Lentz countered that Toyota has spent thousands of hours testing its electronics, and that it had hired California engineering firm Exponent to provide an independent investigation of the systems in question. Toyota has also given more power over quality issues to North American executives.
To help with consumer confidence going forward, the Japanese automaker is installing brake override systems in all new models beginning at the end of 2010, and Lentz added that the company has already repaired 3.5 million of the 5.6 million vehicles involved in the recall.
U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif then asked Exponent to provide documentation of its investigation, and the company replied that it had little or no documentation of its testing. Waxman went on the offensive, saying that he can find no basis for Toyota's assertions of extensive electronic defect testing, adding "Toyota's assertions may be good public relations, but they don't appear to be true."
[Source: Detroit Free Press | Image: Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images]