Toyota accused of hiding rollover-crash data

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Old 02 Sep 2009, 08:05 pm   #1 (permalink)
john
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Default Toyota accused of hiding rollover-crash data

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Toyota accused of hiding tests
Lawsuit questions use of rollover-crash data
Laurence Viele Davidson / Bloomberg News

Toyota Motor Corp. may face demands that rollover-crash cases it won
or settled be reopened, in light of accusations by a former company
lawyer that the automaker hid records sought by plaintiffs.

The ex-Toyota lawyer, Dimitrios Biller, last month sued Toyota,
claiming the world's largest automaker and its U.S. units destroyed
engineering and testing evidence relevant in more than 300 suits over
sport utility vehicle rollover accidents. Biller managed Toyota's
electronic document-discovery program, he said in court papers.

The petition alleges conduct by Toyota that would cause every case
ever resolved by Toyota in the past 10 years to be reopened, said
Mikal Watts, a lawyer in Corpus Christi, Texas, referring to Biller's
suit.

Watts said Biller's claims raise questions about the results of 10
other Toyota cases he handled. They include a trial he lost in
Huntsville, Texas, over an accident that left a 6-year-old boy
quadriplegic and dependent on a ventilator.

"A lot more information can be gleaned from electronic documents than
paper," said Sean Kane, co-founder of the advocacy group Safety
Research & Strategies in Rehoboth, Mass. "You are looking for who knew
what and when."

Biller, 46, said he worked from 2003 to 2008 managing records for
Toyota litigation. He suffered a complete mental and physical
breakdown battling company executives and finally resigned after
objecting to Toyota's insistence on hiding data, he said in a July 24
complaint in federal court in Los Angeles.

Biller's complaint alleges that Toyota has engaged in a "systematic
pattern and practice of discovery abuses and criminal acts against
plaintiffs in litigation" against it.

Toyota has 27 million vehicles on the road, and rollovers are a rare
event, Toyota spokeswoman Sona Iliffe-Moon said in an e-mail.

Iliffe-Moon declined to comment on the specifics of Biller's lawsuit
or confirm his former status as national counsel for the Toyota
rollover program. She also declined to comment on a $3.7 million
settlement he said he received after claiming he was wrongfully
discharged from Toyota.

The Biller suit represents a PR challenge to Toyota, said Jim Hossack,
an analyst at the consulting firm AutoPacific Inc. in Tustin, Calif.,
and a former engineer at carmakers including Ford Motor Co. and
Hyundai Motor Co.

"Their reputation for quality and durability is very important to
them," said Hossack. "These are very serious allegations. But Toyota
has built up a lot of goodwill with consumers here."

http://www.detnews.com/article/20090...330/1148/rss25

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Old 02 Sep 2009, 11:14 pm   #2 (permalink)
Paul
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Default Re: Toyota accused of hiding rollover-crash data

john wrote:
> Tuesday, September 1, 2009
>
> Toyota accused of hiding tests
> Lawsuit questions use of rollover-crash data
> Laurence Viele Davidson / Bloomberg News
>
> The ex-Toyota lawyer, Dimitrios Biller, last month sued Toyota,
> claiming the world's largest automaker and its U.S. units destroyed
> engineering and testing evidence relevant in more than 300 suits over
> sport utility vehicle rollover accidents. Biller managed Toyota's
> electronic document-discovery program, he said in court papers.


Lawsuits are why the USA is becoming a third rate nation.
A nation run BY and FOR lawyers that know how to use the
system and don't care about anything except getting rich.
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Old 03 Sep 2009, 06:43 am   #3 (permalink)
C. E. White
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Default Re: Toyota accused of hiding rollover-crash data

I don't know of the particulars of this case. But where I work we have
proceedures in place that call for all "personal" Emails between
individuals to be purged after a year. Anything that is required for
you to do your job is to be stored and archived in the proper
repository - not as an archived Email. I've seen some people wrtie
truly dumb things in Emails that might be treated as factual by some
bottom feeding lawyer. I actually think about how things might be
interperted in company Emails before I send them. Engineers often have
differences of opinion and lawyers can latch on to these and make it
seem as if there was a cover up. I suppose the classic example of this
is the hatchet job done on the Ford Pinto. In that famous case old
documents that had nothing to do with Pintos or fuel tanks were
presented as evidence that supposedly proved that Ford executives had
skimped on the Pinto's fuel tank design. It was total BS, but
apparently juries are easily misled by lawyers. I assume Toyota is
just trying to make sure that irrelevant documents are not sifted
through to find statemetns that can be twisted to make it seem as if
there were problems. On the other hand, over the years, Toytoa has
tried to hide, obsure, and outright lie about problems. This was
especially evident in the truck ball joint recall that Toyota was
forced to institute a few years back.

