Today’s Toyota hearings featured a lot of amusing defensive yelling by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and, of course, the long awaited testimony by Toyota President Akio Toyoda. In addition, Yoshimi Inaba, CEO of Toyota North America, revealed that the company knew of the sticking pedal issue in Europe a year before accidents in the US.
Most of Toyoda’s testimony was in given in Japanese, with a translator present, but his written prepared testimony was in English.
The most interesting revelation in the more than 4 1/2 hour hearing was that Toyota knew about the sticking pedal issue in Europe.
“We did not hide it,” Mr. Inaba said, “but it was not properly shared. We need to do a much better job sharing what we knew in Europe with the United States to see if there is any danger to American consumers.”
Mr. Toyoda explained that he would be personally overseeing a new quality control group within the company that would share information from all over the world and thus prevent this sort of thing from happening again.
As for the embarrassing presentation with the recall savings numbers, Mr. Inaba said: “It is so inconsistent with the guiding principles of Toyota.”
Mr. Toyoda, through his translator, said that the presentation did not reflect “the drifting of the entire company.”