WASHINGTON (October 3, 2007) – In less than two weeks, Toyota Headquarters has received more than 8,150 messages from citizens demanding an explanation for the company’s stance on fuel economy. The messages were the result of the automakers’ public face of aggressively marketing itself as "green," producing its 55 mpg Prius Hybrid while lobbying Capitol Hill against strong fuel-economy legislation.
“As the world's largest automaker and inventor of the best-selling hybrid car on the market, Toyota has a responsibility to lead, follow or get out of the way as Congress debates the first substantial fuel-economy boost in decades,” said Deron Lovaas, the vehicles campaign director at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Shamefully, Toyota has joined forces with older automakers that are getting their lunch handed to them in the marketplace in part because they've consistently shunned fuel efficiency.”
Detroit’s fight against stronger fuel economy standards in our cars and trucks is well-known, but –Toyota – having marketed itself as the “green” auto company -- is lobbying against the strongest fuel-economy standards being considered by Congress along with GM, producer of the Escalade, Suburban and the Hummer.
“Hybrid owners want Toyota to get in gear. With the energy bill debate about to heat up again, Toyota needs to know that they will not get away with using GM’s lobbyist,” said Lovaas.