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Mr. Toyoda Apologizes to Saylor Family, Others Involved in Accidents (Part 1)

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, February 24, 2010 3:51 PM EST
Category: On The Road
Tags: Toyota, Unintended Acceleration, NHTSA, Sticking Gas Pedals, Recall, Prius, Tundra, Lexus, Highlander, Class-Action

Akio Toyoda speaks to lawmakers to find out how the company plans to fix the recall of more than 8 million vehicles.

Hearings Day 2



As was expected, Akio Toyoda, the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, said he would take “full responsibility” for his company’s problems and the recall of more than 8 million vehicles.

Mr. Toyoda began his testimony at 2:20 p.m. in the second day before the House Oversight Committee. Toyoda, the grandson of the automaker’s founder, who took over the company last July, assured lawmakers that Toyota takes seriously the quality and safety of each vehicle.

In an orderly manner, reading from a prepared statement and with the help of a translator, he outlined the company’s philosophy on quality control, the cause of the recall, and how Toyota will manage quality control going forward.

On philosophy - Toyoda said he is not perfect but the company never ran away from its problems. “At Toyota, we believe the key to making quality products is to develop quality people. Each employee thinks about what he or she should do. We develop people who can share and execute on this core value.”

On what caused the recall - Toyoda said Toyota had been expanding rapidly and the pace, “may have been too quick. To listen to the customer voice to make a better product had weakened somewhat…this has resulted in the safety issues we see today and I’m deeply sorry for any accident a driver has experienced.

"I’d like to extend my condolences to the Saylor family in San Diego. I will do everything in my power to assure such a tragedy never happens again.”

Toyoda was referring to the August 2009 death of four members of the Saylor family who died when their loaner Lexus accelerated out of control at more than 100 mph and plunged down a mountain in the San Diego area.

Toyoda said the company carries his family name and he has personally placed improving quality over quantity.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York asked if Toyoda would take responsibility for the burial costs of the Saylor family.

Yoshimi Inaba, Chairman and COO of Toyota North America told Maloney that litigation is involved and he declined to answer. #

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