Judge James V. Selna has warned jurors in a wrongful death suit about suspicions surrounding Toyota. According to Inside Line, the warning comes tied to the automaker's conduct during an investigation of a 2008 Camry involved in a fatal crash allegedly caused by unintended acceleration. The single-car accident in Utah claimed the lives of the driver, Pual van Alfen, as well as one other passenger. Two passengers were also injured in the event on November 5, 2010. According to the report, two weeks later, Toyota inspected the sedan without the owner's presence or consent, including the onboard black box. Judge Selena cautioned jurors that they should treat the testimony of Toyota personnel who participated in the investigation with "greater caution than that of other witnesses."

Plaintiffs argued that without their own lawyers present during the inspection, data from the Event Data Recorder could have been changed or deleted entirely. The Judge said that while there was no evidence that Toyota did so, the fact that the automaker failed to notify the owner of the inspection casts a "cloud of suspicion" over the examination.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      Custom Bikes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why on earth would they even touch the damn thing without the presence of the other side ? Kinda stupid on Toyotas behalf, good luck turning this one around.
      Robert Fahey
      • 2 Years Ago
      We can't expect this chapter of the Toyota fiasco to make sense. None of it has made any sense so far.
      J D
      • 2 Years Ago
      I could see GM or Ford or Chrysler manipulating the black box data to their advantage, because those companies are run by shyters. Toyota, I'm not too sure. Maybe? Probably? At least Toyota is in the business of building safe cars. The Big Three really don't give a flying F about customer safety. I know this from experience.
      mylz
      • 2 Years Ago
      this is just bull... toyota is guilty period the end. its the asian way, lie and try and get away with it. asians have "pride" or whatever those lying sacks of **** call of it. this has been going on for years and they know it.
        mchlrus1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mylz
        Yes, the Fukushima incident was caused by the arrogance of Japanese engineering. There were much better designs but they stuck to theirs. I don't agree with your generalizations though, Mylz. I don't know how you can say those racist comments. I only agree with your statement on elitism.
          caddy-v
          • 2 Years Ago
          @mchlrus1
          What year was that 400 year tsunami in Indonesia? 400 years go by pretty dog gone fast these days.
      markman767
      • 2 Years Ago
      So true.....Toyota is so guilty it is just not fair. They knew it and covered it up. They cut corners and used shody venders to pump out as many cars as possible to become #1. It cost them thier quality for sure. Those who were hurt and even killed in some cases will never get justice. Big business wins again. Buy your next car from anyone but Toyota is the only recourse we will ever see.
      Custom Bikes
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why on earth would they even touch the damn thing without the presence of the other side ? Kinda stupid on Toyotas behalf, good luck turning this one around.
      mchlrus1
      • 2 Years Ago
      If your going to buy Japanese get a Mazda or Suzuki, otherwise stick with Domestics. There's no reason not to any more.
        J D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mchlrus1
        We dumped our late model Mazda because it had the charming characteristic of going completely dead in the middle of intersections. The company couldn't figure it out, so we forced them to buy it back under the lemon law. Apparently, this is a widespread issue. Your comment is completely uninformed and came right out of your colostomy bag.
        1454
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mchlrus1
        Wow, the ignorance here is amazing. Mazda(a ford sub)? There is a reason that Toyota and Honda gained such a huge following in the US. And it wasn't making subpar products like GM and Chry.
        jtav2002
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mchlrus1
        No reason not to? Did you ever take into consideration people buy the vehicles they WANT and not based on foreign/domestic or any other general brand loyalty? Shocking, I know.
      BG
      • 2 Years Ago
      What, is this unintended acceleration business still going on? After test after test, from 10s of automotive and software engineers could not replicated the issue?
