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Toyota boss agrees to testify before Congress

By Capitol Hill Blue
February 19, 2010

Toyota boss Akio Toyoda (AP)

Toyota‘s president Akio Toyoda, under fire for his handling of sweeping recalls, will testify before a congressional hearing next week, appealing to U.S. lawmakers and aggrieved customers for understanding while the company fixes its safety problems.

Japanese officials praised the decision by Toyoda, grandson of the company’s founder, to accept a formal invitation to explain the recalls and outline plans by the world’s largest automaker to ensure safety and satisfy worried car buyers.

“I will be happy to attend. I will speak with full sincerity,” Toyoda told reporters Friday in Nagoya, near where the company is headquartered.

“I am hoping our commitment to the United States and our customers will be understood,” said Toyoda, grandson of the company’s founder.

Toyoda said he will cooperate with U.S. regulators looking into recalls of over 8 million vehicles worldwide, including top-selling models like the Corolla, the Camry and the Prius hybrid.

Earlier this week, he said he did not plan to attend the hearings unless invited. That decision drew heated criticism in the U.S. On Thursday, he agreed to a request to attend from the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Rep. Edolphus Towns, a Democrat from New York.

“It was not just up to me to decide,” Toyoda told reporters in televised remarks.

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5 Responses to Toyota boss agrees to testify before Congress

  1. b mcclellan

    February 19, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    See the USA in your Chevrolet, da da da, da da da da, da da..

  2. Carl Nemo

    February 20, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    In a way I feel badly that so much bad mojo has come home to Toyota.

    They’ve always produced quality vehicles and will no doubt clean up their act and continue to do so in the future.

    This might be a blessing in disquise in that it will force them to get their gig line straight again and buck up to the task of producing quality “zero defects” products.

    Many people don’t realize that the Japanese are our most dependable, staunch allies in the Far East along with Taiwan. They take no foreign aid from the U.S. for maintaining Asian security.

    They are a hard working people and deserve any success they get from their ingenuity and labor.

    It’s too bad our automotive CEO’s along with our workers didn’t embrace the same ethic in terms of creativity and quality control over the years.

    I own a Honda and a Dodge Caravan at this point in time. This is my third Honda and our first Dodge. I love my trouble free Honda Civic and before an Accord, but loathe the wife’s Dodge Caravan. I’ve been camped at the dealership getting the Caravan repaired many times, but never so with the Honda. My complaint might seem as simply anecdotal, but it isn’t. I have friends who buy American autos and sure enough in short order they too are camped at the dealership getting the bugs ironed out many minor one’s, but some major.

    American auto’s remind me of Bill Gates and his MS OS products; ie.,launch a new OS and then let the buyer debug the program for them over the ensuing years until their next “junk product” release.

    We’re going down as a nation because we simply have no pride in what we produce. The CEO’s and stockholders want the returns, but fail in delivering the goods to the purchasing public.

    Just as America has become a “junk nation” runned by “junk crimpols” we seemingly are going to end up on the junk heap of history in short order too as a result of national insolvency.

    Carl Nemo **==

  3. Issodhos

    February 22, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    I guess Toyota is finding out what it is going to be like having Government Motors as your — er — competetor. By the way, I hope the few vehicles have “safety issues” were not made (put together?) in the plants Toyota has built in the USA.:-)
    Yours in humor,
    Issodhos

  4. woody188

    February 22, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Carl, Japan is home to US Naval and Air Force bases. Their pacifist constitution was forced on them after WWII and leaves the Allies (aka the United States) in charge of Japan’s defense. Only just recently has Japan been able to start to build their own military forces and only for defensive purposes.

    I own a 2005 Chevy Colorado, a 2006 Chrysler Town & Country and a 2002 Harley-Davidson Sportster. None have been much trouble, and where there was trouble, I was provided with rental vehicles free of charge. So long as you keep up with their maintenance, they provide safe and reliable transportation.

    FYI, the plant that gave Toyota so much trouble with the gas pedal was in Mississauga, Canada (near Toronto) although CTS Corporation operates out of Elkhart, Indiana.

  5. Carl Nemo

    February 23, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Re: Woody188’s commentary

    Hi Woody,

    I’m not bashing American manufacturers per se, but simply stating that there’s no reason for us to enjoy Toyota’s pain right now. I believe they have manufacturing plants in this country too. There’s been many recalls on both sides of the fence over the years; ie., U.S. based and offshore companies. In this case the vehicles were made in a Canadian based plant. Maybe the luck of the draw concerning vehicle purchases is to buy one that wasn’t made on a Monday or Friday…:D

    I just know the success I’ve had with Honda’s vs. other purchases over the years. We’ve also owned Ford’s that gave us so much trouble that I finally changed the reference to Ford as an acronym for “fix or repair daily. / : |

    Carl Nemo **==