Reuters is reporting that pressure is mounting on Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corp. after a memo claiming the company saved over US$100 million by having U.S regulators agree to a cheap fix for the unintended acceleration problems on some of Toyota’s vehicles.
Toyoda is to testify before U.S. congressmen this week to answer questions about the company’s handling of the crisis which continues to see Toyota’s vehicle sales drop and shares in the company spiral downward. Toyota stock has lost 19 per cent over the last month.
Leading up to Toyoda’s testimony, a 2009 internal document turned over to lawmakers and released on Sunday purports to show Toyota’s Washington D.C staff pleased with the efforts at saving more than US$100 million by convincing regulators to put to an end a 2007 investigation into issues surrounding sudden acceleration concerns by using a cheap floor mat recall. The U.S. Department of Transportation said the document shows Toyota’s slow response to the safety problems
“Unfortunately, this document is very telling,” said Olivia Alair, department spokeswoman on the release of the document.