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Dreamer Tatum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 02:55 AM
Original message
How to be credible when discussing Toyota's issues
You say you want to be taken seriously when discussing Toyota's woes? Well, sit on down and listen up:

1. When someone posts a news story that points out the inability of the NTSB and Toyota to replicate the CA driver's "runway Prius" issue, keep in mind that perhaps the greatest scientific credence possible is conferred when results can be replicated. Snarfing "so what?" to the lack of replication MAKES ONE LOOK UNEMPIRICAL AND THEREFORE STUPID.

2. When someone voices their doubts about the Prius story (among others), accusing them of defending a corporation MAKES ONE LOOK STUPID. Here are some examples of corporations that build cars for sale: Ford. General Motors. Chrysler. Here are some examples of cars built by something other than a corporation: . That's right: none.

3. When a Toyota critic mentions that upwards of 60 deaths may be attributable to Toyota vehicle issues since 2000 or so, THE LACK OF PERSPECTIVE MAKES ONE LOOK STUPID. Unless, of course, you happen to have handy the number of fatalities per owner-mile driven, by year, for each automaker over that same time period. You don't have that, you say? Then I suggest you curl up on the sofa with a steaming hot mug of STFU.

4. When you posit that Toyota's issues can be traced to its lack of union employment in North America, YOU APPEAR STUPID unless you have handy convincing MANOVA-type studies that show the union effect has a negative defect coefficient. Don't have that data? Then see #3.

5. When you gaze at the 1982 Cressida in your driveway that has caused you zero trouble and you're sure that data point refutes the alleged issues with Toyota quality, YOU WILL APPEAR SILLY AND UNEMPIRICAL IF YOU WRITE THAT POST. A sample of one proves nothing, ever.

6. When you sneer derisively at Consumer Reports because they recommended Toyota vehicles, YOU APPEAR SILLY unless you have some sort of evidence that they're also owned by other corporations that perennially produce quality outputs. What's that, you say? I'm defending corporations? Please see #2.

Hope this helps!
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Jack Bone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 03:05 AM
Response to Original message
1. No but the report saying that Toyota knew of these problems..
years ago...only to keep producing them speaks volumes....check into it..it might help you through this initial denial period yer experiencing
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. So did Ford and GM
Remember the Corsair and the Ford Flaming Deathmobile?

Toyota is a large corporation, and like all large corporation they will do what they can to cover their asses.
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 04:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. Like Toyota's much?
srsly
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 04:09 AM
Response to Original message
3. you need to add one:
7. If you think my motivation for this post is SHEER LOVE OF TOYOTAS, YOU (fill in the blanks)
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 04:43 AM
Response to Original message
4. If YOU want to credible, don't be blind to Toyota's bad history.
Edited on Mon Mar-15-10 04:46 AM by TexasObserver
Toyota has a history of being deceitful when dealing with consumers, government regulators, and judges - according to their former lawyer. It's unwise to trust them about anything.

Ex-Toyota Lawyer Sues Automaker

Lawsuits brought by unhappy former employees are never welcome. But when a lawsuit is brought by a former in-house lawyer, it's likely to be much messier.
And when he accuses his former company's current and past general counsel of willfully ignoring him when he told them that the company was concealing and destroying evidence it was required to turn over to plaintiffs in lawsuits -- well, it doesn't get much uglier than that.
<snip>
Biller filed his complaint in federal court in Los Angeles in late July, but it's only just been publicized. In it, he describes four tumultuous years at Toyota -- 2003 to 2007 -- where he was national managing counsel in charge of defending litigation brought in rollover accidents involving the popular 4Runner sports utility vehicle. "Key Toyota executives," he alleges, "have conspired, and continue to conspire, to unlawfully withhold evidence from plaintiffs and obstruct justice in lawsuits throughout the United States."
<snip>
Biller's allegations go way beyond the circumstances of his dismissal from the company. He accuses Toyota of obstructing justice and violating civil racketeering laws. The lawyer asks that the company be enjoined from enforcing the confidentiality clause that was part of his 2007 severance agreement, and that it pay damages for allegedly harassing him and forcing him to resign.

Biller's disagreements with Toyota first began, his complaint says, when plaintiffs' electronic discovery demands began ramping up in 2004. He warned his superiors that the company was not being forthcoming. His warnings, he says, were ignored. Nevertheless, he continued to complain about discovery violations, initiating three separate meetings with then-GC Ogilvie in late 2006 and 2007. For his efforts, his complaint says, he received a poor work evaluation.

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202433517521

--------------------------------------------------

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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 06:36 AM
Response to Original message
5. .....
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 06:53 AM
Response to Original message
6. Something tells me your post isn't going to achieve your anticipated result.
Turning a blind eye to reality while serving up big, steaming mugs of STFU to everyone who disagrees with you...let's see how that works out for you.

:rofl:
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FarrenH Donating Member (485 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. He/she actually provides the criteria for not looking stupid
Edited on Mon Mar-15-10 07:59 AM by FarrenH
And I agree with all of it. As provocative as the post is, it simply demands rational thinking based on methods that science and philosophy employs to ensure objectivity. And most people with formal schooling in the ethics would agree with the underlying sentiment, if not the provocative phrasing.

Look at the deaths attributable to manufacturer faults, for instance. If you put forward a number like 60 deaths in the last decade, but credible sources can show similar deaths for the same period for most other manufacturers, then it IS stupid to single out one manufacturer as especially culpable. Further to this, if there are 30 other common human activities where there is far more risk that can actually be mitigated, but the risk is considered acceptable in that area of human activity, then the inconsistency is even worse.

