Thursday

Time for Toyota to Come Clean

A former Toyota exec's email now haunts Toyota, according to Automotive News reports and the Detroit News.

The now retired exec, named Irv Miller, at the time a Vice President in the company, sent an email in January urging Toyota to "come clean" about the gas pedal problem and said “I hate to break this to you but WE HAVE a tendency for MECHANICAL failure in accelerator pedals of a certain manufacturer on certain models. We are not protecting our customers by keeping this quiet. The time to hide on this one is over.”

In another email, Miller warned “We better just hope that they can get NHTSA to work with us in coming with a workable solution that does not put us out of business.” NHTSA refers to the US federal recall agency that investigates vehicle defects.

With a pending $16.4 million fine from US safety investigators at NHTSA, Toyota has admitted that they have done a poor job of handling the issue but so far has not commented on the Miller email.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Miller emails to be among a series of internal communications at Toyota, debating when to make their knowledge of the accellerator problems public.

Will this be the smoking gun that forces Toyota to finally "come clean" and give up the stalling and runaround? With this email, it seems that internal warnings were going on and someone at Toyota was either ignoring them or squelching them. Either way, it doesn't look good.

Automotive News is also reporting that evidence now exists that Toyota knew of teh accellerator problem at least 3 1/2 years before it became public. Meanwhile Toyota is reported to have created “rapid response” teams of engineers and technicians to evaluate customer reports of unintended acceleration." You can read more here: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100408/OEM/100409894/1143#ixzz0kXuGvBD6

With bad news breaking every few days for Toyota, it's no wonder that many Toyota owners flocked to their Ford and Chrysler stores to take advantage of "Toyota Trade In Days" recently.

Burdge Law Office
Because life's too short to drive a lemon.