The bad news keeps piling on for Toyota destroying the reputation that took so long to build. Now emails and memos are arising to further confirm that Toyota was not ignorant to the safety issues regarding its models. Toyota has admitted to not communicating these issues to the public and to the government causing them to receive a $16.4 million dollar fine.
Five days before Toyota decided to recall 2 million vehicles due to sticky accelerator pedals, Irv Miller, Toyota’s now former V.P. for Environment and Public Affairs, wrote an email warning his fellow Toyota executives of needing to “come clean”. He wrote, “We are not protecting our customers by keeping this quiet. The time to hide on this one is over. We need to come clean”. On January 21, 2010, the recalls were announced.
Hit the jump for the full story.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. In a separate email written by Katsuhiko Koganei, Executive Coordinator for Corporate Communications, to Mike Michels, V.P. of External Communications, Koganei wrote, "Now I talked with you on the phone, we should not mention about the mechanical failures of acc. pedal because we have not clarified the real cause of the sticking acc pedal formally, and the remedy for the matter has not been confirmed,” adding that Toyota executives were concerned that news of the mechanical failures "might raise another uneasiness of customers."
This highly ignorant statement was dealt with by a response from Mike Michels stating, "Kogi, I hate to break this to you but WE HAVE A tendency for MECHANICAL failure in accelerator pedals of a certain manufacturer on certain models." He also added his concern for customer safety.
Sticky accelerator issues are not the only stitch in Toyota’s side. Gas pedals getting stuck in floormats and braking issues with the Prius have also led to massive recalls of Toyota’s vehicles. In total, Toyota has recalled 8 million vehicles worldwide and is in the process of dealing with a boatload of lawsuits concerning the safety issues involved in all of their recalls.
Good luck, Toyota and, next time, try to remember that honesty is the best policy.