Toyota Snowed Regulators to Save $100M

Congress to grill Toyoda over internal document
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2010 2:33 AM CST
Updated Feb 22, 2010 5:24 AM CST
Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda waits for the start of his press conference in Tokyo, Japan.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

(Newser) – For Toyota's president the timing couldn't be worse. The day before Akio Toyoda prepares to testify before congress on his safety-riddled products, an internal memo has surfaced in which the firm touts its savings by getting regulators to agree to a cheap but ineffective recall. The 2009 document claims Toyota saved over $100 million by framing the issue of sudden acceleration in several models as a problem with the size of the floor mats.

Toyota released a statement saying that "one internal presentation" does not accurately represent its commitment to safety, Reuters reports. But the memo reflects Toyota's slow, reluctant response to a widespread and dangerous safety hazard, said an official with the Department of Transportation.

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