NHTSA blocks former chief from Toyota testimony

Washington — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration blocked the agency’s former chief from testifying as a witness for Toyota Motor Corp. in a California civil suit, saying it could put the agency at risk.

In a July 1 letter obtained by The Detroit News, a NHTSA lawyer told former Administrator David Strickland that he could not testify in a class-action lawsuit against Toyota. The case involves Toyota’s Smart Key push-button ignition system, and whether it violates a federal regulation designed to prevent theft and roll-away risk.

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