WASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today released the following statement on the Justice Department’s $1.2 billion settlement with Toyota for misleading consumers about the sudden-acceleration defect in Toyota and Lexus vehicles:
“The Justice Department’s settlement with Toyota should put all automakers on notice: there is absolutely no excuse for misleading the public or concealing information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Lives are at risk when this happens. Safety must always be the first priority for manufacturers, regardless of how it affects profit margins.”
The Commerce Committee held a three-panel hearing in March 2010 titled, “Toyota’s Recalls and the Government’s Response.” Witnesses included Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood; National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator (NHTSA) David Strickland; Center for Auto Safety Executive Director Clarence Ditlow; Shinichi Sasaki, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Corporation; Takeshi Uchiyamada, Executive Vice President, Toyota Motor Corporation; and Yoshimi Inaba, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.