Toyota accused of waiting too long to inform the government about faulty accelerators

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

In Canada, Toyota Motor Corp. executives are facing allegations from lawmakers that they waited too long before informing the government about faulty accelerator problems in its vehicles. Canada's transport minister said his department would start an investigation into Toyota's actions. The department is even considering toughening up disclosure laws further.

Of the 8 million vehicles that Toyota recalled due to risks of unintended acceleration, 270,000 are in Canada. At a hearing last Tuesday, Yoichi Tomihara, CEO of Toyota Canada Inc., said that Canadians are experiencing anxiety and inconvenience due to this crisis.

Toyota insists that Transport Canada was informed of the problems with the sticky pedals on Jan. 21, the day that the recall was announced. Last Jan. 26, production of the 8 affected models was halted in North America while waiting for a fix.

The Canadian lawmakers are demanding that Toyota answer why, if it knew about the issue in October and had started working with supplier CTS Corp. on a redesign later in the year, had waited so long to tell the government.

Jeff Watson, a member of Parliament from the governing Conservative Party, is questioning why nobody told either Transport Canada or NHTSA (US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) about the serious safety problem until after a recall was issued on January 21.

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