Episode 334 – ABC Attacks Toyota, Support for Akio Toyoda Weakens, Beware of Network Fraud

February 23rd, 2010 at 12:09pm

Runtime 5:52

ABC News slams Toyota claiming to be able to recreate electronic throttle malfunction. Executives at the company get hit with subpoenas and support for Toyoda begins to flag. All that and more, plus John McElroy explains why network exposes on the auto industry should be taken with a grain of salt.

Transcript and Story Links after the jump . . .

Here are today’s top headlines. ABC News slams Toyota. I slam ABC. And Akio Toyoda is starting to lose support.

Up next, we’ll be back with the news behind the headlines.

This is Autoline Daily for Tuesday, February 23, 2010. And now, the news.

The Toyota story is reaching a crescendo. Last night ABC News ran a piece on how a college professor, Dave Gilbert at Southern Illinois University, artificially caused a short in a Toyota Avalon’s throttle pedal that induced full-throttle unintended acceleration. And the engine computer did not record any error code, meaning it could not be traced. Toyota says it talked to Gilbert about this, and showed him how it could not cause unintended acceleration. Now Toyota says Mr. Gilbert is causing a different kind of short than what he showed them, and the company says it welcomes the opportunity to evaluate the new procedure themselves with ABC News present to witness the test. I’ll have more to say about this later in the show.

Toyota executives were also hit with subpoenas from a federal grand jury and the Security and Exchange Commission, the Wall Street Journal reports. These things tend to center on improper disclosure and misleading investors. And the Journal also says that support for Akio Toyoda within the company is starting to waver. Employees question if he’s the right executive to lead the company through this crisis.

It was bound to happen sooner or later but experts predict gas prices will reach over $3 a gallon this summer in the U.S. According to the AP, it’s not being driven up by consumption instead it’s the cost of crude oil that is driving up the price of gas due to its high demand around the globe.

Tengzhong, the Chinese company attempting to acquire Hummer from GM, may try to buy Hummer through an offshore investment party. According to Reuters, the acquisition needs approval from the Chinese government but it says it has never received an application from Tengzhong. The deadline to buy Hummer has already been pushed back once from January to the end of this month. If Tengzhong doesn’t get approval it could try to buy Hummer through an offshore investment as long as production remained outside of China because it needs government approval to build a new plant.

GM announced that current board member Steve Girsky, has been appointed to vice chairman of corporate strategy and business development. Girsky will be responsible for corporate strategy, business alliances, new business development, and other related areas. The appointment is effective March 1. The company also announced that John Smith, vice president of corporate planning and alliances, will retire. He will remain as an advisor to CFO Chris Liddell until the end of the year.

Network television has a history of producing fraudulent reports when it comes to automotive safety. And ABC News could be continuing that tradition. More after the break.

As we reported at the top of the show, last night ABC News ran a report showing how a college professor had rigged up a Toyota Avalon so he could induce a short that would cause unintended acceleration. ABC News had no input or rebuttal from Toyota. It left their side out altogether. That alone should make you suspicious.

We’ve seen instances in the past when investigative reports from network television ginned up tests that looked damning, but later turned out to be fraudulent. 60 Minutes on CBS famously found some automotive expert who could cause an Audi to experience unintended acceleration. But he had to disassemble the transmission and weld parts shut to make it happen—something that would never occur on its own in the real world.

The news program Dateline on NBC even more famously rigged up a Chevy pickup with explosives to make it “blow up real good” in front of the cameras. GM hired investigators who ultimately found that the Dateline test was nothing but a fraud.

Last night, ABC also featured Sean Kane of Safety Research and Strategies, on its report of the Avalon’s unintended acceleration. He was presented as a safety advocate, but Mr. Kane makes his living by selling data and information to plaintiff attorneys, the very people who are going to try and make themselves fabulously wealthy suing Toyota. Sean Kane has a vested interest in seeing Toyota sued, but ABC never mentioned that.

