Thursday, February 4, 2010
CHICAGO — The US transportation chief’s public rebukes of Toyota’s handling of a massive safety recall have raised eyebrows, given the US government’s major stake in rivals General Motors and Chrysler.
“The optics are terrible because — and this is what happens when a government owns a company – the two companies that are going to gain the most out of this are General Motors and Chrysler,” said Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland’s business school.
“But their behavior is consistent with the general policy of the US government, whether it’s dealing with coffeemakers or cars.”
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Safety officials understand that product design mistakes are inevitable and will work to help companies correct the problem and alert consumers. But they will not tolerate a slow or weak response, Morici told AFP.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sat down with reporters Wednesday to lay out a timeline of how US officials had “pushed Toyota to take corrective actions” on its pedal problems since 2007.
This article was posted: Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm