The US Treasury has been reportedly asking questions after ISIS videos show too many Toyota trucks. Allegedly, the Syrian terrorist group has been seen driving both new and used Toyota trucks, and the US would like to know why.
Does the US Blame Toyota?
Videos showing fleets of Toyotas could hardly be a good thing for the brand, but according to a Toyota press release the US is asking questions simply as part of a wider enquiry into terrorist supply chains and financing. But the US treasury is anxious to know just how terrorists are receiving so many brand new Toyota trucks and SUVs.
Response from Toyota
Toyota’s press release goes on to state that the company has a policy of not supplying vehicles to paramilitary or terrorist organisations. This leads to the conclusion that the Toyotas owned by ISIS are stolen or have come through non traditional channels, such as smuggling.
Sumitomo, the Japanese company responsible for shipping and supplying Toyotas to the Middle East has reportedly said that they have no way of tracking vehicles that may have been stolen inside the country or supplied by others means.
Meanwhile, an Australian source states that more than 800 Toyota trucks have been stolen in and around Sydney in the last year and speculates that these may have ended up in Syria. And others believe that Turkey may be to blame, importing Toyota trucks into Syria from a Turkish production plant.
Toyota trucks are known for being solid, dependable and offering good gas mileage, additionally spare parts are easy to find (incidentally, many of these factors also make Toyotas the most stolen cars in South Africa). Chances are that ISIS, as well as general consumers, appreciate these things, though a recommendation from a terrorist organisation is probably not an endorsement that the manufacturer wants.
There has been no hint thus far that the US Treasury are blaming Toyota in any way for supplying vehicles, and the manufacturer can’t be expected to be held accountable for second hand sales or stolen cars. However, the vast amount of Toyotas in ISIS hands is continuing to provoke speculation about how exactly the vehicles came to be there.
Main Subject: Toyota
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