LJWorld.com weblogs Wheel Genius

Wheel Genius: Four governors back Toyota, bash feds, over recall


Governors in four states with Toyota manufacturing operations are criticizing the federal government’s dealings with the automaker as the company grapples with recalls of millions of vehicles in the United States and abroad.

In a letter to Congressional leaders, the governors — of Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi and Alabama — cite several shortcomings of the federal response while also praising Toyota for its “exemplary citizenship” and as a “valuable friend.”

“Despite the federal government’s obvious conflict of interest because of its huge financial stake in some of Toyota’s competitors (indeed the federal government is a shareholder in many of Toyota’s competitors), it has spoken out against Toyota, including statements U.S. government officials have later been forced to retract,” the governors said, alluding both to the federal government’s bailouts of General Motors and Chrysler, and to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s comments that people should stop driving Toyotas, comments he quickly backed away from.

“These disturbing statements and hasty actions stand in marked contrast to their reaction to the astonishing 16.4 million recalls in the auto industry in 2009 … — many as serious as or more serious than the concerns Toyota is currently addressing,” the governors said.

The governors also said Toyota had “fallen victim to aggressive and questionable news coverage” of the recalls, “when the real story is how quickly Toyota identified the problems, found solutions, and delivered those solutions to its dealers worldwide.”

The governors ask lawmakers to consider Toyota’s “long history as a steward of safety and quality, as a valued employer across our nation, and of the need for a responsible and fair response from the federal government” when addressing the Toyota recalls during committee meetings.


compmd 8 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

compmd 8 years, 1 month ago

OK, so my use of the unix filesystem check command apparently gets my comment pulled. Good to know. The rest of my comment was quite pertinent however:

Seriously? Really? We're talking about cars that accelerate out of control, and cars that don't brake when you tell them to. Its a textbook case of bad engineering. These governors call Toyota a “valuable friend” because they get piles of money from them. If you knew someone who gave you a lot of money, you'd call them a valuable friend too.

The governors have no standing to make their proclamations. They have no technical knowledge of the problems. They are not educated professionals, they have no experience in automotives. I'd believe the DOT, which has significant resources and accumulated knowledge in automotive engineering.

These governors are willing to let people die because they are so caught up in how much money they can get from Toyota. Toyota cut corners, now they pay the price for their engineering hubris.

RogueThrill 8 years, 1 month ago

One could just as easily bash BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen and Ford as being the vehicle of the anti-Semite. Or GMC as the vehicle of the imperialist. Or, etc. etc. etc.

If you buy anything it's difficult to not be lumped into a group of people who are despicable. I only drive Subaru, hopefully that's not what you drive.

feeble 8 years, 1 month ago

fdisk /dev/ljworld.com compmd?

I love how the Governor's cite the fed's interest in Chevy and GM, but handwave over their own self interest.

The factor of the matter is, we have a precedent for how major corps should handle large-scale recalls, and that precedent was set in 2008 by Mattel during Mattel's recall of numerous products due to lead paint concerns.

Toyota should have learned from the actions Mattel, made a personal apology from leadership, re-emphasized how important their customers are, and at least tried to get ahead of this thing.

Melissa Sigler 8 years, 1 month ago

Hi, kettle? This is pot...you're black.

So...the govt gets money from Toyota competitors...but didn't the article also state (in a round-a-bout way) that these governors have stakes in Toyota?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.