Whistleblower talks with Toyota Vietnam over controversial suspension

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The engineer who exposed technical flaws in some car models assembled by Toyota Motor Vietnam (TMV) held talks Thursday with the company's leaders about their decision to suspend him for three months, the Tuoi Tre reported.


Although the talks lasted the whole day with the participation of advocates for both parties, no agreement was reached, the report said.


It also quoted the engineer, Le Van Tach, as saying that if the leaders did not reverse the decision, which he said was illegal, he would take the case to court.


On June 12, TMV sent Tach a notice informing of his suspension, claiming that they had taken the action to investigate charges of slander filed against him by one of his managers


Previously, on May 31, Tach had submitted a petition to the TMV general director alleging that seven company supervisors had insulted and threatened him for blowing the whistle.


In his letter, Tach also asked for a formal apology from the company.


However, the company said he lacked sufficient evidence to make his claims.


One day later, Nguyen Dinh Chuong, head of Production Engineer Division No. 2 at TMV, filed an administrative complaint against Tach asking the company to address his "wrongful accusations."


Soon after sending the notice to Tach, TMV held a press conference where its representative insisted that Tach's suspension had nothing to do with his whistleblowing activities.



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Meanwhile, the 35-year-old engineer filed the petition with the Labor Union and the Department of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs in Vinh Phuc Province, where the company is based. He also filed a complaint with the Vietnam Engine Agricultural Machinery Corporation's Labor Union.


On April 1, TMV offered a public apology to its customers on and vowed to recall more than 65,000 cars after Tach lodged complaints with the Vietnam Register, the country's quality control agency, saying there were three major problems with the Innova and Fortuner models produced by his employer.


He said he had been forced to do so after several attempts to get the company to act on the flaws had failed.

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