened, “in their
own words?”  What model year Audi A4 was involved?  (2001-2005?)
News of Val’s tragic death in the disaster in
Westerham on Christmas Eve has come as a terrible
shock to everyone who knew her. She had gone there to
provide help, advice and support to a close friend, whom
she and her daughter had arranged to meet that
morning in the Costa coffee shop. The car which
smashed into the place, killing Val outright and seriously
injuring several others, had already careered some 200
yards along the road out of control, leaving a trail of
damage behind it.
2001 – 2005 AUDI A4 Vehicle Speed Control Problems  (U.S. NHTSA complaints)
Sudden Unintended Acceleration
01-04-2016  #1
(2004 VW Touareg)
01-04-2016  post #1
Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Last week, my 2004 Touareg experienced sudden unintended
acceleration. I was stopped at a light. When I took my foot off the
brake, the RPMs jumped to 3500 and the car took off. The brakes
worked, so I had the truck towed to the dealer. They are still trying to
figure out why this happened. Has anyone else experienced this? Very

Sudden Unintended Acceleration
01-04-2016  post #9
(2004 VW Touareg)
Sudden Unintended Acceleration

Thanks for your comments. I assure you, I am not a two-footed driver
and floor mats did not cause the problem. The week before, a sensor
in one of the front ABS brakes went out. We did not replace the
sensor, because they couldn't tell if that was the sole problem, or if
some relay would also need to be replaced. On the way home, the
EPC warning light came on. When I took it back the next day, they
couldn't replicate the problem. Just before the sudden acceleration
last week, the EPC light came on again. The dealership has witnessed
the sudden acceleration every time they have started it up since last
Wednesday. They found some moisture causing a short to some wires
that are contained in a sealed box in the engine, but they do not yet
know whether replacing that (different) relay will solve the problem. I
have 188,000 miles on the truck and would love to keep it going, but
it might be time... In the meantime, I have a loaner.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Toyota Corolla 2010 -- same car, another sudden acceleration incident


"The phenomenon repeated itself"

My rental was costing me over $500 for two weeks so I went down to the dealership to check on my car and make a payment on my rental.  The service manager told me everything was fine and even said, "You have a great car, I would drive this car across the country and back."  He also said I needed to warm up the car before I drove it.

I signed the paperwork, drove around the block with him and drove off in my Toyota.  That was Wed. This is Friday.  It happened again.  [それが再び起こりました.] I was on my way to meet a friend at Fitness Connection to do some pool exercise when my car began to accelerate.  The same thing happened again. Every time I tried to take my foot off the brake the car would accelerate. In a panic I called 911.  I ended up in a shouting match with the police officers.  I needed them to witness this. They just kept yelling at me to put the car in park. Finally, one of the officers jumped in the drivers seat and slammed it into park. When I said you're my witness, they didn't want to have anything to do with it. When the tow truck arrived he said there were several people in the area the same problem.

Question: This Toyota owner is terrified to drive her car, but is also morally alert and does not want to endanger others by getting rid of the car. What should she do?

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Akio Toyoda's new year's greeting card 2016

This is Akio Toyoda's official new year's greeting card. (full disclosure: I did not receive one...but no big surprise there...)

2016 is the year of the monkey. Akio-kun was born in the year of the monkey in 1956.

The character in the white diamond above Akio's head is pronounced "kichi," and it means "lucky."

Indeed, Akio-kun, you are very lucky not to be in jail right now. How did you do that?

And why have you included an image obviously taken from the "rising sun" wartime military flag of Japan?

Monday, January 4, 2016

The accelerator in my 2010 Toyota Corolla LE "went crazy"

I survived! On December 21, 2015 at about 7:30 PM I left my house to get some KFC for my husband and myself. After pulling out of KFC onto Oddie Blvd. in Reno, Nevada the accelerator in my 2010 Corolla LE went crazy. It did slow down when I stepped on the brakes, but every time I tried to take my foot off the brakes the car would accelerate. This was a frightening two mile trip. When I got home I put the car in park. The accelerator went full throttle, engine racing. I turned off the  engine and jumped out of my car.
I loved my car. I bought it new in July 2009 and paid it off about a year ago. It only has 54,000 miles on it. I was planning to keep it for a couple more years until the evening of Dec. 21st.  Now the idea of ever driving my car scares me to DEATH.
The next day I had my car towed to the dealership. The service manager told me I was the first person (at that dealership) to complain about this issue.   I filled out lots of paperwork and was told they would review the data from the car's computer and then let me know the results. Two days later I got the telephone call to come and pick up my car. They couldn't find any issues with the accelerator or the data. Then he told me even NASA couldn't find a problem.
At first I just wanted to get rid of the car ASAP and replace it.  This is what bothers me the most. The next person who buys this car eventually will get killed. 


My main goal is to prevent anyone from ever driving that car again. I told my story to the service manager on Dec. 22nd, the labor manager on Dec. 23rd the dealership owner's son (left a message on his cell phone. He was out of town so he told the service manager to "take care of it").  I called Toyota Corporate offices in Torrance, Calif. several times.  I have a case number but the case manager said the only thing I can do is fill out a customer claim form and send it to the NCDS.  I think it has something to do with the lemon law. They're charging me $695 a month, $175 a week for a rental car. My car is still at the dealership. Have any of the network news programs run a story on this such as 60 minutes, Dateline or 20/20.  The Dealership has given me one option-trade my car in for a new Toyota.  It seems like it isn't just one model. This whole thing scares me but I have to keep going forward with this.
I was so wrong about Toyota. I thought Toyotas were the most dependable, reliable and safest cars on the road until the evening of Dec. 21st. I can't afford the $695 a month for a rental car (furnished by the dealership) so I'll have to do something in the next few days.  I've been getting calls from the sales staff trying to sell me a new car.  I think I'll pass on that.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Toyota Yaris "out of control" runaway kills five after police say driver was "unable to stop"

Car of four of the victims: Matthew Pusateri, Anthony Flores, Jeffrey Willey, and Monica Flores.

The runaway Yaris in which one person was killed, seven-year-old Michael Pineda.

Will you please come forward, Chris Tinto, and explain to the DOJ and NHTSA and Congress what really happened with the Yaris and Aygo in Europe, if you haven't already, and if you have, then 1000 times the shame on the US government, and may the families of the victims know who is really to blame for this unnecessary and senseless tragedy.