Monday, November 10, 2014

Daily Kos Reifowitz: Orange is good for Takata execs; Toyota's St Angelo: "No one in our business is perfect."

To Toyota's St. Angelo, the very idea of Takata execs in jail must be
so annoying, because what they are doing is business as usual.

Ian Reifowitz is more rightfully outraged by prosecutorial laxity.

Life and death issues deserve outrage.
Writing in Daily Kos, Ian Reifowitz quotes the NY Times expose of Takata, thanks to two whistleblowers who were told to cover up dangerous airbags:
"'instead of alerting federal safety regulators to the possible danger, Takata executives discounted the results and ordered the lab technicians to delete the testing data from their computers and dispose of the airbag inflaters in the trash, they said.'
"This is why government must vigorously regulate businesses and punish violations. When regulators are too lenient—as is likely when so many of them are drawn from, and want to return to, the top ranks of the industries they regulate—the rest of us get hurt. Not only that, but weak regulations mean that all businesses are then forced either to cut corners themselves or risk being destroyed by competitors willing to do so. Many corporate executives are no different from 5-year-olds. Give them an inch, and they'll take a mile.
Assuming the whistleblowers are telling the truth, sending these Takata executives away is a matter of achieving justice for Hien Tran and the others killed and wounded by the criminals who threw their lives into the trash 10 years ago. Equally importantly, doing so would send a message to would-be white-collar criminals: It doesn't matter if you wear a suit and tie, if you break the law you will go to prison. Sending that message would make all of us safer.
But we haven't been doing that consistently enough in America in recent years. And that's got to change. Now."
At Takata customer Toyota, former chief quality officer Steve St.Angelo apparently has very different ideas. To him, the executives did nothing to warrant an orange jumpsuit, and he defends them.

WashPost: Toyota exec backs Takata

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- A top Toyota Motor Corp. executive offered support for how air-bag maker Takata Corp. is handling a safety crisis affecting millions of vehicles, days after expanding its own recalls for the second time in four months.
“They’re doing what they’re supposed to do: understand the root cause, and then learn from it and reflect and put countermeasures in place,” Steve St. Angelo, head of Toyota’s Latin American operations and former chief quality officer for North America, said today in Tokyo. “There’s nobody in our business that’s perfect.”
Where are the Toyota insider whistleblowers?