It could turn out that Toyota does indeed have an electronics problem. But don’t jump to conclusions based on last night’s report from ABC News.

And that’s it for today’s top news in the global automotive industry. Thanks for watching, we’ll see you next tomorrow.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog, The Auto Channel, Car Chat, WardsAuto.com and WWJ Newsradio 950

86 Comments to “Episode 334 – ABC Attacks Toyota, Support for Akio Toyoda Weakens, Beware of Network Fraud”

  1. Drew Says:

    If the used car values of Toyota’s suffer because of all this “hype”, I just may consider a Toyota for my next car purchase!!

    What an opportunity to obtain a great quality vehicle at a good price because of the media!!

  2. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I don’t trust the MSM at all,so for me the report doesn’t mean anything.However,too many people do trust the big MSM and the damage is done and it won’t be repaired.Anything that Toyota says now will be ignored by future buyers.This is what happens when companies try to hide stuff that “MIGHT” be dangerous.You screwed up bigtime Toyota.

  3. Ken Stadden Says:

    John,
    Your eye-opening take on ABC’s less-than-professional reporting should be forwarded to every car owner in the U.S. Anyone who knows the automotive industry is plenty weary of seeing the mainstream press getting it all wrong on cars, especially when there are ratings to be had. Thanks for the genuine journalism.

  4. Tony Gray Says:

    Good job as usual John.

  5. Alex Kovnat Says:

    About ABC News: Around 1980, ABC carried out an outright hatchet job on the then-controversial M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank. They made it look like the M1′s turbine engine would suddenly quit running due to dirt and dust clogging the air filter.

    It was later determined that the Army meant to show how quickly the air filter could be cleaned, but ABC took it out of context and misread TV viewers into believing the turbine was prone to sudden loss of power.

    But then, that’s the New York intellectual establishment for you. The same intellectual establishment that might claim that if we were to have had a very mild winter, its global warming. If on the other hand you have record snowfall in places like Washington D.C., including snowfall in areas that haven’t had snow in decades, that’s global warming too.

  6. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder if the news media has an ulterior motive to help bring down Toyota is it just to sell themselves as the ones that got the big “scoop”. Despite all this, the majority of Toyota owners are not fazed by all this.

  7. T. Bejma Says:

    The one thing I got out of the ABC piece was that the reporter could not stop the vehicle by simply pushing on the brakes when the accelerator was floored. The engine overpowered the brakes. I always thought this wasn’t possible…

  8. Max Christensen Says:

    Toyota needed to be taken down a notch or two, and I for one am glad to see it happening. First,they are headquartered in a protectionist country (Japan) that has not allowed our domestic manufacturers the same access to their markets as is allowed to them when they bring their vehicles over here. That of course is not Toyota’s fault – it’s the fault of stupid policies on the part of our government, but it still iritates the hell out of me.

    Second, most of the automotive magazines have helped to destroy our domestic manufacturers due to their constant raves about Toyota and most of the other foreign manufacturers. But now all of a sudden, most of these same magazines are coming to the defense of the domestics – no industry turns it around that fast, especially when two of them are mired in bankruptcy. So that tends to prove my theory that most of the gloating over the foreign cars in the past 10-15 years has been noting but bullshit.

    Third, there is no car company in the world who could be as clean and upstanding and manufacture such “perfect” products as Toyota. That just doesnt’ happen, and now it appears that things ARE catching up to them – all the way from defective engineering to covering up problems to “bragging” about beating recalls and investigations.

    So yeah, if Toyota falls completely off the map, I say it’s about damn time! I’m not saying our domestics are much damn better, but the domestic big three are not nearly the bastards that everyone has tried to make them out to be over the past few decades. The automotive world here in the United States has gotten alot like the beer world …….. if you don’t drink some overpriced overhiped non-domestic beer, you’re some kind of moron or caveman. Well guess what, give me a Bud or a Coors any day over some of that foreign crap, and I say the same thing about cars!

