Hoax E-mail Alleges Foreign Car Companies Ignored 9/11

An e-mail hoax spawned by the aftermath of the horrible events of September 11th alleges that while American companies have given millions of dollars in response to the atrocity, foreign automobile companies have given nothing.

It’s an outright lie.

Contrary to the e-mail’s claims that only Volkswagen and Hyundai have given money, many (if not all) of the overseas car companies listed here have given millions to the cause.

Here’s the original e-mail:

Captured: 1/23/02

Here’s something I received that I can’t verify one way or the other.

CNN Headline News did a short news listing regarding Ford and GM’s
contributions to the relief and recovery efforts in New York and Washington.
The findings are as follows……

  1. Ford- $1 million to American Red Cross matching employee
    contributions of the same number plus 10 Excursions to NY Fire Dept. The
    company also offered ER response team services and office space to displaced
    government employees.
  2. GM- $1 million to American Red Cross matching employee contributions of
    the same number and a fleet of vans, suv’s, and trucks.
  3. Daimler Chrysler- $10 million to support of the children and victims of
    the Sept. 11 attack.
  4. Harley Davidson motorcycles- $1 million and 30 new motrcycles to the New
    York Police Dept.
  5. Volkswagen- Employees and management created a Sept 11 Foundation, funded
    initial with $2 million, for the assistance of the children and victims of
    the WTC.
  6. Hyundai- $300,000 to the American Red Cross.
  7. Audi- Nothing.
  8. BMW- Nothing.
  9. Daewoo- Nothing.
  10. Fiat- Nothing.
  11. Honda- Nothing despite boasting of second best sales month ever in
    August 2001
  12. Isuzu- Nothing.
  13. Mitsubishi- Nothing.
  14. Nissan- Nothing.
  15. Porsche- Nothing. Press release with condolences via the Porsche
  16. Subaru- Nothing.
  17. Suzuki- Nothing.
  18. Toyota- Nothing despite claims of high sales in July and August
    2001. Condolences posted on their website.

Whenever the time may be for you to purchase or lease a new vehicle, keep
this information in mind. You might want to give more consideration to a car
manufactured by an American-owned and/or American based company.

Apart from Hyundai and Volkswagen, the foreign car
companies contributed nothing at all to the citizens of the United States.
It’s OK for these companies to take money out of this country, but it is
apparently not acceptable to return some in a time of crisis. I believe we
should not forget things like this. Say thank you in a way that gets their
attention. Pass it on.

I didn’t take the time to check out the web sites for all of the foreign car companies mentioned here, but I checked out enough to expose this despicable e-mail for the sham it is. Here’s the debunking:

  • Mitsubishi: The company’s 9/11 announcement hasn’t been updated in a while, but within the first three weeks after the attack “more than $200,000 has been raised by contributions from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (Japan), Mitsubishi Motors companies in the United States” and fundraising efforts of employees, which are continuing. These donations have been earmarked for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.” Read the full announcement
  • Nissan: According to Nissan’s web site, “On behalf of Nissan employees, affiliates and retailers around the world, Nissan has donated over $1 million to the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. and the Twin Towers Fund. In addition to this donation, Nissan has matched employee contributions to these funds. To date, Nissan has contributed an additional $337,000 in direct and matching contributions from Nissan employees.” Read their announcement.
  • Honda: According to Honda “direct associate contributions have raised $448,534 from thousands of Honda associates, contractors and retirees from every Honda company in North America. In addition, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda of America Mfg., Inc. and other sister companies in North America have contributed a total of $1,100,534, including company matching funds and direct cash contributions. These combined efforts total $1,549,068. The bulk of these funds have been earmarked to the United Way of New York “September 11 Fund,” and the American Red Cross.
  • BMW The company’s web site announces that it donated ” $1 million in cash and ten new BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicles to the Red Cross for its national relief efforts. One hundred police motorcycles will be given to the City of New York to help replace equipment lost in the New York Police Department motor pool. The total donation is valued at $2.4 million.
  • Toyota: And finally, there’s Toyota, which has raised and doinated $1.93 million dollars. Read about their efforts here.

My list is admittedly incomplete, but I think examples here proves my point — this e-mail is nothing but kah-kah. If you’d like secondary confirmation, check out these sites:

  • WomanMotorist.com: A thorough, if long, debunking of this hoax, looking at its claims compared to what the companies actually gave.
  • Snopes.com: A good, complete debunking of the hoax.