• Jan 28th 2010 at 5:50PM
  • 71
As it's wont to do, the U.S. House of Representatives has decided to investigate Toyota over its recent recalls involving possible unintended acceleration caused by both floor mats and defective accelerator pedal mechanisms. The House Energy and Commerce committee will hold a hearing on February 25 to "examine the persistent consumer complaints of sudden unintended acceleration in vehicles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation," this according to committee chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif (above). Not only will Toyota be on the hot seat, but the committee will also investigate how well the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has handled the situation.

The Detroit News reports that Toyota officials already met with members of the committee on Wednesday. They were asked to provide the committee with information and documents and will be expected to answer questions at the hearing about when they first learned of cases involving unintended acceleration in their vehicles and what steps were taken to safeguard customers who might be at risk. They'll probably also be asked about the connection between NHTSA and Toyota through one Mr. Christopher Santucci, a former NHTSA employee who took a job with Toyota around the same time these issues were first being investigated.

It's also fair to point out that this isn't the first time a recall has gained the attention of Capitol Hill. The recall involving Firestone tires on Ford Explorers in 2000 sparked Congressional hearings, for instance.

[Source: The Detroit News | Source Image: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The only difference regarding this statement is that they didn't hault sales and production because of this. This is worse. I need more beer and popcorn

      "It's also fair to point out that this isn't the first time a recall has gained the attention of Capitol Hill. The recall involving Firestone tires on Ford Explorers in 2000 sparked Congressional hearings, for instance".
        • 5 Years Ago
        However, the Ford models that were under fire were no longer being produced at the time of both of those recalls, so it's kind of a different situation.

        People are having problems with these cars in the first year of ownership. It makes sense why you'd want to pull the product. It's unfortunate that so many models are affected.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yo that man teeth is yellow as hell,nostrils extra wide and he got dumbo ears.Damn that's a funny looking mutrucka
      • 5 Years Ago
      The great thing about cars is you can recall them of they start performing poorly. Too bad the same can't be done with the politicians we elect at any time.
      • 5 Years Ago
      OH SNAP! Toyota better look out now. Congress is on their ass. That MIGHT mean something in about 25-40 years when they finally get around to making a decision on what to do.

      ...however by that time Toyota will have already fixed the problem 10 times over and everyone will have forgotten about the issue.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Protecting the american people is the legitimate role.

        Being involved in private enterprise on GM and Chrysler's side is the conflict of interest, with Toyota, Ford, and any other direct competitor to the government's interest in GM and Chrysler.

        Under the law, one company is supposed to be just as good as another. One man is supposed to be just as good as another.

        It is the fact that the US Congress that cannot simply recuse itself, and step aside for another US Congress to preside. THAT is why it is unethical for the government to be involved in the private sector the way it currently is with GM and Chrysler.

        You, like Tourian, and the others... are working the wrong direction. Government involvement in private enterprise is the problem, on GM/Chrysler's side. It potentially introduces objectivity questions when they deal with Ford, Toyota, or any other company with any operations in the same market. The potential exists to stack the deck against any competitor to the government's interests... and they'll spin it as "protecting taxpayer interests..." yeah, right.

        Justice is supposed to be the respecter of LAW, not of men, nor their constructed companies or interests. Justice as a respecter of some men over other men, is corruption, and leads very shortly to compromised ethics.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nah, the more likely scenario is that some celebrity will either die or get knocked up and everyone will forget.

        Remember the bank bailout? Neither do I! I remember MJ dying though...
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ BoxerFanatic

        In this case, i'd say there absolutely is a conflict of interest: the US government thinks companies should act with their customers' safety in mind, Toyota apparently thinks otherwise.

        Your example of a judge with a conflict of interest is irrelevant to this situation. In the case of a conflict of interest, a judge can recuse himself/herself. As far as the law is concerned, one judge is as good as another.

        Are you suggesting the one and only federal government recuse itself from its duty to protect the citizenry from a potentially dangerous product? I thought not.

