After dogged reporting, ABC’s investigative unit, headed by Bria n Ross of dubious Toyota fame, found out the shocking news that Fisker received a $529 million federal, and now the unpatricotic SOB has the Fisker Karmas built in Finland. ABC is shocked, I say shocked:
It’s the war of the unreleased documents. Days after a former NHTSA chief accused the NHTSA of burying evidence that shows that driver error was the cause in 23 out of 23 cases, ABC has the story that Toyota knew long ago how to cause sudden unintended acceleration in their cars, and failed to tell everybody how to go about it.
Gawker reports that Toyota Motor Sales has sent a letter to ABC News President David Westin, requesting that Brian Ross’s report on unintended acceleration in Toyotas be retracted. Gawker had previously uncovered Ross’s deceptive video editing, and Toyota’s complaint built on allegations first raised by the website. Ross’s reliance on Professor David Gilbert and Sean Kane of the Safety Research & Strategies also received a withering attack from Toyota General Counsel Christopher Reynolds. Kane and Gilbert’s financial relationship with several law firms pursuing suits against Toyota was revealed during congressional hearings, and Gilbert’s research has been insistently refuted by Toyota, none of which was mentioned in the ABC report.
This is left brain – right brain weekend. While the more image driven can submerge themselves in pictures of old car ads, the other faction can unleash their inner nerd with abandon. Yesterday, we covered how ABC had entered the grail of automotive disaster-fakery, previously populated by NBC and CBS. ABC’s smoking gun video had been torn to shreds.
Today, we turn our attention to the man who aided and abetted the tricksters: Associate professor David Gilbert of the renowned Southern Illinois University. His work has been inspected by Exponent, a research company hired by Toyota. Hired by Toyota? Well, that should discredit Exponent immediately. Not so fast.
Crash Sled thankfully has found a full copy of Exponent’s retort to Gilbert’s machinations. The report is hosted on the ABC website, so we can assume it passed ABC’s scrutiny, for what that may be worth. Let’s look at the report a little closer.
Warning: This discussion needs a basic understanding of electric circuitry. If that’s not your thing, then don’t waste you time reading further. We’ll leave you to Sunday’s pictures with the message that Gilbert is a charlatan extraordinaire, and that whoever put him on the stand to make a case against Toyota needs to have his or her head examined. However, should you own a 2010 Toyota Avalon, then you have slight cause for concern.
Last week, Professor David W. Gilbert testified at a house hearing and said he had replicated the unintended sudden acceleration in Toyota’s vehicles. Toyota, and their testing lab Exponent tried Gilberts method and said he was right. “But Toyota said it also created the same response in vehicles made by competitors, which it said rendered Mr. Gilbert’s findings misleading,” writes the Washington Post.
In a statement, Toyota says: “The analysis of Professor’s Gilbert’s demonstration establishes that he has reengineered and rewired the signals from the accelerator pedal. This rewired circuit is highly unlikely to occur naturally and can only be contrived in a laboratory. There is no evidence to suggest that this highly unlikely scenario has ever occurred in the real world. As shown in the Exponent and Toyota evaluations, with such artificial modifications, similar results can be obtained in other vehicles. “ When Exponent applied Gilbert’s test to five models, including a Honda Accord and a BMW 325i, all five vehicles reacted similarly.