Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Toyota Recall

The Commons transport committee has revealed serious problems regarding vehicle safety. Toyota was apparently working on their vehicle safety issue before notifying consumers or Transport Canada about the sticky gas pedal problem. Government officials are investigating to learn how long Toyota took to instigate a recall after they confirmed they had a safety problem.

Transport minister, John Baird says his department is considering whether Toyota should face criminal charges. Toyota has recalled some 270,000 vehicles in Canada and around 8 million around the world. The committee revealed that once a problem has been identified, it has to be sent to Japan for an engineering review. Bloc Québécois MP, Roger Gaudet, asked, “why would you go to Japan without turning to Transport Canada when you knew there was a problem that put the safety of people at risk.” Interestingly, liberal MP Marc Garneau, said a string of complaints to government regulators dating back to 2004 should have set off alarm bells. Then liberal Joe Volpe told reporters that both Transport Canada and Toyota were playing the blame game and that, “Transport Canada and the minister knew about all of these defects quite some time ago” and that, “the government has been derelict in applying what few measures they have.”

Toyota executives are now calling on the government to put more resources, that’s right money, into Transport Canada to troubleshoot possible auto defects. Toyota has done well in Canada with a product line that is priced as high as consumers will accept. It is time for Toyota and other auto manufacturers to accept their responsibilities and produce quality autos with safety as a first priority. Toyota calling on the federal government to spend more money to assist them in identifying and resolving safety issues is unacceptable. Their requirement to report to Transport Canada first and immediately when a safety problem has been identified is their responsibility.

Addressing the laws and regulations in these matters is the Government of Canada’s responsibility for the safety of all vehicle owners. Auto manufactures must build safer vehicles not the Government of Canada. It is the auto manufactures responsibility to find, fix and report on auto defects. It is the Government of Canada’s responsibility to make sure they do!