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And the saga continues. According to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Ed Towns (D-N.Y.), documents obtained by the committee under subpoena from Dimitrios Biller – managing counsel in the product liability group of Toyota Motor Sales USA from April 2003 to September 2007 – "indicate Toyota deliberately withheld records that it was legally required to produce in response to discovery orders in litigation."

Towns further says that many such documents "concern 'rollover' cases in which a driver or passenger was injured, including cases where victims were paralyzed." In a letter sent to Yoshimi Inaba, president of Toyota's operations in North America, Towns wrote:
In sum, the Biller documents indicate a systematic disregard for the law and routine violation of court discovery orders in litigation. People injured in crashes involving Toyota vehicles may have been injured a second time when Toyota failed to produce relevant evidence in court... Moreover, this also raises very serious questions as to whether Toyota has also withheld substantial, relevant information from NHTSA.
It has also come out that Toyota keeps so-called "Books of Knowledge" containing information from Toyota engineers on internal design and testing data. So closely held was this information that the automaker supposedly agreed to multimillion-dollar civic settlements to safeguard the data. Serious charges indeed, and Towns has given Toyota until Friday, March 12th, to respond.


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[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty]


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  • 59 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      So who asked you to buy a Toyota.

      Just start talking how was Government Motors was when it was General Motors and same goes with others.

      You Americans don't understand how other cultural values than your own. And your culture is so called transparent that the people walk on the street naked. Read cleb mag as if Bible. And politicians rich does what they do every day.

      So don't buy Toyota as I said. Story over.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Really? literFL? Your going to tell me that the US companies have not gotten the same levels of investigation? Where have you been these past 30 years? I'm sure you and everyone else in this country can name HUGE recalls from all three US car companies. You've seen them in the media and know of them. Tell me how many of the recalls (yes they all have them) from the imort car companies have you seen in the media? I'm sure if you actually researched the recalls, you would find just how many recalls from import car companies NEVER get into the media. Thinking that the domsetic car companies are getting treated better than Toyota is just plain ignorant.

      Also, the main issue here is no longer the recall, but the ILLEGAL cover-ups and the ILLEGAL pay-offs are th issue. Also the fact it took them YEARS to finally admit to their faults, but still don't fix anything.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Holy censorship batman, where did my post go? What kind of blog is this anyway?

      I'm amazed that you guys are comparing TVs and fiction novels to cars and that the lemming factor has grown so much. If anyone claims they have a great Toyota, they get voted down. Yet anyone who says random things not even related to cars gets voted up.

      You guys are really naive if you think major companies of all kind don't hide things and lie. Do you really think car companies are all roses and sunshine? It is a hard core business and NO automaker would come out with data that involved such low numbers.

      In the end, the companies that make the best cars will continue to do well. Period.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is absolute abhorrent behavior. Due to shoddy manufacturing or engineering Toyota's customers are killed due to no fault on their own and how does Toyota respond? They refuse to acknowledge a defect or offer a settlement to the surviving members of the family who are then forced to pursue expensive litigation. Once in court Toyota's well paid corporate lawyers use all their power to drag the case out for years and years giving them all the time they need to find and destroy all incriminating evidence.

      If this is true they should not be allowed to sell their product in our country. Its as if they are dancing on the graves of the people that have died after each lawsuit is successfully defended. Disgusting in every way shape and form.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is it me or is the NHTSA trying to drive Toyota into the ground for multiple reasons other than just public safety. Yes, Toyota has issues of recent and people have been hurt and/or killed and it needs to be addressed. I think if you were to go behind the doors of U.S. manufacturers' you would find that they too have internal memos on the cost saving of not doing a full recall on an issue with a product that has hurt or killed people. I think they too would have studies or data that would be damning in a court of law. My neighbor's Pontiac caught his house on fire just sitting in his garage due to a short in the wiring as a result in a defect from the manufacturer. It took a over 1 1/2 years from the date when it happened until a recall was finally issued to fix it. I think NHTSA along with the current political climate have gone above and beyond in there scrutiny of Toyota versus if this were a U.S. company.
      • 4 Years Ago
      No.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So many bloggers here keep complaining that Toyota is being unfairly treated because domestic manufacturers have also had lots of recalls and not had the same treatment by Congress. I would venture to say that the current situation has little to do with the number of recalls and a lot more to do with other factors.