        If the government were levying import taxes against Japanese cars, I'd be more inclined to believe the US government is stacking the deck against Toyota. And if for some reason you still think this is some form of protectionism, try buying an American car in Japan.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      To think this came to light out of the tragic death of that Police officer that died in a runaway loan Lexus ES.....at least to me that's what brought the problem to my awareness.....
        • 5 Years Ago
        I have detailed information about the situation...which completely proves that what they allege are illusions . . . They lie every day
        No I am not scared, and neither should you be!
        Be assured. Toyotas are safe, protected.
        I have detailed information about the situation . . . which completely proves that what they allege are illusions . . . They lie every day.


        • 5 Years Ago
        My father gave me a 45 vinyl of that song.

        Daleem and cadyv, I found it and heres the lyrics. It ran around 1984
        Feel free to sing along...

        "I'm in the Northside Hospital flat on my back
        My legs are broken and my ribs are cracked
        My front teeth are missing, I'm one big scar
        Don't ever have a wreck in a Japanese car.

        Well, me and my buddy were out for a ride
        We had a couple of honeys sitting by our side
        We stopped at a red light three cars back
        When this guy behind us gave us a tap.

        Now I don't care how fat you are
        You're still not safe in a Japanese car
        I know they're pretty and they'll take you far,
        But you're gonna get killed in a Japanese car.

        I love my Sony Walkman, my Hitachi TV
        My Nikon camera and my new CD
        I time-shift my viewing with my VCR
        But I'll never buy another little Japanese car.

        There's not a song on the radio that I can't get
        With my new Nakamichi metal tape cassette
        Yamaha built this great guitar
        But I'll never buy another little Japanese car.

        Now I don't care how fat you are
        You're still not safe in a Japanese car
        I know they're pretty and they'll take you far,
        But you're gonna get killed in a Japanese car.

        Give me a Ford or a Plymouth or a Chevrolet
        I want to live to see another sunny day
        I want steel all around me and a heavy frame
        These recycled beer cans crush and maim.

        Now when you're cruising down the highway doing 55
        And your little car is being blown from side to side
        Think about me wherever you are
        And you'll never buy another little Japanese car.

        What would have been a fender bender years ago
        Has broke my nose, chopped off my toe
        Planned obsolescence, that's all they are
        And you're gonna get killed in a Japanese car."

        -- You're Still Not Safe in a Japanese Car by Jumpin' John Goldsmith
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's what brought it to the media, which is sad. The investigative journalism seemed to start happening around then.

        I wonder how the Ford Cruise Control thing came to light. It happened maybe 20 times a year for about 10 years, a much lower frequency of occurrences than this. It's also something you couldn't just reproduce at the shop. Yet, they got nailed for it just as bad.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Oh dear, this is how it all starts in that 1994 Tom Clancy novel "Debt of Honor", it doesn't end good either."

        I was thinking this today.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A song from the 80's was force off the air by Toyota lawyers. Might be a good time to bring it back if someone can find the whole thing.

        "I don’t care how fat you are / You’re still not safe in a Japanese car / I know they’re pretty and they’ll take you far / But you’re gonna get killed in a Japanese car…"
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh dear, this is how it all starts in that 1994 Tom Clancy novel "Debt of Honor", it doesn't end good either.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So I wasn't the only one thinking Tom Clancy time here?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @level - the lexus products are safe, safe toyota tells us. completely unrelated.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Stick your nose into too many bad ideas for too long and you, too, may end up looking like this.


      This Left Coast ogre is largely responsible for the current attempt to force all to worship at the modern alter of cap-and-trade or be damned - a handy and accurate analogical parallel to the ancient practice of the selling of indulgences, here retooled and updated to fit the new crank religion of Global Warming / Climate Change.

      And, as though this weren't enough, just this week, the Cali Senate actually passed a bill - and by a large majority - that would make free parking anywhere in the state a thing of the past.

      Yes, that's right - no free parking anywhere, including in front of stores or even on the street in front of your own pad!

      And to make it even more insidious, part of it would be 'voluntary'; that is, the State would offer 'incentives' - i.e., bribes - to business owners to disallow customer parking at their establishments.

      I wish I was making this up, but it is a fact; and the reasoning given by the power-crazed doyen responsible for the bill - one Alan Lowenthal - insanely but predictably slithers and twitches and writhes and withers and coils back around onto itself and finally ends up as being the latest key ingrident in the recipe for a pristine envrionment, as defined by all the usual excuses - reducing 'greenhouse gases' by discouraging individual vehicle travel being foremost.

