Former Toyota Lawyer: Toyota hid flaws from regulators

This is sure to raise a stink.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, a former top lawyer for Toyota claims the automaker regularly hid evidence of safety defects from consumers and regulators, and fostered a culture of "hypocrisy and deceit." ....

Biller also said that Toyota's gas pedal was not the real cause of random acceleration incidents. "It's the electronic throttle control," he said. Biller said he based his opinion on information he'd learned while at Toyota, but could not disclose the evidence because "that would be privileged information."

Remember that Toyota tried to blame the supplier of brake pedals for its problems.

Why would anyone buy a Toyota at this point?

If GM falls, Toyota will Suffer

I find nothing more irritating than dealing with people who think that the collapse of GM isn't going to affect them. Even worse are the people who believe that they market will sort it out.

The biggest irony is that the Just in Time (JIT) production system employed by Toyota and the other transplants is extremely vulnerable to any supply disruption. And because GM and Toyota share a common supplier base, a collapse at GM would put workers at Toyota's North American operations out on the streets. Because a GM collapse would cut Toyota's supply chain.

Auto Sales Plunge

We all expected auto sales to be anemic but this is pretty god awful. In Auto Sales down over 30%, CNN reports:

Ford: 31% down from 1 year ago in November, 7% down from October, last month. Worst sales in 25 years.

Toyota: 34% drop from last year and a 14% drop from last month.

GM: 41% down, 44% cars, 39% light trucks.

Chrysler: 47% drop. A whopping 57% on cars and 42% on trucks.

These numbers are worse than analysts expected.

AP on GM details.

CBS Market Watch on Chrysler Sales.