Toyota seen as concealing potential vehicle problems.


In a 2400-word story, the Los Angeles Times (12/23, Bensinger, Vartabedian) reported, “A peerless reputation for quality and safety has helped Toyota become the world’s largest automaker. But even as its sales have soared, the company has delayed recalls, kept a tight lid on disclosure of potential problems and attempted to blame human error in cases where owners claimed vehicle defects.” The Times relates several incidents illustrating that point, commenting, “The automaker’s handling of safety issues has come under scrutiny in recent months because of incidents of sudden acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles, which The Times has reported were involved in accidents causing 19 fatalities since 2001, more deaths from that problem than all other automakers combined.”