Instrument Panel - 2005 Toyota Celica 3dr LB GT Manual (Natl)
This tight control by Toyota’s Japan based headquarters is echoed in another former employee’s story by Laurence Boland. Boland handled regulatory compliance for Toyota in their offices in Torrance, Calif., left Toyota in 1995 after spending a quarter-century with the organization. Boland recalls data he gathered on the 1979 Toyota Celica’s sticking accelerator throttle being “cleansed” from the final report filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.). Where did all his data go? Japan.
This occurrence seems to be a part of a long time strategy of Toyota’s to minimize safety recalls—and in turn save the company hundreds of millions of dollars. John P. Kristensen, an attorney involved in a lawsuit against Toyota, say that Toyota has used its organizational structure to defend itself from lawsuits by “forcing attorneys to file repeated requests for information to subsidiaries.” The end result of all of this? More than 2,600 complaints about sudden acceleration filed with the N.H.T.S.A and 34 of those have resulted in fatalities. For those who say that this is being blown out of proportion we must ask ourselves how many fatalities are acceptable before the tough investigations and questions start being asked.
[Source: L.A. Times]