Toyota Heading For The Hill, Again

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
toyota heading for the hill again

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.

Join the conversation
  • Newcarscostalot Newcarscostalot on Apr 17, 2010

    I wonder how much taxpayer money is wasted at these hearings...

    • Cykickspy Cykickspy on Apr 18, 2010

      I believe that you must be misinformed if you think that the government is wasting time and money on this issue. It has become evident that some automakers believe they are above the law when it comes to following court discovery orders. Case in point: "The AP reviewed numerous cases around the country in which Toyota's actions were evasive, and sometimes even deceptive, in providing answers to questions posed by plaintiffs. Court rules generally allow a person or company who is sued to object to turning over requested information; it's permitted and even expected that defence attorneys play hardball, but it's a violation to claim evidence does not exist when it does."

  • Johnny ro Johnny ro on Apr 17, 2010

    Its not much if you mean how much staff overtime is charged that would otherwise not get charged. The real waste is that congress should be doing something important with the few hours of time they have and what they spend their time on is this pubic masturbation. The real issues remain unaddressed.

  • B1msus93 B1msus93 on Apr 17, 2010

    This IS important. If they manage to bring down Toyota, great news for the D3. Bad for the Toyota plant workers though

    • CamaroKid CamaroKid on Apr 17, 2010

      I've lost track, who are the D3? Chrysler headquarters are in Turin. GM is now based out of Washington DC.. The D3 is not even the D2 anymore... at best the the at the D1.4

  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Apr 17, 2010

    Aside from the lights, they are mostly fixed costs. It's called "division of labor" guys ... that's why there are committees to handle such inquiries ... if this committee didn't investigate this issue, that doesn't mean that they would have an equally worthwhile issue to investigate, or be free to sit on another fully-seated committee. But this doesn't mean that if there were no committee work to be done that their job could be eliminated (IIRC, this is regulated inthe constitution), and even if that were to become the discussion, would it really be better to have fewer representatives? Don't forget, Toyota is not clean here, so they opened themselves up to the (stay classy) "public masterbation" ... in addition, this flogging sets the example to the other OEM's that they better follow the law, rather than try to manipulate the system.