Toyota said to have staved off inquiries by hiring NHTSA officials

Posted on Feb 16, 2010

Four investigations into unintended acceleration by Toyota Motor Corporation were reportedly ended when the automaker hired former regulators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to serve as agency liaisons for the company. 

The hiring of Christopher Tinto, the Vice-President of Affairs for Toyota, and Christopher Santucci, who works for him, resulted in the ending of probes by NHTSA in 2002-2003 into unintended acceleration issues in both Toyota Camry and Solara models. Tinto and Santucci came to the automaker directly from NHTSA.

These links add to mounting criticism of NHTSA’s previous handling of Toyota and Lexus models involvement in highway accidents and fatalities.

Toyota Motor Corporation faces multi-billion dollar liability from its recent recall of several models and over 30 class-action status lawsuits. 

NHTSA and Toyota officials have been asked to appear before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Congress of February 24 and before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on February 25 to discuss the recalls.

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