Is "Government Motors" screwing with Toyota?

Discussion in 'Conspiracy Theories' started by Ragnar, Jan 30, 2010.

  1. Ragnar
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    Ragnar <--- Pic is not me

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    I would not go that far just yet, but such an outstanding object lesson in the dangers of government power can't be let go without comment...

    First a little history. Back in the late 80's the Audi 5000 (and other auto's) was suspected of the same "sticky gas pedal" problem that may be a factor in some Toyota models today. Back then they were called SAI's or "sudden Acceloration incidents". After a massive government investigation SAI's were given a more, shall we say, accurate discription... "pedal misapplication". P. J. O'Rourke wrote about that history in a chapter of his book "Parlament of Whores". See short exerpt... (a must read for vital context)
    Parliament of Whores: A Lone ... - Google Books

    Moving on into modern day we have something that deserves a very close look. First however, for the record, Toyota has admited there may be a problem with the floor mats in some vehicles. At issue though, is if the "sticky gas pedal" "problem" is anything more than that and if a recall of over two million cars is justified. Is this an issue of saftey or an issue of government putting it's fat thumb on the scale to aid a "public" car company over a successful private one. (yeah, yeah in a "mixed economy it's all a matter of degree)

    From the New York Times:
    Safety Agency Rebukes Toyota Over Floor-Mat Issue - Wheels Blog - NYTimes.com
    For obvious reasons this is big news in Detroit:
    Toyota, NHTSA talking about pedal fix, LaHood says | detnews.com | The Detroit News
    The last link goes to a NB page with a video embed of CNBC's "Power Lunch" where host Michelle Caruso-Cabrera and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) talk about the recall:
    Media Oversight: Is GM Stakeholder Federal Government Playing Politics with Toyota Recall? | NewsBusters.org
    (the video is one minute long)

    There is no evidence that I am aware of that says someting screwy is going on. However, this is an all to obvious example of how complex things can get (and how quickly they can get so) when the government is both your competitor, your protector and your watch dog. Imagine trying to run a "mixed economy" even in a land of benevolently genious political regulators. Now imagine running a mixed economy with the ones we do have.

    :eek:
     
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  2. Vel
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    Vel Gold Member

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    This really ought to worry people that value the free market. No American company should have to compete against the American government.

    ""Well, you know - we were in until late last night and I hadn't heard that," Sessions said. "I worry about those kind of things. I worry about Ford working hard and having to compete against the federal government. With an unlimited - they just gave $3 billion more to GMAC. The President's got to be careful here. He can not be playing politics and union politics or regional politics with the economy of this country."
     
  3. Dr Gregg
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    Dr Gregg BANNED

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    its just a product of their supplier of the parts screwing up
     
  4. Ragnar
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    Ragnar <--- Pic is not me

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    That may be but it isn't the point at all. See: first two links. When the Transportation Secretary (LaHood) goes on Chicago radio and suggest Toyota was not acting above board (a statement he walked back from) or when the "executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, an advocacy group, said he could not recall any other case in which the safety agency had publicly chastised an automaker in such a manner" makes comments like that, the lines get blurry.

    The proper role of government in a free market (or largely free market) is to protect citizens from force or fraud. (citizens being both sellers and buyers) The above example is just to illustrate one possible scenerio. Here is another current GM example:

    Under Restructuring, GM To Build More Cars Overseas
    Under Restructuring, GM To Build More Cars Overseas - washingtonpost.com
    (much more at link)

    The problem here is how does a government that that put itself into the auto business make the best call as to how to best preform to get the taxpayers money back, keep market manipulation to a minimum (so as not to hurt other domestic auto companies not "bailed out"), protect the union, protect the consumer and keep foreign interest happy so they do not retaliate against us in some other way (or hurting American car sales overseas)?? Put a simple way, how does the government get out with our money back, doing the least harm in an industry the "professionals" could not get right?

    Now that GM is out of the "free market" it is four square into the "political market".
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  5. saveliberty
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    saveliberty Diamond Member

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    I think you need to understand the problem better before you start a government conspiracy thread. In the past accelerators used a cable system to control the throttle. Normal operation meant pressure had to be applied in order to get the car to accelerate.

    Today we have accelerator that work by position sensors.

    http://www.autoshop101.com/forms/h33.pdf

    These sensors can be effected by mositure or other conditions. That is why it took awhile to figure out what was going on. Toyota has not indicated why the accelerators built for Japanese cars don't have the problem the US made ones do. Slightly different design of the sensor, different placement or another part which comes into contact or channels moisture toward the part. One news program mentioned that cost savings was a factor in using the US built part.

    To me the question is, why are Americans put at risk and Japanese buyer protected?
     
  6. Ragnar
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    Ragnar <--- Pic is not me

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    I allege no government conspiracy and went out of my way to say so in the OP... twice. I thought this particular example noteworthy because it is in the news and there is a history of these kinds of claims happening before. (which the government both "solved" and did so in it's proper role, though as the first link indicates, in the governments usual clumsy way)

    I would like to see evidence of some intent to "protect Japanese buyer's or put Americans at risk". We are in the middle of a giant recall which Toyota undertook to protect their American buyers as well as the reputation of the company. In any case you missed the point and might better understand the OP by way of the alternate example (jobs going overseas) that due to GM's "public" ownership is just another of the possiblities for abuse when the market gets manipulated.
     
  7. VaYank5150
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    VaYank5150 Gold Member

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    Please file this in the big round folder with the truther and birther BS papers....good grief!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2010
  8. Dr Gregg
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    Dr Gregg BANNED

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    Certainly sounds like a conspiracy theory, just because you claim you weren't, doesn't make it so. Was just hearing about the recalls this morning on the radio, and Toyota was blaming the maker of the defective part. No mention of a gov't conspiracy
     
  9. Ragnar
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    Ragnar <--- Pic is not me

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    For the slow....

    I asked a provocative question in title which was answered in the negative in the OP. The idea was to provoke a debate on the free market and illustrate, by way of multiple examples, the abuse of power that is invited by manipulations of markets by governments.

    For fucks sake, my first link went to an example in which previous cases of "sudden acceloration incidents" were proved not to be true. (by the government no less, acting in it's proper role, that being protecting the integrity of the market and not ownership of it)
     
  10. Yurt
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    Yurt Gold Member

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    i don't think so. interestingly, all the toyota vehicles with the pedal issue are manufactured nearly 100% in the US (parts etc). i have two toyota vehicles that are 2008 and 2010 and both are NOT subject to recall. both are 80% japanese manufactured. the pedal at issue is actually made in the US.

    the government has quickly approved toyota's fix for the problem.

    now, it could be possible the government had a hand in this, but i just don't see it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010

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