      The pols out here in the Golden State have really run off the rails completely, and even if this obscenity is never signed into law - which is likely - that doesn't mean they won't stop trying, either with this or something even worse.

      And to attempt pull this off in an election year . . .

      As for Waxman, I don't know how long this foul troll will remain in the Senate before he is termed-out - or how much farther his appearance will deteriorate - but if his ear holes were as big as his nose holes, then perhaps he might have heard of a recent political occurance in Mass. that sent a loud blast to many of his fellow too-loose Democrat congressional cohorts, concerning their peculiar penchant for trying to grab whatever semblance of freedom that might still be left over for the suffering, unwashed masses - masses which would still like to remain individually auto-mobile.

      Beware, all ye who go not by foot nor omnibus, for ultimately the all-seeing, all-smelling Nostrildamus would have it so!

      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds like Toyota has value engineered and decontented itself into deep doo-doo. This debacle will cost it more than all the money it has ever saved by chiseling on components and testing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You said it brother.

        There are three things in any car that shouldn't controlled on an electronic bus system, steering, brakes and gas. Mercedes, I believe,led the way in this CanBus based lunacy. Trusting control to a serial bus supplied by the lowest bidder is profit driven, engineered stupidity.

        Fly by wire in aircraft is a triple redundant system because aircraft designers have a real respect for gravity. Automotive designers should give more respect to momemtum.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man. House Hearings?!! Maybe they can get into why one of their own investigators was bought off. Oh well. Toyota is now just like the rest. I wonder how much Consumer Reports has been getting paid off. How do they afford printing costs for a mag that is funded by subscribers only? Most of the Toyota Sheep will still buy them, of course.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, it was a buy off. The guy got his job, and the results of the study were minimized. It happens every day. That is what happened during the Madoff investigation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I bet you that won't come up.
        • 5 Years Ago
        One NHTSA employee getting a job at Toyota is hardly "bought off". Talk about believing in ridiculous conspiracy theories......
      • 5 Years Ago
      Damn, the Explorer fallout brought TPMS standard. Now you can't change rims without an extra 100 dollars per wheel. This is sure to bring about sytems that mean the end for Heel-Toe driving.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed, it seems like that will happen. I think all electronic throttle systems need this though; eventually the pedal will crap out and start acting funny. Without pedal input filtering, you've potentially got blood on your hands as a manufacturer. Unfortunately you can't expect people to keep their vehicles in absolute tip top shape.

        Run-flat tires are even worse though. That's a mess and a half. I'm not interested in buying a car that has them.. if it's under warranty anyway.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah... because no one can heel-toe in a gti. or an rs4. or an s4. or an s5. or a gallardo. or an r8.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow this is a smart move. This is going to trash GM's largest competitor and maybe get some market share back, then profit.
        • 5 Years Ago

        That is a different matter. I never said that the victims were to be ignored, nor did I say that they have no case.

        That is a matter for wrongful death suits, brought before the court. That is what civil wrongful death suits are for... NOT the US Congress. The judicial process is designed to establish truth, and the status of liability.

        The conflict of interest between the US Congress bailing out one auto company, then holding hearings on their competitor, has no bearing on the judicial branch's legitimate role. The Congressional hearings will probably result in more onerous automotive regulations, and could possibly be used as impetus for tariffs, or any other legislative act, which could theoretically put some companies at a disadvantage compared to other companies that the US Government has interest in.

        The US Congress is not a circuit court, and the Legislative branch does not supercede the Judicial branch.

        Get it straight before rebutting what you don't understand. And don't accuse me of what I am not saying.
        • 5 Years Ago
        So how are 19 deaths suppose to fit in your conspiracy theory?

        I'm sure their families would love to hear about how they don't really exist or their complaints are all fabricated.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't you realize how unethical that is?

      • 5 Years Ago
      I was about to make dinner and you post this pic of Waxman?! I can see his brain, or whatever makes him tick.

      Lost my appetite. Thanks AB.
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