• May 11, 2010
Akio Toyoda, still working the shovel to extricate Toyota from the hole it's dug, invited U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for a factory visit. When he returned, LaHood said that the Toyota CEO didn't realize how much damage the company's reputation was taking until Toyoda actually came to America and saw for himself.

On the matter of further fines, LaHood would only say that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to finish sifting through 500,000 documents concerning the unintended acceleration recall. Until that's done, in "a couple months," he won't know if more fines should be recommended.

Toyota paid a $16.4 million fine last month and LaHood said that meant the company accepted responsibility. Toyota quickly replied that wasn't the case; rather, it paid the fine to put the issue to bed, which was the company's position from the beginning. Now, while the NHTSA keeps its head down reading memos and emails, Toyota has a couple of months to get consumers' attentions again and begin to deal with the nearly 200 lawsuits being brought against it.

[Source: Automotive News – Sub Req'd]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sick em Ray, get those shifty little liars!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The charade continues. LaHood fits nicely in a mafia/union boss character gong for the jugular.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wait...what? I thought the 16.4 million was the max fine and was for the unintended recall. Wouldn't it have to be on a completely different issue in order to fine them again? So why bother sifting through "500,000" more claims? Why not move on to rusty truck frames, busted engine oil lines, etc? Let the trial lawyers handle further "fines" for unintended acceleration.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Do you expect the lawyers to sift through 500,000 documents? You need a big government taskforce to do that for them.
      • 4 Years Ago
      hum, so Lahood's past experience teaching social studies in a junior highschool qualifies him to travel to Japan and tell them how to conduct business.


      The Obama administration is getting totally out of hand. I can't decide if this move is more comical than sad.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am a believer of first impression, because the character really shows on one's face...

      LaHood's impression? Total Dousch Bag. He has this bad used car salesman look to him.

      • 4 Years Ago
      The way the adiminitration treated Toyota was borderline criminal (even saying rude, unprofessional phrases like "holding Toyota's feet to the fire" this is NOT the behavior of a cabinet member of a civilized country).

      But Toyota is doing fine, anyway, big profit this quarter.

      How's GM doing? Oh, that's right.

      Losers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Well, it could be worse. The admin could be saying they would hold their boot on the neck of Toyota, like they did with British Petroleum (BP).
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wonder if he can keep his air miles for personal use....
      • 4 Years Ago
      La Hood what the hell are YOU doing in Japan?
      Free ride, vacation on taxpayer dollar or set up a job after your term is over?
      I hope he gets FIRED!
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ sw

        Q: "What the hell is he doing looking at high speed trains anyways...?"

        A: Because he's the Secretary of Transportation.

        That was easy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have a feeling (atleast I hope for his sake), that his visit over to Japan has more to do with him looking at high speed rail train trains than just a trip to visit Toyota's plant. If its just for a trip to this plant then I hope that Toyota fit the bill and not the tax payers.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What the hell is he doing looking at high speed trains anyways, why not civil engineers to see how tracks will be built, or railway engineers to look at already sorted out issues. I hate it when people with little or no understanding of the meat and potatoes of the business they're looking into have the least idea of comprehending it. I've got a business metaphor that works well. "A smart ceo asks the technicians/engineers for recommendations and builds a business plan, a stupid one makes the plans and then tells everyone else to "deal with it""
      • 4 Years Ago
      There will be no new fines. It is a 'Wag the Akita'.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I thought nobody could even recreate any complaints? Whatever, they both look like they've been smoking dope.
      • 4 Years Ago
      LaHood has been acting like a thug. The entire "investigation" has been really embarrassing to watch.
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