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For four decades, the company Toyota commissioned to investigate allegations of unintended acceleration has played a central role in many of the most heated auto safety debates, almost exclusively working for the auto industry.
The company, Exponent, is part of a thriving industry of firms that do research and scientific and engineering analysis for hire and provide expert testimony and reports for companies facing product disputes, government regulation and lawsuits. Critics claim Exponent will go to any length to get test results favoring its clients…
“In virtually every case that I have been in, Exponent was on the other side as an expert,” says Savannah, Ga., plaintiff attorney Jim Carter. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s a seat back failure or a roof failure or a steering failure. They will come up with an expert to testify in their favor if they are asked by a car company.”
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”