    Give everybody a level playing field and equal reporting, and let’s see where they all shake out ……….

  9. paulstewart Says:

    Max Christensen be careful your risking the wrath of the almighty Nick Stevens with words like that.

  10. Truman Lewis Says:

    Great job John as always, most of our news is fabricated to fit the stations views, ABC my of bit the hand that feeds them –

  11. T. Bejma Says:

    Well said Max! Although I’ll take a domestic micro-brewed IPA…

  12. Gerald Thompson Says:

    The CBS “news” last night said they had ‘proof’ of Toyota’s coverup…what a joke. The engine had a surge or roughness at a certain MPH that needed to be programmed out. WOW! If this is their ‘scoop’ we’re all in trouble…but tehn I realized that I was one of only a few hundred people that had seen it.

    I have little respect for Toyota and their perceived quality but they deserve better.

    Thanks John for some real journalism.

  13. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I really don’t like Toyota (at all) but I care less for fragulent reporting. What happened to reporting the news (not making it); and that last statement is rhetorical.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Max Christensen Says:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    “if you don’t drink some overpriced overhiped non-domestic beer, you’re some kind of moron or caveman. Well guess what, give me a Bud or a Coors any day over some of that foreign crap, and I say the same thing about cars!”

    I’m a “beer snob,” as it were, but my favorites are mostly demestic from companies like Bells, 3 Floyds, and Barley Island.

  15. Max Christensen Says:

    Btw Paul, you still owe me a beer. I suppose if I come to Michigan I’ll have to drink Miller???? Actually that would be fine ………

  16. Nick Stevens Says:

    “# Drew Says:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    If the used car values of Toyota’s suffer because of all this “hype”, I just may consider a Toyota for my next car purchase!!

    What an opportunity to obtain a great quality vehicle at a good price because of the media!!”

    Great thinking.

  17. Bob Kinnee Says:

    Nicely said Max, I to feel that the media has not given our domestics much credit,they have vastly improved over the last few years & should be noted of all the improvements, I feel they are on par with any global vehicle, I feel Hyundai/Kia,Toyota,Honda, & all the rest have great product also…but my decision will be USA owned

  18. Nick Stevens Says:

    “if you don’t drink some overpriced overhiped (SIC) non-domestic beer, you’re some kind of moron or caveman. ”

    The brits have found what American beer and Canoes have in common

    “They are both effing close to water”

    STILL, I would be an econ illiterate to pay an arm and a leg fro the imported crap. ESPECIALLy for that excellent Chinese Beer Qingtao (sp), which would cost me only 40 CENTS for a 640 ML bottle (close to two 12 oz cans! each), even in the U cafeteria there, but over here you have to pay TEN times for a bottle HALF as big.

    Therefore I buy the domestic variety, in packs of 30 cans, and the “ice” variety that has a half-decent amount of alcohol in it.

    You can see I am not a beer snob. But i draw the line on SCOTCH. The domestic and canadian whiskeys I have tasted were undrinkably bad. The Scotch brands are also unacceptable unless they are 12 years or older. Johnny Walker’s 12 yr old Black Label has been found to be better tasting than many older and far more expensive brands, BTW.

  19. Drew Says:

    @ Bob Kinnee:

    So, you would rather buy a vehicle that is USA owned but made in a foreign country, rather than a non-USA owned vehicle that is made in the USA?

  20. Nick Stevens Says:

    The media should have gone to jail for the job they did on AUDI AND the GM TRUCKS, both of which John mentioned in his excellent piece today, in full detail.

    Unfortunately, they probably settled out of court, paid the automakers a few lousy million, that do not even begin to pay the BILLIONS they caused Audi and GM in lost sales and resale value.

    The media are really worthless in the USA. Especially the crooked, idiotic network TV “reality shows” and 60 minutes knockoffs crooked “investigative reports”…

  21. Jim Terruso Says:

    Mr. Christensen,
    Most of what you say is true. I would argue
    that if Toyota survives another 100 years
    they will never build the amount of POS
    GM has.

