John Oliver does not suffer fools gladly. Whether it’s shady televangelists fleecing poor Bible-thumpin’ Americans for millions or the GOP for their reaction to the recent mass shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College, the witty Brit has used his platform as host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight to skewer hypocrites of all types.This week, the acclaimed satirist directed his ire at Toyota, the world’s No. 1 car manufacturer.
“Finally tonight, we move to Toyota, makers of the ’92 Camry where you got your first backseat handjob. Toyota is famous for making dependable vehicles, but this week, we learned something surprising about who exactly has been depending on them,” announced Oliver.
Yes, Toyota has become the preferred car manufacturer of the so-called Islamic State widely known as ISIS, with the terrorist organization’s propaganda videos boasting massive convoys of Toyota Hilux pickup trucks and Land Cruisers. And now, a U.S. Counterterrorism Unit has begun interrogating the Japanese automaker about how so many of its automobiles, both new and old, are making their way into the hands of ISIS.
“It seems that Toyotas are being used as instruments of death,” said Oliver. “It’s a bold move because traditionally ‘death on wheels’ has very much been GM’s brand.” In a statement to ABC News, Toyota claimed it was not aware of any of its dealerships violating the company policy not to sell to terrorist groups.
“Hold on—you actually felt the need to make ‘not selling to terrorists’ official company policy? Is that in the handbook under, ‘Things that should go without saying?’” joked Oliver.
“The amazing thing is this is not a new story,” Oliver continued. “Terrorist groups love Toyota vehicles. Back in 2001, The New York Times reported that Osama bin Laden ‘likes Toyota Land Cruisers,’ and Newsweek once ran a story about, ‘Why Rebel Groups Love the Toyota Hilux.’ And in light of the news this week, you would think Toyota would at least change the name of one of their cars.” You guessed it: Toyota sells a make of car called the “Isis”—a seven-seat minivan with a panoramic door and four-wheel drive.
“Oh, come on, Toyota! You’re giving ISIS built-in vanity plates!” joked Oliver. “It seems Toyota might have a genuine problem here, because ISIS seems to really like their cars.”
Indeed, a former U.S. ambassador to the UN told ABC News that, “Toyota has almost become part of the ISIS brand.”
“At this rate, we are almost a few months away from ISIS-owned dealerships, complete with fully-armed windsock guy,” said Oliver. “‘Come on down to ISIS Toyota, our salesmen are terrorists you can negotiate with!’”