Filed under: Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , GM , Toyota In the past, if an automaker did something wrong, they were usually prosecuted by the US government through something called the TREAD Act. Short for Transportation Recall Enhancement, Accountability and Documentation Act, it basically requires automakers to report recalls in other countries, along with any and all serious injuries or deaths, to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration . Failing to report or attempting to conceal anything when there’s been a death or serious injury constitutes a criminal liability. The idea is that this setup puts the onus on manufacturers to keep NHTSA apprised of safety related issues before they become a problem in the US, thereby allowing the regulator to better protect consumers. In theory, it sounds like a relatively airtight set of rules for dealing with misbehaving automakers. That didn’t stop the US Department of Justice from ignoring TREAD in its prosecution of Toyota’s handling of the unintended acceleration recall, though. The result of this new approach, which charged Toyota with wire fraud, was a $1.2 billion settlement . Now, the wire-fraud approach could be used for the expected case between the US government and General Motors , based on the statements of Attorney General Eric Holder , who specifically mentioned “similarly situated companies” when discussing Toyota. In order to make wire fraud stick, US prosecutors would need to prove criminal intent. As explained by Reuters , that means there needs to be evidence that GM actively misled either regulators like NHTSA, or the general public, all in a bid to maintain sales.
Filed under: Truck , Videos , Work , Toyota Toyota has worked up a quick video detailing the brand’s involvement in the transportation of the Space Shuttle Endeavour last year. As you may recollect, the California Science Center ran into a hitch when it came to moving Endeavour from LAX to its new home. While most of the route would be covered by a robotically controlled transporter, one portion of the route directed the shuttle over an interstate. Unfortunately, the bridge across wasn’t designed to stand up to the weight of the shuttle and its motorized sled. The Science Center would have to remove Endeavour from its transporter and place it on a lighter, non-motorized sled. That’s where longtime Science Center sponsor Toyota came in. As it turns out, the automaker had to prove to the California Science Center that a Tundra could actually tow the massive shuttle, so engineers put on a little demonstration with a stock truck pulling the equivalent weight over flat ground for the same distance. Once the Science Center was satisfied that the Tundra could pull it off, the move was green lit and the rest is history . Check out the short documentary below for yourself. Continue reading Toyota mini doc chronicles Tundra towing Space Shuttle Endeavor Toyota mini doc chronicles Tundra towing Space Shuttle Endeavor originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 19:58:00 EST.
Filed under: Hybrid , Government/Legal , Recalls , Safety , Crossover , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury This summer, we brought you news that Lexus was recalling over 150,000 RX and RX hybrid crossovers tied to its massive pedal entrapment issue. An update to that story included word from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it was considering launching a federal investigation into potential delays by the automaker in notifying owners about the problem. Now comes news that parent company Toyota will pay a hefty $17.35 million in fines for delaying its recall of the 2010 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h. According to The Detroit News , the Japanese automaker is being forced to pay the maximum fine for delaying recalls – and this isn’t the first time. In fact, this is the fourth time since 2010 that Toyota has been required to do so, including paying $48.8M in civil penalties in 2010 for failing to recall vehicles in a timely manner – in three separate campaigns. In addition to the fines, Toyota has agreed to restructure the way it handles quality control and review “safety-related issues.” Though the Japanese automaker has not admitted any wrongdoing, Toyota has agreed to meet with NHTSA for six months on the matter and may extend the meetings another six months. US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he is counting on Toyota to improve its ability to address such safety issues: “With today’s announcement, I expect Toyota to rigorously reinforce its commitment to adhering to the United States safety regulations,” he said in a statement. According to the report, Toyota has recalled more vehicles than any other automaker so far this year – 5.3 million in 13 separate campaigns – putting it about two million units ahead of second-place Honda . This latest fine is a drop in the bucket compared to Toyota’s expected global profits of $9.7 billion by the end of March, 2013. That said, Congress has already agreed to a new fine that will push the maximum penalty for delayed recalls up to $35 million.
Filed under: Safety , Ford , GM , Nissan , Toyota , Police/Emergency , Specialty , Fisker To help those effected by Hurricane Sandy cope with the natural disaster, automakers are stepping up in various ways. Known to us right now are contributions of aid or assistance by Ford , General Motors , Toyota , Fisker and Nissan . Toyota and Ford have opted to give in the most straightforward fashion: donations of money. Ford has announced that its own employees have collected $50,000 to donate, and Toyota has stated that it will contribute $1 million in support of relief efforts. Both companies have made these contributions to the American Red Cross. Other automakers have opted to offer tangible, on-the-ground resources to the relief effort. GM has pledged 50 utility vehicles, including Express cargo vans, Traverse crossovers and Tahoe SUVs, to the Red Cross. The vehicles will be fitted with 200 OnStar Hands-Free calling minutes and a month of turn-by-turn navigation. GM has also donated $250,000 to the Red Cross. Fisker Automotive has offered up its 3.2-million-square-foot Wilmington, DE facility as a staging area for rescue crews and power trucks.
TORRANCE, Calif. (March 12, 2012) – Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc., along with its agency of record, Saatchi & Saatchi LA, today launched the marketing campaign for the Prius c , the newest member of the Prius Family. “The Game of Life with Prius c ” demonstrates key vehicle attributes in a fun and approachable way that aims to appeal to first-time car buyers looking for a fuel-efficient and tech-savvy solution to their transportation needs.
NEW YORK, NY – May 23, 2011 — Toyota said today that it has received the recommendations provided in a report from its independent North American Quality Advisory Panel, led by former Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater.