Your take on the Toyota debacle?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Steve Schaffer, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I agree in principle with your statement, however why add another level of potential hazard to your daily risk, particularly when at this point Toyota doesn't seem to know what is causing the problems? My understanding is that the lady who's Prius crashed 2 days ago because of the acceleration problem, had already had the recall fix done to her car.

    Yes statistically its a fairly small risk, but it seems to me as long as they don't really know the cause, driving a Toyota at this point is a risk factor that is really unknown. It's like saying, these bungee cords break sometimes, and we're not real sure why, but but it doesn't happen very often, so go ahead and jump anyway. Ummmmm I'm thinking no.

    Doug
     
  2. Guest

    Toyota has blamed drivers, floor mats and sticky pedals but refuses to see how it could be a software issue. They preach safety and quality while saving a hundred million dollars by avoiding a recall. Who knows what else they are hiding. The assumed risk may be small but you know what happens when you assume.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    So you don't drive at all? If being one of seven people to die in a stuck-accel accident is "russian roulette" to a person, they certainly wouldn't risk being one of 35,000 that die in auto accidents annually.
     
  4. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    I think the difference is who is making the choice to take the chance. I drive 90 miles per day round trip to and from work. Daily I see fresh rubber on the highway from a recent accident. I have sat idle for over an hour while they clean up an accident. I even drive slightly over the speed limit on a regular basis. I am well aware of the chances I am taking.

    But the difference is that I have made these choices. I control my car and what happens with it. Now that does not eliminate what other drivers can do to me if they cause an accident, but I can minimize those risks also by my driving style and skills. If something is happening around me, I can make the choices and take evasive actions. In 1981 I was in an auto-body class and was given the statistic that on average, a person puts a dent in their car once every 3 years. I have not been in an accident (besides a bumper bump at a red light) in 29 years. My wife has never been in an accident except for someone backing into her in a parking lot. It is much easier not to loose at Russian roulette if you have control over which chamber is being used and/or if you are making the decision to play or not.

    Now with the Toyota issue, there is the long shot chance of accident, but the risk decision is being made by the Toyota executives - not the owners. If I choose to risk my life that is my decision and I accept the consequences for my decisions. I do not want some executive making that decision for me and definitely not if there is his money involved. And further more, the Toyota drivers have no evasive actions or decisions that they can make to minimize or avoid the incident except not using their car. Winning a major lottery is a long shot, but people do win it on a regular basis. It does happen. I wouldn't be surprised that before this is all over, there will be another tragedy.
     
  5. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Meanwhile, five thousand people will die in ordinary, everyday automobile accidents during the next two months.
     
  6. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Yes but generally not as a result of a faulty car.

    Doug
     
  7. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    Correct, but the issue here is that the Toyota executives knew their cars had issues and did nothing. There is a hazard and they chose not to do anything and 52(?) people are now dead. Are these "accidents" or "involuntary manslaughter" cases?

    This reminds me of a question about having totally self driving cars. I read today that the death rate on the highways was much lower last year - "only" 33,900, the lowest since the 1950s. Now suppose in the next 5 years every car and truck is modified and driving it's self. No human input. The result is that the death rate is reduced to 10,000 per year saving 23,900 lives per year. When there is an accident, who would be to blame? The owner? He was not driving it. The car manufacturers? There is no such thing as a perfect machine or computer that never has glitches. If they were sued for every accident, they could not stay in business. But yet the roads are safer than they ever were.
     
  8. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Quote:Originally Posted by Douglas Monce

    Yes but generally not as a result of a faulty car.
    Then by all means, we should do what we can to see that the problems with Toyota cars are fixed. But let's not pretend that the problem is some huge epidemic, when it's responsible for less than 0.03% of automobile accidents. If you drive a Toyota, your risk of dying from this defect is negligible compared to your risk of dying from a car accident in general. I just think some perspective is warranted, that's all.
     
  9. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    I never said that it was an epidemic. I said that for the time being, I wouldn't drive a Toyota.

    After all when 7 people died from poisoned Tylenol in Chicago in 1982, the pulled Tylenol from store shelves in 30 states. If you had a bottle of Tylenol from a particular batch, you were told to flush it down the toilet. Because 7 people died in one city. Were they over reacting, or were they being on the safe side. Again, they didn't know why people were dieing, so they played it safe. In my opinion they should be playing it safe with Toyota too.

    Doug
     
  10. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    I don't think that's a very apt analogy, either. Tylenol doesn't result in 35,000 deaths per year as a matter of course.
     
  11. Guest

    The FDA in 2002 estimated that 458 people died annually from acetaminophen overdoses, 100 of which were non-intentional. 7 people suddenly dying does send up a red flag compared to the Toyota situation.





     
  12. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    Let's see, that works out to 0.8 non-intentional deaths from acetaminophen overdoses during a 3-day period, the length of time during which the 7 deaths from tampered Tylenol occurred. So those 7 deaths represent a 775% increase over the usual death rate from the product, whereas the Toyota problem represents a 0.03% increase.
     
  13. Guest

    Tylenol also had no prior knowledge of tampering with their product. Toyota knew they had issues and tried to cover them up. There was the email about saving one hundred million dollars avoiding the recall. A Japanese union also warned them of the dangers of cost cutting 4 years ago. Even the head of the company admitted to Congress that their priorities were confused as they concentrated on profit and market share. Its not a very good comparison.

    I don't hold it against Tylenol that some idiot tried to kill people with their product. I DO hold it against Toyota that they endangered lives in order to cut corners and make a profit.
     
  14. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Yes but as soon as the makers of Tylenol pulled the product as soon as they knew there was a problem. Toyota, by all accounts, knew about this problem 4 years ago, and did nothing about it. If one person died as a result of a fault that Toyota knew about, and did nothing to correct, that in my opinion is negligent manslaughter.

    Doug
     
  15. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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