Monday, March 8, 2010

Memo: Toyota Employees Warned Managers About Safety Concerns in 2006

The Los Angeles Times reports that a group of six "veteran" Toyota union employees sent a memo to the company's senior management that they knew "could damage their careers. The workers had recognized a troubling trend. In recent years, the automaker had kicked into high gear to fill the booming U.S. demand for smaller, more gas-efficient vehicles," and in doing so, took "dangerous safety and manpower shortcuts to lower costs and boost production. ... From 2000 to 2005, their memo pointed out, Toyota had recalled more than 5 million cars -- 36% of all sold vehicles, a rate higher than other companies. Toyota's failure to act, the two-page notice warned, may 'become a great problem that involves the company's survival.'" The Times notes that despite the workers' fears, "Toyota never responded."

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