Gm-toyota Faces Lawsuit for Hiding Vehicle Defects

By: Evander Klum


In a lawsuit filed at the start of November, an employee in a plant run by two giant automakers, General Motors and Toyota Motor Corp. complained that her supervisors allow serious defects in their produced vehicles. The defects the worker said includes faulty seat belts and braking which can jeopardize the safety of the driver and passengers.

The case was submitted to the Alameda County Superior Court in California. Working at the New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. for 23 years now, Katy Cameron, a certified auditor complained that the admin ignores her defect reports on vehicles since 2005.

Cameron filed the lawsuit last November 6 and she is seeking for unspecified damages for resistance against an alarm and intentional infliction of emotional misery from NUMMI, Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota North America and General Motors Corp.

The Associated Press revealed that the damages allowed by the companies to be passed over includes broken seat belts, faulty headlights, inadequate braking, mirrors falling off, engine oil leaks and steering wheel alignment problems. These neglect of the automakers sets the lives of the would-be vehicle owners, they are not yet certain whether these defects actually caused accidents.

After Cameron had blown the whistle of the defect spots, her superiors had shown vengeance in various ways. Cameron, who was an expert in quality test had been demoted twice, she was also accused of being crazy and violent. The company subjected Cameron to a series of mental test as a way of destroying her credibility to hide the rotten flaws. One executive at the NUMMI, the companies' joint venture based in Fremont, California even threatened to fire Cameron and even went to the personnel department for Cameron's dismissal.

"NUMMI has done everything in its power to try to break Cameron psychologically and force her from the workplace," the lawsuit said. "Cameron is an American hero who will not be silenced by multibillion dollar corporations at the expense of hardworking American consumers and families."

Since her reports, Cameron had been undergoing maltreatment in her work place. It was too much for her to handle and she ended up filing a medical leave to undergo treatment for stress. The lawsuit said that the auditor had already been experiencing depression, fatigue, insomnia and panic attacks.

Tokyo based Toyota refused to comment on the issue because it is still under investigation. However, last Tuesday Toyota said that they are "tackling quality problems as a top priority".

Lance Tomasu, spokesman for NUMMI also was silent regarding the lawsuit. But Tomasu said that quality is their priority when making vehicles.

"The success of our vehicles in the marketplace is a strong indication that our customers appreciate the quality of NUMMI-built cars and trucks. Nevertheless, we will investigate these claims thoroughly," the statement said.

No statements were released by General Motors Corp. (maker of in the U.S.).

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