While Toyota’s recent issues might at first seem to be a reason for Ford, GM, and Chrysler to pop the champagne, there are those in Detroit who are privately in fury over what is perceived as calculated and misleading attempts by Toyota’s PR people at trashing the quality of records of the American manufacturers in order to deflect attention away from their own shortcomings.
Detroit’s automakers may be a bot hesitant however to start publicly bashing Toyota being that they lack credibility in Washington, and because it may seem like petty child’s play at this point. Behind the scenes however, many industry people are accusing Toyota of what is called lobbyist malpractice; as ToMoCo execs were getting ready to testify before Congress, company lobbyists sent out a set of charts titled Automotive Recalls in Perspective to the offices of many key congressional committee members, with one in particular showing Ford, GM, and Chrysler to be the overwhelming leaders in U.S. safety recalls during the past decade.
The reason these charts are so heavily criticized despite their information being correct, is that the information presented was totally irrelevant to the situation at hand. The hearings were called in order to investigate the expedience with which Toyota responded to knowing about the safety issues, not to compare issued recalls among automakers.
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Free Press