Friday, February 12, 2010

Toyota, Gov't Links Questioned

Bloomberg News reports that according to "court and government records," NHTSA regulators recruited away by Toyota "helped end at least four U.S. investigations of unintended acceleration" in Toyota vehicles. "Christopher Tinto, vice president of regulatory affairs in Toyota's Washington office, and Christopher Santucci, who works for Tinto, helped persuade the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to end probes including those of 2002-2003 Toyota Camrys and Solaras, court documents show. Both men joined Toyota directly from NHTSA." The piece adds that Toyota "may be alone among the major companies" in recruiting NHTSA officials to serve as liaisons to the agency. "Possible links between Toyota and NHTSA may fuel mounting criticism of their handling of defects in Toyota and Lexus models" linked to highway fatalities.

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