The Hand That Feeds

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Advisory board members affiliated with Toyota resigned their positions at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale after a professor from the school criticized the company. According to an article by Jeff Green and Margaret Cronin Fisk in Business Week:

Two Toyota Motor Corp. managers resigned… after a professor from the school told a congressional committee the automaker’s vehicles may have electronics defects.

The employees, [Terry Martin and Neil R. Swartz], one of whom had been on the Carbondale, Illinois, college’s automotive technology department advisory committee for more than 20 years, resigned, said SIU spokesman Dave Gross.

Martin and Swartz resigned last week. This came after SIUC’s David W. Gilbert, a professor of automotive technology, testified before Congress on Feb 23 about Toyota safety. Gilbert said:

I have the unique perspective in my employment, to research and study multiple vehicles and electronic throttle control system designs. In this preliminary report, my initial findings question the integrity and consistency of Toyota Electronic Control Modules to detect potential electronic throttle control system circuit malfunctions.

Toyota executives have consistently denied that faulty electronics are responsible for break problems that caused the company to recall 8 million automobiles this year.

Over the last two years Toyota donated $100,000 to SIU’s Transportation Education Center.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer