Manufacturing Doubt on Toyota Unintended Acceleration
About Toyota’s choice of consultants for its “independent” analysis, Dr. Michaels writes: “Exponent’s scientists are prolific writers of scientific reports and papers. While some may exist, I have yet to see an Exponent study that does not support the conclusion needed by the corporation or trade association that is paying the bill.”
For example, he describes how Exponent was hired by the chrome industry to counter a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University researchers for the EPA regarding risks to workers at currently allowed exposure levels. In 2002, Exponent’s “re-analysis” of the EPA-Hopkins data minimized the risk to all but the most heavily exposed workers, disagreeing with the Hopkins scientists’ findings supporting stronger worker protections. And yet in 2004, working for a different trade association, “Exponent praised the same EPA-Hopkins study. Whatever serves the interests of a given client – that’s the rule for the product defense firms.” Id. at pp. 97-104.
There is nothing independent about Exponent, and nobody who has seen them in action over the years will be at all surprised when they conclude that there is no problem with Toyota’s cars, and when they criticize the work of the good, objective scientists who show the opposite.
- Stuart Ollanik
“Independent” Outside Consultant?, Product Liability Law Blog, April 6, 2010
Toyota’s “Independent” Investigation Not So Independent, Product Liability Law Blog, April 2, 2010