Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is among a bipartisan group of governors who are taking issue with how the Obama administration is handling the Toyota recalls. Daniels reportedly told Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR that he feels the federal government is going too far in its investigation of Toyota floor mat and gas pedal issues, and he even went so far as to question whether the government's ownership of General Motors and Chrysler is influencing decisions. Daniels reportedly said that he agreed with the recalls and the leveraging of fines if necessary, but he added "it's very, very suspicious in view of the government conflict of interest."
According to the report, four governors are writing a letter to president Obama to voice their collective displeasure over the handling Toyota's recall of 8.1 million vehicles, adding that the hysteria over the recalls is disproportionate to that of other recalls. Daniels also questions the motive of congressmen leading the investigation, adding "these congressmen running this committee have their own agenda and it is a discriminating agenda in this case. They didn't do this the last several hundred recalls." It should be noted that all of the governors who are contributing to the letter to president Obama are reportedly residing or states which have at least one Toyota plant.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has been especially tough on Toyota in recent days, questioning whether the company's fixes for the recalls were sufficient, adding that he feels that the Japanese automaker has been "a little safety deaf." At one point, LaHood even told Toyota owners to stop driving their vehicles; a statement that he later recanted. LaHood and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have also stated that it took a great deal of effort to get Toyota to issue the recall, and several reports from various sources claim that Toyota may have known about the issues as early as 2004. Toyota is scheduled to appear before Congress twice in the month of February. Click on the link below to read the governors' letter and see newscast footage of the issue.