Corporate Law

Feds Launch Toyota Criminal Probe as SEC Scrutinizes Investor Disclosures

In the latest blows to Toyota Motor Corp.’s once-sterling reputation, federal authorities have announced a criminal probe of automotive safety issues and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is looking into the company’s disclosures to investors concerning unintended acceleration problems.

Announcing these developments yesterday, Toyota gave few details and it’s not immediately clear what potential violations of the law might have prompted a grand jury request for documents earlier this month in the Southern District of New York, reports the Associated Press.

Rallying on Capitol Hill today as Congressional hearings began following the recall of more than 8 million Toyota vehicles, dealers defended the company and the brand, reports CNN.

“We take great pride in the fact that as of last night, together we’ve done over 690,000 recalls already and are pacing at 50,000 a day throughout the United States,” chairman Paul Atkinson of the Toyota National Dealer Council told a crowd outside the hearings. “My question for you is: How did we suddenly overnight become the villain?”

A London Times article provides a timeline of the recalls and lists affected vehicles.

Related coverage: “Complex Toyota Case Could Rival Tobacco Litigation, Plaintiffs Lawyers Predict” “House Panel Wants Ex-Toyota Lawyer to Turn Over Damaging Documents”

Bloomberg: “Toyota Recalls Show Weakness of Firestone Safety Law”

Bloomberg: “Toyota Dealers Warn Against ‘Rush to Judgment’ After Recalls”

New York Times: “Toyota Official Says Recall May Not Fully Solve Safety Problem”

Reuters: “Toyota woes could lead to stronger U.S. oversight”

Updated on Feb. 24 to include London Times coverage.

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