recall, Toyota, car, wreck, injury, gas pedal, profits, floor mats, air bags, panels, attorneyAn investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee revealed Toyota, in July 2009, said it saved $100 million or more by negotiating an “equipment recall” of floor mats involving 55,000 Toyota Camry and Lexus ES350 vehicles in September 2007, according to the Huffington Post. 

The documents regularly reference the financial benefits of delaying safety improvements and regulations. For example, Toyota said a phase-in to new safety regulations for side air bags saved the car company $124 million and 50,000 hours of labor. Delaying a rule for tougher door locks saved $11 million. These delays were described as “wins” for the car company.

Reading these types of documents is so frustrating. It shows a complete disregard for the safety of their customers while valuing profits above all else. What’s so ironic is that Toyota will probably wind up spending much more than the supposed “cost-savings” they obtained from continually delaying new safety regulations and delaying fixing their gas pedal problem back in 2007 (when Transportation Department officials first alerted the company to the issue).

Here’s a video discussing the internal Toyota documents…

Toyota already lost $7.7 billion last quarter, the largest loss in the company’s history, according to  And the ramifications of Toyota’s lackadaisical approach to safety could haunt the company for years. Their pristine image as one of the best auto manufacturers has been tainted, and if the House investigation continues to reveal internal documents like the ones mentioned above, Toyota’s reputation could continue to suffer.

Should you feel bad for Toyota? Of course not; they brought this on themselves. If the company had acted sooner when Toyota drivers were getting into major car wrecks , suffering serious injuries or even getting killed due to gas pedal problems  and other safety malfunctions, maybe the current situation would be better.