A Ban on Japanese Cars?


Following the recall of several million cars made by Japanese automakers, one Senator has suggested that the U.S. should consider a ban on Japanese imports entirely.

During a Senate committee meeting, Sen. Mike Johanns, (R-Neb.) suggested that cars made by Japanese automakers should be banned until Americans can be assured that the vehicles no longer have safety defects, according to USA Today. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood agreed that a ban should be discussed.

Many of the close to 8 million recalled Toyotas were manufactured in the U.S., however, notes Newser.

And Toyota’s (Stock Quote: TM) not the only Japanese automaker feeling the heat. About 540,000 Nissan (Stock Quote: NSANY) cars were recently recalled after the automaker found brake pedal pin problems and faulty fuel gauges, and Honda (Stock Quote: HMC) recalled nearly a million cars due to dangerous airbags.

Johanns was U.S. Agriculture Secretary during Japan’s ban on U.S. beef imports for fear of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, commonly known as mad cow disease. Now it appears that he’s attempting to turn the tables on the Asian nation.

Many of the recalled Toyotas were manufactured here in the United States, however, and a ban on all Japanese cars would hurt U.S. jobs, and ultimately the U.S. economy overall since hundreds of thousands of Americans are employed as a result of Japanese automakers manufacturing in the U.S., according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Johann’s suggestion isn’t likely to be taken seriously however, according to USA Today.

Currently, Toyota employs about 34,000 people in the U.S., and has invested more than $18 billion here, considering manufacturing, sales, research and development, design and financial services. Plus, Toyota spends more than $20 billion on materials, goods and services from U.S. companies, the automaker says.

Separately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it's investigating 10 reports that fixes made to recalled Toyotas haven't actually fixed the accelerator problems, Reuters reports.

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