Toyota Will get Roasted And An FTC Criticism From Public Citizen For Deceptive Promoting


Join every day information updates from CleanTechnica on e-mail. Or observe us on Google Information!

Toyota isn’t the preferred auto model amongst EV followers. Sarcastically, many regular people assume Toyota is an EV chief due to its early management with the Prius and hybrids. Other than being one of the crucial bearish automakers on this section of the EV transition, although, Toyota takes it a step additional with a few of its advertising, trashing absolutely electrical autos (BEVs) at occasions and utilizing deceptive language concerning its standard hybrid autos. Now, the group Public Citizen is looking the corporate out on this and has filed an FTC grievance about Toyota’s promoting.

Generally, the grievance is that Toyota is promoting its standard hybrid autos — which run on gasoline — as EVs. “By means of the corporate’s ‘Past Zero,’ ‘Electrified Diversified,’ and ‘To Every Their Personal Electrical’ advertising campaigns, Toyota is mendaciously relabeling numerous its vehicles with inside combustion engines ‘EVs’ and representing autos that run on fossil fuels as ‘electrical’ and ‘electrified,’” Public Citizen wrote earlier this month.

“Along with the grievance with the FTC, Public Citizen known as on the attorneys basic of CaliforniaColorado, Illinois, MassachusettsMichiganNew YorkOregon, and Rhode Island, to research and take enforcement motion towards the corporate for its deceptive advertising practices.”

Specifically, Toyota marketed its “electrified” lineup as the most important within the trade in 2022 (together with 21 completely different fashions beneath that umbrella) regardless that the corporate had just one absolutely electrical mannequin throughout the Toyota and Lexus lineup, and three plugin hybrids. Has Toyota been deceiving folks? Most likely.

“With the speedy progress of EVs, Toyota has begun to faux lots of its gasoline-powered vehicles are electrical autos,” mentioned Aaron Regunberg, senior coverage counsel with Public Citizen’s Local weather Program. “Toyota’s misleading practices are harming customers, making it troublesome for them to decipher the distinction between hybrids and EVs. If producers categorize vehicles that run primarily or completely on fossil fuels as ‘electrical’ or ‘EVs,’ then what do these phrases even imply?”

Moreover, after utilizing the time period “hybrid” for the Prius for 25 years (since 1997), Toyota switched in 2023 to calling it a “Hybrid EV” or “HEV.”

“Toyota spent years ignoring the expansion of EVs and has put itself at danger of shedding a technology of environmentally aware prospects,” mentioned East Peterson-Trujillo, senior clear autos campaigner with Public Citizen’s Local weather group. “For the good thing about customers, honest competitors, and a livable future, the FTC and state attorneys basic ought to examine Toyota for these deceptive acts, and the FTC ought to replace its coverage steerage to make clear that misleading advertising like Toyota’s is just not permissible.”

The Toyota BZ4X, Toyota’s solely full battery-electric car in 2022. Photograph by Kyle Discipline | CleanTechnica.

Extra just lately, per week in the past, Public Citizen highlighted the eccentricities of Toyota’s EV presence on the LA Auto Present. Even if California dominates in EV gross sales on this nation, Toyota wasn’t one of many 10 auto corporations to convey EVs to the auto present’s “Electrical Avenue” check observe. Both the corporate decided its EVs wouldn’t compete nicely, or it simply doesn’t care to promote them, even in California. “On the opening day of the LA Auto Present, Public Citizen unfurled banners on the entrance that learn ‘Toyota: Cease Stalling, EVs are the Future,’ and ‘Toyota: Drop Coal and Minimize Ties to Compelled Labor.’ After fastening the banners to a fence lining the exhibition halls, activists additionally greeted and leafletted attendees with arduous information about Toyota’s dangerous observe file.” Effectively, that made it cost.

Public Citizen additionally highlighted Toyota’s heavy lobbying and that it’s constantly an obstructionist on local weather coverage — one of many largest obstructionists within the nation.

Toyota Mirai hydrogen gasoline cell car. Photograph courtesy of Toyota.

Public Citizen even went past that to focus on different methods Toyota has been lagging.

“For years, Toyota has fought zero-emission car mandates and tried to weaken different local weather initiatives within the US and in nations around the globe. Toyota can be at present opposing the Environmental Safety Company’s proposed guidelines to chop air pollution from passenger autos.

“Not solely is Toyota constantly ranked as one of the crucial obstructionist corporations on local weather coverage, however the firm has additionally lobbied towards pro-worker insurance policies, like EV tax credit that may have benefitted union auto meeting vegetation. The corporate has additionally waged vicious union-busting campaigns towards its staff once they’ve tried to prepare at its U.S. amenities.

“As for the corporate’s provide chain, Toyota’s metal and aluminum suppliers nonetheless closely depend on soiled, coal-powered processes. Air pollution from coal-dependent provide chains is linked to respiratory sicknesses and most cancers for communities of coloration on the fence strains of those operations.

“Even worse, its metal provide chain has been linked to state-sponsored pressured migration, human trafficking, pressured labor, and enslavement of the Uyghur Muslim folks in China’s Xinjiang area.

“Toyota desires us to assume it’s an trade chief on sustainability. However in actuality, Toyota lobbies to dam local weather motion and uphold anti-worker practices, all whereas failing to handle critical environmental and human rights points linked to its provide chain.

“These points are horrific however sadly not unusual or shocking. Toyota has a few of the weakest insurance policies to account for, treatment, and forestall harms in its provide chain.”

Not good. I believe Toyota is usually seen in excessive regard and as a good, accountable model amongst its auto firm colleagues. However once you take a look at that litany of points, it positive is tough to see Toyota in any constructive gentle in any respect. After I noticed that Public Citizen was stripping down Toyota for being an EV laggard, I’ve to confess, I didn’t count on to learn all of that.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Need to promote? Need to recommend a visitor for our CleanTech Speak podcast? Contact us right here.

Our Newest EVObsession Video

I do not like paywalls. You do not like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Right here at CleanTechnica, we carried out a restricted paywall for some time, nevertheless it all the time felt flawed — and it was all the time powerful to determine what we should always put behind there. In idea, your most unique and greatest content material goes behind a paywall. However then fewer folks learn it!! So, we have determined to utterly nix paywalls right here at CleanTechnica. However…


Like different media corporations, we want reader assist! For those who assist us, please chip in a bit month-to-month to assist our group write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech tales a day!





CleanTechnica makes use of affiliate hyperlinks. See our coverage right here.


Supply hyperlink