Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear calls for fair treatment for Toyota as they address safety concerns
Three other governors join Beshear in letter to congressional members
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 10, 2010) – Citing Toyota’s long history as an exemplary corporate citizen in Kentucky and other states, Gov. Steve Beshear challenged Washington lawmakers to give the automaker “a responsible and fair response from the federal government” as Congress prepares to hold hearings on the automaker’s safety recalls. Gov. Beshear initiated conversations with governors, which resulted in a letter to federal lawmakers, signed by Gov. Beshear and three other governors with Toyota operations in their states.
“Toyota must put the safety of drivers first and foremost,” said Gov. Beshear. “However, they deserve a level and reasonable response from the federal government – one that is not tainted by the federal government’s financial interest in some of Toyota’s competitors.”
Gov. Beshear reminded members of Congress that the company directly employs more than 172,000 Americans in plants and dealerships across the nation, and the Toyota Camry was recently hailed as the 2009 Top American-Made Car by Cars.com. Joining Gov. Beshear in signing the letter were Governors Mitch Daniels, of Ind., Gov. Haley Barbour, of Miss. and Gov. Bob Riley, of Ala.
In the letter, Gov. Beshear emphasized that Toyota swiftly identified the safety issues and responded with solutions for drivers and dealers worldwide in a matter of days, and noted that no other auto manufacturer has ever voluntarily stopped vehicle production until safety concerns were addressed.
“Toyota has unquestionably placed the safety of its customers above its profits,” Gov. Beshear continued. “At the same time, they have not laid off a single employee, despite the impact these concerns have had on sales. All of these actions are representative of the valuable friend we have in Toyota.”
Gov. Beshear urged members of Congress to consider Toyota’s long record of commitment to safety and quality and their impact as a national employer in their hearings. “It is in all of the nation’s interest for Toyota to be a continued success,” he wrote.