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US demands documents related to safety recalls from Toyota!

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:48 pm
by MSI
Feb 16, 2010: Ray LaHood aka 'The government' ordered Toyota to turn over documents related to its massive recalls Tuesday in order to see if any 'smoking guns' can be passed along to the rabid lawyers seeing green in the #1 automakers problems...oh wait...i mean to see how long the automaker knew of safety defects before taking action.
Ray LaHood-lum, shooting his mouth off in typical 'style', has said even before any documents have been reviewed that the government is considering civil penalties for Toyota over its handling of the recalls. The maximum fine is more than $16 million. The largest auto industry fine came in 2004, when former #1 automaker now turned bankrupt company General Motors paid $1 million for responding too slowly on a recall of nearly 600,000 vehicles over windshield wiper failure
See the Associated Press article: US demands recall info; Toyota cutting production
From the NHTSA Announcement on the probe: "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today announced that it is using its statutory authority to obtain documents from Toyota to determine if the automaker conducted three of its recent recalls in a timely manner. Federal law requires all auto manufacturers to notify NHTSA within five days of determining that a safety defect exists and promptly conduct a recall."

COMMENT: The Transportation department, under the mis-direction of Ray LaHood-lum has every right and duty to flex its formidable weight in demanding documents to learn when exactly Toyota first knew of ANY problems and how fast they responded. HOWEVER, keep a lid on stupid and irresponsible comments until you give Toyota time to respond and review the documents. Speculating about possible fines by a government official is just pain STUPID! Ray LaHood-lum is ill-suited for the job as Secretary of Transportation. LaHood seems to believe that with over 8 million vehicles at stake Toyota was playing games and ignoring issues. I suppose were HE head of Toyota HE would have instead just halted all production and sales as each and every complaint came in the door. This action by NHTSA/DOT follows prompting by lawyers and insurance company advocacy groups to drum up a public relations fiasco for Toyota.
What is bothersome about the whole situation is the way Ray LaHood-lum and lemmings at NHTSA/DOT are being led around by the nose by these advocacy groups. They issue irresponsible news releases which allude to the apparent belief by Ray LaHood-lum and lemmings at NHTSA/DOT that the #1 auto manufacturer in the world, Toyota, has the audacity and stupidity to ignore safety issues and/or be slow in responding to safety issues.
Guess they are hoping to drive #1 to the place where the former #1 automaker GM resides: Bankruptcy protection! Toyota never realized that by being #1 in sales ALSO means being #1 in litigation, and Ray LaHood-lum and NHTSA/DOT are certainly playing patsy in assembling a playbook for all the upcoming litigation.
So apparently per Ray LaHood-lum and lemmings at NHTSA/DOT , if you drive a Toyota and are in an accident, pick a recall/defect du jour and blame it on Toyota!!