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Toyota chief apologizes over recalls, accidents in House testimony

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It's campaign time again and these congressmen have been using these hearings as an opportunity to make campaign speeches and spew protectionist rhetoric.

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This whole thing is stupid

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I only saw Mr Toyoda's speech but I thought it was well written. A bit hard to understand yeah, but I thought he came off pretty well admitting to faults and taking responsibility.

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Half Hearted unconvincing apologies but let US congressmen decide.

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Just heard the far-left Rep. Kaptur give an excellent, emotional campaign speech.

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MrUSA, at this point one can only conclude that you own stock in Toyota and your decisions are purely based on money.

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@ SuperLib

It was disclosed that every Democrat who was on the committee grilling Mr. Toyoda, all accepted campaign donations from the UAW.

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Representatives Mica, Kanjorski, Kaptur, etc. ought to be ashamed of themselves for their elitist, nose up in the air attitude and very unpolite attitude towards the executives from Toyota during the hearings. It was a downright shame and is a fine example of US political grandstanding and Japan bashing.

Sure Toyota is to blame for not facing up to the problem, but I feel it has more to do with the foreign leadership of Toyota, Inc. in putting quarterly profits and sales ahead of of quality and ignoring the Japanese way of doing business. Before foreign executives, Toyota only put out yearly profits and forecasts. Having worked for a Japanese company in the US who made the move to hire foreign executives in the 90's, I witnessed this first hand. As profits, cost-cutting and quality declined, I resigned in disgust as the Japanese allowed themselves to be bullied into doing it the "American way".

It was revealed today that the woman who testified about her out-of-control Lexus, sold it to a private individual and it has been trouble free for the last few years and 27,000 miles. The problem, therefore, is not an easy one to fix as no one knows the exact cause and no one has one that is actually defective at present.

Toyota employs 200,000 people in the US and Japan holds much of the US debt. If Japan told them to "shove it where the sun don't shine, we're doing our best to solve the problem" I would be smiling from ear to ear. They better be careful about who they bash.

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What a bloody waste of time and political distraction by the brazen politicians of a country gone to the dogs. Nutty Dems from the north appealing to their ex GM constituents pretending they give a damn about the ordinary Joe soaps while southern GOP racists show their undying support for anything non-unionised. Toyota should pull out of this asylym of a once-great superpower and focus on the civilised world.

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This is a joke. Only Transportation secretary Ray LaHood testified, but the actual head of the NHTSA, David Strickland, did not face a Congressional panel of what he knows and looking into the past activity by NHTSA into the agency's handling of safety issues with Toyota cars including unintended acceleration, they should've also called Nicole Mason who was the head of NHTSA around 2007. They should investigate Mason's knowledge in 2007. Congressional panel never forced this question on why Strickland and Mason is not available to LaHood. LaHood's reason for Strickland not facing congressional panel is that he is only been on the job for short time. Well, if this is the case, head of the Toyota, Mr. Akio Toyoda has only been on the top position since July of 2009. So what is the difference if Toyoda didn't appear?

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I watched the hearings and felt that most of the congresspeople were more polite and courteous than I expected. I didn't think that would be the case beforehand. They were a lot ruder yesterday to James Lentz who was American.

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I feel cultural differences all over again. CNBC criticizes Toyoda repeats apologies "sumimasen deshita" "sumimasen deshita" while congressmen may be demanding logical explanations.

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This congressional hearing will turn out to be not much of anything since Toyota has already implemented changes regarding safety issues worldwide. Toyota has assured the U.S. govenment and public that changes will be made immediately. They are not doing anything different from any other auto manufacturer who had safety issues.

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Toyoda will apologize until he's blue in the face, the crooked politicians (all of who are up for re-election) will use this opportunity to grandstand till they're blue in the face, but in the end, the consumer will decide if they forgive Toyota or not. Toyota's had a few problems, and they may have covered stuff up, but when it comes time to plop down 30 or 40K on a car, the only thing that matters is product value.

The real question is has Toyota cars decreased in value more than American cars have increased in value? I suggest the answer is no.

Sorry GM, you're cars still suck.

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those bureaucrats in washington are targeting the wealthy business.

