Tags: Toyota | Recall

Toyota's Problems Loom Large Even After Hearings

Thursday, 25 Feb 2010 07:06 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Even as Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda wrapped up a grueling appearance before Congress, the head of the world's largest automaker wasn't leaving his problems behind.

Toyota faces a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in New York. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating the company. Its beleaguered U.S. dealerships are facing repairs to potentially millions of customer vehicles that have been recalled. The company is offering customers new reimbursements for rental cars and other expenses.

Its lawyers are bracing for waves of death and injury lawsuits. The Senate will conduct a new hearing next week. And the cost to Toyota's reputation is only now starting to emerge.

"There is still a very large bull's-eye pinned to Toyota right now," said Aaron Bragman, an auto industry analyst with IHS Global Insight.

Despite back-to-back congressional hearings this week, left to be said were a better explanation for slow actions to deal with the defects and believable assurances that the problems that led to sudden, unintended accelerations will be fixed.

Toyoda said those changes were being made nearly around the clock, but during three hours of often tense questions and answers he repeated the company's insistence that there was no link to the cars' electronic systems.

Many drivers filing complaints with Toyota and the government say their acceleration problems had nothing to do with floor mat interference or sticky gas pedals — the culprits the company is pointing to. Outside experts have suggested electronic problems.

House lawmakers unleashed blistering criticism on Toyoda, the grandson of the company's founder.

"I am embarrassed for you, sir," Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said as he brandished an internal Toyota document showing the automaker estimated it saved $100 million by avoiding a broad recall over unintended acceleration in 2007.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking records on Toyota's recalls and is conducting its own review on whether electronics were behind the vehicle defects. NHTSA also continues to look into steering complaints from drivers of the popular Corolla model.

Toyota has recalled 8.5 million vehicles, more than 6 million of them in the United States.

Back home in Japan, Toyoda's testimony in Washington was lauded. A crisis management expert at Kyodo Public Relations Co., Ryoichi Shinozaki, said Toyoda performed fine by Japanese standards. But Shinozaki said the company's problems were deepening.

"The hearing is over, but the crisis is only getting more serious," he said.

It may be a while before car buyers are convinced that Toyota really makes safe cars.

Toyota's January sales already fell 16 percent even as most other automakers rebounded from last year's dismal results. Analyst Koji Endo of Advanced Research Japan in Tokyo said he expects February sales, due out next week, to be down 30 percent to 40. Toyota's sales woes well could continue beyond that.

"It will take some time to feel the full effect of this," he said.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

GOP Plans Positive Senate Changes

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 14:45 PM

Senate Republican leadership is working on a positive agenda for the first 100 days of the next Senate, if control of th . . .

Minimum Wage Hike Will Kill Fast-Food Jobs

Friday, 12 Sep 2014 09:28 AM

There are two basic problems with these fast-food fundamentalists and their demand for higher wages. . . .

Media Bias Condemns Ray Rice

Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 13:46 PM

Let's get to the burning national media issue of the week: Ray Rice and spousal abuse. All the professional media morali . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved