Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dick Corporate Moves: Toyota Edition

It’s that glorious, grand free hand of the market again, helping Corporate Person Toyota avoid fixing a dangerous technical flaw in its vehicles for years:
Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- At least four U.S. investigations into unintended acceleration by Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles were ended with the help of former regulators hired by the automaker, warding off possible recalls, court and government records show.

Christopher Tinto, vice president of regulatory affairs in Toyota’s Washington office, and Christopher Santucci, who works for Tinto, helped persuade the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to end probes including those of 2002-2003 Toyota Camrys and Solaras, court documents show. Both men joined Toyota directly from NHTSA, Tinto in 1994 and Santucci in 2003.

While all automakers have employees who handle NHTSA issues, Toyota may be alone among the major companies in employing former agency staffers to do so. Spokesmen for General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Chrysler Group LLC and Honda Motor Co. all say their companies have no ex-NHTSA people who deal with the agency on defects.

Gosh that’s just so John Galt-”greed is good,” ain’t it?

It’s that revolving door between government agencies and those major corporations in the industries they are meant to regulate. Throw in a few lobbysists and a few million dollars in K Street money and you’ve got a very cozy scenario, indeed. It's all just so "Club For Growth," isn't it?

No wonder our government is broken: it’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate America. And Corporate America doesn’t care about real Americans, just their money.

Hey Toyota: dead Americans don’t buy cars.

So no, I’m not crying for Toyota. They are reaping the karmic rewards of dodging their corporate responsibility for decades. And people died as a result. Tell me why those people who lost family members shouldn’t be allowed to sue?