Ed

"john" <johngdole@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:da5c95f4-6b5d-4aec-bfde-b24c38a55ca8@x25g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
> Tuesday, September 1, 2009
>
> Toyota accused of hiding tests
> Lawsuit questions use of rollover-crash data
> Laurence Viele Davidson / Bloomberg News
>
> Toyota Motor Corp. may face demands that rollover-crash cases it won
> or settled be reopened, in light of accusations by a former company
> lawyer that the automaker hid records sought by plaintiffs.
>
> The ex-Toyota lawyer, Dimitrios Biller, last month sued Toyota,
> claiming the world's largest automaker and its U.S. units destroyed
> engineering and testing evidence relevant in more than 300 suits
> over
> sport utility vehicle rollover accidents. Biller managed Toyota's
> electronic document-discovery program, he said in court papers.
>
> The petition alleges conduct by Toyota that would cause every case
> ever resolved by Toyota in the past 10 years to be reopened, said
> Mikal Watts, a lawyer in Corpus Christi, Texas, referring to
> Biller's
> suit.
>
> Watts said Biller's claims raise questions about the results of 10
> other Toyota cases he handled. They include a trial he lost in
> Huntsville, Texas, over an accident that left a 6-year-old boy
> quadriplegic and dependent on a ventilator.
>
> "A lot more information can be gleaned from electronic documents
> than
> paper," said Sean Kane, co-founder of the advocacy group Safety
> Research & Strategies in Rehoboth, Mass. "You are looking for who
> knew
> what and when."
>
> Biller, 46, said he worked from 2003 to 2008 managing records for
> Toyota litigation. He suffered a complete mental and physical
> breakdown battling company executives and finally resigned after
> objecting to Toyota's insistence on hiding data, he said in a July
> 24
> complaint in federal court in Los Angeles.
>
> Biller's complaint alleges that Toyota has engaged in a "systematic
> pattern and practice of discovery abuses and criminal acts against
> plaintiffs in litigation" against it.
>
> Toyota has 27 million vehicles on the road, and rollovers are a rare
> event, Toyota spokeswoman Sona Iliffe-Moon said in an e-mail.
>
> Iliffe-Moon declined to comment on the specifics of Biller's lawsuit
> or confirm his former status as national counsel for the Toyota
> rollover program. She also declined to comment on a $3.7 million
> settlement he said he received after claiming he was wrongfully
> discharged from Toyota.
>
> The Biller suit represents a PR challenge to Toyota, said Jim
> Hossack,
> an analyst at the consulting firm AutoPacific Inc. in Tustin,
> Calif.,
> and a former engineer at carmakers including Ford Motor Co. and
> Hyundai Motor Co.
>
> "Their reputation for quality and durability is very important to
> them," said Hossack. "These are very serious allegations. But Toyota
> has built up a lot of goodwill with consumers here."
>
> http://www.detnews.com/article/20090...330/1148/rss25
>



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Old 15 Sep 2009, 01:46 pm   #4 (permalink)
hls
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Default Re: Toyota accused of hiding rollover-crash data


"C. E. White" <cewhite3@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:h7oa7v$c7p$1@news.eternal-september.org...
>I don't know of the particulars of this case. But where I work we have
>proceedures in place that call for all "personal" Emails between
>individuals to be purged after a year.


Stock brokers ("financial advisers") often will not communicate via
email or letter simply because this leaves a paper trail to the lying
bastards. It is not only that they can be sued for misrepresenting
issues, but there exists direct evidence of the things they did.

They would much prefer to tell you information verbally because
they can always say that you just misunderstood.

You may remember Ford and the tire company both shuffled their
feet, looked at the sky, farted, and pointed their fingers at each other
about who was really responsible for the Ford rollovers. (Probably
BOTH were responsible to some degree or the other).

When lawsuits are in the offing, any old tactic that might work - be
it true or not - will be rolled out.

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