Just days before Toyota announced its massive U.S. recall, a public relations executive at the company warned colleagues in an e-mail that the company needs to come clean about its accelerator problems. In documents obtained by The Associated Press, Irv Miller, group vice president for environment and public affairs for Toyota said: “We need to come clean” about accelerator problems. “We are not protecting our customers by keeping this quiet. The time to hide on this one is over.”
Miller, who has now retired, wrote the e-mail on Jan. 16, 2010, five days before Toyota officials went to Washington to discuss the problems with federal regulators. On Jan. 21, Toyota announced it would recall 2.3 million vehicles to address sticking pedals in six models.
“We better just hope that they can get NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to work with us in coming (up) with a workable solution that does not put us out of business,” Miller wrote.
The e-mail was sent to Katsuhiko Koganei, executive coordinator for corporate communications for Toyota USA.
“I hate to break this to you but WE HAVE A tendency for MECHANICAL failure in accelerator pedals of a certain manufacturer on certain models,” Miller’s e-mail said.
– By: Omar Rana