It would seem that once was enough for Toyota North America President Yoshimi Inaba. Just weeks after the top Toyota executive went before a congressional hearing in the United States, The Globe and Mail is reporting that Inaba has turned down a similar invitation to appear before the Canadian government. The topic of conversation? Why, the massive Toyota recall efforts and safety, of course.
Officials for the Harper Administration in Canada are expressing a great deal of disappointment at the apparent snub, with Merv Tweed, the Conservative MP chairing the Toyota committee, going so far as to say that Inaba's no-show would amount to a slight to the Canadian government and people, suggesting that Toyota perceives that the "American market is more important."
The Canadian government reportedly plans to once again request that Inaba attend its hearings. If Toyota refuses the request, parliament could issue a subpoena to Inaba, though the Toyota executive neither lives nor works in Canada, meaning he could potentially avoid the summons by keeping out of the country entirely.
For its part, Toyota Canada claims it does not report to Inaba and notes that CEO Yoichi Tomihara and managing director Stephen Beatty will attend on behalf of the company.
UPDATE: Despite continuing to insist that Toyota North America President Yoshimi Inaba has no responsibility for matters regarding recall and safety issues in Canada, Toyota has relented and Inaba will appear before the Parliament of Canada today.
[Source: The Globe and Mail]