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Another case of trying to take the public's eye off of American problems. Toyota is only being hit this hard because they are a foreign company. It's a shame governments use tactics like this to move the public's focus

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Pachipro at 07:30 AM JST - 25th February. Sure Toyota is to blame for not facing up to the problem, but I feel it has more to do with the foreign leadership of Toyota, Inc. in putting quarterly profits and sales ahead of of quality and ignoring the Japanese way of doing business.

With 20,000 to 30,000 parts in a car, other than Toyota, can you guarantee me any car that that you buy will not experience sudden acceleration, electrical or mechanical failure that results in death?

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This thing is overblown.

Toyota still makes great cars.

In the big picture of things, Toyota will be just fine...yes, even with a recall.

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I have to agree with Pachipro. I worked for another very large Japanese vehicle manufacturer years ago in the UK, and the Japanese there were wonderful, it was the British management that caused all the problems.

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"Unimpressed lawmakers blistered the world’s largest automaker with accusations of greed and insensitivity."

They should have started the hearings with 39 seconds of silence for all those people who have been killed in defective Toyotas. They then should have provided a brief slide show of the people and the vehicles they were killed in- odd, I seem to remember Japanese citizens carrying full size photos of deceased loved ones into court hearings all the time. If it's a culturally sensitive hearing you want- well lets do it Japanese style !

As for Toyoda's remarks;

"He suggested his company’s “priorities became confused” in a quest for growth over the past decade at the expense of safety concerns."

Confused ? No confusion here- your company has been actively targeting the world's #1 position for yers now. Your offices have readily admitted that the US market was your number one priority ! This "whatever it takes to be #1" attitude has killed and injured hundreds ! Then to send your staffers back to Washington to "make the NHTSA boys an offer they can't refuse" is downright criminal ! BTW- is anybody else "not" surprised that Toyoda didn't bust out the "hey what about Ford" defense ? Ha-ha ! This was great theatre today. I can't wait to see how the major networks will presen it to the American people tonight. But I somehow expect the tone to be rather negative as Toyoda came off as an arrogant elitist. This in particular stung;

"Mica held aloft a copy of a July 2009 internal Toyota document boasting of a “win” for Toyota in striking a deal with the U.S. government for a more limited recall involving floor mats. The document said the agreement saved the company $100 million."

And this;

"Rep Elijah Cummings, a Democrat, told the Toyota chief, “It’s one thing to say you’re sorry. It’s another when it seems as if time after time there are pronouncements that problems are being addressed and over and over again it seems like they’re not being addressed.”

And then there was this surprise- which I had actually mentioned weeks ago when I heard that Toyota wanted customers to "drive" to their nearest garage for repairs;

"The company said Wednesday it will offer free at-home pickup of vehicles covered by the national safety recall, pay for customers’ out-of-pocket transportation costs and provide drivers free rental cars during repairs."

Seems someone at Toyota is reading what branded has to say ! Now this is only the first of many hearings to come. If Toyoda was really sincere about turning Toyota around- he would stay and listen to all of the hearings. He needs to be seen at these hearings actively participating in the events on a day to day basis. Somehow though I think he's gonna bolt from Washington on the next plane headed East !

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Should have let the families of those who have crashed (and died) ask him questions as well.

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While this is an example of American taking advantage of a rather large trip-up by a foreign manufacturer in the interests of American businesses, it's no less than Japan does all of the time. Let's not pretend only America or other Western countries use such situations to their advantage.

Apologists will pretend that Japan is justified and America is not, but they do so without evidence and based purely on bias.

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I watched it all live. He did surprisingly great. He is very smart to have a top-class interpreter by his side and not try to speak in English with lawyer congressmen. The congressmen who accused him of not showing remorse came off as culturally baka.

At the end of the day, congressmen will be loyal to corporations who put and keep them in their jobs.

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I got a flyer in the mail today fromn a local GM dealer wanting to give a "great deal" on a new Chevy if I wanted to trade in my Toyota. Yea, it actually said that in print. Well, too bad for the GM dealer cause I don't own a Toyota. And if I did I wouldn't trade it in for a Chevy anyway.

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I've had 5 toyotas and currently own one. My next car will be a toyota.

