David Kelley, a former US Attorney, has been named Toyota’s government supervisor, has received the task to monitor the Japanese automaker’s safety – in light of the 2009-2010 debacle with the unintended acceleration issues.
The new appointment also comes close to the ongoing investigations made by the Justice Department and US Congress on General Motors’ late recall of 2.6 million cars equipped with deadly ignition switches. The No. 1 US automaker has so far recalled around 29 million cars in North America – a record that exceeds the overall industry’s worst tally, set in 2004.
The Toyota City, Japan-based Toyota, will have “a cooperative and constructive working relationship with Mr. Kelley,” said Keisuke Kirimoto, a company spokesman.
Kelley, currently serving as a New York-based partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, has been task to review Toyota’s policies, safety procedures and also check its public statements. The position was created after Toyota agreed to settle an investigation over the unintended acceleration problems. In March, the carmaker paid a record $1.2 billion penalty and recognized it manipulated public opinion and misled owners over the unintended acceleration issue. After the public scandal that tarnished the carmaker’s reputation, Toyota lost world sales supremacy to General Motors until 2012.