Toyota Defends Donations to 37 Republicans Who Voted Not to Certify 2020 Election

Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has defended its donations to Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

On Sunday, Axios reported that Toyota had donated the most amount of money of any company in 2021 to lawmakers who objected to November 2020's election result, which was declared for President Joe Biden.

Former President Donald Trump, alongside multiple Republicans in Congress, made unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud following the election, while 147 lawmakers voted against certifying the election results on January 6.

The votes were certified and Biden was inaugurated as president on January 20, as some members of Congress called for action to be taken against the lawmakers who attempted to stop the certification of Biden's victory.

Since that vote, Toyota has donated $55,000 to 37 Republicans who objected to certifying the results, which is about a quarter of those who voted against it in January, according to Axios, who received the data from the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.

The data showed that Toyota donated close to double the total amount than any other company, and to nearly five times as many candidates than the second highest organization, public transport company Cubic Corporation, who donated to just eight.

The car manufacturer defended its donations in a statement to Axios on Sunday, saying that "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."

However, Toyota clarified that "based on our thorough review, we decided against giving to some members who, through their statements and actions, undermine the legitimacy of our elections and institutions," but did not provide any information on what it defined as doing so.

Following the report, Toyota trended on Twitter on Sunday evening, as author and former Democratic congressional candidate Qasim Rashid tweeted that he would not be buying his next car from 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," he tweeted. "Wifey & I are deciding between Toyota, Honda, & Nissan for our next minivan. Let's go places...not named Toyota."

While film and television producer Melissa Jo Peltier tweeted: "Hello @Toyota? I've had my @Lexus since 2012. Second one. Loved them both. Was looking at your new models for 2022. Now, though, there will not be a third one until you clean up your act."

In January, several high-profile companies publicly declared that they would no longer donate to lawmakers who objected to the certification of the election, as many blamed the Capitol riots that took place on the same day on those who questioned the legitimacy of the results.

Although many of those companies have stuck by their decision, The Los Angeles Times discovered that companies including Cigna, AT&T, and Intel have since donated to some of the lawmakers, despite saying that they would not.

Newsweek has contacted Toyota for comment.

Toyota donated to Republicans in Congress
A Toyota logo can be seen of a toyota car showroom in Kolkata, India, September 15, 2020. Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has defended the donations it has made to Republican members of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election. Indranil Aditya/NurPhoto via Getty Images