  22. HtG Says:

    Nick writes…”Therefore I buy the domestic variety, in packs of 30 cans, and the “ice” variety that has a half-decent amount of alcohol in it.”

    Keep in mind that alcohol limits for beverages labelled as beer are set at a maximum percentage by the Federal govt., above which the beverage must be called ale.

    Now where were we?

    ps Keep kickin’ it John!

  23. G.A.Branigan Says:

    @ Jim Terruso:I disagree.Toyota has already been making their interiors cheaper,as told by people here who have owned(still own?) them.You forget the announcement by Toyota to decrease the cost to suppliers etc.What do you think that adds up too?

    BEER:Great White,Fat Tire,Henry Weinhardts….in that order and all American.

    SCOTCH:DeWars white Label for everyday wear and tare,Ancestors 12 yr old for th’ good stuff.I like blended,I can’t stand single malt,fwiw.

  24. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Keep in mind that alcohol limits for beverages labelled as beer are set at a maximum percentage by the Federal govt., above which the beverage must be called ale.”

    The about 6% on the cheapo Ice cans makes them palatable. I heard there are beers with much more % than that, but they would probably not taste like beer anymore.

    Re Scotch, I read a review on the Fin Times of many good scotches, and they had a heap of praise for Black label, they rated it higher than many other Johnny Walker brands that are older and far, far more expencive (Green, Gold and even Blue)

  25. Nick Stevens Says:

    “# Jim Terruso Says:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Mr. Christensen,
    Most of what you say is true. I would argue
    that if Toyota survives another 100 years
    they will never build the amount of POS
    GM has.”

    I agree,

    Some here would have us believe that the 200,000,000 Amrican Consumers are collectively so idiotic as to pay a $2,000-$3,000 premium to buy the Toyotas, while there is was (and probably still is) a real and significant difference in quality and reliability over the domestics?

    PS Go to C-span now, Lentz, Toyota USA Bigwig (but not an engineer) is currently testifying.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t think any amount of news reporting could have killed the domestics. It’s the word of mouth, recommendations from owners and technicians alike that has made the Japanese imports take first place over the domestics, just spend a couple of days like I did with a Chevy 2- door Cavalier, er. Cobalt and a Civic like I did last year, and you don’t need any article or “expert” to tell you how vastly superior the Civic is in every single detail between the two.

  27. HtG Says:

    Lentz of Toyota just said some cars have ECUs that cannot have their programming updated to allow for break over-ride of the engine throttle. Uh oh Toyota owners.

  28. HtG Says:

    brake, not break

  29. pedro fernandez Says:

    Lentz sounds as clueless as Wagoner did. This old geezer congressman from Michigan is having a field day with Lentz

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    Lentz sounds as unprepared as I’d be for a bar exam.

  31. HtG Says:

    go Big John go

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    This just in: GM wants to hire Lentz as their CEO

  33. pedro fernandez Says:

    South west airlines will use this Lentz lynching as a promo for their wanna get away commercials.

  34. Nick Stevens Says:

    “# pedro fernandez Says:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Lentz sounds as clueless as Wagoner did. This old geezer congressman from Michigan is having a field day with Lentz”

    That geezer is Dingell (D), the Domestics (and the UAW’s especially!) long-time best friend. If you expect a fair examination by Dingell, forget it. Most of his questions were showoff BS to make Lenz look bad. Also, Lenz is not an engineer, he should bring one with him. And his replies were too timid, he took extra care not to anger the geezer..

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    WOW This looks really bad for Toyota. This guy is completely unprepared for this grilling, lucky him he’s not up on criminal charges, otherwise, 10 years at Sing-Sing.

  36. HtG Says:

    Lentz can’t concede that Toyota knew there was a ETCS problem. As he is under oath, the lawyers are watching.

  37. pedro fernandez Says:

    Nick: even though he’s not an engineer, he should have been better prepared with data and dates on a sheet in front of him. He comes off as completely clueless.

