On Feb. 12th, Bloomberg.com reported that many of the regulators in the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ("NHTSA") who stopped earlier investigations into Toyota problems by the federal agency in charge of recalls ended up being hired by Toyota after they left their government jobs.
Former regulators hired by Toyota Motor Corp. helped end at least four U.S. investigations of unintended acceleration by company vehicles in the last decade, warding off possible recalls, Bloomberg says court and government records show. While all automakers have employees who handle NHTSA issues, Toyota may be the only one of the major companies that also has hired the former safety investigation agency staffers.
Spokesmen for General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC and Honda Motor Co. all say their companies have no ex-NHTSA people who deal with the agency on defects.
The recent developments with this Toyota recall mess are astonishing and have to make you wonder just how cozy the recall investigators have been with Toyota. Is this the reason recalls didn't happen before now?
As an example, Bloomberg reports that "Christopher Tinto, vice president of regulatory affairs in Toyota’s Washington office, and Christopher Santucci, who works for Tinto, helped persuade the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to end probes including those of 2002-2003 Toyota Camrys and Solaras, court documents show. Both men joined Toyota directly from NHTSA, Tinto in 1994 and Santucci in 2003.
"NHTSA opened eight investigations of unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles from 2003 to 2010, according to Safety Research & Strategies Inc., a Rehoboth, Massachusetts, group that gathers data from NHTSA and other sources..."
Foreign accountability is needed to keep Americans safe and it seems to be getting clearer that it has not been happening. Here, it looks like even the government watchdogs weren’t watching.
Read the Bloomberg article here:
It all makes you wonder just how long has this been going on? Who knows.
One thing we know for sure though is that if you own one of these recalled Toyota's, it's time to be driving very carefully, if you drive it at all.
If you've got a lemon Toyota, you need a Burdge attorney. Getting rid of lemons is what we do. Every day. Since 1978.
Burdge Law Office
Because life is to short to drive a lemon.