Now it's GM's Turn in the Cross Hairs

Criminal probe opens as Toyota settles with DOJ.

, The National Law Journal

   | 2 Comments

In announcing a $1.2 billion settlement with Toyota Motor Corp. last week, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. took the opportunity to warn other automakers against the consequences of failing to report defects that lead to recalls.

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    Though the debt-driving Obama administration will generally use its DOJ and regulators to extort as much "free" money as it can from corporate America, no one should expect unionized GM to suffer the same scrutiny reserved for a Japanese owned company that operates primarily in right-to-work states here in the U.S. and was dominating U.S. auto sales just as the U.S. government became the principal shareholder in a flailing GM. The Obammunists teamed up with their union and personal injury lawyer comrades to lay Toyota low. GM will get a comparative slap on the wrist.

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    This story ignores the fact that in 2011 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (Nhtsa) published a thorough study by its engineering staff of the claims of unintended acceleration (UA) in Toyotas. Car and Driver magazine concisely summed up its findings: Aside from situations "caused by accelerators hanging up on incorrectly fitted floor mats, the accidents were caused by drivers depressing their accelerators when they intended to apply their brakes. ‘Pedal misapplication‘ was the DOT‘s delicate terminology for this phenomenon."

    The DOJ‘s $1.2 billion fine of Toyota amounts to little more than legal extortion for paperwork violations not actual vehicle defects despite the DOJ spin on the settlement.

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