  38. dcars Says:

    FYI on the beer. Bud is owned by a Belgian company ABInbev. Miller/Coors is part of SAB a South African Company. If you want a truly US owned beer it’s pretty difficult find, but they are available. Try Yuengling or a Sam Adams. I will sometimes enjoy a Rum and Coke while also sipping a Sam Adams Winter Lager.
    I can only guess, but it appears that Jim Lentz is a well paid clueless front man for a Japanese company.

  39. Nick Stevens Says:

    The Congressmen held the hearings, by their own admission, too early, and they wished they had more time to do a far more thorough job. Maybe the lack of time shows in Lentz’s lack of preparation. It is interesting that Toyota would appoint a marketing person (not even a finance guy, let alone an engineer) to head its US operations. Maybe Lentz will not stay in that job long, after today’s performance (or lack thereof)

  40. pedro fernandez Says:

    Most companies spend too much trying to get new customers and not enough to keep the current ones, this is true with most industries,that deal with customers, banks, telecommunication, etc. I’ve had that happen to me with cable, phone satellite, tv etc

  41. pedro fernandez Says:

    Sutton is the one responsible for C4C program, she should shut her yap!

  42. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Most companies spend too much trying to get new customers and not enough to keep the current ones”

    A new customer enters a restaurant and sits down at a table. Near him, another customer is finishing his meal.

    There is a draft and the new customer feels cold. “Could you shut that door?” he asks the waiter.

    “Please leave that door open, it’s too warm in here”, says the one finishing his meal.

    Not knowing what to do, the waiter asks the Restaurant owner.

    “Do what the new customer tells you!” comes the clear reply.

  43. julius lambert Says:

    Do you guys remember the AUDI feasco in the 80s?They DENIED and it took them 20 years to get going again in the US.

  44. Nick Stevens Says:

    “Sutton is the one responsible for C4C program, she should shut her yap!”

    It figures… I’m sure her village is missing her.

    PS In the global village, is there a Global Village Idiot?

  45. Nick Stevens Says:

    “julius lambert Says:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Do you guys remember the AUDI feasco in the 80s?They DENIED”

    Did you SEE today’s piece by John McElroy? He correctly pointed out that even 60 minutes is corrupt, they rigged their photo-op, the AUDIS were FINE, their customers were idiots and did not drive carefully.

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    I wonder if the Audi 5000 had that electric throttle system?

  47. Alex Kovnat Says:

    Some of us here have mentioned beer.

    Thomas Sowell reminds us that just about all the domestic beer brands were founded by German immigrants. Unfair to others nationalities and ethnicities? Not when you consider that the Germans have been brewing beer since the days of the Roman empire.

  48. David B. Fishburn Says:

    Nice job, Mac! Whenever i watch these news shows, i always take the “information” with a grain of salt. It is well known that they slant the stories whichever way they want to. To them, there is no such thing as a balanced story. Even with all this going on, Toyota should have done better, but chose not to. They ignored what happened to Mitsubishi a few years ago. Mitsubishi is still paying the price for it. Toyota deserves what is happening to them, they thought that they could get away with it, but got caught with their pants down instead.

  49. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yeah, dumbass, GM pulled out first,why don’t you go bitch to them? California has priced itself out of viable industry, even movies are moving out of there.

  50. Jim Sawyer Says:

    John,

    As someone who covered 60 Minutes’ Audi “sudden acceleration” story in the day and even interviewed the story’s producer, Alan Maraynes, I applaud you for calling out ABC. For too long confrontation and controversy–whether real or staged–has played a major role in TV coverage of important issues. You show once again that the “watchdogs” need watching just as much as anyone else.

  51. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    AWWW POOR BABIES!!!!

  52. Fred Cherney Says:

    Funny but when it was proven Nader rigged the stability test of the Corvair, nothing was said. Now Nader is rich and respected as a crusader and the Corvair is dead. I’d certainly never believe a word he said! Media thrives on bad news and ignores good news.
    Fred

  53. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Yeah Alex,the irony I that Mexico has a strong brewing industry, and I think one day many Mexican Immigrants will grow the US industry.

