Toyota Critic Safety Research & Strategies Founder Admits Report Funding Came From Firms Suing Toyota

Colum Wood
by Colum Wood

During questioning at the House Committee’s investigation into Toyota’s ongoing recall crisis, safety advocate group Safety Research & Strategies founder Sean Kane admitted that his group is hardly an unbiased participant. In fact, Kane admitted that a recent report outlining Toyota’s faults was funded by five different law firms, all of which are currently engaged in litigation with Toyota.

The report clearly states that Toyota has not completely identified the cause of unintended acceleration, had limited its investigation into the matter and then issued the floor mat recall as a least expensive action. It also claims that the issue of unintended acceleration cannot be solved by either replacing the floor mats or by replacing or fixing the mechanical pedal mechanism.

The credibility of the report may now be called into question, considering the source of the funding behind it.

In a prepared statement Toyota President Jim Lentz reiterated Toyota’s continued stand that the issue with its many recalled Toyota models is mechanical and not electronic. Lentz commented that Toyota hired Exponent, a top engineering and scientific consulting firm, to examine its electronic throttle system to see if there were any issues. Toyota gave Exponent an unlimited budget and no electronic problem was found.


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  • Lois Batson Lois Batson on Nov 08, 2011

    On October 5,2011 I was in a parking lot where I had an appointment. I found a space right in front of the door! I pulled into the space, braked to stop, but my car instead speeded up. I was driving barefoot, so could feel precisely where my foot was. However, I felt around with my right foot, found that by putting my foot down and to the right, I would have indeed hit the accelerator, so I pushed down harder on the brake, but the Toyota Avalon 2008 would not respond. I had to sit there and watch as the car plowed through the glass doors. I have never in my life felt so surprised, horrified, incredulous, and unbelieving as I did that day. It took several horrible days of shock before I could get myself to play back in my mind exactly what happened. Eureka! I had been reading about the exact same thing happening to others who were in denial that MY car wouldn't do such a thing. I'm thankful that no one was hurt or injured except my wallet, and the doubt that the accident was the fault of the car and not my negligence. However,I can't prove it.