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Thought the battles between Toyota and the U.S. Congress were over? Think again. Toyota President Jim Lentz was back on Capitol Hill Thursday to discuss Toyota's recall issues, and it appears some representatives are still looking for blood. The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan Congressman Bart Stupek (D) accused Toyota of worrying more about dodging lawsuits and discrediting Southern Illinois University professor David Gilbert than the thousands of unintended acceleration claims that have made headlines the past few months.
Lentz countered that Toyota has spent thousands of hours testing its electronics, and that it had hired California engineering firm Exponent to provide an independent investigation of the systems in question. Toyota has also given more power over quality issues to North American executives.

To help with consumer confidence going forward, the Japanese automaker is installing brake override systems in all new models beginning at the end of 2010, and Lentz added that the company has already repaired 3.5 million of the 5.6 million vehicles involved in the recall.

U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif then asked Exponent to provide documentation of its investigation, and the company replied that it had little or no documentation of its testing. Waxman went on the offensive, saying that he can find no basis for Toyota's assertions of extensive electronic defect testing, adding "Toyota's assertions may be good public relations, but they don't appear to be true."

[Source: Detroit Free Press | Image: Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images]


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  • 36 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota President Jim Lentz caption: When I get a D cup BOOB JOB......I'll be like all the other Moodles (men poodles) that drive a Toyota.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ford President Gerald Ford caption: When my mullet grows......I'll be like all the other Rednecks that drive a Ford pick up truck.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Stupek's motives are obvious, Waxman is just an idiot.
      • 5 Years Ago
      the photo quote " I paid you guys a big sack of money to leave me alone!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      ".....reports that Michigan Congressman Bart Stupek (D) accused Toyota of worrying more about dodging lawsuits...."


      Michigan's (D) congressman is full of it. Throw Toyota under the bus and get a few votes is what this about.

      Applying the brake stops the car. Period. Always has, always will.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am glad to see you are living up to your intellectual potential. Now tighten your protective helmet straps.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Political theater if you ask me. IMHO, Bart Stupid is trying his level best to discredit Toyota for the sole reason to boost domestic sales, namely GM.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Regardless of what their motives are. Exponent having no data to show is inexcusable.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wrong. They care not for any domestic sales, they want it to look like they are tough on companies having the issues that Toyota had (hiding issues, sidestepping fixes, etc.). Still a boondoggle, but not for what you accuse.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why don't both off you that are looking out after us,LOL go for 100% content in all auto units sold in the US. OH! That's not PC. How about "no jobs for "illegals" in the car industry? Just a few thoughts that might help jobless people.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yawn.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In all fairness, both Democrats and Republicans have criticized Toyota and their mishandling of the recall events.

      Why this story says "Dems" are doing it is misleading. And that's coming from a right wing Christian conservative.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Be prepared to see more political posturing until the November elections are over.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why can't people give toyota a break? Holy crap....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well because:

        (1) Japanese automakers have their R&D partially funded by the Japanese Gov't (i.e. a permanent bailout
        (2) Japanese automakers were given HUGE tax breaks to set up transplants in the US (at US tax payer's expense)
        (3) Toyota in particular was dishonest about their issues and began the entire process by either blaming customers, then floormats, then gas peddle assemblies, then ECU
        (4) Japanese automakers (and their American buyers) are greatly assisting in the export of our manufacturing base.

        As a country, we still need to MAKE STUFF. It cannot only be about services and real estate. As you drive around in your Camry, think about how you are assisting in the decline of America. Sure, it takes decades to happen. But it is happening and you are helping by driving an import.

        • 5 Years Ago
        There are still products made in america, my 12k worth of matco tools are all american made and they blow every other tool I've ever owned out of the water for quality and durability.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "As a country, we still need to MAKE STUFF" as a country why do we also destroy stuff? aka iraq?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Toyota is a JOKE!
      I'll never support those crooks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Congress is a JOKE!
        I'll never support those crooks.

        There, I fixed your comment!
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