TEXT OF INTERVIEW
JEREMY HOBSON: To California now where, this morning, a federal judge will consider a motion by Toyota this morning to dismiss hundreds of lawsuits filed against the company.
Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek-Smith is with me live here in New York with more. Good morning Stacey.
STACEY VANEK-SMITH: Good morning.
HOBSON: So this has everything to do with that sudden acceleration problem that caused Toyota to recall millions of cars.
VANEK-SMITH: It does. And most of these suits are about why the cars accelerated. Toyota says the problem was floor mats sticking to the gas pedals but these suits claim the problem is actually caused by electronic controls in the car. That could have huge financial implications for Toyota. Now, a government investigation didn’t find any problems with the electrical systems. But, the Los Angeles Times dug up some internal documents from Toyota. Those suggest the problem is an electronic one and that Toyota’s known about it for years. So the judge has to consider all that. Meanwhile, Toyota is sort of just hoping the case will go away. Hans Griemal is the Asia editor for Automotive News.
HANS GRIEMAL: They’ve managed to contain it so far so good, but as long as these questions about quality keep dragging out, the more damage it could do to their image.
HOBSON: How much has this all been affecting Toyota’s bottom line?
VANEK-SMITH: Toyota did just posted a quarterly profit of more than a billion dollars. But sales have been flat and Toyota has lost market share in the U.S. for the first time in more than a decade.
HOBSON: Marketplace’s Stacey Vanek-Smith, thanks.
VANEK-SMITH: Thank you.
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