Toyota Used Ex-Regulators to Help Kill Probes
The growing reports of Toyota's efforts to dodge safety recalls and its handling of recalls over the last month will likely cause the car maker several more headaches. The first of these is that Congressional investigations into the firm's practices will become much more aggressive. The second is that consumers will wonder whether Toyota puts the safety of drivers ahead of its own finances and reputation. The third is that a growing number of lawsuits against the company may be bolstered by any confirmation that Toyota "covered up" its knowledge of mechanical trouble with some of its models, knowingly allowing customers to drive cars with potentially dangerous flaws.
Toyota has set aside $2 billion for the recall costs and lost sales from its accelerator recall. This does not include the expenses of repairing brake problems with certain 2010 Prius models. As government officials and class action attorneys examine the facts behind Toyota's handling of its knowledge of defects in its products, the company may find itself embroiled in investigations and law suits that could grow and stretch on for years.