Thursday, July 17, 2014

Eric Holder: Toyota "Showed a blatant disregard for systems and laws designed to look after the safety of consumers."

Dirty hands department:

Lest we forget, a mere few months ago, in March, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder had this to say about Toyota, on the occasion of its criminal investigation settlement:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said Toyota engaged in a cover-up to keep selling cars, even though it knew it had problems. He called the automaker’s behavior “shameful.” “It showed a blatant disregard for systems and laws designed to look after the safety of consumers,” he said. “By the company’s own admission, it protected its brand ahead of its own customers.”

From The Detroit News:

David Shepardson, bless you, but Russell Mokhiber of Corporate Crime Reporter went further. His story raises questions similar to my own about what might have been happening behind the scenes in downtown Manhattan.

Toyota Gets Prosecution Deferred, No Corporate Crime Plea, No Individuals Charged

You have to hand it to James Johnson, Matthew Fishbein and Helen Cantwell of Debevoise & Plimpton.
They represented Toyota Motor Co. and in the face of a mountain of evidence pointing to criminal wrongdoing.
And they still got from the federal government what the giant automaker wanted — no criminal plea agreement, no individuals charged.
Federal officials this morning charged that Toyota criminally defrauded consumers by issuing misleading statements about safety issues in Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
In the deferred prosecution agreement, Toyota admitted that it misled consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about two safety issues affecting its vehicles, each of which caused a type of unintended acceleration.
Meanwhile, if anyone has heard a word about the Independent Monitor that was supposed to watch over Toyota's behavior and transparency, please let me know. I haven't any evidence whatsoever that the monitor has actually been appointed. It is now July. The settlement was in March. Where are you, oh Mr./Ms. Monitor?
And while we are at it, I raise a question about what is really on those hands. Is it dirt, or is it blood?