Toyota: Corporate Rap Sheet | Corporate Research Project

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Toyota Fine-S

Toyota: Corporate Rap Sheet

By Philip Mattera

Toyota its professed obsession with and efficiency to turn itself the world’s leading automaker, but a scandal that erupted in seriously damaged the company’s Toyota, whose chief apologized during an appearance the U.S. Congress, later $1.2 billion to settle a criminal charge of trying to up the true cause of the problem. has managed to keep its heavily U.S. operations union-free, the exception of a long-standing (but now joint venture with Motors. The company has a much reputation in the environmental arena, to the enormous success of its Prius, that hybrid was tainted by the safety problems.

Environment and safety

In 1999 Toyota Sales was hit with a lawsuit by the U.S. Environmental Protection which asked for penalties of $58 in connection with an accusation the company sold 2.2 million with defective smog-control Toyota chose to fight the which dragged on for several In 2003 Toyota finally to settle by paying a $500,000 penalty, and spending about $34 on anti-pollution measures. Those did not involve the company’s own vehicles, Toyota insisted were not but rather 3,000 diesel including older school and buses.

In recent years has enjoyed a favorable reputation many environmentalists because of its in promoting hybrids such as its Prius. In 2007 groups the Natural Resources Defense put heat on Toyota when it lined up with other in opposing stricter fuel standards. After receiving an of protests from Prius and others, the company took a favorable stance toward the standards.

In November 2009 Toyota it would repair the gas pedals of four million of its cars in the States to resolve a problem unintended acceleration. Shortly it was reported that U.S. regulators had opened an investigation Toyota’s Corolla and Matrix for randomly stalling while on the

In January 2010 the company a second U.S. recall, 2.3 million vehicles, that was tied to faulty accelerator Then it took the unusual of announcing a suspension of production and of eight of its models while it to solve the gas pedal problem. The problem extended even to vaunted Prius hybrid, was added to the recall.

The company announced it had a fix for the problem and was shipping the materials to dealers to make the Yet public confidence in the automaker was by reports that it had known runaway vehicles for years but taking steps such as brake override systems.

In 2010 the U.S. Department of proposed a fine of $16.4 the maximum allowable, against the for waiting more than months before notifying about the gas pedal problem. A later the company suspended of its Lexus GX 460 SUV after the influential Consumer Reports issued a warming to its readers because its had shown that the vehicle had a handling problem that cause rollover accidents.

In July 2010 Toyota for the first time that at some of the incidents of sudden were due to problems with accelerator pedals and floor A 2011 U.S. government concluded that Toyota’s were not responsible for cases of acceleration.

In December 2010 agreed to pay an additional $32.4 in fines to settle charges to its handling of accelerator pedal and relay rod recalls.

In October Toyota recalled 7.4 million worldwide to repair a potential hazard involving power switches.

In November 2012 recalled 670,000 Prius in the United States to fix problems a possible loss of steering and shutdown.

In December 2012 the Highway Traffic Safety announced that Toyota pay a fine of $17.35 million for to submit prompt reports cases in which floor in Lexus SUVs were out of position and interfering with gas

Later that month, agreed to pay $1.1 billion to a class-action suit stemming claims of unintended acceleration.

In 2013, after an Oklahoma became the first to find the responsible for unintended accerlation, agreed to settle the case for an amount.

In March 2014 the Justice Department announced a prosecution agreement under Toyota would pay $1.2 to settle a criminal charge to its efforts to conceal the true of the acceleration problem.

In April Toyota recalled more 6 million vehicles for problems to malfunctioning airbags.


After the end of the Second War, U.S. occupation encouraged the establishment of new trade organizations in Japan. One of these was the Automobile Industry Labor known for short in Japanese as U.S. officials instituted measures in 1949 that Japan’s major auto to eliminate thousands of jobs. unsuccessfully protested the cuts, but at conflict over the issue was enough that President Toyoda had to resign to restore peace.

In 1953 Zenji was on the again, demanding substantial gains in contract negotiations. and Isuzu reached compromises the union, but Nissan stood which led to a three-month strike later lockout) that when Nissan management persuaded many workers to themselves with a new, militant union. In the wake of the Zenji collapsed, and company-oriented took over at all the major

The harmonious union-management relations followed did not translate into job on Toyota’s shop floor. In journalist Satoshi Kamata a job as a temporary worker at a Toyota and later wrote a book what he called a “factory of because of the punishing pace of the line and the strict regimentation.

Toyota and General Motors their New United Motor Inc. (NUMMI) joint in 1983, the two companies agreed to the United Auto Workers as the employees’ collective bargaining even before anyone had hired. Deciding that was called for, the UAW signed a with NUMMI that a high degree of management over the workplace. Soon the facility, like Toyota’s plants, drew criticism for its employees, and running a system of by stress.” In mid-2009 General announced it was leaving the NUMMI venture; Toyota soon plans to close the operation.

When Toyota decided to set up its own operation in Kentucky in the mid-1980s, the did not extend the welcome mat to the UAW. was successfully pressured to use union for the plant construction, but the production has remained non-union. The UAW avoided organizing drives at Toyota’s operations until 2007, worker unrest over such as high injury changed labor-management dynamics at the Kentucky operation. Some were also angered a leaked company memo that Toyota was seeking to its U.S. wage rates. Yet the still has not asked for a representation The Kentucky branch of the activist Jobs With Justice a Workers Rights Board in that heard testimony the unfair treatment of workers and a series of recommendations.

Toyota Fine-S

Toyota has faced disputes over its pay practices. In 2003 workers in the shop at the company’s Kentucky filed a complaint with the labor department because were not being paid for spent donning and removing clothing, and walking to and from stations. In 2006, after the Supreme Court ruled in a case that such is compensable, Toyota offered million in back pay. a portion of the affected workers to the settlement, while other with a class-action lawsuit.

to Labor Relations Week 25, 2009), NUMMI had to pay its workers than $862,000 after a Department of Labor investigation that the company had failed to overtime pay when calculating production bonuses. In 2009 for the first time moved to its U.S. workforce through job buyouts.

In 2006 Toyota was the focus of an campaign protesting the alleged of union organizers in the Philippines. A report by the National Labor charged Toyota with to overwork its employees in both and overseas operations.

Toyota Denso Guangzhou Nansha was one of the affected by a wave of strikes out by Chinese workers in 2010 to substantial pay increases. The walkout at the forced Toyota to suspend at one of its assembly plants in China for days.

In the autumn of 2012 was one of the companies targeted in an surge of militancy in South Africa. a three-day strike, the company to wage increases.

In March thousands of Toyota workers in staged a work stoppage and a hunger strike to press for in wages and vacation time.


In May 2006 a female of Toyota Motor North filed a sexual harassment against the company’s president, Otaka, accusing him of making sexual advances. Otaka the charges but gave up his post. The lawyer alleged that the had taken no action in response to her prior to the filing of the lawsuit, sought damages of $190 The case was settled out of court no details disclosed.


Toyota has received and local government subsidies for all of the plants it has built in the United beginning with the one in Georgetown, in the 1980s, which got an estimated million. In 2003 Toyota a subsidy package of $133 when it decided to build a in San Antonio, Texas. Four later, the company and its major received a $294 million package for a plant in Blue Mississippi; local governments expected to kick in another $60

In 2014 Toyota received a $40 state subsidy and millions from local government for its North American headquarters southern California to Plano,

Watchdog Groups and Campaigns

Key and Reports

Driven by Corporate Ten Top Car Manufacturers—A CSR Analysis (SOMO, 2010).

Toyota Fine-S
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Toyota Fine-S
Toyota Fine-S

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