    If they do I hope they stick to what Mexican Breweries do best,and thats actually making some beer that doesnt give me gas, unlike the German-American sourced beers.

  54. Nick Stevens Says:

    Germans consider CZECH beer to be the best, I know some there who would fly the Czech airline mostly for the excellent beer.

    Poland also has an excellent beer (I would misspell it if I wrote it) and the reason it is excellent is it uses the same water the Czech beer is using, from the Tatra mountain range.

  55. pedro fernandez Says:

    I believe that when beers come here they have to lower their alcohol content per gov. regulations, thus the difference in taste. Germans drink beer like water, even minors, it’s their version of Coca-cola.

  56. pedro fernandez Says:

    Next up for congress, they will investigate Hyundai for unintentional depreciation.

  57. Nick Stevens Says:

    Kia is worse. I remmeber the infamous POS Kia Sephia, new for $10,000 and one year old with few miles for $4,950!

  58. Nick Stevens Says:

    When in Germany (5 months total), I drank beer all the time, and rarely any other alcohol (except in formal dinners etc). It is much, much better than most mainstream US beers, and cheaper too

  59. Nick Stevens Says:

    German beer is much healthier than either the sugary or the diet coke too. Same for Sauerkraut, but their meats are not… and they have some POS that is worse than even butter, called shinken, sold in butter-like tubes, made from pigfat, I believe.

  60. Nick Stevens Says:

    Hyundai’s turen came far sooner than even I expected:

    “Hyundai halts 2011 Sonata sales because of door glitch”

    That must be really embarassing, Smoked Halibut on Crack!

    “Hyundai Motor America Inc. today ordered a halt to sales of the 2011 Sonata after notifying dealers that front door-lock modules on some cars can stick under some circumstances.
    With intense scrutiny bearing down on rival Toyota Motor Corp., Hyundai hopes to quickly and quietly resolve the product glitch on the recently released 2011 Sonata sedan..”

  61. pedro fernandez Says:

    This may be a dumb question but why don’t car makers just go back to the old, trusty pedal/wire/throttle set up that has been around forever, are we so far into electronics that there’s no going back possible?

  62. David B. Fishburn Says:

    Pedro, that’s not a dumb question. The reason is because of design flexibility. Drive-by-wire allows designers to design/use different engine/trans. packaging and for more extreme body designs.

  63. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Not Really Nick, becuase a Door Glitch wont kill ya. Well unless the car crashed over a bridge and fell in the water. However, to be honest if you die of a freak accident like that. Yeah, It was your time to go.

    By the way Nick, I still see Sephias, so they must have not been all that bad.

    I think Americans are overreacting Cry Babies too, about quality concerns. The problem is Americans also see comestics as a sign of quality, when sometimes the best quality is wrapped in a Crappy package. The facts show that older Hyundais and KIAs werent actually all that bad in the first place. And when you compare the first Korean Cars to the First Japanese cars they werent that bad. You never heard of the engine being so hot in a pre= 1995 Hyundai that the engine heat came in the Cabin.

    That was just only one of the bad points about the first Japanese cars. Read your history about 50s Datsuns and Toyotas, you’ll see. There was a perfectly good Reason why Nissan Changed the name. The Fist Hyundai Excels were very Reliable compared to the 50s Japanese cars, and that’s BAAAAADDDD…….

    Some of you really old guys Know what Im talking about.

  64. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I hate Toyota, Im tired of these guys. Procescute them, Jail em, fine them, do whatever you got to do, but Im tired of these guys.

  65. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Japanese Cars are like French Cars. They look ugly and cheap but actully arent cheap.

    Korean, Amercan, and German cars look more expensive, than what they are.

    This is the Era of more for Less, it puts the Japanese and French Companies at a serious disadvantage.

