The Nikkei [sub] reminds Toyota fanpersons and Toyota haters alike that Toyota “still faces uncertain times despite the preliminary findings of a U.S. Transportation Department investigation that indicate driver error may have been a contributing factor.” You mean, that wasn’t the fat lady? You mean, we have to wait for someone more obese?
The DOT says that they aren’t done yet with Toyota. It was an interim report only, and the search for the ghost in the machine continues.
The real ghost-in-the-machine investigations have been outsourced to experts in the search for extraterrestrials and other flummoxing problems, namely the NASA and the National Academy of Sciences. They will take their good ole time before they say something
NASA could release findings as soon as this month or next, but don’t be surprised if they say that “further research is needed.”
The NAS already said that one shouldn’t expect anything from them before next spring. These guys are thorough. Even making nice by pulling out of Iran won’t help. The DOT has Toyota on slow roast. The longer there is Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD), the better for the domestics.
The Nikkei is needlessly pointing out that “Toyota is still having a relatively rough time, with new-car sales in the U.S. slipping 3 percent on the year in July.” However, the brand hasn’t lost its luster: 57 percent. of new Toyota cars sold were bought by customers who had been driving other brands. “This was the first time since the recalls that the rate has topped 50%,” enthuses a Toyota official.
The Nikkei also reminds us that “back in the 1980s, German automaker Audi AG faced a strong backlash in the U.S. over allegations of unintended acceleration. Even though the transportation department ultimately ruled that the cause was driver error, it took a long time for Audi’s sales to recover.” Ain’t that the truth. And to celebrate that truism, a really bad rendition of “Out of the Woods.”