Tuesday, February 2, 2010


ASKIN’ FOR IT: It hasn’t just been a kick we’re on lately- that of examining laughably lame and confusingly contentions, slanted statements from bumbling bureaucrats designed to amply appeal to our guileless gullibility.

But it certainly isn’t just here on little Kaua`i where a post plantation populous is too busy beachcombing and bathing to understand unctuous utterances from corrupt capos and cronies.

Behold the corporate actions in the case of the runaway Toyotas whose corporate overlords have apparently set up their own demise by just replacing the gas pedals.

We’ve spent the past few days asking our more mechanically inclined acquaintances, car mavens and repair people who have been following the story and not one- not a single one- believes that fixing the gas pedal alone will stop these cars from having a mind of their own.

One and all believe it has to be the electronic “brain” that they put in cars these days so that any repair at all starts at $1000 and can only be done at the dealership.

In that sense it was inevitable that those chickens would come home to roost and they would become so complicated that even they can’t figure out what’s wrong with their own Frankencoupés.

If you’ve been following this debacle you’ll know that Toyota has spent months- actually years now- trying to figure out why on occasion their cars accelerate but then won’t stop doing so.

First they said it was the floor mats, then it was something with the gas pedal. Meanwhile most who independently looked at it concluded that it had to be something in the computer electronics that control acceleration.

But when the feds told them to fix it NOW, in a “that’s our story and we’re sticking with it” manner they’ve settled on putting in new gas pedals in millions of cars and denying that it’s anything more in a move seemingly destined to destroy any future for the company when it continues to happen.

The hastily concocted explanation for what’s supposedly wrong with the pedal mechanism doesn’t even make sense. It basically says that due to “wear and tear” the mechanism sticks where two pieces come together, But if something “wears” it wears down not up and its not going to stick, rather it’s going to become looser, according what a couple of engineers told us last night after the “explanation” was given by Toyota.

So why should we care if corporate malfeasance brings down a car company other than the gazillion of manufacturing jobs?

It’s simply the other side of the corporate personhood that’s on many people’s minds after the US Supreme court humanized them for purposes pumping more money into elections.

Because while this personhood extends to elections it doesn’t extend to corporate wrongdoing and responsibility. Don’t forget, it’s people who are making the decision to do this without regard to the fact that it will almost assuredly blow up in their faces in a year or so once the crashes continue and we figure out that the “fix” fixes nothing.

But don’t expect anyone to be punished for that. If anything happens to Toyota it will be because no one will buy one, not because the company is arrested and tried for murder.

But by the time anyone figures it out the same executives that made the decision to do this will no doubt have passed the hot potato to another ambitious young executive, received their golden parachute and gone on to bigger and better corporate criminal capers.

If you live on Kaua`i and own a newish Toyota and are headed down to the dealership for your “fix” and are then planning on driving off as if nothing is wrong you’re probably the same person who believed that the new alignment of the bike path isn’t going to be on Wailua Beach and that the $7.5 million the county paid in the Ka Loko Dam tragedy settlement wasn’t due to culpability.

So we’ve just gotta ask you – what are you, a freakin’ idiot?

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