  66. Denis Says:

    ABC is a joke…of course the car is going to accelerate if you short out the pedal to trick the computer that you want full throttle. This same result will happen on any car with electronic throttle….next ABC will go after battery companies whose batteries explode if you short out the terminals.

  67. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nissan is the only one of the Japanese big 3 that has a chance of Growth. Well, that’s if the Government doesnt open up their can of worms, and like I said before Nissan has more quality problems then Toyota can even think of.
    Nissan’s quality and relibility as of late is poor. Not bad, but poor.

    They are working on the quality, but its not enough becuase after Toyota gets tossed over Ray LaHoods shoulder like an empty beer can

    By the way Nick German beer is good, but Mexican beer is the best. I see Mexican beer growing in prominence over German beer over the long run actually.

    Humm… Kind of like Korean cars VS Japanese cars.

  68. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Back to my rant:

    They (Nissan) are working on the quality, but its not enough becuase after Toyota gets tossed over Ray LaHoods shoulder like an empty beer can Nissan is next. If not Nissan it will be Honda. If that occurs Nissan should have enough time to fix the quality. If they dont take that opportunity to clean house then…….

  69. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Newsflash:

    China said to feject Hummer Sale Today.

    -Source

    Bloomberg

  70. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    John,

    As the responsible Journalist you are, why dont you replicate the ABC experiment? If they are wrong youll bust them plain as day, if they are right then there is a definate wire contamination, etc…problem that needs to be taken care of TODAY, like Today, now!!!

  71. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Maybe you and Autoblog can team up and do a full counter expose to find out the real truth?

  72. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    John,

    I believe the ABC experiment is right on the money. I believe they found the problem right there and then. I believe of course its a wire contamination problem, all of the Asian cars have that problem even Hyundai to a lsser extent. However, there is doubt, and I think you should investigate that yourself.

  73. dcars Says:

    My heritage is german and my dad and I made our own Sauerkraut and wine! In addition he made something he called head cheese, I could never figure out what was in that stuff and for the record I wouldn’t eat it.
    I’m a mechanical guy so drive by wire seams scary, but what ever.

  74. Kit Gerhart Says:

    # pedro fernandez Says:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    I wonder if the Audi 5000 had that electric throttle system?

    No, it didn’t,

  75. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Nick, and its just 5000 Sonatas. Not 75 Billion vehicles like Toyota.

    That was a wake up call for our young growing company=be careful with the quality. Hyundai/KIA is the most scared out of all of the makes believe it or not. Its on Bloomberg already. Mr Chung Mung Koo needs to speak and soon, and clean it up quickly.

    When you guys were young, you ever connect with an old Bum on the street who lost everything, and then get scared for your own life so you whipped youself into shape? Well Toyota is the old Bum, and Hyundai is the young guy.

  76. Tom Martin Says:

    I don’t understand this comment about gasoline price:

    “it’s not being driven up by consumption instead it’s the cost of crude oil that is driving up the price of gas due to its high demand around the globe.”

    Isn’t demand and consumption the same thing?

    Maybe someone is buying oil, but not using it??

    John, I believe that demand and consumption are rising. The number of cars in the world is rising by millions every month, and the economy is slightly improving–all increasing the demand and consumption of oil.

  77. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    http://www.autospies.com/images/users/Agent00R/main/chevyaveo.jpg

    Next Gen Aveo Sedan pic.

  78. Nick Stevens Says:

    A door glitch won’t kill you?

    It sure will if the same dumbasses that can’t remove a mat from the gas pedal also don’t wear theur seatbelts and become projectiles at 80 MPH when the doors open all of a sudden

  79. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    February 23rd, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    “This may be a dumb question but why don’t car makers just go back to the old, trusty pedal/wire/throttle set up that has been around forever, are we so far into electronics that there’s no going back possible?”

    One benefit of electric throttle is that they use the same motor to run the throttle via the right pedal, and the cruise control. Cruise controls with electric throttle work better than with vacuum servos, and there is less mechanical complexity in the system.

