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2/21/10

Associated Press Attack: Documents Show Toyota Puts Profits Ahead Of Safety

Documents: Toyota boasted saving $100M on recall

Toyota officials claimed they saved the company $100 million by successfully negotiating with the government on a limited recall of floor mats in some Toyota and Lexus vehicles, according to new documents shared with congressional investigators.

Toyota, in an internal presentation in July 2009 at its Washington office, said it saved $100 million or more by negotiating an "equipment recall" of floor mats involving 55,000 Toyota Camry and Lexus ES350 vehicles in September 2007.

The savings are listed under the title, "Wins for Toyota - Safety Group." The document cites millions of dollars in other savings by delaying safety regulations, avoiding defect investigations and slowing down other industry requirements.

The documents could set off alarms in Congress over whether Toyota put profits ahead of customer safety and pushed regulators to narrow the scope of recalls.


Looking at the ten page document, I don't see any evidence that Toyota delayed safety requirements, avoided investigations, or slowed industry requirements. They delayed redesigns and safety rules, but is that necessarily the same thing? And they "negotiated" a recall that saved $100,000... how does that prove at all that they put profit ahead of safety? The documents don't say anything about limiting recalls of floormats.

This kind of sloppy attack journalism from the Associated Press gives more credit to the theory that the government is bullying Toyota in order to prop up Obama's newly acquired Government Motors.

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