Terrorism isn’t something any automaker wants to be associated with, but somehow Toyota is finding itself part of a federal investigation into Isis. The U.S. wants to know how so many newer model Toyota trucks and SUVs are falling into the terrorist group’s hands and ending up in its propaganda videos. News of the U.S. Treasury Department’s investigation first turned up in an ABC News report.
Toyota is assisting the U.S. Treasury department in the investigation and claims it’s not aware of any dealerships violating company policy. The policy being not to sell vehicles to anyone who might use them for terrorist activities. But Toyota says no automaker can completely control indirect or illegal distribution channels, which is true.
So is Toyota outfitting Isis with its trucks? No, of course not. Toyota’s popularity as a vehicle of choice in the Mideast, and worldwide, isn’t new. The Hilux, smaller than the Tacoma and Tundra pickups that Toyota sells in the U.S., is a hit particularly in areas where dirt roads and rough terrain prevails, so that’s made it a favorite of military forces. There are about a zillion ways to get ahold of vehicles without buying them at a dealership, something Isis certainly is not doing.
It will be interesting to find out where the U.S. Treasury Department investigation leads.
Photo Credit: Toyota