Toyota President, Akio Toyoda Apologizes and Promises Better Cars
Promising to build better cars, Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corp. expressed his apology on the unintended-acceleration issue that has plagues several newer Toyota models. The much-awaited official response came on Friday night when the Toyota president was addressing a news conference in Japan. A week ago, Akio had expressed that he was “deeply sorry” for the complaints of inadvertent acceleration with their vehicles.
Following the unintended-acceleration problem coming to light, Toyota has recalled around 2.3 million vehicles over the last two weeks. Initially, the company had suspected an interference with a floor mat to have caused the problem, and issued a recall of over 4 million vehicles in October, 2009. However, over time, Toyota realized that a sticky pedal (supplied by CTS Corp.) was behind the unintended acceleration issue in up to eight toyota models.
Toyota has faced rampant criticism from all corners in the way that they have handled the issue, with many believing that Toyota had kept the issue under wraps for a period longer than would have normally be deemed ethical. However, after an inspection of Henry Waxman, House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman, the situation changed dramatically and eventually led to the top-brass apology.
In a letter to James Lentz, U.S.A. President of Toyota Motor Sales, Waxman had expressed his deep concern on the way Toyota was initially handling the issue. It is not clear whether Waxman’s displeasure is directly responsible for the apology, but Akio Toyoda did mention, “I came out here today because I would not want our customers to spend the weekend wondering whether their cars are safe.”
Emphasizing a need to recheck quality issues on the part of Toyota, the president said in the press release, “while verifying the causes that led to the recalls, Toyota will once again inspect every process — quality in design, quality in production, quality in sales and quality in service.” Expressing his regret in apologetic manner, he added that “we, the ones supposed to relay to people the attractiveness of automobiles, have, instead, imparted on them worry. I regret this more than anything.”
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