A new problem has surfaced with New York Times reporter Eric Lichtblau front-page story on Rep. Darrell Issa. Toyota confirmed that DEI Holdings, a company Issa founded, is not a “major supplier” to the car manufacturer.
That’s a direct contradiction to Lichtblau story. Issa asked for a correction Monday. Lichtblau has refused, maintaining the claim is correct. He did not cite a source in Monday’s story and did not provide one to us when we inquired.
Lichtblau asserted in Monday’s 2,700-word story that the California Republican should have recused himself from a congressional inquiry of Toyota because “his electronics company’s role as a major supplier of alarms to Toyota made him go easy on the automaker as he led an investigation into the recalls.”
Issa’s office immediately objected to the statement. It was one of at least five errors included in the article. So far Lichtblau has corrected only a typo. The other errors — including an incorrect description of Issa’s district office in relation to a golf course — remain in the story even though they have been proven wrong.
When the Times failed to produce a source for the Toyota claim, we asked the automaker to get to the bottom of the issue.
“DEI Holdings is not a direct supplier of Toyota, however, it is possible that Toyota dealers procure their products,” spokeswoman Carly Schaffner said. “As independent business owners, Toyota dealers make available to their customers a variety of aftermarket products to enhance their automotive ownership experience.”
Even if some Toyota dealers end up using DEI products, Issa’s office maintains that does not justify the Times’ description of the company as a “major supplier of alarms to Toyota.”
UPDATE (Aug. 19, 12:25):
Rep. Issa has requested a full front-page retraction of the Times’ story, citing “13 erroneous statements” that he says undermine some of the story’s central assertions. The Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle has the full story.
Note: The Issa Family Foundation, mentioned in the Times’ story, has donated to Heritage in the past.