Engineer Le Van Tach was honoured for revealing serious technical problems in cars produced at Toyota’s plant in Vietnam, which led to a massive recall.
AFCA representative granting the certificate of merit to Engineer Tach
The Ho Chi Minh City Anti-trade Fraud Consumer Support Association (AFCA) and the Phap Luat Vietnam (Vietnam Law) Newspaper presented him with a certificate of merit for his responsibility for consumers, as well as a bonus of VND10 million ($485.4).
Tach started working at Toyota Vietnam in 2003.
During his time at Toyota Vietnam, Tach found a number of flaws that could affect the safety of domestic car buyers. After finding these flaws, he went to the management to propose a recall. After Toyota Vietnam refused to acknowledge the problems, he sent a petition to the Ministry of Transport's Vietnam Register.
As a result, the ministry requested Toyota Vietnam to recall about 65,000 vehicles.
The engineer was then put on 3-month suspension with half pay. Toyota insisted that the suspension was unrelated to his petition or the recall.
According to Tach, he then received bad treatment, and even threats, from senior managers at the company. He even produced recordings that would confirm his claims.
Toyota Vietnam has yet to issue any apology, saying the complaints are without merit.
Nguyen Van Hau, deputy chairman of AFCA, praised Tach’s actions, and promised that, the AFCA would send three lawyers to protect Tach's legal rights.