Toyotathon roundup

by Walter Olson on March 20, 2010

  • In much-publicized recent Harrison, N.Y. crash, computer shows no indication that housekeeper driving car was using the brake [NY Times, Detroit News]
  • My National Review Online piece (which spent a couple of days in the #1 and #2 most-read positions at that site) is discussed by Damon Root at Reason “Hit and Run” among elsewhere;
  • 69 year old plows her car into a clinic waiting room in Peabody, Mass., but she was driving an Infiniti so everyone can turn the page [Boston Herald]
  • About that “declining quality at Toyota” meme [Truth About Cars, Fumento and more]
  • As I pointed out in the NRO piece, complaints of unintended acceleration ebb and flow for reasons that often seem to have more to do with cultural and media trends than with what might actually be going on with the cars. Apropos of which, blogger Auto Prophet says complaints actually dropped drastically during the years that electronic throttle controls became common;
  • NHTSA administrator Strickland, who counts as a bit of a hostile witness around these parts, testified last week that “the rate of complaints against Toyota, when compared with other makers, was ‘unremarkable.'” [WaPo]
  • Toyota demanding retraction of ABC News story [Gawker]
  • Here’s a seminar on how to sue, with CLE credit and speakers from firms like Kline & Specter;
  • Highway deaths fall to historic low [David Henderson/EconLog, Payne/NRO "Planet Gore"]
  • Simply priceless: the L.A. Times, which of all the big papers perhaps most reliably transmits a Litigation Lobby view of the world, prints a grossly tendentious paean to the glories of auto-design litigation that relies extensively on the views of Ben Kelley — yes, the Ben Kelley. One place to begin for a corrective is Charles Babcock’s paper, “Approaches to Product Liability Risk in the U.S. Automotive Industry“, published in the 1994 National Academy of Engineering volume Product Liability and Innovation: Managing Risk in an Uncertain Environment.
  • Sam Smith at Jalopnik is taking a hard line: “America, You Brought The Toyota Hoax On Yourself

{ 1 comment }

1 Mark Whinton 03.20.10 at 7:52 pm

If this was a murder trial and the prosecutor trotted out the type of witnesses and evidence that we have seen to date they would most certainly be asked to produce their high school diploma and a copy of a recent eye exam. Do any of these lawyers contemplating litigation know the history of SUA final outcomes? Do they know what happened to Kristi Bradosky when she told a nation her Audi 5000 killed her son and then proceeded to sue Audi? The November 23, 1986 60 Minutes episode “Out of Control” should be mandatory viewing for lawyers and their clients if they are thinking of suing – It’s a damn shame that CBS won’t let anyone have a copy or transcript.

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