WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Toyota Motors Corp. issued eight recalls for uncontrolled acceleration problems in vehicles before its massive recall this year, U.S. safety records show.
A survey of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records shows the Japanese automaker issued more recalls for unintended acceleration than any other automobile company, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
In addition, the Times said Toyota has a habit of minimizing problems, burying some in payoffs to plaintiffs in court cases and denying problems exist, the Times said.
With the latest recall involving 4 million vehicles, the administration scolded Toyota for making "inaccurate and misleading statements" about the recall after it said the cars were not defective.
In a separate case involving unintended acceleration, Toyota discovered a problem with a plastic panel in 2003 and changed the design for newer models, but did not inform buyers of older cars of the issue. It took six years before a recall was announced, the Times said.
In a letter to the Times, Toyota denied it had remained quiet about the problem, calling the redesigned part "an additional safety measure," the Times said.