Obama Admin Ignored Toyota Issues Before Cracking Down

February 7, 2010

Interesting, as Toyota prepares for another recall, research indicates there may be good reason to question the Obama administration's crack down on Toyota after recently pumping big money into GMAC. They were aware of the issue back in October and decided it was no issue at all. Now, suddenly they are ordering Toyota to recall vehicles that might not even need to be recalled? Should we question the timing? Perhaps we should. Hmm.

Toyota is to recall the latest model of its flagship Prius cars because of a possible fault with the brakes, reports from Japan say.

The firm did not comment on the reports, but said it would be announcing soon what action it would take over problems with the Prius.

Toyota has already recalled about eight-million vehicles with faulty accelerator pedals.

A report by ABC's Brian Ross looks to be pointing a finger at former Bush appointees for Toyota's current problems.

Federal safety investigators agreed to exclude reports of the most serious cases of alleged "runaway Toyotas" after the intervention of a former safety official hired to be a Washington, D.C. representative of Toyota, an ABC News investigation has found.

But the issue was in the news back in October under the Obama administration and the ruling was that there was no issue at all. A more recent report here.

October 28, 2009|Ralph Vartabedian and Ken Bensinger Federal safety regulators have closed an inquiry into sudden-acceleration incidents involving certain Lexus ES models after concluding that a vehicle defect was unlikely.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's inquiry into the 2007 Lexus ES 350 and the 2002-03 Lexus ES 300 was triggered by a petition from Jeffrey A. Pepski of Plymouth, Minn.

So, why the reversal right after the Obama administration plucked down big bucks into GMAC? Are they mixing politics and profits, as Senator Session's suggests?

However, as Caruso-Cabrera pointed out, it was the Obama administration's Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood who determined that Toyota had to recall these vehicles over reports of sticky acceleration pedals.

"Ray LaHood is on the record saying that he told them they had to do this," Caruso-Cabrera said. "They had to stop selling. Are you looking into whether or not that was absolutely necessary? Are you convinced this was necessary?"

Sessions expressed his concern over that possibility and noted the amount of money the federal government had recently pumped into GMAC, the auto financing arm of General Motors.

"Well, you know – we were in until late last night and I hadn't heard that," Sessions said. "I worry about those kind of things. I worry about Ford working hard and having to compete against the federal government. With an unlimited – they just gave $3 billion more to GMAC. The President's got to be careful here. He can not be playing politics and union politics or regional politics with the economy of this country."

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  1. John says:

    This is kind of an odd situation for the Democrats, because despite their major pro-union efforts, upper middle class and rich liberals over the years have tended to be at the forefront of buying foreign cars, in party because of the quality control problems in Detroit but also as another way to show themselves as being apart from the average rube in flyover country who thinks American stuff is better than what’s overseas. The liberal enclaves, especially on the West Coast, were among the first areas where foreign cars began to dominate over domestic models back in the 1970s, and of course the left orgasmed over Toyota’s Prius when it hit the market while Detroit was making it’s money on those evil pickups and SUVs.
    So there’s a bit of a dual loyalty there. The foreign car companies that have set up in the U.S. have mainly done so in areas where the UAW can’t get to them, so naturally the union is going to push the White House to treat Toyota as if it’s Halliburton or Walmart. But so many of Obama’s core supporters drive Toyotas and have developed brand loyalty to it or Lexus that to really go after them is to make your supporters feel like idiots for being ahead of the curve on the superiority of non-U.S. auto brands.