Toyota: "In the last 10 years, more than 2,000 Toyota owners have reported their cars surged out of control at high speeds, according to safety analyst Sean Kane. There have been more than two hundred serious injuries and at least 16 deaths, Kane said..." In a statement this afternoon, the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Safety Administration said, "This matter is not closed until Toyota has effectively addressed the vehicle defect by providing a suitable remedy." In other words, there are probably hundreds of people, both in the various government organizations, and at Toyota, working on this issue.
Taser International: About 450 taser-associated deaths (mostly since 2003). Denial from the manufacturer of any cause-and-effect relationship whatsoever from tasers to death. Investigation reveals that about one-third (50 of 150 reviewed) of taser-associated deaths have autopsy reports that mention the taser as a cause or contributing factor. Even the US AMA concludes that tasers can kill, "directly or indirectly". Governments, with few exceptions, sit on their hands. Nobody is regulating tasers. A few dedicated media organizations fund and report investigations, a few informed and honest investigators work the issue, and a growing number of bloggers. Period. That's it. Governments are totally AWOL.
Perhaps you noticed that the number 450 is much larger than the number 16.
Taser International would want to argue their number down to zero. But I'm sure that Toyota would want to argue their number down too. Zilch difference between them, except that the floor mat explanation is far less ridiculous than "excited delirium".
The Braidwood Inquiry used the phrase something like "abdication of responsibility" when discussing the role of governments in regulating tasers, their safety, their application.
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