Questions Linger About Toyota Recalls

First, it was the floor mats that caused Toyota to recall 4.2 million vehicles. That recall occurred in September 2009 and Toyota officials blamed the poorly designed floor mats for causing the accelerator to become stuck in the depressed position. Then, on January 21, 2010, Toyota recalled 2.3 million vehicles for the same issue. However, this time Toyota officials blamed it on a mechanical issue that was causing the accelerator to “stick” in a depressed position. This past Tuesday, Toyota issued another recall. This time the popular Prius Hybrid and Lexus HS250h were recalled due to brake problems.
Today, the Los Angeles Times is reporting that former Toyota lawyer Dimitrios Billos has internal Toyota documents that show Toyota withheld safety defect information in Toyota lawsuits that allege the defects caused serious injury and death. An arbitrator has ordered Billos not to release any of the documents in his possession. The ruling is temporary until the arbitrator, former federal judge Gary Taylor rules on the merits of the case.
According to the LA Times, “The ruling was issued in a case Biller filed against Toyota under federal racketeering laws, alleging that it engaged in fraud, obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence.
Toyota had sued Biller in 2008, asserting that he had confidential corporate documents.
Biller is a former staff attorney for Toyota’s Torrance-based U.S. sales division. He once defended the automaker in lawsuits alleging that defects led to rollovers that caused injury and death.”