Toyota Exec coming to the US for Congressional Hearings

Edolphus Towns and Akio Toyoda

In an audacious move, Toyota president Akio Toyoda, grandson of the founder of Toyota Motor Company, said he would only come to the February 24th Congressional hearings (“Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public At Risk?”) if he were formally invited.  He had planned on sending Yoshimi Inaba, the head of North American Toyota operations.

Edolphus Towns

Well, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Edolphus Towns (D-NY) has sent a letter to Toyoda, including a formal invitation and a thinly veiled request for, “written testimony for the record, of any reasonable length,” and to “be prepared to provide a five minute opening statement and answer questions posed by Members of the Committee.”  In another part of the letter, Towns writes:

“There is widespread public concern regarding reports of sudden unintended acceleration inToyota motor vehicles. There appears to be growing public confusion regarding which vehicles may be affected and how people should respond. In short, the public is unsure as to what exactly the problem is, whether it is safe to drive their cars, or what they should do about it. To help clarify this situation, I am inviting you to testify…”

Akio Toyoda

I think it’s pretty arrogant to not plan on attending a hearing with the federal government of one of your company’s biggest markets, especially when you’ve got 8 million of your products being recalled, which represents 3-4 years worth of sales.  If I owned a global company worth billions, I’d definitely want to be a part of any hearings which could disrupt the sales of my products in a company as large as the United States.  I’ll be looking forward to seeing what he has to say to the committee next Thursday.

According to a press release by Toyota, Akio Toyoda will testify before Congress, saying “I look forward to speaking directly with Congress and the American people.”

by John Suit

Source: Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; Image Sources: Toyota, New York Daily News

“Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public At Risk?”

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