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DOT Sitting On Report Exonerating Toyota

We almost missed this eye-opener from the Wall Street Journal:

Release of Toyota Documents Blocked, Ex-Official Says

By MIKE RAMSEY And JOSH MITCHELL
July 30, 2010 

DETROIT—Senior officials at the U.S. Department of Transportation have at least temporarily blocked the release of findings by auto-safety regulators that could favor Toyota Motor Corp. in some crashes related to unintended acceleration, according to a recently retired agency official.

George Person, who retired July 3 after 27 years at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said in an interview that the decision to not go public with the data for now was made over the objections of some officials at NHTSA.

"The information was compiled. The report was finished and submitted," Mr. Person said. "When I asked why it hadn’t been published, I was told that the secretary’s office didn’t want to release it," he added, referring to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Now why would the Obama administration, the owners of General Motors and Chrysler, the keepers of the UAW’s healthcare benefits and pensions – why would they sit on a report that exonerates the non-union automakers at Toyota?

A Transportation Department spokeswoman, Olivia Alair [sic], said NHTSA is still reviewing data from the Toyota vehicles the agency is examining. "Its review is not yet complete. The investigation remains ongoing," she said

Oh, that explains it.

Mr. Person’s comments follow a July 14 story in The Wall Street Journal that said NHTSA had accumulated data suggesting many sudden-acceleration incidents were the result of drivers stepping on the gas when they thought they were hitting the brakes…

Since March, the agency has examined 40 Toyota vehicles where unintended acceleration was cited as the cause of an accident, Mr. Person said. NHTSA determined 23 of the vehicles had accelerated suddenly, Mr. Person said.

In all 23, he added, the vehicles’ electronic data recorders or black boxes showed the car’s throttle was wide open and the brake was not depressed at the moment of impact, suggesting the drivers mistakenly stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake, Mr. Person said.

"The agency has for too long ignored what I believe is the root cause of these unintended acceleration cases," he said. "It’s driver error. It’s pedal misapplication and that’s what this data shows."

Mr. Person said he believes Transportation Department officials are "sitting on" this data because it could revive criticism that NHTSA is too close to the auto maker and has not looked hard enough for electrical flaws in Toyota vehicles.

"It has become very political. There is a lot of anger towards Toyota," Mr. Person said. Transportation officials "are hoping against hope that they find something that points back to a flaw in Toyota vehicles."

This Mr. Person sounds awfully cynical.

The Obama administration would no more politicize auto recalls than they would politicize the weather.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, August 2nd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “DOT Sitting On Report Exonerating Toyota”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Obamao administration looking to unionize foreign investors in America that put Americans to work.
    It is no wonder why American companies fled this country like rats fleeing a sinking ship.
    Our gubbamint doing the will of the people.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Another from the Obama-dictionary.

    “Fairness”: All outcomes will be as I desire them.

  3. NoNeoCommies says:

    I see an ad for Toyota here:

    We at Toyota are concerned for your safety; even if you don’t own one of our vehicles.
    Therefore, we are very concerned that your government refuses to release a report that shows Toyota has been falsely accused of manufacturing cars that are not up to our own standards.
    We urge you to ask your government: “Why? Why don’t you want us to know what company makes some of the safest cars on the road, and what else aren’t you telling us?”
    Whether your next vehicle comes from us or a company that belongs to the government is your choice and who serves you in the government is as well. Choose wisely.

  4. confucius says:

    So who has been treated worse–British BP or Japanese Toyota?

  5. proreason says:

    “Since March, the agency has examined 40 Toyota vehicles where unintended acceleration was cited as the cause of an accident, Mr. Person said. NHTSA determined 23 of the vehicles had accelerated suddenly, Mr. Person said.

    In all 23, he added, the vehicles’ electronic data recorders or black boxes showed the car’s throttle was wide open and the brake was not depressed at the moment of impact”

    hmmmm. 23 wrong out of 23. The odds against that? 8,388,608 to 1.

    But it doesn’t really apply. The Obama cabal doesn’t like to take chances when they are destroying an enemy of the regime.

  6. chainsaw says:

    Toyota has manufacturing plants in Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia, Indiana and Georgia. GE recently closed light bulb manufacturing plants in Ohio and Kentucky in favor of plants in China (buy Sylvania). Now tell me, which of these companies is the foreign one? My point being is that the MSM and this administration is trying to project Toyota as foreign when in fact they are more domestic than the President’s economic advisory board GE CEO.


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