As I wrote last year, anyone with a properly functioning BS detector would have suspected that Toyota cars were not automatically and uncontrollably accelerating due to faulty electronics:
There were hundreds of news reports that repeated these claims as if they were credible, promoting a mass hysteria about runaway cars. Toyota sales plummeted, they became the target of SNL ridicule, etc… Anyone with half a brain and a reasonable amount of skepticism would have suspected that the driver was likely the least reliable part of a modern car and would have guessed that people were mistakenly pressing the gas. But very, very few of the news reports on this issue emphasized this likely explanation. Instead, most acted as if we lived in a John Grisham novel where evil corporations knowingly hide the defects of their products as they kill and maime their customers to maximize profits. This does happen, but it is very, very rare. To treat these claims as evidence of real safety issues with cars was simply mistaken reporting.
Now it’s official. The U.S. Department of Transportation with assistance from NASA released a report today that “found that engine electronics played no role in incidents of sudden, unintended acceleration of [Toyota] cars”
Of course, much of the damage to Toyota sales and reputation exacerbated by hysterical reporting done with faulty BS detectors has already been done. Maybe we need a recall of those defective reporter BS detectors. And I smell a massive class action law suit. Actually, the more likely outcome is the continuing deterioration of traditional journalism.