Akio Toyoda to Face US Congress

Saturday 20 February 2010, 00:00 AM by Payal Pathak

Chief of Toyota Motors, Akio Toyoda, confirmed that he will face the US Congress next Wednesday to provide a “sincere explanation” on the safety issues of the cars being sold in the US market. Toyota has faced millions of recalls in a span of past one month. The issue has not only hurt sales and tarnished company’s brand image but has also given rise to hundreds of class action lawsuits on the company.

Toyoda had earlier stated that he had no imminent plans to travel to the US and will send North America Chief to attend the US Congress session. He intended to focus more on the quality control issues to rebuild company’s brand image. However, such a statement had received severe criticism from auto industry as well as from the government in Japan. Japanese ministers criticized that Toyoda did not consider the issue to be serious enough and took the US market very lightly. Coming Wednesday he will become the highest profile Japanese executive to face the US Congress grilling. Last senior and high profile Japanese company executive to face the US Congress was from Bridgestone when he faced the Congress for the issues related to crashes of Ford SUVs.

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