Toyota on Sunday responded to the furor over data showing that the automaker is a top corporate donor to Republican lawmakers who opposed certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Axios first reported on Sunday that data compiled by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reveal that Toyota holds the highest amount of corporate donations to lawmakers who worked to undermine the election process on the day of the joint session of Congress certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory.
According to CREW, Toyota donated $55,000 to 37 Republican lawmakers who objected to the election results on Jan. 6. That meant that Toyota had donated more than twice as much — and to nearly five times as many candidates — as the next leading corporation, defense contractor Cubic Corp.
Overall, CREW found that 34 companies have donated at least $5,000 to the campaigns and leadership PACs of one or more election objectors this year. Among the other notable top donors to members of Congress who fed the big lie were Koch Industries, AT&T, health insurer Cigna and tobacco company Reynolds American.
But Toyota, in its statement, shrugged off the insurrection, standing by its donations to lawmakers.
“Toyota supports candidates based on their position on issues that are important to the auto industry and the company. We do not believe it is appropriate to judge members of Congress solely based on their votes on the electoral certification,” a Toyota spokesperson told Axios.
Toyota added that after a “thorough review,” the corporation decided against donating to “some members who, through their statements and actions, undermine the legitimacy of our elections and institutions.”
Axios reported that the Toyota spokesperson did not respond to follow-up questions asking the company to specify the type of statements nor actions that halted their donations. A Toyota spokesperson also did not immediately reply to TPM’s request for clarification.
Shortly after Axios reported on CREW’s findings on Sunday, owners of Toyota cars took to social media and signaled their intention to boycott the company.
What a coincidence @Toyota I do not believe it is appropriate to buy cars from companies that fund politicians who try to overthrow our Democracy.
Wifey & I are deciding between Toyota, Honda, & Nissan for our next minivan. Let's go places…not named Toyota. https://t.co/CTpbzpANyd
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@QasimRashid) June 27, 2021
I am so feeling this. Our WHOLE family of drivers have Toyotas (9 cars), largely on my and my husband’s input. We’re talking years of legacy ownership. Done.
Jumping to @subaru_usa. https://t.co/NQMYBSQD8J
— Traci Arbios (@traciAWESOME) June 28, 2021
— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) June 28, 2021