        Walt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @BG
        Unintended acceleration in Toyota's was more than just electronics. It included unsecured floor mats (Toyota's fault) and sticky accelerator pedals (also Toyota's fault) both of which resulted in millions of vehicles recalled and fines for Toyota dragging its feet. Toyotaphiles and Toyota employees, stop trying to rewrite history. Toyota lied, people died. For that they will never be forgiven.
          1454
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Walt
          No one is trying to rewrite anything. You're wrong. I worked for nissan for years, and this is just BS. Every machine has a small design flaw, toyota tried to FIX what they could find. But they couldn't find the cause. How is it toyotas fault the drivers couldn't move their floormats? Try actually LOOKING into the situation before spouting off about BS about you know nothing about.
          Walt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Walt
          "How is it toyotas fault the drivers couldn't move their floormats? Try actually LOOKING into the situation before spouting off about BS about you know nothing about." Toyota eliminated the anchor point for their floor mats in an attempt to save a few cents per vehicle and hoping the nubs on the back of the mats were enough to keep them in place. They weren't. People died because of Toyota malfeasance. So you see, I've looked very carefully into the situation. What I found is Toyota with blood on its hands, and no one here is ever going to white wash it away as long as I'm around.
          BG
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Walt
          Cars had unsecured floor mats for decades. However, in the old days, people used manual transmission and comprehended the concept of disengaging the drive when something was happening. And maybe this is the crux of the matter: driver error. It is trendy to say xxx makes a dangerous vehicle. What happened to drivers taking responsibility for their skills and behavior?
          Walt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Walt
          Is this the new Toyotaphile technique? Be purposely obtuse? Let me draw you a picture. The "anchor point" is a plastic hook or sometimes a plastic button that is molded into a vehicles carpet on the drivers side of the vehicle. The drivers side floor mat hooks onto this anchor point. It is this anchor point that Toyota - in their great wisdom - decided to eliminate. As a result, the driver's side floor mat was unsecured to the vehicle floor, which led to the mats being able to shift and become stuck in and around the accelerator pedal. You say "just move the mats back" but once your vehicle starts accelerating uncontrollably towards and immovable object you may not be able to instantly diagnose everything that is wrong with your Toyota. Just look at any Ford that has been on the market for the past several decades and you'll clearly see the anchor point for the floor mats. Toyota went cheap in their drive to be number one, which based on their continuing massive recalls for Toyota's that are not months old but years old makes me question what other surprises Toyota will offer up to unwary buyers in the years to come. Stay tuned, suckers.
      MAX
      • 2 Years Ago
      They know the problem (tin hairs from soldering) and the US government covered it up to assuage the Japanese government .
      montegod7ss
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nobody knows if there actually is a software glitch, especially myself. With that said, if they are relying on the TPS sensor readout among others from the black box to say whether or not the gas pedal was depressed, that seems like flawed thinking to me. You can't rely on the output of the very sensor that could be malfunctioning. With throttle-by-wire your foot does nothing, and it is absolutely plausible that a sensor could malfunction causing WOT conditions while reporting everything as normal. I do find it interesting that most of these cases are with old people that have a habit of running through banks, post offices, restaurants, and various other businesses because they chose D instead of R.
        1454
        • 2 Years Ago
        @montegod7ss
        Finally someone with some sense. People are usually the cause of these accidents, and machines just know 0 and 1. Or 0-5. I have a hard time, since Toyota has been clear by the NTSB, believing that the car was at fault. Not to mention, IS IT REALLLLLLY THAT HARD TO PUT THE DA-N CAR IN NEUTRAL AND HIT THE BRAKES?
          • 2 Years Ago
          @1454
          [blocked]
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      I thought the UA saga was already over.
      kevsflanagan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yet again the lawyers for Toyota should just ask "Did the driver at any given time attempt to either turn the car off or put the car into Neutral?". To me one should always be in control of your car. If your not then there is something wrong with you. Yes accidents happen but they are usually due to cause's by nature or some outside force (gravel on the road, or a road giving way). Cases like this to me should start and end on the question I just said.
    • Load More Comments