Toyoda Won't Come Before Congress, Sends Inaba

In a move we are not yet sure is very smart for Toyota, given the current circumstances, the company's CEO, Akio Toyoda, will not come before Congress to ask questions regarding the huge recalls it had to make over the past months. Instead, the CEO will send the North American president, Yoshimi Inaba (recalled from retirement last year) to ask any question regarding the matter on February 24.

“It’s a questionable decision for Toyoda to avoid the hearings,” Tatsuya Mizuno, director of Mizuno Credit Advisory in Tokyo was quoted as saying by Business Week. “His absence will likely have more of a negative effect on the company’s image than if he were to go.”

The Japanese CEO however did hold a press conference today, highlighting the steps Toyota has taken so far to address the issues and, more importantly, to clarify some of the new complaints regarding Toyota vehicles which surfaced this month.

"News reports in the U.S. are spreading concern about the electronic throttle control system in Toyota vehicles, namely the electronic signals from the accelerator pedal that control the opening and closing of the throttle. These reports say the system can malfunction, resulting in sudden unintended acceleration," Toyoda said at the press conference.

"We have conducted rigorous testing under extremes of electromagnetic interference, vibration and other adverse conditions to conclusively verify that the system cannot accidentally induce acceleration."

To emphasize even more the company's commitment to make its cars safer, Toyoda reaffirmed plans to set up a global quality committee led by the CEO himself, with a chief quality officer responsible for each of the carmaker's regions.

"We will continue to step out into our sales and manufacturing workplaces, and I join our dealers worldwide, our suppliers and our employees in reaffirming the Toyota commitment to unwavering quality in products and services and to the spirit of “customer first,” Toyoda concluded.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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