Toyota Chief Apologizes Before House Committee

Toyota's president is telling a congressional hearing there is no problem with the electronics of Toyota vehicles despite suggestions from some safety experts that there is a connection to unwanted acceleration.

Akio Toyoda told the House oversight committee that he is "absolutely confident" that the electronics of Toyota's gas pedal systems are not the source of problems with a number of Toyota vehicles speeding out of control.

Toyota has recalled some 8 million vehicles over problems with gas pedals lodging on floor mats and pedals that can get stuck. The company has said it has not found evidence that electronics are a factor.

Still, Toyoda said the company is installing brake pedals that can override the gas pedal in case of unintended acceleration.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda raised his right hand and promised to tell the truth. Then, speaking in English, he apologized to Congress — and millions of American Toyota owners — for safety lapses that led to deaths and widespread recalls for accelerator and braking failures.

"I'm deeply sorry for any accident that Toyota drivers have experienced," said the grandson of the founder of the world's largest automaker.

Amid a phalanx of cameras, Toyoda, dressed in a dark suit, walked into the committee room briskly.

House committee chairman Edolphus Towns welcomed Toyoda and thanked him for volunteering to testify.

"We're very impressed with that. It shows your commitment to safety as well," Towns said.

Toyoda pledged his company would change the way it handles consumer complaints, including seeking greater input from drivers and outside safety experts when considering recalls. Toyota managers will also drive cars under investigation to experience potential problems first hand, he said.

He suggested his company's "priorities became confused" in its quest for growth over the past decade at the expense of safety concerns.

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  • by Gumby on Feb 24, 2010 at 08:11 PM
    OH NO Drive by wire accelerator, Gear shifter,? who knows if their a cable for the parking brake now and this beats it all, electrical steering ! no mechanical connections. Do you trust your life by a computer?? I don't.
  • by voter Location: nc on Feb 24, 2010 at 07:05 PM
    the UAW bought and paid for obonzo. once they're in toyota's plants,, all their problems with congress will disappear.
  • by Randy on Feb 24, 2010 at 06:02 PM
    I love how people keep thinking it is all a scheme so sell more GM cars. Get real people.
  • by Vance on Feb 24, 2010 at 04:37 PM
    Darren I can understand your nobility but I can surely tell you that they are not going to apololize to you for that.If you are going to hold them accountable for ONE american life(your ancestor) that ENLISTED in the military freely to protect this country and you think you are going to get and apology for only your loss,forget it!You are not special!IT IS CALLED WAR for a reason!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 24, 2010 at 02:12 PM
    To Darren: Your comments just show your ignorance. Mr. Toyoda has no control over what his ancestors did no more than you or I have control over what our did. Furthermore, your comments really have nothing to do with the situation at hand. I am sure that the people affected by this really do not care what the race or nationality of the care maker is but rather the issue of safety.
  • by Darren Location: Kill Devil Hills on Feb 24, 2010 at 01:46 PM
    Apology NOT accepted! I wont accept anything from the Japanese until they all apologize for the Pearl Harbor attacks, which one of my great uncles was killed in. Japanese people will not be allowed on the Outer Banks if our group of guys can help it. Ban Toyota's from the U.S.A. until we get an apology for the Pearl Harbor attacks.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Feb 24, 2010 at 01:05 PM
    Mr. Toyoda should know what this really is. An Obama Jihad against Toyota. He has declared a Jihad against sales leader Toyota so he can boost the sales of GM-Government Motors,er, I mean General Motors.Wait and see. It will come out sooner or later, just as his ties to ACORN have finally been admitted after Baracky Boy lied and said he didn't know anything about ACORN.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 24, 2010 at 12:29 PM
    It doesn't show their concern for safety. If they were concerned about safety they wouldn't have sat on the issue until it was brought to light by accidents and deaths. This will tarnish their name for years.
  • by Chase on Feb 24, 2010 at 11:54 AM
    We japan not know you democrat american so peculiar.We japan sorry for not knowing dat.

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