The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reporting, according to the Detroit Free Press, that the death toll related to Toyota's unintended-acceleration issues may be up from the 52 reported in March, and in fact may number closer to 89.
When you write about cars for a while -- well, any subject, really, but cars more so for some reason -- it's amazing how quickly the main topic gets lost. Look back at the comments sections for the numerous Toyota safety posts we've done, for example, and you'll see how quickly the arguments devolve into "Toyota is getting picked on" to "The government is pushing the Toyota recalls to make money for the Big Three" to "It's the driver's fault for being too stupid to stop a car" to the reductio ad absurdum of all-foreign-cars-suck-no-all-domestics-suck-shut-up-no-you-shut-up.
Part of it is the media's fault, of course. They like nothing more than a weeklong story cycle that they can sensationalize and shout about until we've no choice but to take sides, and hysterics, not subtlety, make ratings. If these numbers are true, though (and not to get too dramatic here) a number of people who would pack the average 2-car garage actually died because of negligence, fairly well-documented, on the part of a major automotive corporation. Foreign versus domestic and all other arguments aside, that's what it really comes down to.