March 12, 2010

EVEN DOWN TO THE FAKED FOOTAGE...:

Audi Case Set Template for Toyota's Troubles (JOSEPH B. WHITE and DIONNE SEARCEY, 3/12/10, WSJ)

Auto makers deal with many problems, but "sudden acceleration" is one that causes a special fear. The reason is what happened to Audi AG.

During the months of controversy over reports of sudden acceleration involving Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles, the Audi sudden-acceleration scare of the 1980s has been raised by industry executives, members of Congress, lawyers and safety advocates.

The Audi case helped set the template for the high-stakes auto-safety scandal Toyota faces today. Audi, a unit of Volkswagen AG, was ultimately exonerated of building defective cars, but not before its sales and reputation took a pounding at a strategically critical moment.

Now, as Toyota faces a raft of lawsuits over unwanted acceleration, and ongoing government investigations into the issue, it must simultaneously work to win back customer confidence. [...]

Earlier this week, Toyota struck back at ABC for a segment in which correspondent Brian Ross drove a Toyota that had been altered to produce an acceleration surge. The report was intended to show that such surges could occur due to electronic faults and that these faults wouldn't be recorded by the car's computer.

Toyota said video in the report indicated the car was parked, not driving, during a shot that showed the car's tachometer surging.

ABC later admitted it had substituted a poor-quality shot of the tachometer with a steadier image taken while the car was parked, but that its point about sudden acceleration remained valid.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 12, 2010 6:20 PM
blog comments powered by Disqus
« IF ONLY THE DEMOCRATS' PLAN WERE GOING TO RATION "HEALTH CARE": | Main | THE QUESTION ISN'T WHETHER LAWYERS ARE ENTITLED TO DEFEND TERRORISTS...: »