Ralph Nader challenges Toyota's R&D spending claim – Click above to watch commercial after the jump

Ralph Nader isn't finished. The man whose fame has long outlasted the first car he took to task is now gnawing at Toyota over claims the company makes in its print advertising: "That's why we're spending a million dollars an hour on research and development." In a letter Nader wrote to the U.S. sales chief Toyota, Jim Lentz, he states that an $8.7 billion investment in R&D is "astonishing," and he'd like to know precisely how that amount is spent.

The larger issue, however, might be Nader coming so late to the game. After all, Toyota released a commercial in June in which the narrator says, "At Toyota, we care about your safety. That's why we're investing one million dollars every hour to improve our technology and your safety." Everyone, including the New York Times, wanted to know how Toyota could be spending a million an hour on safety.

A Toyota rep responded to the NYT by saying "The $1,000,000 an hour claim represents all Toyota R&D spending globally, much of that allocated to new quality and safety technologies." True, that doesn't exactly answer Nader's question since he moves the discussion from spending on safety to spending on R&D, but the claim relies on how Toyota defines R&D. Even though Nader says the term "has a specific meaning," it's amorphous enough that we're sure Toyota can defend it... if that's even necessary. Lentz says he'll respond to Nader directly.

[Source: USA Today]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2015 Toyota Highlander
    MSRP: $29,765 - $44,140
    2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
    MSRP: $29,995 - $64,895
    2015 Honda Accord
    MSRP: $22,105 - $33,630
    2015 Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
    2015 Mazda Mazda3
    MSRP: $16,945 - $25,545
    Share This Photo X