News broke yesterday that the U.S. House Committee has issued a subpoena to former Toyota lawyer Dimitrios Biller. Biller managed rollover cases from 2003 to 2007 at Toyota’s North American headquarters in Torrance, California. This news is certain to add to the consumer uncertainty that Toyota is already battling, especially with allegations that legal documents were destroyed that pertained to the SUV rollover cases.

The subpoena was issued as part of the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into Toyota’s problems with unintended acceleration. The hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 24 and the subpoena requires that Biller deliver the files by Feb. 23. This is all made murkier by a temporary injunction won by Toyota last week that barred Biller from releasing the documents in his possession. The documents in question total somewhere in the neighborhood of 6000 records, but Biller’s attorney, Jeffery Allen of Santa Monica, Calif., has not said who is in possession of those documents or where they are being kept. That said, the injunction won’t keep Biller from complying with the House subpoena.

Why are these documents so important? Allen says, ““There is clear evidence that Toyota was withholding and destroying documents necessary in litigation and necessary to present to” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” That goes hand in hand with Biller’s comments in a recent interview with ABC news. Biller said, “You have to understand that Toyota in Japan does not have any respect for our legal system … they did not have any respect for our laws.”

Stay tuned for more news as it unfolds right here at For all you business majors, Toyota will be quite the study in your next marketing, finance or Capstone class.



[Source: Automotive News - sub. req.]