But I'm under no illusions that ToyotaInc runs well. It's political and social clout is enormous. It uses the sub-contract system (as do others) as it's own fiefdom to bully, coerce and dispose of at will. This is not unknown. It operates similarly with it's US branches - everything ruled by ToyotaInc as an extension of it's domestic manner.

Honda America by contrast run an independent operation dealing with the nuances and problems of the American market largely by themselves because they live, work, and breathe in the American market. They have by all accounts far less of the woes befalling ToyotaInc.

Time for the Great Toyota to reflect and this circus in the US is one way to ensure they will. Political agendas & gains aside - this situation has at least forced Toyata to openly confront itself - which I believe would not have happened if left to a superficial glossing over in Japan.

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Rep Paul Kanjorski, a Democrat, cited “injuries and the damages suffered by innocent Americans ... who like myself have grown up in an atmosphere that we had a great deal of faith in something that was stamped ‘Made in Japan.’”

How many of the cars sold in the US are actually "Made in Japan"?

Surprisingly the problems seem not to occur too much in Europe and the rest of the World who also drive Toyotas.

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Rep Paul Kanjorski

we had a great deal of faith in something that was stamped ‘Made in Japan.’”

and this is the real MADE IN JAPAN's answers.

Rep Elijah Cummings, He asked why Americans “should pay hard-earned money on a Toyota in hard economic times?”

"I sincerely regret that some people actually encountered accidents in their vehicles," said Toyoda.

Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Calif., asked Toyoda whether U.S. regulators should require automakers to report all defects throughout the globe.

Toyoda gave a lengthy response through his translator, promising to "minimize those troubles," Bilbray became flustered.

Rep. Brian Bilbray, "In all fairness, I'd just like a yes or no,"

Toyoda quickly said through the translator that the company would "extend full cooperation."

Bilbray shot back, "We'll take that as a yes."!!

ha ha! give them tough questions or even not tough one, they can always manage to answer you something that has nothing to do with what you ask. it certainly is another made in japan culture you should put your faith on Rep Paul Kanjorski and anyone out there that believe so much on the word "Made in Japan"

hopefully he didn't do the teary-eyed, as many have done to win sympathy in Japan.

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He asked why Americans “should pay hard-earned money on a Toyota in hard economic times?”

Err...because GM sucks?

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39 seconds of silence for all those people who have been killed in defective Toyotas

Actually this statement is false. It has not been proven that the cars were defective in all cases. In fact, some cases were due to driver error.

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come on..american...who is your enemy? russia or japan ?rethink ,ok ? why does the us always do what the enemy(russia) likes?

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It is interesting to note a couple of the comments up above from some who have worked for Japanese companies in the U.S. and felt things were working very well until they had to succumb to doing things "the American way". And the interesting thing is that the overwhelming majority of the recalls worldwide are in the U.S. Could it have more to do with the way things are run in the U.S. rather than it being Toyota itself?

That is not to say that Toyota is not at fault. There obviously would not be the same recalls in other countries if that were the case. But the vast amount of recalls in the U.S. makes one wonder why is the situation so much worse there?

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“I’m deeply sorry for any accident that Toyota drivers have experienced,” the grandson of the founder of the Japanese auto giant told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He suggested his company’s “priorities became confused” in a quest for growth over the past decade at the expense of safety concerns.

Not one to tout one's horn. ;) Below may be one of the reasons US Govt. personnel were calling me, "Nicolai Hel".

#

apecNetworks at 11:42 AM JST - 10th February

Toyota is experiencing three changes that they are not responding to. 1) the internet is speeding up problems, complaints are seen very fast; 2) Toyota MAY be experiencing the problems Sony exhibited in the 1990's - success led to huge outputs where quality dropped significantly; 3) the auto industry is slow in reacting due to the complexity of some design flaws, so the problems is not resolved as quickly as desired. It is best for Toyota to work through the problem as quickly as possible, and to have a top engineering team work on the problem - this is being done probably as I speak.

Actually, I was being informed in the mid 1990's of a "trade war" from high sources in the Asia-Pacific - that was deadly for Toyota.

