Former U.S. Attorney Named as Toyota’s Government Monitor

By Ellen Rosen | August 14, 2014

Former U.S. Attorney David Kelley was appointed as the government monitor to supervise Toyota Motor Corp.’s safety after the company’s mishandling of vehicle recalls for unintended acceleration.

Keisuke Kirimoto, a spokesman for the Toyota City, Japan- based carmaker, confirmed the U.S. Justice Department’s appointment of Kelley. The company expects to have a “cooperative and constructive working relationship with Mr. Kelley,” he said.

Kelley, a New York-based partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, will review Toyota’s policies and safety procedures, and verify the accuracy of its public statements. The monitor position is part of a settlement in March, in which Toyota paid a record $1.2 billion penalty and admitted it misled U.S. consumers in 2009 and 2010 about problems with its cars over sudden, unintended acceleration.

The appointment comes as the Justice Department and Congress investigate General Motors Co. for its handling of defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. Detroit-based GM recalled about 29 million vehicles in North America this year, a record.

For Toyota, the recalls blemished its reputation for quality and led to the company losing its title as the world’s top-selling automaker to GM. Toyota regained the industry lead in each of the last two years and clung to a slim lead over Volkswagen AG through the first half of 2014.

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