Investigations show that Toyota has routinely engaged in evasive legal tactics in litigation by claiming it does not have information it is required to turn over in the discovery process.
A review of U.S. lawsuits and interviews with lawyers involving a wide range of complaints it seems the automaker has hidden the existence of tests that would be harmful to its legal position and claimed key material was difficult to get at its headquarters in Japan.
It’s withheld potentially damaging files and refused to issue data stored electronically in its vehicles, according to plaintiffs’ lawyers and court records.
For example, in a Colorado product liability lawsuit filed by a man whose daughter was killed in a 4Runner rollover crash, Toyota withheld documents on internal roof strength tests despite a federal judge’s order that the information be revealed, according to court records.