Published: Feb 8, 2010

WASHINGTON. D.C. – Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter today to the panel’s Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) saying that while it “is important to hear from current administration officials to better understand how the government has responded to the current recalls…the pattern of negligence extends beyond the tenure of those currently in positions of authority.  In order to better understand how federal officials responded to complaints of unintended acceleration and to further our ongoing investigation into the federal government’s role in ensuring motor vehicle safety, I feel it is important to hear from officials from the previous administration responsible for overseeing these activities.”

“Evidence suggests that for nearly a decade, both Toyota and officials at the National Highway Transportation Security Administration (NHTSA) were aware of complaints related to unintended acceleration,” Issa wrote to Towns.  “As the agency responsible for ensuring the safety and reliability of automobiles sold and driven in the United States, it is vital that NHTSA is operating in an effective and responsible manner.  But with unresolved complaints documenting incidents of unintended acceleration in Toyota model vehicles as early as 2003, I have serious concerns about the agency’s actions under the previous administration.”

Specifically, Issa requested that the Committee hear from:

Norman Mineta – Secretary of Transportation (2001-2006)

Mary Peters – Secretary of Transportation (2006-2008)

Nicole Nason – Administrator, National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (2006-2008)

David Kelly – Administrator, National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (2008-2009)

Issa added, “Without the testimony of former administration officials in charge when numerous consumer complaints went unnoticed or unresolved, the Committee will lack the clarity of information needed to understand how this problem evolved and can be prevented in the future.”