      One of these is the apparent deceit and lying that Toyota has provided to federal agencies. I think most Americans and their politicians can forgive any company for its mistakes, but not for deceit of it's federal agencies, especially when they are guests in America and their countrymen have had a history of monumental deceit.


        • 4 Years Ago
        @who

        I believe some of the same tactics that put Toyota on top were used to help make sure none of us ever bought an American TV ever again. Japan sent Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba to lay waste to the electronics industry and admittedly competitive products along with currency manipulation made sure RCA, Zenith, Magnavox etc had no chance to survive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "This woman claimed to have shifted into neutral and reverse, stomped on the brakes, and pulled the E brake and nothing happened. Sounds a fishy."
      Yeah not to mention like...what about turning your engine off if you've gone that far. Her story is utterly implausible since it would require her transmission failing while her throttle faulted while her brakes failed and her emergency brake failed and she was also simultaneously unable to shut the engine off for some mysterious reason. aka, bullcrap.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Does no one remember the several models of Fords that literally blew up with the slightest rear end impact? I've been driving Toyotas for eight years now, no problem...I'm not about to give up on them based on some BS domestic propaganda.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Thanks for the comment. My wife's "new" Caviler has died twice since new with electrical issues. My Camry, which is 7 years old, has been 100% reliable. I still believe in them. I am sure the USA big three have plenty of hidden skeletons in their closet still and problems that some how don't get the same level investigation and treatment this has. Obama and the show boat politicians got get our tax money (investment) back some how.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @caddy-v:
        Indeed. One post, and it's about how Toyota is better than a 30+ year old Ford? Then there's literFL, hmmm....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Those "several models" were the Pinto and it's twin, the Mercury Bobcat. I'm sure that 40-year-old issue is relevant today. Nice attempt at deflection, but it wont work.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's been reported Toyota has asked it's employees to get on the internet sites and counter all the negative blogs with love and leg tingling feelings about Toyota. I think we just found a couple of the "ghosts"
        • 4 Years Ago
        LOL...that just proves how rediculous people are right now...I'm a college student from Michigan, with a degree in Biology, not even close to a Toyota employee. Even if I was, I'd still have my job, unlike any employee of the Big 3 these days.

        As for the Camry comment, why then are Camries and 4runners the most seen vehicles on the road after decades of driving and hundreds of thousands of miles on the odometer? Come on people, give it up! At least Toyota doesn't need government handouts to stay in the game unlike domestic companies.

        And Boreas, I think you're missing a few letters as well...BoredASS.
      • 4 Years Ago
      All this is just showing what people in Detroit have known for years. Toyota and Honda have done a far better job hoodwinking the Public and the auto journalists than Detroit's big 3 has been able to do in the past 30 years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The sad part -- well Toyota loyalist can rejoice in it -- is that with the support for Toyota within the political wing of government in the USA, I have a hunch that the end result will just be a enormous list of things gone wrong at Toyota.

      Followed by Toyota --- agreeing to it finally after repeated denial -- cancelling it out by just saying "we always put the customer and safety ahead of any profits" and that comment will cancel everything else in the politcal realm of thing.

      The head of the investgating panel in Washington was almost like a child meeting Santa Clause in how he has welcomed and praised Toyota (its the unions, I'm so sorry, was his message). He will just end by saying "oh, well, Toyota always puts the customer first so all these instances are just an exceptions to that rule and obviously not Toyota's fault as they always put the customer first".
      • 4 Years Ago
      Payoffs to keep people quiet is nothing new. Just ask Michael Jackson.
      Too soon?
        • 4 Years Ago
        I was thinking more along the lines of "too late", but whatever. D:
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