TodayApril 15, 2022

Tesla saves drunk ~ Ghosn likely in jail till end of year

Tesla saves alcoholic with autopilot

I don’t want to negate the severity of drinking while driving – my brother-in-law killed himself drinking and driving so I know the effect it has on a family first hand.

This person defied the jaws of death through the goodness of some observant police people and Tesla autopilot. The drunk was lucky enough to be in a Tesla with autopilot. If it had happened in any other vehicle… this person was so drunk – so blotto’d that he didn’t even realize he was in a car – he was passed out in the driver’s seat.

We’ve all seen the cops slowing swerving the S-curve through three lanes to slow traffic down behind the perp. That’s what one cop car did while the other police car got in front of the Tesla and slowly stopped the Tesla.

It took the police people 7 minutes to stop the car. Even after the car was stopped the driver was still passed out. The cops had to wake him up to arrest him! If this had been an ordinary car without the autopilot, the driver would undoubtedly be another fatality statistic from drinking while driving.

Carlos Ghosn – still waiting

Carlos Ghosn is sitting in Tokyo Detention Jail on allegations that he understated his income by 5 Billion Yen over five years from 2010-2014. He has been in jail since November 19, and the Japanese can keep the Lebanese/French citizen for around 20 days without a single charge brought against him.

Now a daily newspaper in Japan, the Sankei, reports that Japanese authorities might hold Ghosn for another charge, the same as before, underreporting income. This time it is either for different years or for more than previously reported.

It is hard to fully understand why the Japanese authorities didn’t just tack this charge onto the other charges since they seem to be in either the same period or close to that time period.

Perhaps it is because the authorities can keep Ghosn in jail longer, with little to no visitation privilege. The Japanese can hold Ghosn for other 20-odd days without charging him or releasing him.

The difference, some describing it as barbaric, in the judicial system between Japan and the United States was tested three years ago when Julie Hamp was arrested for bringing drugs into Japan without a physician’s prescription.

At the time Hamp was a non-Japanese executive moving to Japan to help diversify Toyota’s global communications group. Reportedly, Hamp had a knee problem and used Oxycodone to relieve the pain. The Japanese authorities found the drugs and jailed Hamp for 20 days without being charged.

Was it backroom negotiating from Toyota, and Former U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy that got Hamp released? There were rumors that Hamp’s old employer General Motors even got involved. It still took twenty days before she was released and left Japan, never to return?

Japan prides itself on its 99.97 percent criminal conviction rate, but what does it say to the Western world that Japan is willing to keep people in jail for 23 days without charging them? How fabricated is that excellent rating if the prosecution only takes cases to court that they can win? In a recent article by the Financial Times, it was reported that the conviction rate following an arrest is just 40 percent, “reflecting a large number of cases dropped along the way.”

If you are an executive and your company is doing business with Japan, and you might have some nefarious reporting – remember, in America, you are innocent till proven guilty and can only be jailed for 24 hours without a lawyer – would you go to Japan? Would you be concerned that you were being used as a pawn in your companies negotiations to get out of a merger with a non-Japanese company? If your company is looking to do business with a Japanese company are you watching the Ghosn saga to see what happens?

At what point does Japan charge Ghosn? Will he be mandated to stay in Japan since there is no bail before an indictment?

Lebanon to Japan – Let my people go

This sage has gone past companies and countries are getting involved. The Associated Press in Beirut reported that Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk said “To Carlos Ghosn in his predicament I say, a Lebanese phoenix will not be scorched by the Japanese sun,” at a security conference in Beirut this week.

The National World reports that the Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil has summoned the Japanese ambassador to Lebanon, demanding answers about the arrest of auto-industry titan Carlos Ghosn.

This Saga is going past a couple of companies playing chicken and putting countries at odds with each other.

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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