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Toyota 'win' is now a $2 billion problem

Feb. 22, 2010 at 12:22 PM

TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Toyota Motor Corp., facing massive losses over recalls in recent months, considered it a victory to save $100 million in a 2007 recall, company records show.

Company papers turned over to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reveal that Toyota negotiated with regulators over recalls of 2007 Toyota Camry and Lexus ES models.

Two years after secretly calling savings on that recall a "win," the company is faced with $2 billion in losses over massive recalls, most of them having to do with an accelerator problem similar to the one in 2007, The New York Times reported Monday.

The company is facing lawsuits and investigations from three congressional panels on recent recalls, which also include braking problems in the 2010 Prius and undercarriage rust on Tacoma pickup trucks.

Beyond that, members of Congress want to know "did regulators do their due diligence? Did Toyota raise potential safety problems with regulators as soon as they knew a problem existed?" said Kurt Bardella, a spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

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