Toyota received another invitation to join a little congressional chit-chat, reports The Nikkei [sub]. On May 6th, a U.S. House panel will hold a hearing to “further examine Toyota’s inquiry into potential electronic causes of sudden unintended acceleration,” as the invitation letter from Henry Waxman to James Lentz, president of Toyota U.S. says. The presence of Lentz is requested at the hearing.
This time, the main topic will be the study of Exponent. Toyota had said the findings of Exponent had exonerated them from any wrongdoing on part of their electronic systems.
Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak asked Toyota to turn over more documents dealing with the company’s relations with Exponent. Waxman and Stupak want to see contracts and email correspondence between Exponent and Toyota.
Not so fast: Exponent was hired by Toyota’s outside law firm. The firm will most likely claim that some of the communications are protected by attorney-client privilege.
Most likely, the line of questioning will be to support the theory that the people at Exponent are paid shills for Toyota.
To which Toyota will reply that their shills answered accusations by a shill hired by a firm doing shill work for plaintiff lawyers. Nah, they won’t say that. It would be the truth.