It seems in the past 25 years or so, whether you are perusing the newspaper, a magazine, or just checking out the news on television that is covering events in the Middle East; Toyota seem to be the popular automobile of choice for this area of the world. It’s hard not to notice. But is this simply a coincidence … or a conspiracy?
There was a recent news report that came from ABC News claiming that the U.S. State Department has rolled out an inquiry, trying to get to the bottom of just why there are so many Toyota vehicles that are seemingly in the hands of terrorists. More specifically, the issue seems to stem from the idea that there is an increased number of later-model Toyotas that are being used by ISIS. In return, Toyota has made an official statement regarding this, claiming it does not know of any authorized dealerships within the company selling their vehicles to known terrorists. They went further to add, stating that if they were aware of such dealings, they would end any business dealings with said entity, immediately.
Ed Lewis, Toyota’s director of public policy and communications in the U.S. further noted that it is impossible for the company to have total control over how their vehicles are used.
MSN reports the CEO of the Counter Extremism Project and former United Nations U.S. Ambassador also chimed in on the issue, stating that he doesn’t think Toyota is intentionally trying to gain a profit from any illegal activities; however now that the company knows there is an issue, there is potential for them to do more.
Still, this begs the question: how can auto manufacturers even begin to control where their vehicles end up … especially when there is an enormous second-hand car market? Many cars end up being used for illegal activities at some point … is Toyota being targeted unjustly for their popularity in this specific region?