FBI raids Toyota suppliers

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has raided the offices of three of Toyota’s suppliers in Michigan. What has Toyota gotten themselves into this time?

Actually, Toyota most likely has nothing to do with the reasons for these raids. The companies raided were Yazaki North America, Denso International and Tokai Rika. Denso is a provider of accelerators, although none of the accelerators were affected by Toyota’s recalls. Denso spokesperson Bridgette Gollinger claimed “this is not related to the Toyota Recall investigation.” An unspecified source from Denso said that the investigation was based on allegations of violations of antitrust laws.

Interestingly, this follows a recent investigation of Toyota by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. They requested that Toyota grant them certain documents “including those related to unintended acceleration of Toyota  vehicles and the  company’s disclosure policies and practices.” Toyota has agreed to comply with this request and are preparing the documents.

Jalopnik believes that this investigation may have to do with a larger investigation related to electronics manufacturers. They are being charged with fixing prices charged to automakers as part of a cartel. So Toyota may actually be the victim in this case. Either way, this isn’t very good press for them.

Hours after the raids, Toyota released a statement in which they said the raids have to do with the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division investigating automotive electronics suppliers, but they have not asked Toyota for any information. So it looks like this really does have to do with the electronics manufacturer investigation Jalopnik mentioned, as well as the antitrust allegations a Denso representative mentioned. We’ll keep you updated on any developments.

Press Release:

Toyota Statement on Grand Jury Subpoena and SEC Request

On February 8, 2010 (Japan time), a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York  Issued a subpoena that requested Toyota and its subsidiaries to produce certain documents  related to unintended acceleration of Toyota vehicles and the braking system of the Prius.
On February 19, 2010, Toyota Motor Corporation (“TMC”) and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (“TMS”), received a voluntary request and a subpoena, respectively, from the Los Angeles office of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, seeking production of certain documents including those related to unintended acceleration of Toyota  vehicles and the  company’s disclosure policies and practices.
TMC and TMS intend to cooperate with the investigations and are currently preparing their responses.
Press Release (2):
Toyota Statement Regarding Supplier Investigations
The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division is conducting an investigation of certain automotive electronic suppliers.  Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA) has not been asked for information in connection with the investigation, but will cooperate if asked.
Source: Inside Line, Jalopnik and Toyota

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.