Committee subpoenas Toyota documents

The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee has subpoenaed documents from a former Toyota lawyer after the company tried to prevent their release.

Dimitrios Biller, former managing counsel for Toyota's American operations, told ABC last week that the automaker tried to conceal safety problems with its vehicles. TK said he would release documents to prove his claim.

"You have to understand that Toyota in Japan does not have any respect for our legal system," Biller said. "They did not have any respect for our laws."

Toyota filed an injunction to prevent Biller from divulging the documents, but the committee's subpoena today should take legal precedence over the company's motion.

The subpoena applies to “all documents relating to Toyota motor vehicle safety and Toyota’s handling of alleged motor vehicle defects and related litigation” that Biller possesses.

“The Committee is conducting a comprehensive, fact-based investigation with the intent of collecting and analyzing as much relevant information as possible,” said Reps. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman and ranking member of the committee. “The only way we can ensure that the safety needs of American drivers are being met is to examine, in a bipartisan fashion, exactly who knew what and when, and if appropriate and immediate action was taken to mitigate any danger to the American public.”

Biller, who tried to release the documents voluntarily, intends to cooperate with the subpoena.