And Now… Toyota Terrorists?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
and now toyota terrorists

Workers in an Indiana post office were forced to evacuate their workplace yesterday, when the fourth “hoax bomb” targeting Toyota’s US facilities in the last week was discovered there. The AP [via Google] reports that the latest package was addressed to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana in Princeton, IN and according to Toyota spokesfolks, it is

similar to other suspicious packages mailed to our corporate office in Erlanger, Kentucky, on Friday and our West Virginia and Texas plants on Monday. All of these packages were found to be non-threatening

All four packages bore handwritten originating addresses in Nigeria, and contained devices described in the latest instance as a cardboard tube containing electronic components. Auto industry PR guys, you have a new worst-case scenario…

But is this string of seemingly-connected hoax attacks an indication of a larger threat? With no answers forthcoming, Toyota is clearly taking the situation seriously, and has alerted its other US corporate facilities to be on the alert for further packages. Thus far, only the Indiana post office and Toyota’s Erlanger, Kentucky corporate offices have been evacuated due to the threatening packages; the packages sent to Toyota’s Buffalo, West Virginia and San Antonio, Texas plants were discovered in factory mailrooms and were deemed non-threatening without triggering an evacuation.

Because of the ambiguous nature of the devices found, Toyota is hesitating to even call the packages “threats,” telling Reuters

For all we know, it could be that these packages were legitimate attempts to contact Toyota

Regardless of Toyota’s soft-pedaling, the FBI has joined Postal Inspectors and the Indiana State Police in investigating the string of threatening packages. None of the investigating law enforcement bodies has publicly commented on the case.

So, what the hell is going on? Is a well-meaning Nigerian mechanic trying to return parts to Toyota’s US facilities? Is this the random work of a loon, or the amateurish work of a wannabe anti-Toyota crusader? Toyota’s tumultuous 2010 leaves all possibilities on the table, and until law enforcement reveals more details about the investigation, we’ve got little choice but to speculate.

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  • SomeDude SomeDude on May 19, 2010

    Tparkit, Ray Lahood may be biased against Toyota, but I believe his assault on Toyota, if succeeds, will only make the US passenger car market healthier. Think of this as a more intelligent form of anti-trust. Right now there's a dangerous Toyota-Honda duopoly controlling the market. Both Toyota and Honda wield tremendous market power, which is not a good news for US car buyers. Basic economics teaches us that the less market power each player exercises, the more competitive the market becomes and, ultimately, every party is better off, especially the consumer. What is important here is that some action against Honda should also taken so that both duopolists' positions are considerably weakened.

    • See 1 previous
    • Tparkit Tparkit on May 20, 2010

      "What is important here is that some action against Honda should also taken so that both duopolists’ positions are considerably weakened." Wonderful! Thank you for being so clear! These days, shills for union power and the Democrat/labor axis usually hide behind pseudo-academic eloquence, smarmy condescension, feelgood soundbites about children and the environment, multi-layered organizational complexity, spin-and-smear, proxies, false-front groups, and their traditional army of getaway drivers in the media. But you've pulled the sheet off all this to show the naked aggression, larceny, violence, and organized theft that always lurks just off-stage. Except when the likes of Acorn or campus radicals show their anti-Constitutional ways, people tend to forget your team's brick-through-the-windshield mentality. People forget that there is absolutely nothing your coalition won't do, and no one you won't harm, to get what you want for yourselves. If Americans want to buy Honda's, well, they shouldn't be allowed to, and various styles of thugs will find extralegal ways to stop them. If your crowd faces any major obstacle at the moment, perhaps it's that the economic contraction is bringing to light that the public sector has for decades been looting the nation via its wage and pension deals. This kind of clarity spells trouble, enough to get a Republican governor elected in New Jersey of all places - so you better take what you can from the rest of us while the taking is good.

  • Telegraph Road Telegraph Road on May 19, 2010

    The FBI is blaming a disgruntled inventor from Nigeria. The FBI says the suspicious package was in fact a prototype for a turn signal. TTAC is going to have to think up another conspiracy theory now.

  • FreedMike I don't know why this dash shocks anyone - the whole "touchscreen uber alles" thing is pure Tesla.
  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.