Just as Toyota Motor Corp. prepares for a grueling battle on Capitol Hill, it has lost one of its most recent K Street hires. Quinn Gillespie & Associates, which registered to represent the automaker on Jan. 4, has just filed a termination for the client because of a conflict of interest.
“QGA was retained by Toyota at the start of the year to provide general representation,” said a statement released by the lobbying and public relations firm’s Matt Dornic. “Subsequently, we became aware that another, long-standing client of the firm was in a position adverse to Toyota in connection with certain matters relating to the company’s recall of some of its vehicle lines. After discussing this circumstance with Toyota, we mutually agreed to suspend our relationship. Any further questions relating to Toyota should be referred to the company.”
While the firm declined to name the client in conflict, sources familiar with the issue said the client is State Farm, a large auto insurer that has made recent statements blasting Toyota and saying that it had reported to the Transportation Department acceleration problems in Toyota vehicles as far back as 2004.
Toyota, whose chief is planning to testify this week on Capitol Hill, is in the midst of a massive vehicle recall.