"Did regulators do their due diligence once problems were brought to their attention? Did Toyota raise potential safety problems with regulators as soon as they knew a problem existed?," said Kurt Bardella, spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the committee's ranking minority member. "But there are also questions involving what happened in between and whether Toyota was lobbying for less rigid actions from regulators to protect their bottom line. If anything but the safety of America's drivers influenced the decision-making process, the entire purpose of NHTSA will be undermined."
You see, Mr. Issa needs to read Mr. Pyle’s commentary, because if he did, he would have read this (emphasis mine):
That being the case, the answer to Mr. Issa is simple – Toyota put short term profits ahead of driver safety. They did their fiduciary duty, just as Enron did; just at Lehmann did; just as BofA did. They did not do their civic duty, and if the small government neocons succeed there will be no mechanisms to prevent Toyota, or BofA, or any other publicly held company from doing it again.
A properly run business, especially a company that is owned by stockholders rather than by a family or proprietor who actually deals with his customers every day, exists for one purpose and one purpose only — to take your money away from you and give it to its stockholders. If it does anything — anything — that is destructive of those ends, it is the right of the stockholders to alter or abolish it.
If the managers of a big business put decency, morality, the environment, the workers or even the customers ahead of the interests of the stockholders — which by definition is often a short-term, profit-taking interest—they have broken their promise, failed to carry out their fiduciary responsibilities and opened themselves up not only to being fired but to being sued by their own stockholders.
What’s wrong with that? Nothing. As long as we face the facts.
And that is the real reason government needs to both exist, and have robust leadership. Too bad we’re in a climate where neither is seen as the good and necessary thing it is.