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Toyota Subpoenaed by US Grand Jury

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Toyota

Toyota Subpoenaed by US Grand Jury

VOA News
July 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm

A grand jury in the United States is requesting documents from Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation about steering problems with some of its cars.

Toyota confirmed the request Tuesday and said it is sincerely cooperating with the investigation.

The grand jury’s request did not specify which vehicles were being investigated. Defective steering rods in some of Toyota’s pick-up trucks led to a recall in 2005.

The world’s largest automaker had already been subpoenaed by a grand jury earlier this year for documents relating to problems with unintended acceleration and braking problems in some of its vehicles.

A grand jury is a panel that can determine whether there is enough evidence for prosecutors to file criminal charges.

Toyota has been plagued by a series of recalls that have affected about 10 million vehicles worldwide, most of them due to unintended acceleration. In April, the United States fined Toyota $16.4 million for holding back information on a gas pedal defect responsible for causing cars to speed out of control.

Separately, Japanese automaker Honda announced it will start selling more hybrid and battery-powered vehicles.

Honda Chief Executive Takanobu Ito said Tuesday that the auto company plans to sell a so-called plug-in hybrid in Japan and the United States in 2012. The car will be powered by both a traditional gasoline engine as well as electricity. He said a battery-only powered vehicle will also be available.

Honda is Japan’s second largest automaker and has long promoted its cars for their energy efficiency.

Other major automakers — including Toyota, U.S.-based General Motors, Japan’s Nissan and Germany’s Daimler — have already announced plans to start selling electric-powered cars in the U.S. and elsewhere starting later this year or next year. Some information in this story was provided by AP, AFP, Bloomberg and Reuters.

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