The Feds have already fined Toyota (NYSE:T) over $16 million for hiding a “defect” in their autos. They are not satisfied and want further fines imposed. Toyota is not too worried since its sales have rebounded. In addition, the amount of money, like the fine, will not even make a scratch in their bottom line. Companies have funds to cover these nuisance fines and they are really “a drop in the bucket.”
Fines Meant To Cater To Unions
The fines are levied to earn support from the main supporters of the Obama administration, the unions. They have always wanted foreign competition stifled and this is a way, in lieu of tariffs, to assuage their feelings. There is nothing wrong with “protectionism” against enemies and those that make inferior products (the Chinese) but for allies and high tech manufacturers, they defeat the purpose of having good products.
Tariffs should be levied at those who want to undermine the nation, like the Chinese and other low cost importers who are putting Americans out of work with cheap labor and inferior goods. Japan certainly does not fall into this category. There are continuing investigations against Toyota along with private lawsuits. The Toyota attorneys will fend off these lawsuits. Perhaps the Federal government is trying to lessen the deficit by means of these fines.
All Cars Have Defects
Cars are complex technological products and have problems. How many readers know of someone (other than the couple who testified before Congress) that in reality had problems with Toyotas? The case in California of a man who is under suspicion for faking a brake problem, as well as a woman in Westchester county New York, who kept her foot on the accelerator and did not touch the brake at all are more prevalent. What the country needs are cars that can compete against the Japanese, not trying to move ahead of them by nuisance fines.