This is a long-term bugbear of mine, too. Pick any area of human activity and you'll find critics in that arena breathlessly proclaiming "100 people died of x in this period!". Now, its patently obvious that 100 people out of 350,000,000 represents substantially less risk than, say, 100 people out of 1,000,000. Its also true that 100 people over 1 year is a bigger deal than 100 people over 20 years. Its also true that 100 people over here is less important than 1000 people over there facing a similar risk from another source over the same period.

So yes, context doesn't just matter. Its CRITICAL to evaluating the importance of some risk factor and the moral culpability of some supplier. Without it, raw numbers are meaningless. When I see someone breathlessly declaring "X people at risk over some arbitrary period. n/t" I see a meaningless protest which a rational person should ignore, half an argument, a logical-sentence fragment. This is not rocket science, its very basic ethical logic. And treating such arguments as meaningful actually distorts moral discourse and makes society disproportionately focus on some issues while ignoring or paying less attention to more important issues.

Put another way, the simple possibility of harm alone should never be a criteria on its own for determining an appropriate response, for the very obvious reason that every single thing humans do is attended by a risk factor. So risk (and the reasonable expectation of foreseeing and mitigating it) should be the primary concern of anyone examining a supplier of goods and services. Risk is not simply "X cases of harm"! Risk is "X cases of Y harm over Z period out of every N instances". When you've pinned that down you still look foolish if that risk turns out to be much less than the avoidable risk for a thousand other common human activities that don't suffer from selective scrutiny.

And no, I'm not a Toyota lover. I've never even driven a Toyota. To be honest, I care so little about cars that the concept of brand loyalty is alien to me. I just find the half-moral-logic of polemicists and activists who substitute passion for moral logic irritating.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 07:32 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I don't deny the textbook steps for examining and evaluating evidence.
The op's post, however, completely avoids the issue of Toyota's handling of the issue. When a company uses lying and stonewalling as its defense, people have every right to be skeptical. Just telling everyone to STFU and rely upon the scientific evidence ignores the fact that Toyota has not been forthcoming, and people are reacting to that. As you pointed out, the op's chosen method of stating his case did not exactly help him.
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divideandconquer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 07:45 AM
Original message
Union at Toyota aired fears on safety.
Union at Toyota aired fears on safety
By Jonathan Soble in Tokyo

Toyota has handed over to US lawmakers a 2006 letter written by Japanese employees warning that aggressive cost cuts had undermined the quality of its vehicles.

The letter, from a small dissident labour union, was sent to Katsuaki Watanabe, Toyotas former chief executive, and accuses the company of sacrificing safety by curtailing vehicle testing and hiring thousands of amateur short-term contract workers.

Toyota turned over the letter at the request of Edolphus Towns, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, one of several congressional committees investigating accelerator-related problems in millions of the companys vehicles.

At the time the union registered its complaints, Toyota was struggling to contain an increase in the number of defects affecting its products. Between 2000 and 2006, the carmaker recalled an average of about 1m cars a year a sharp rise on previous periods.

Concern over the defects reached a peak in mid-2006, when Japanese police launched an investigation into the company over the crash of a Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle one of the recalled models that injured five people. Prosecutors eventually dropped charges of professional negligence against three executives in the case.

----------------------------------------------
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b670c60e-2d0f-11df-8025-00144...
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divideandconquer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Union at Toyota aired fears on safety.
Union at Toyota aired fears on safety
By Jonathan Soble in Tokyo

Toyota has handed over to US lawmakers a 2006 letter written by Japanese employees warning that aggressive cost cuts had undermined the quality of its vehicles.

The letter, from a small dissident labour union, was sent to Katsuaki Watanabe, Toyotas former chief executive, and accuses the company of sacrificing safety by curtailing vehicle testing and hiring thousands of amateur short-term contract workers.

Toyota turned over the letter at the request of Edolphus Towns, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, one of several congressional committees investigating accelerator-related problems in millions of the companys vehicles.

At the time the union registered its complaints, Toyota was struggling to contain an increase in the number of defects affecting its products. Between 2000 and 2006, the carmaker recalled an average of about 1m cars a year a sharp rise on previous periods.

Concern over the defects reached a peak in mid-2006, when Japanese police launched an investigation into the company over the crash of a Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle one of the recalled models that injured five people. Prosecutors eventually dropped charges of professional negligence against three executives in the case.

----------------------------------------------
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b670c60e-2d0f-11df-8025-00144...
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
11. Dear Missing the Point....
Edited on Mon Mar-15-10 07:51 AM by sendero
... I've seen the "inability to replicate" meme popping up a lot lately. Nothing screams "ignoramus" more than this.

This is a very technical problem, probably related to software or hardware that drives software. Since on a mile by mile basis, this event happens exceedingly rarely, there is no surprise to anyone who knows anything about technology that inability to replicate is THE MAIN PROBLEM, not some symptom that the the problem doesn't exist.

Once they FIGURE OUT HOW TO REPLICATE THIS PROBLEM, solving it will be relatively easy. Replicating it (figuring out what circumstances cause it to happen) is 99% of the battle.

And BTW, I drive a Toyota every day.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-15-10 08:03 AM
Response to Original message
12. What a big steaming pile of crap this OP is.
It couldn't possibly be more STUPID and SILLY.
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