Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How did Toyota Really Respond to the 9/11 Tragedy?

I recently received one of those many e-mails that come and go around the Internet all the time. This one was talking about how different automobile companies responded to the 9/11 tragedy, specifically in the area of help and contributions. The point of the letter was to applaud the "American Three", (Ford, GM, and Chrysler) and belittle alleged puny efforts or non-efforts of the "foreign" automobile companies such as Honda and Toyota. For a copy of that email, see the story at Snopes.com.

In regard to Toyota the allegation is:

Toyota (includes Lexus) - Press release with condolences posted on the Toyota web site on 09/14/01, but no contribution despite earlier press releases boasting that Toyota had high sales in July and August.

The conclusion of this e-mail encourages the reader to keep these "facts" in mind the next time one is buying a car. The implied thrust is that only the "American Three" responded in any meaningful way to the 9/11 tragedy.

Well, here is what I found at the Toyota web site:

Statement: Toyota Relief Contributions

September 18, 2001 -(updated September 25, 2001) New York, NY - In support of relief efforts and humanitarian aid, Toyota has donated $1 million to the American Red Cross. The Toyota Federal Credit Union also has established a special fund for the more than 28,000 American Toyota employees wishing to make a contribution to the relief effort. As of Sept. 25, Toyota associates, manufacturing team members and dealers have contributed more than $90,000 to the Toyota USA Relief Fund to support American Red Cross aid for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Toyota Logistics Services also has offered the use of its seaport facilities in Newark to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for any use deemed necessary, and Toyota has offered the use of vehicles and forklift trucks to emergency agencies, if needed.

The company is working with American Red Cross to coordinate a special blood drive at its sales headquarters in Torrance, California, and its many manufacturing operations across the country.

Toyota joins the rest of the nation in extending our condolences to the victims of the terrorists attacks in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

The Snopes.com investagative article also details how the other "foreign" automobile companies responded to the 9/11 tragedy. The bottom line is that more then a few of those companies such as Honda and Nissan made sizable contributions to 9/11 relief efforts that equalled or exceeded those of any one of the "American Three".

The allegations made in this e-mail are scandalously false. It is also clear that these falsehoods are being circulated to attempt to bind the reader's conscience to buy cars only made by the "American Three".

Now whatever car you choose to buy is your own business. But if you choose to buy a Ford or GM or Chrysler product, please don't do so on the basis of a patent falsehood such as alleged in this spurious Internet e-mail. After all, "Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor." The American workers at the U.S. Honda, Nissan, and Toyota plants as well as their respective U.S. suppliers ARE your neighbors.

~ The Billy Goat ~

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