• Jan 29, 2010
Toyota's President and CEO, Akio Toyoda, made his first public comment about the the Toyota recall during an interview with NHK today, in which he publicly apologized to the company's customers. "I am deeply sorry," the grandson of the automaker's founder told the Japanese network, going on to say that "we think of our customers as a priority and we guarantee their safety."

Toyoda said that the automaker is continuing to investigate the recall of eight Toyota products affected by the sticking accelerator issue (now spanning three continents and affecting nearly nine million vehicles), and when asked about Toyota's crumbling reputation for quality and reliability, Toyoda said, "I would like for the people to trust us."

Toyota plans to run full-page ads in 25 Sunday and Monday newspapers in the U.S. to explain the recall to consumers, and we wouldn't be surprised to see CTS, the company supplying the apparently faulty accelerator systems, to be mentioned several times in the ads.

Interestingly, ABC News points out that after Toyoda's interview at a hotel in Davos, Switzerland, the CEO was shuttled away... in a black Audi.

[Source: ABCNews | Image: Junko Kimura/Getty]


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  • 68 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      did the families of the victims receive some compensation ?
        • 4 Years Ago
        They might in the class action lawsuit that's being put together.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If we could unseal the various "sudden acceleration" settlements over the past 5+ years, I think we'd find that the families did receive compensation to hush things up for Toyota.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Nobody's died from the pedal recall-I think the only fatalities have been from the other recalls where the blame is somewhat more spread out.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "If these caes are so boring....Why are so many people buying them ??????"



      Two words come to mind: Sheep and stupidty.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Seppuku is the only honorable path.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Your comment is in really bad taste.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That's for sure lol.
      • 4 Years Ago
      While Toyota hasn't made a vehicle that I care for since the Celicas of the 70's, 80's, and 90's, the attitude of CEO Toyoda is commendable and a class act. Now if they could simply start make decent 2 door vehicles again that don't use cheap torsion beams and that look decent. And I'm not talking about land yachts like the recently departed Solara.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I am not a Toyota fan but I feel bad for the guy. You finally get to sit in the big chair and this hits you in the face.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I tried defending Toyota when this first came out, but I quickly discovered that they failed to pull the cars off the market when they were legally obligated to. You can't preach quality and ask people to trust you when you blatantly put people's lives in danger. Yes the odds of it happening are tiny, but you practice what you preach (why J&J pulled Tylenol back in the day).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Look on the bright side he's not Chinese. If he was he'd have to kill himself before the government found him.

        http://money.cnn.com/2007/08/13/news/international/bc.news.china.safety.mattel.dc.reut/index.htm
        invisiblepigeon3
        • 4 Years Ago
        geo stewart

        I drive an IS250 and do take it on back roads quite often. Lexus and Toyota have made some excellent cars in the past, and Lexus makes some good ones still. Hopefully after all this is over, there will be a Supra with an inline six again, more sports cars, less appliance cars, and fun colors like "Absolutely Red" again.

        RJ

        Correct about seppuku, but he means that the government crucifies people who "get caught" in China. Their government fights corruption by killing off the people who aren't good at it. China has the most corrupt government in the world, except for some SA or African nations, and rather than actually stop the corruption, they only occasionally make examples out of people for propaganda purposes.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Exactly, Throwback. You get the impression that this guy wanted to fight to make changes to make Toyota what (he thinks) it was supposed to be. Instead, from where they least expected it, bam!

        It's like Switch in The Matrix.

        "Not like this... Not like this..."
        • 4 Years Ago
        Platinum_skeet,

        Ironically, it's the Japanese that have a high standard for pride, and commit suicide in the face of "shame"...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'd start to care, but then I remember Toyota builds really boring cars and has more SUV models than GM. Almost. So then I don't care at all. It only affects people who buy boring cars or stupid SUVs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        P_Skeet: the funny bit is Mattel actually benefited from the led crap. They imposed their testing standards onto everyone in the business thanks to Washington's intervention in the matter.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm sorry, but as I recall, this was the guy that publically dismissed the Sudden Acceleration was "False" and "Scandal" 3 fcking days before Toyota announced the volunteer recall and was hit by NHTSA with sales freeze on the affected models. This is apology 5 years too late.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yada, yada, yada! Kinda interesting to note that the CEOs of Toyota and Honda are both Toyota, I meant Toyoda, well that's the only thing I got outta this article.

