Confused Priorities Led to Recall, Toyoda Apologizes to US Congress

Thursday 25 February 2010, 00:00 AM by Payal Pathak

Toyota Chief, Akio Toyoda, faced the US Congress on Wednesday. He apologized to the US Congress for the defective vehicles in the market and dozens of fatalities that resulted due to faulty vehicles. He stated that Toyota has its priorities set since the beginning and has placed safety and quality on the top most pedestals. However, rapid growth of the company led to confused priorities when it paced ahead in volumes ignoring the safety and quality features.

Toyoda appeared in front of the 28 House members and approximately 50 staffers apart from an array of international and national media persons. Toyoda and Toyota Motor North America President Yoshimi Inaba appeared calm, composed and not defensive. They fielded all questions with skill where they appeared to agree to extend an agreement on national level with New York Attorney journal where they will pick up recalled vehicles at owner’s homes and provide free loaner vehicles until repairs are completed.

Toyoda and Inaba faced a terse moment when the Congressmen asked them to explain the internal documents where the company has boasted of saving millions of dollars by getting federal highway safety regulators to limit the scope of recalls. While Toyoda stated his ignorance about the issue, Inaba stated it to be completely inconsistent with Toyota values and denied remembering the meeting.

In the end, Toyota deferred admitting any fault with its engineering or design but attributed the controversy as only “a matter of losing touch with customers.”

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