Injury Board readers already knew that Toyota was more concerned about protecting its image than protecting its drivers. Maybe we just didn’t realize how far Toyota would go.
I’ve documented here how Toyota’s class action defense lawyers used a hired gun, Exponent, to doctor testing in an attempt to discredit critics and "suggest" that electronic failures played no role in Toyota’s sudden acceleration problem. It turns out that Toyota did no actual testing or investigation at all.
The Washington Post has reported that Toyota has been focused on discrediting its critics the entire time.
From the Washington Post:
Toyota officials sought to develop a public relations campaign to attack the credibility of key witnesses who have testified before Congress about acceleration problems with the company’s cars, according to documents provided to the House committee investigating the automaker.
The effort was based in part on polling conducted for Toyota by Joel Benenson, President Obama‘s chief pollster. His poll questioned the integrity of the witnesses: Sean Kane, a Massachusetts safety consultant, and David Gilbert, an auto technology professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Congressional investigators have demanded to know from company officials whether a campaign to debunk or discredit their witnesses was put into action.
The company says it never produced advertisements based on the polling. Still, plans for the campaign have drawn the ire of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which, upon learning of them, told the automaker to hand over all related documents.
Lawmakers "would take very seriously any effort to malign or intimidate witnesses who cooperate with our investigations," a committee spokesman said in a statement Friday.
Injury Board member, Greg Webb, as also written on Toyota’s dirty tricks.
For more than a decade, when Toyota has been given an opportunity to do the right thing and actually try to fix the deadly sudden acceleration problem, Toyota has repeatedly chosen to cover up the defect with lie after lie after lie.
It’s time that Toyota is held accountable.
Brett Emison is currently a partner at Langdon & Emison, a firm dedicated to helping injured victims across the country from their primary office near Kansas City. Mainly focusing on catastrophic injury and death cases as well as complex mass tort and dangerous drug cases, Mr. Emison often deals with automotive defects, automobile crashes, railroad crossing accidents (train accidents), trucking accidents, dangerous and defective drugs, defective medical devices.