Toyota, GM and Fiat Chrysler Join Suit AGAINST CLEAN AIR and FUEL ECONOMY

I read about this decision in the New York Times on October 29. I immediately wrote to Toyota, of the three, the one company that I have owned and leased cars from. I was shocked, to say the least.

I give the CEO credit for responding, even if it was a prepared form response. My guess is their press teams anticipated a negative reaction.

My answer to Mr. Lentz is that this is greenwashing. You can’t have it both ways and if the six major companies had joined together to support higher mileage standards, there would only be one practical standard….the California standard.

This answer is greenwashing at best.

Want to do something? Write, email or call the car companies and follow through if you mean it to not support them economically.

N.B. For those who know me, I have had 3 Priuses over the last decade. I am now in a plug-in hybrid Ford. Phew.

Dear Mr. Lentz,

I have had four Toyota’s over the years and was looking forward to my fifth in the next two years…However, given Toyota’s decision to sue California and join an administration that could care less about people or the environment, please note that I will no longer lease or purchase Toyota products.

I will also do what I can to encourage others to change to a manufacturer that cares about the environment as clearly Toyota does not.

I am heartily disappointed.

Most regretfully,

Wayne D. DeFeo

And here is the response:

Dear Mr. DeFeo:

Thank you for taking the time to send me your email and for sharing your concern for the environment. As a grandfather, I share your concern for the world we are leaving to future generations. And I’m fortunate to be a part of a company– where 179,000 Americans who support their families working for Toyota and our dealerships–feel the same way.

Like you, we’re passionate about the environment and reducing our impact. Our drive for continuous improvement of society is built into our DNA, and as a leader in electrified vehicles, it’s who we are as a company. We support year-over-year improvements in fuel economy that provide meaningful benefits to our climate, while better aligning with what consumers want. That’s why we remain committed to be an industry leader in the development of vehicles that help reduce greenhouse gases.

Toyota entered into this legal action not as a plaintiff or a defendant, and not to favor any political party. Toyota is intervening to impact HOW emissions standards are applied. We want to help forge a sustainable compromise that will be best for consumers and the environment.

We do not believe that there should be different environmental standards in different states. There should be one standard for all Americans and all auto companies. That is why we decided to be part of this legal matter. Doing so does not diminish our commitment to the environment, nor does it lower our desire to manufacture vehicles that are better year-after-year.

The consequences of multiple standards will result in higher vehicle prices. And if vehicle prices increase, consumers will probably keep older, less efficient cars longer. We need to focus on the 250 million vehicles already on the road today. We need to encourage consumers to trade in older, less efficient vehicles for newer vehicles that are cleaner, have higher fuel economy and have the most advanced safety features. We won’t be able to do that if prices are beyond what people are willing to or can afford.

I’m proud of our history of environmental achievements and progress. Since 2008 here in the U.S., we’ve sold over 3.6 million hybrids which has saved 7.6 billion gallons of fuel and kept 68 million tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. That’s the equivalent to taking 13.4 million vehicles of the road for a year. Currently, 11 percent of our sales consist of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell vehicles—that’s three times the industry average. We sell more alternative powertrain vehicles than the rest of the industry combined. And we’re working on increasing these numbers. By 2020, our plan goes up to 15 percent of our sales and by 2025, that number jumps to 25perent[sic], or one of every four vehicles sold.

I’m also proud that our North America Headquarters in Plano, Texas, our Production Engineering and Manufacturing Center in Georgetown, Kentucky and our Supplier Center in York Township, Michigan were all certified LEED Platinum, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating.

Lastly, I’d like to share with you Toyota’s environmental sustainability position in North America as part of our 2050 Global Environmental Challenge, our latest environmental report and other examples of our efforts. To find out more, please click on the links below:




Thank you again for expressing your concern. I appreciate your feedback and hope you better understand our position and long-term commitment to continuous environmental improvements.

All the best,

Jim Lentz

Chief Executive Officer

Toyota Motor North America

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