LaHood Threatens To Torture Toyota, Destroys $7b With Loose Mouth

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
lahood threatens to torture toyota destroys 7b with loose mouth

Yesterday, Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood had a reassuring message for Toyota owners: “My advice is, if anybody owns one of these vehicles, stop driving it.” He said it in front of cameras at a House of Representatives hearing, cameras rolling (or whatever cameras do these days.)

“LaHood’s explosive comment,” writes Reuters, “sent shares of battered Toyota Motor Corp plunging.”

After LaHood’s remarks, Toyota shares dropped to 6.14 percent at the close. Loose lips sink ships, but LaHood’s oral diarrhea did cost Toyota shareholders a round $7b in a matter of minutes. Afterwards, LaHood said it was an obvious misstatement. But the damage was already done. Stealing from the phrasebook of personal injury lawyers, widows and orphans living off the 401Ks of their dearly departed, suffered severe mental trauma just from looking at their diminished stock holdings.

LaHood should have consulted his (government provided) physician, who would have prescribed a healthy dose of Imodium, to be kept in the mouth.

He did not. If you consult the front page of the NHTSA, you will find a fresh hoodish comment: “NHTSA will continue to hold Toyota’s feet to the fire to make sure that they are doing everything they have promised to make their vehicles safe.”

That was not an off-the-cuff remark. It is an official, supposedly carefully vetted statement. In light of certain government departments’ recent fondness of “enhanced coercive interrogation techniques,” that colloquialism may be misread. Especially when translated into Japanese.

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  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Feb 04, 2010

    "We'll hold their feet to the fire". This reminds me of the GWB quote, "We'll smoke them out of their caves" Ray, how about some constructive advice to Toyota owners such as, "If this happens when you're driving, here are the four things you need to do - a, b, c, d. While we urge you to take your car to the dealer for the fix asap, please do these things should something happen in the interim". Instead, we have yet another quote from this bufoon that does more to scare than inform. There was better detail on the C4C website than this tool was able to generate!! No, he didn't install or design the crappy brakes or floor mats or gas pedal, but his job needs to be public safety. He's certainly not doing that, or perhaps is doing so in half measures.

    • See 3 previous
    • Steven02 Steven02 on Feb 04, 2010

      jkross22 I think people understand that the car will have to get to the dealer. It is between the dealer and the owner on how the car gets there. My guess, if someone has experienced the problem, the will ask for the car to be towed at dealer's expense. Bertel I am surprised that they posted that. I would actually expect them to post a link to the Toyota site that gives the steps to take if the problem happens.

  • Moparagain Moparagain on Feb 04, 2010

    Sorry about the earlier mispell. My english not so good. Interesting story this morning on CNN about the grandma driving her Toyota through her neighborhood at 80 mph, going airborne and crashing into a tree. Yes she died. Not as exciting as burning gas tanks or blown out tires. Why is it so hard to believe that this is serious. That the answer is not put both feet on the brake pedal, shift to nuetral and turn off ignition.

    • See 2 previous
    • Steven02 Steven02 on Feb 04, 2010

      wsn Do really know how many people have died in Toyota cars? Ever accident that involved a Toyota with excessive speed might be this problem, or might now. It is hard to say. It isn't obvious as a fire after an accident like the current Jeep problem. Even with the current Jeep problem though, it doesn't say how the fires started. I am not trying to marginalize the Jeep issue. One thing to note, the Jeep fire issue isn't the cause of the accident. It is the result of an accident. Besides, there is more to this than fatalities. People may live with severe injuries because the car has a defect. Again, I am not trying to marginalize the Jeep issue, but saying one issue is worse is also bad doesn't make this issue less bad or acceptable.

  • David C. Holzman David C. Holzman on Feb 04, 2010

    that Ray LaHood! He's such a kidder!!!

  • Moparagain Moparagain on Feb 04, 2010

    msn, Exactly right. About 100 deaths per day for decades. In spite of all the new safety innovations, regulations, speed limits, etc. No car company should get a "pass" just because we like them and they have a good PR dept.