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Toyota was forced today to turn over to United States congressional investigators a “smoking gun” memo produced by its own factory workers that warned management as far back as 2006 of systemic threats to car safety.

The two-page memo, which was drafted by a group of long-term Toyota employees and sent directly to Katsuaki Watanabe, the president of the company in 2006, condemns “safety sacrifices” made by the company in pursuit of profit.

The memo highlights the inadequate development times for new vehicles and the general decline of craftsmanship at Japan’s most famous manufacturing business.

It concludes that vital processes were now in the hands of “amateurs”.

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