Toyota Recall

The CBS Evening News (4/7, story 7, 0:25, Rodriguez) reported that, according to internal Toyota emails, “company executives wrestled with how to deal with sticking accelerator pedals. In January, five days before announcing a massive recall, an American vice president wrote ‘we are not protecting our customers by keeping this quiet,’ and ‘the time has come to not hide on this one.’ ”

Toyota told European distributors about sticky gas pedals weeks before informing NHTSA. The Associated Press (4/8, Thomas, Margasak) reported that the documents reveal that “long before Toyota told US regulators about sticking accelerator pedals, [it] warned its distributors throughout Europe about similar problems.” US complaints “were rising at the end of 2009. The documents show that weeks earlier its European division issued technical information ‘identifying a production improvement and repair procedure to address complaints by customers in those countries of sticking accelerator pedals, sudden rpm increase and/or sudden vehicle acceleration.’ The AP noted that “LaHood cited the warnings to the other countries” in announcing the decision to levy the record $16.4 million fine against Toyota.