Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Thinking about Sikes' Prius: issues of proof

Back in March, Matt Hardigree had a post This Memo Proves The Runaway Prius Was A Hoax , which included text

Given this memo indicates Toyota was not to blame in this very public case of unintended acceleration

Flash forward to April 2010, and Toyota is being (potentially) fined by the NHTSA.

The memo in question (mentioned by Matt Hardigree) provided evidence that the NHTSA and Toyota were unable to duplicate the experience of Mr. Sikes. It is separately true that Mr. Sikes has a troubled financial past.

However, as Abraham Lincoln, and many others, have noted: you cannot prove a negative. The failure to duplicate a result is not proof the result didn't happen. Matt Hardigree needs a course in logic. Of using the word "proof," separately note Secretary of Transportation LaHood in April 2010: "We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations."

We do not yet have the final word on Sikes' Prius.

Of the fine issue,

from the Detroit News:

Federal safety regulators said April 5, 2010 that they intend to fine Toyota Motor $16.4 million — the largest ever penalty against an automaker — for failing to disclose problems with sticky accelerator pedals quickly enough.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Toyota knew in September that it had a problem with accelerator pedals that required fixing, but failed to recall 2.3 million vehicles until January — four months later.
In taking the step, federal authorities are sending the strongest signal yet that they believe the automaker deliberately concealed safety information from them.

from the Minnesota Post:

We now have proof that Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. “Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families. For those reasons, we are seeking the maximum penalty possible under current laws."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, in a Senate Commerce hearing last month, told Toyota executives and federal regulators that they had become too chummy, with a rotating door between agency and industry contributing to consumer complaints being ignored with fatal consequences. She hailed the NHSTA announcement, saying it "sends an important message" to Toyota, whose actions have "hurt everyone from consumers to our auto dealers."
"We need to change the rules of the road so that consumers are on an equal playing field with industry," Klobuchar said in a statement. "To make sure problems like this don't happen again, consumers’ complaints need to be given as much attention from safety regulators as the industry’s defense of those complaints.”


Post a Comment

<< Home