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February 17th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Toyota leader pledges more safety, says no to hearing

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Toyota will hire new quality control officers and conduct tests to fix problems with its cars, but the automaker's president will not appear before Congress."]

TOKYO, Japan (CNN) - Toyota will employ new quality control officers, conduct testing and will consult an independent research agency to fix their vehicle problems, the automaker's president said Wednesday.

But Toyota President Akio Toyoda said he will not appear before U.S. lawmakers at hearings scheduled for later this month.

Toyoda addressed reporters for the third time in two weeks about the massive recall.

Toyota has recalled more than 8.1 million vehicles worldwide for problems related to sudden acceleration and unresponsive brake pedals, among other things. The company has apologized for the safety lapses and pledged to repair the recalled vehicles quickly.

On Wednesday, Toyoda said the company has found a fix for the Toyota Sai, sold in the U.S. as the Lexus HS 250h, and began notifying owners about recall procedures.

"Toyota is not perfect. But when we find a problem or are made aware of it, we act as quickly as possible. We are sincerely working on that," Toyoda said. FULL STORY

Full coverage: Toyota recall

Filed under: Business
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Wes

    Toyota has its problems, we all have heard about it, I think after listening to 911 tapes, newscasts and Company comments no one stresses enough that if they have the problem while driving, TURN OFF THE IGNITION, 911 dispatchers possibly could have saved the CA highway patrol Dad and family had the dispatcher been trained to tell this driver "TURN THE KEY TO THE OFF POSITION, NOT THE LOCK POSITION AND BE PREPARED FOR NO POWER STEERING. YOU STILL WILL HAVE CONTROL OF THE VEHICLE WHILE IT COAST'S TO A STOP UNDER NO ENGINE POWER".

    February 18, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  2. ronvan

    Toyota has been legendary on well built cars. Now, overnight, it seems they are falling apart. I am beginning to wonder if this is not an attempt by an employee (s) to destroy their image. With that said, Toyota HAS to take immediate action to address these problems & get them fixed otherwise they will be history!

    February 18, 2010 at 9:07 am |
  3. Leo Calimbas

    I was just watching the family who died while driving a runaway Lexus. Why did this man not put the car in neutral? Putting it in neutral will disengage the engine from the transmission and eventually stop power to the wheels. The driver is a retired highway policeman. He should know what to do in this kind if emergency. He is trained to handle worse situations than this.

    Why on earth did he not put his car in neutral? He could also kill the engine by removing the key. Or in newer models where there is no key, one can push on the start/stop button for 3 seconds to stop the engine. Although the car will be harder to steer because of lost of power, he can still maneuver it to the shoulder. In fact the 911 operator even asked them to kill the power to the car.

    Even assuming that the brakes is not working (there is no report that the brakes are not working), by putting the gear in neutral the car will stop accelerating and slow down from the weight of the engine. He can then guide the car to coast on the shoulder and eventually stop.

    It is a horrifying fatal accident that could have been avoided.

    February 18, 2010 at 9:04 am |
  4. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    It's funny how every few days they discover more problems with Toyota products, but yet this guy thinks he can avoid telling the truth about what is happening in his business, now they are saying that the Corolla has steering-wheel problems but there will be no recall, I guess when someone dies they just might wake up and recall the cars! This guy is totally clueless!

    February 17, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  5. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    What assurances will this new quality control officers will give on their conduction of testing’s and consults of an independent research agency to fix their vehicle problems? What does means that the Toyota President Akio Toyoda will not appear before U.S. lawmakers at hearings scheduled for later this month? The situation is that the local auto companies have created a situation by denying phone calls. Yes, Toyota is not perfect but they made it almost impossible to present problems. They have to do better than “we act as quickly as possible.” They need to “work more sincere.”

    February 17, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  6. Joe Hall

    I just saw two guests yelling at each other over the issue of nuclear plants. This is a very important issue. THIS WAS NO DEBATE! The woman continually interrupted the man, who was a Kennedy. You have gravely mistaken what is your responsibility in presenting issues if you think that it is entertaining to allow guests to interrupt each other.
    I IMMEDIATELY TURNED YOUR "SHOW" OFF! You are idiots if you think for an instant that this is reasonable journalism. What a disappointing farce!

    February 17, 2010 at 8:55 am |