Akio Toyoda stood in front of Congress today and delivered a seemingly sincere apology for accidents connected to Toyota”s recent recalls. Reading in English, Toyoda delivered a prepared statement in front of the House Oversight Committee, one of three congressional panels investigating the matter.
“We never run away from our problems or pretend we don’t notice them. I fear the pace at which we have grown may have been too quick,” Toyoda said of the company founded by his grandfather. “You have my personal commitment that Toyota will work vigorously and unceasingly to restore the trust of our customers.”
Toyota has been sharply criticized for putting profits above safety, and committee chairman Ed Towns, D-NY went so far as to accuse officials of bragging about saving $100 million by preventing the NHTSA from finding a defect related to sudden acceleration.
Towns pointed out the severity of the Toyota situation, pointing to examples such as the Ford Pinto”s exploding gas tank situation in the 1970″s. The infamous Pinto situation resulted in 27 deaths while 34 have been attributed to the Toyota defects.
NHTSA Ray LaHood also testified, and admitted that perhaps the agency should have responded with more expedience under the Bush administration. Also scheduled to speak are the relatives of four of those killed as a result of trapped accelerator pedals in Lexus models.
-By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Detroit News
Image Source: KickingTires