General Motors, Nissan and Toyota all had big recall news this week. General Motors has a voluntary recall on 1.3 million compact vehicles because of steering issues. Nissan has a recall of about 540 thousand trucks and SUVs and ABC has uncovered reports that the NHTSA purposefully narrowed the scope of its investigation into earlier acceleration issues in Toyota vehicles.
The General Motors recall involves these models: 2005-2010 Chevy Cobalt, 2007-2010 Pontiac G5,2005-2006 Pontiac G4 (sold in Mexico) 2005-2006 Pontiac Pursuit (sold in Canada). The Nissan recall involves these trucks: brake pedal pin recall: 2008-2010 Titan, Armada, Infiniti QX56, and the 2008-2009 Quest. The fuel gauge recall: 2005-2008 Titan, Armada, Infiniti QX56, certain Frontier, Pathfinder, Xterra vehicles produced Jan-Mar 2006 and Oct2007-Jan2008. That recall affects vehicles in the United States and the Middle East.
The most heartwarming news of the evening had to be when we talked about the NHTSA and its ties to Toyota. How two former safety inspectors for the agency who now work for Toyota’s DC office basically shut down investigations into runaway acceleration in Toyota cars during the Bush Administration and how the current, Obama Administration Appointed administrator, David Strickland, upheld the work of the inspectors and maintained that the work of the NHTSA would be up to the highest ethical standards. Why don’t I believe that?
The family of Vernon Hunter, the only ground fatality of the incident which occurred when Joe Stack crashed his plane into the IRS office in Austin,Texas is suing the family. Maybe the fact that Stack’s daughter, Samantha Bell, proclaimed her father a hero in the aftermath did not help this situation. In response, the children of Vernon Hunter cited his service to his country in the form of two tours of duty during the War in Vietnam as reason for his heroism. Sigh.
Are you ready to rumble?
Last week, we learned of a disagreement between Tavis Smiley and, well, a fair number of African American leaders. Smiley issued a scathing commentary that accused the leaders of not being interested in the cause of the poor and disenfranchised all while publicizing his latest venture, a conversation in Chicago about the state of affairs in Black America. Rev. Al Sharpton, among those named in the attack and Professor Charles Ogletree called in to the Tom Joyner Morning Show to clarify and address said attacks. Later, Tavis Smiley called into the Al Sharpton Show and discussed his grievances which, according to him, were issued in love, all while, once again, publicizing his upcoming conversation repeatedly. He even cited this New York Times article as the cause for his concern about the leadership and where they stood. The last to be heard on the subject, as far as I know, was Al Sharpton addressing it during a segment where he discussed his recent visit to the white house. As far as I know, and want to know.
The good thing about a situation like this is that people actually take the time to figure out what is going on with the feud, and are thus educated about what is going on in the white house. The bad thing, of course, is that the back and forth does nothing for the image of either person involved or the causes they champion. Hands down, the opinion piece by Dr. Boyce Watkins on the Grio dot com was the best summary I read (with plenty of humor) of the situation and what steps should be taken toward resolution.