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Lol not to be evil or anything but you see I'm from japan and my sister and family lives in japan and I have been hearing these rumors that Toyota is doing bad and whatever. Well guess what to tell you the truth, don't blame the toyota company or chief that's living in japan. Yes, he's in charge of all the Toyota companies in the U.S and all but that doesn't mean it's his fault. First of all everyones cases of the brakes not working doesn't make quite sense. Second of all the parts and cars here in united states IS made in the united states rather than japan even though it's a Japanese car. Now SOME evil mischievous people in united states are trying to make Toyota look bad by having some people act that the brakes or the car is bad. My mom bought a Toyota car here and the brakes became bad and stuff but in japan we had a Toyota car for almost 18-20 years and there hasn't even been a single problem (well maybe the paint falling off). Third of all it doesn't make sense becaues why is united states Toyota having problems only? I don't hear any news about problems in japan. But there are alot in America. Why is that? Because some group of jealous retards are trying to make Toyota and japan look bad!! So I say we catch those criminals and stop complaining about my relative's "bad quality cars" and yes he is part of my family tree FYI. So yes please be aware that this is just a scheme. Thank you very much. Any complaints about my story? Lol

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Sakuramiyakawa, Toyoto as teh maker is respinsible for its output regardless of the country. The problems are actually worlwide. I suggest looking at other news media. The faults were widely reported in the British media and a lot of coverage was on the BBC. It is not just America and it is not anti Japan, not from Britian anyway.

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Lol true yes I know that Toyota is now responsible but if ppls would notice that a lot of ppl in America are starting to be racist against Asians and ppl from south amercia and all that. They are just making fun of everyone and taking others stuff as theirs. Well here I'm just saying that yes Toyota has to pay for it but on the other hand America should stop making fake acts and making people die. In fact you never know that those people might actually be manikins! I can't say much sine I wasn't actually there at the scene of the accidents but all this stuff happening really doesn't make sense. Just ask or say anything you want since right now I need to go to school haha japan time >_>; so let's just hope everything goes back to normal and we all have a happy life.

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Oh and also if someone would explain why there aren't any accidents in japan? Let's see why and who could answer that. This must be interesting

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Oh and also if someone would explain why there aren't any accidents in japan? Let's see why and who could answer that. This must be interesting.

Yes, this is an interesting question: why there is a worldwide recall for Toyota products, except for Japan...that is an interesting question...

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Sakuamiyakawa, your from Japan and so is my wife and my extended family, what does that mean?

Moderator: Nothing. Readers, please stay on topic.

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Lolol stevecpfc I'm not saying you are being all evil. I'm just saying some people who run the Toyota in united states or in California are being totally unfair to Toyota car owners and making everything look bad. I mean think about it. It's like you or somebody else being fined for something they didn't even do. And yes it's quite a mystery junnama.

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sakuramiyaawa- What is all this about ?

"I know that Toyota is now responsible but if ppls would notice that a lot of ppl in America are starting to be racist against Asians and ppl from south amercia and all that."

Let me try to comprehend your position- because the US is demanding that Toyota face up to it's obligations, having designed and manufactured autos that have killed and injured hundreds of Americans... they are racist ???

And this ?

"America should stop making fake acts and making people die. In fact you never know that those people might actually be manikins!"

Sorry, I can't help you with those concerns- but this;

"I'm just saying some people who run the Toyota in united states or in California are being totally unfair to Toyota car owners and making everything look bad"

Ummm, many of those "people who run Toyota in the United States" are "Japanese"- are they being unfair to Toyota also ? I think the only ones making Toyota look bad are- Toyota !

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Junnama asks; "why there is a worldwide recall for Toyota products, except for Japan...that is an interesting question..."

According to Toyota they have been doing secret repairs on autos sold in Japan for months. But they say there are still thousands of more defective cars out on the market- and I do believe they have been recalled also.

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LOL so technically you guys are saying I'm making everyone look bad. Look all the people in America that I've met so far have been mean to me saying that japan sucks and all Japanese should just die. It's just everyone here is jealous of japan and other countries. Just because most of the things we have in US were not made or inveted here. But we should all know that even though the workers in Toyota ARE Japanese the car parts ARE made in USA. And that's a fact. Look everyone we all know the world is full of lies and the government is always telling us false things.

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