New storm clouds are gathering over Toyota's headquarters in the US these days, after yesterday another internal email between company staff was made public. The email, attributed to Toyota vice president Irv Miller, points to the fact that Toyota was well aware of the accelerator problems long before it publicly admitted.
According to the Associated Press, Irv Miller urged Toyota "to come clean" five days prior to the recall announcement. Apparently, Miller had to battle other Toyota executives before having his way.
“Now I talked with you on the phone, we should not mention about the mechanical failures of acc. pedal because we have not clarified the real cause of the sticking acc pedal formally, and the remedy for the matter has not been confirmed,”
Katsuhiko Koganei, Toyota executive coordinator for corporate communications told Miller in an email five days prior to the recall.
“I hate to break this to you but WE HAVE A tendency for MECHANICAL failure in accelerator pedals of a certain manufacturer on certain models,”
Miller replied. “We better just hope that they can get NHTSA to work with us in coming with a workable solution that does not put us out of business.”
The Japanese manufacturer was quick to respond to this latest development, by issuing a press statement in which it declines to comment the contents of the email.
"While Toyota does not comment on internal company communications and cannot comment on Mr. Miller’s email, we have publicly acknowledged on several occasions that the company did a poor job of communicating during the period preceding our recent recalls,"
Toyota's statement reads.
"We have subsequently taken a number of important steps to improve our communications with regulators and customers on safety-related matters to ensure that this does not happen again."
"These include the appointment of a new Chief Quality Officer for North America and a greater role for the region in making safety-related decisions. As part of our heightened commitment to quality assurance, we are fully committed to being more transparent."