Daniels takes government to task over Toyota recalls - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Daniels takes government to task over Toyota recalls

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Governor Mitch Daniels Governor Mitch Daniels
Toyota has announced two recalls about their vehicles in recent weeks. Toyota has announced two recalls about their vehicles in recent weeks.

Kevin Rader/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Governor Mitch Daniels is taking President Barack Obama to task over his handling of the Toyota recall problem and several other governors have joined him.

Daniels stopped and talked with some school children at the Statehouse Tuesday. While he was making small talk, he was also sending out a big message to the federal government when it comes to Toyota.

"Let's recall. Let's fix it - the cars," Daniels said. "If a fine is in order, then fine, but they have gone so far beyond that. It's very very suspicious in view of the government conflict of interest."

That is why Daniels and, he says, a bipartisan group of other governors around the nation have joined together to send a letter to the Obama administration, complaining about the handling of the Toyota recall investigation. House investigators are now saying there is growing evidence that not all the causes of Toyota's acceleration problems have been identified.

"This is why you don't want government in the car business, for instance. There you have a company doing more than others have done with regard to a recall. There were 600 recalls last year alone and they didn't go so hysterical as this," Daniels said. "These congressmen running this committee have their own agenda and it is a discriminating agenda in this case. They didn't do this the last several hundred recalls."

The governor said the letter was written up without influence from Toyota.

"The company did not ask us to do it and may have preferred not, but we did not want to remain silent. We think they are being discriminated against," he said. "[Toyota is] an excellent citizen. Only company I know that didn't lay anyone off during this sales downturn of the last year and the most American car company, based on where they build their new cars and where their parts come from.

"So why are they being beat up this way? That is what the letter says. Obviously the government has a conflict of interest, owning companies that directly compete with Toyota. They need to play fair, which they haven't done up to now."

Daniels admitted that all the governor's involved - which is thought to be four or five total - have Toyota plants in their states.

The other governors signing the letter included Steven Beshear of Kentucky, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, and Bob Riley of Alabama.

Read the letter.

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