Toyota Slip-Up Not the First

Toyota’s recent fiasco with faulty pedals may be just one incident in a larger pattern of sloppy and slow responses to safety problems, reports The New York Times. Reports have found that, contrary to their initial statements, the company received reports in Europe back in December 2008 regarding the sticking pedals, but viewed the problem as a matter of “customer satisfaction” and not a safety defect. “We acknowledge that we could have communicated better as a company,” said a spokesperson. A similarly sluggish response occurred after engineers found problems with a steering mechanism in the Hilux Surf in 1996—the company fixed the problem in newer models of the car, but didn’t begin recalling older vehicles for another eight years. “Maybe they were a little ‘safety deaf’ in their North American office,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who took Toyota to task last year for failing to announce a recall to deal with the pedals.