Toyota has reversed itself and now says its political action committee will no longer contribute to the Republican lawmakers who voted against certifying Joe Biden's presidential election victory. The move by the Japanese automaker comes after a social media backlash over the contributions, including threats to stop buying the company's vehicles, the AP reports. "We understand that the PAC decision to support select members of Congress who contested the results troubled some stakeholders," Toyota said in a statement Thursday, adding that the company has "decided to stop contributing to those members of Congress who contested the certification of certain states in the 2020 election." Last week, Axios reported that Toyota led companies in donations to the 147 members of Congress who voted in January against certifying election results on the false grounds that the election was stolen from then-President Trump.
The Axios report, based on data gathered by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said Toyota donated $55,000 to 37 Republican objectors this year. That was more than double the amount donated by the second-highest donor, Cubic Corp., a defense contractor in San Francisco, Axios said. Toyota will not seek refunds of contributions it already has made, spokesman Scott Vazin said Thursday in an email. He said the company hasn't decided if or when it will resume the contributions. Immediately after Toyota's spending was reported, the company defended it, saying it did not believe it's appropriate to judge legislators based only on their electoral certification vote. The company took input from employees and government officials, Vazin said. But the most important factor was customer feedback, he said. "That really drives our decision making," he said.
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