At last year's LA Auto Show, someone from the Rainforest Action Network held a protest which included a giant contract. RAN is back in LA this year, got thrown out again after being caught by a Toyota manager with a fake name badge and RAN put the video on YouTube. In the above video from RAN's YouTube page, Bob Carter, General Manger of US Sales for Toyota, is asked to pull Toyota off the California lawsuit. After taking a breath, Bob says, "Were you with, ah. This is not Dave Schembri. Thank you sir." You then see a hand grabbing the video camera.

According to the Chicago Tribune, after what you see in the video, Bob knocked the camera out of the fake Dave's hand, security guards separated the two men and the fake Dave was escorted out by police. Bob says "For someone to wear a name badge of a friend of mine, I knew something was up. That's not right." Dave Schembri is actually head of Mercedes-Benz's Smart division.

All of this took place after the introduction of Toyota Sequoia 2008 which RAN seems to want to bring attention. Below the fold is a video of protests outside the LA Auto Show. Jim Lentz, president of Toyota's U.S. division, says "We knew we would become more of a target in terms of looking at what we do, good or bad." Irv Miller, Toyota's corporate communications director, says "It's probably on YouTube now. That's freedom of speech."

And he's right, it is on YouTube. Toyota says they won't press charges.

[Source: YouTube, Chicago Tribube]

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