Blame Game

Episode 08 Blame Game

In the summer and fall of 2009, hundreds of Toyota owners came forward with an alarming allegation: Their cars were suddenly and uncontrollably accelerating. Toyota was forced to recall 10 million vehicles, pay a fine of more than $1 billion, and settle countless lawsuits. The consensus was that there was something badly wrong with the world’s most popular cars. Except that there wasn’t.

“Blame Game” looks under the hood at one of the strangest public hysterias in recent memory. What really happened in all those Camrys and Lexuses? And how did so many drivers come to misunderstand so profoundly what was happening to them behind the wheel? The answer touches on our increasingly fraught relationship to technology and the dishonesty and naiveté of many in the media.

Car and Driver: How to Deal with Unintended Acceleration

We put unintended acceleration to the test and examine how to handle a runaway vehicle. Read more.

Expert Recreates Sudden Acceleration in Toyota

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Updates

Episode 01The Lady Vanishes

Episode 02Saigon, 1965

Episode 03The Big Man Can’t Shoot

Episode 04Carlos Doesn’t Remember

Episode 05Food Fight

Episode 06My Little Hundred Million

Episode 07Hallelujah

Episode 08Blame Game

Episode 09Generous Orthodoxy

Episode 10The Satire Paradox

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AboutMalcolm Gladwell

Author Malcolm Gladwell Headshot