      Mr. Toyoda, kudos for owning up but why should your customers just trust you when you're keeping them in the dark and in a limbo as to how you will be correcting this "issue"?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Where are you getting that? Honda's CEO is Takanobu Ito.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Its too bad this happened, I'm glad I'm a Honda guy. I hear the Toyota guys will stand behind their product, just don't stand in front of it. As for the Honda recall, who cares. Its very minor and so is the Toyota one. Look at the junk the North American automakers have been selling for the last 30yrs. They should be brought up on fraud charges. Telling their customer that their car are good, when we all know they are the biggest pieces of junk ever produced.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Interestingly, ABC News points out that after Toyoda's interview at a hotel in Davos, Switzerland, the CEO was shuttled away... in a black Audi."

      As the biggest audi fan on this site i'd like to say:

      SERIOUSLY!? Audi is providing hundreds of cars to shuttle people around davos, just at they do at most high profile events. Of course he'd be shuttled away in an audi, everyone's shuttled everywhere in davos in an audi.
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1

        just goes to show again how limited knowledge, or even lack of, can let people skew things to their favor/humor.
      • 4 Years Ago
      My understanding is that there are two gas pedal manufactures and that the one made overseas is not the defective one. I can't confirm this but if anyone has more knowledge I'd like to here about it.

      http://www.r-1RacingWheels.com
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hey Wally, that cleared things up for me a lot better. So it appears it's a design problem rather than a manufacture issue. Thanks! Are you familar with this spacer/shim thing they are talking about manufacturing to fix the problem? Thats the latest thing I've heard.
      • 4 Years Ago
      MediaCurves.com just conducted a study among 601 Americans revealed that the majority (77%) reported that the apology by Jim Lentz, President of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., was sincere after viewing it. Toyota brand favorability was unaffected by the apology, with viewers rating the average favorability of the brand as 4.5 before and after viewing the apology.
      More in-depth results can be seen at:
      http://www.mediacurves.com/Apologies/J7732-ToyotaApology/Index.cfm
      Thanks,
      Ben
      • 4 Years Ago
      Apparently, the only way you can finance a Toyota now is with an Accelerated Loan.


      • 4 Years Ago
      I feel badly for Toyota also. They are a great company with great products. A supplier issue like this could happen to any manufacturer. For those of you that do not work in the industry and experienced with working with NHTSA via the TREAD ACT or NHTSA customer reports you know how much bureaucracy and chains after chains of stupidity must be sifted though. Some of this can take months if not years to get accurate data, fully investigate, architect a resolution, etc. I am not surprised it may have taken 4 years or more for this to float to the top and become public fear #1. However, I do find it odd the NHTSA person that was investigating this a few years ago left NHTSA to work for Toyota though. That alone needs to be looked into. On the other hand, don’t be surprised to start seeing more of this in near future from other manufactures after years and years of manufacturers squeezing the balls off their suppliers for cheaper parts. Even the most trusted and highly decorated US, German and Japanese auto part suppliers (The Delphi’s, Denso’s, Visteon, ZF, etc) outsource a very high percentage of internal component pieces that could be produced in an less than sterling plant with less than ideal engineering or assembly practices…of course, in China. The most famous supplier response to an automotive manufacture at times like this is…”Hey, we built the part to your spec”. Then the manufacture says “Yeah, but we didn’t spec a potentiometer sweeper being made out of old rusty nail”. I am tell you, China’s cheap labor is going to kill everybody one small diode and Happy Meal Toy at a time. I totally smell a cheap Chinese component as the cause of these pedal issues.

      People need to realize, the auto manufactures don’t really “make” anything. They assembly parts (built to their prints) purchased from suppliers. When it all boils down to it…all the manufactures use the same collection of part suppliers anyway, which is why I say this unfortunate deal could have happened to any manufacturer…and probably will again.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Toyota comissioned the parts. Toyota accepted the parts. Toyota is responsible. Besides, Toyota created the business model and the rest followed. Toyota can suck it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        In a part that is safety critical or even performance critical, the buyer of the part (in this case Toyota) will insist on approving the design of the subassembly and every single change made to it after approval. The reason for this must be abundantly clear at this particular point in time

        Furthermore, in a safety critical part, Toyota should have their own testing in place, either at the point of production, or where the parts are unpacked and put on their own assembly line (input quality control). This is to ensure the supplier (or one of their suppliers) didn't cut a corner or change a design to save money. And Chinese suppliers will do this all the time, Chinese suppliers are incredibly efficiency experts, they can come up with a ton of changes that make it possible to make your parts for a lower cost, most of them good. The key is to make sure that this process doesn't go awry and impact the performance (quality) of the product. And to ensure this, you must make sure you don't cede quality control completely.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I guess what you say would make sense...if Toyota hadn't designed the part, themselves.

        It'd also make sense...if Toyota hadn't known for 10 years that their vehicles were getting away from their owners, and are only now doing anything at all about it.

        Toyota has been nothing short of utterly recalcitrant when it comes to addressing vehicle defects. This is where decisions like that get them.

        And it'll probably get worse once people do more digging.
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