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:eek: :td:Read the parts below about rust problems. I didn't copy most of the stuff about floor mats and unintended acceleration.

Selected paragraphs rom the New York Times article:

Toyota Cited $100 Million Savings After Limiting Recall
Published: February 21, 2010

Toyota estimated that it saved $100 million by negotiating with regulators for a limited recall of 2007 Toyota Camry and Lexus ES models for sudden acceleration, the same problem that has since prompted it to recall millions of cars, documents turned over to a Congressional committee showed Sunday.

The estimate was in a confidential presentation from July 2009 listing legislative and regulatory “wins” for the company. The presentation was among thousands of pages of documents provided as a result of subpoenas by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, one of three panels holding hearings in the next two weeks on Toyota’s safety problems.

In the document, Toyota officials said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which investigates safety complaints, had become “more sensitive to public/Congressional criticism, resulting in more investigations and more forced recalls.”

But the company said it had achieved “favorable safety outcomes” and “secured safety rulemaking favorable to Toyota.”

It also said it had avoided an investigation into the Tacoma, a pickup whose undercarriage could be affected by rust. Toyota offered to repair or, in some cases, replace damaged Tacomas built from 1995 to 2004. Toyota also said it had saved millions of dollars by delaying federal safety rules affecting other models.

From the LA Times:

By Ken Bensinger

February 22, 2010

Toyota Motor Corp. officials took credit for saving hundreds of millions of dollars by persuading federal regulators to limit or avoid safety recalls and rules, a company document released Sunday shows.

The document, an internal company presentation, depicts an automaker focused on getting what it termed "favorable recall outcomes" from regulators, with a goal of saving money even as the death toll climbed from accidents in which Toyota vehicles accelerated uncontrollably.

The document, released by congressional investigators, describes the automaker's regulatory agenda and highlights a wide-ranging string of "wins for Toyota."

Among the accomplishments cited in the document:

* Saving more than $100 million as it "negotiated" a limited recall in 2007 of 55,000 floor mats in Camry and Lexus ES sedans that had been the subject of a sudden-acceleration investigation. By agreeing to the recall, Toyota avoided a deeper investigation into the problem.

* Delaying the implementation of a federal safety rule requiring side-impact air bags, which saved the company $124 million and the cost of 50,000 hours of labor.

* Stalling or mitigating safety regulations governing roof crush standards, electric shocks from hybrid- and electric-vehicle batteries, and sliding doors on vehicles, which saved Toyota $11 million on its Sienna van.

*Avoiding a government probe of rust problems in the Tacoma pickup -- even though Toyota had issued an internal buyback program because of that issue. It also passed, unscathed, an investigation into the rear hatch on the Sienna, which numerous consumers had complained could fall without warning and cause injury.


P.S. I feel for you northeast owners. I live in Southern CA near the beach and have to go underneath with a can of spray paint to strip and repaint components underneath to avoid significant rusting due to shoddy/cheesy finish. Can't imagine what you go through. Comments?
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