  80. Nick Stevens Says:

    There should be manual overrides.

  81. Bill Davis Says:

    Love the show and the audience – cars and beer – I love it. Toyota – Greedy, Arrogant, getting what they deserve. Are people just now figuring out that predatory imports are hurting the country? The Lib UAW handed the Japanese $2,000-$4,000 price advantage per vehicle/IMPORT for 30+ years. Lib Obama really bailed out the UAW by bailing out GM & Chrysler. Toyota built non-union plants before we wised up with huge US TAX INCENTIVES but still IMPORTS lots of cars – including EVERY PRIUS. And how about those ads with Toyota building wonderful green plants in “places called Kentucky and Alabama” – thanks but Americans know what our states are named. Toyota Fake-Out – we’re the GREEN CAR COMPANY while rushing to build the biggest gas guzzler truck in Texas just to eat into the Big 3’s biggest profits, like the US needed another full size pickup, then recalling entire Tundra drivetrains. Toyota had lots of recalls but the LIB MEDIA BARELY COVERED IT – how many people new about the sludge recall, the mid-sized trucks rusting in half, etc? Toyota got greedy, grew to fast and QUALITY SUFFERED and 19 or is it up to 34 people who died? Maybe they should have taken the billions they spent on the truck plant in Texas and spent it making safe cars. But no they just cooked the books – after all the dumb Americans won’t catch us – after all they handed us the biggest car market on a silver platter.

  82. EAB Says:

    I think the Toyota issue mirrors the Ford “auto reverse” issue of the 70′s. At that time, Ford had an issue with their cars popping out of park and into reverse. This issue, which was really bad, was even worse because Ford also had, as an option, an “auto release” parking brake that would disengage when the car popped into reverse.

    Now sure, the press and Govt drug Ford through the mud over this, but after it was all said and done, every automatic transmission vehicle was REQUIRED to put a brake interlock on all future automobiles. So, when this all is said and done, the law will be enacted that the engine must return to idle when the brake is pressed.

    Funny, over 100 years of the automobile and we just now thought that perhaps taking propulsion power out of the drivetrain when you try to stop a car might be a good idea? While it’s Toyota’s turn in the barrel, and for good reason I must add, this has been an engineering fubar for decades.

  83. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Maybe cars should have a “kill switch” like motorcycles have, that would shut off ignition. Better yet, for the health of catalytic converters, it could shut of the fuel injectors when pressed. Maybe this should only be used on cars with electric power steering for now, but all cars will eventually have electric power steering.

  84. Kit Gerhart Says:

    EAB Says:

    “Funny, over 100 years of the automobile and we just now thought that perhaps taking propulsion power out of the drivetrain when you try to stop a car might be a good idea?”

    If they make the throttle go to idle when you use the brake, how can you use power and brake together for autocrossing front-drive cars?

  85. AZdesertdog Says:

    John,

    your logic is full of holes for several reasons.

    first and foremost, I noticed you didn’t say a word about the fact that Professor Gilbert tried this same test on several other vehicles that were not Toyotas, including GM cars.

    the result? absolutely nothing happened.

    it should also be pointed out that when the Professor presented this data to Toyota, he said this could be happening because of wear or moisture. Toyota said that was impossible. of course, more stonewalling.

    and one of the main reasons they are having the totally bogus recall on the accelerator pedal assemblies?

    moisture.

    many doubters of the testimony given by those who were lucky enough to survive say “they should have just shifted into neutral”.

    guess what? that automatic transmission gear shift is not cable operated, but also drive by wire. it goes right into the same computer that is telling the engine, “wide open throttle”.

    what would you do now? push the “push button start” button, and hope it stops? it goes to the same computer, too.

    isn’t technology great?

  86. lashbera Says:

    what people seem to lose in all of this is not the fact that Toyota has major safety problems but that the have deceived the public about their products for many years. Bit by bit people will learn the truth about the most deceitful car company in the world