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Toyota Venza – Click above for high-res image gallery

AutoblogGreen had the rare opportunity on Friday to chat with Toyota CEO and president Akio Toyoda. During the conversation, he revealed that a prototype vehicle with a Tesla electric drive unit was under construction. Tesla's Chief Technology Officer, J.B. Straubel, has confirmed this to CNN Money, saying that the Silicon Valley company is indeed preparing two mule vehicles for Toyota. Tesla battery packs, power electronics and motors are being installed into Toyota bodies.

AutoblogGreen had the rare opportunity on Friday to chat with Toyota CEO and president Akio Toyoda where he revealed a prototype vehicle with a Tesla electric drive unit was under construction. Tesla CTO JB Straubel has now told CNN Money that the Silicon valley company is preparing two mule vehicles for Toyota. Tesla battery packs, power electronnics and motors are being installed into Toyota bodies.

Behind the Scenes at Toyota's R&D Center – Click above for high-res image gallery

During a interview with a group of American media this afternoon in Nagoya, Japan, Toyota president Akio Toyoda revealed that his company is already in the process of building a prototype electric vehicle with a Tesla battery pack. The statement came in response to questions about the relationship between Toyota and Tesla. As time ran out, we did not have an opportunity for further follow-up or clarification.

During an interview with a group of American media this afternoon in Nagoya, Japan, Toyota president Akio Toyoda revealed that his company is already in the process of building a prototype electric vehicle with a Tesla battery pack. The statement came in response to questions about the relationship between Toyota and Tesla. As time ran out, we did not have an opportunity for further follow-up or clarification.

Now there's some sad things known to man, but ain't too much sadder than the tears of a... CEO? Apparently, at least one Toyota shareholder has seen enough tears and weeping from the company's not-so-fearless leader.

Toyota MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept – Click above for image gallery

Toyota MR2 Sports Hybrid Concept – Click above for image gallery

It might seem redundant to call a racing series that bills itself as the pinnacle of motorsports "elitist" but that's precisely what Toyota's Senior Managing Director for motorsports, Tadashi Yamashina, said during this weekend's 24 Hours of Nurburgring. Toyota withdrew from Formula one at the end of the 2009 season and according to Yamashina the automaker isn't likely to ever return.

Akio Toyoda, still working the shovel to extricate Toyota from the hole it's dug, invited U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for a factory visit. When he returned, LaHood said that the Toyota CEO didn't realize how much damage the company's reputation was taking until Toyoda actually came to America and saw for himself.

Conventional wisdom might tell you that Toyota should have lost loads of money last quarter in the wake of the company's largest-ever global recall and safety scandal. Perhaps it shouldn't surprise us too much to hear that conventional wisdom would be all wrong. In reality, Toyota reported a profit between January and March of this year of $1.2 billion.

An independent advisory panel has been formed to help Toyota get a handle on its quality issues. With all of the current headlines relating to Toyota recalls and defects, the independent North American Quality Advisory Panel has been convened to study and give the automaker advice on quality and safety issues affecting its North American operations. Besides working closely with the North American leadership team, the panel has been promised direct access to the head honcho, Toyota Motor Corporat

And the saga continues. According to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Ed Towns (D-N.Y.), documents obtained by the committee under subpoena from Dimitrios Biller – managing counsel in the product liability group of Toyota Motor Sales USA from April 2003 to September 2007 – "indicate Toyota deliberately withheld records that it was legally required to produce in response to discovery orders in litigation."

The second day of Congressional hearings on the "Response by Toyota and NHTSA to Incidents of Sudden Unintended Acceleration" has been underway since 11 am this morning, with an animated NHTSA Secretary Ray LaHood juking and jiving around Congress' questions. But the big showing today is Toyota President Akio Toyoda, who's on the stand now to discuss the automaker's handing of the 8.5 million vehicles being recalled for accelerator defects. You can read his official statement here, but understan

The Congressional hearings entitled "Response by Toyota and NHTSA to Incidents of Sudden Unintended Acceleration" may have started today, but the actual response by Toyoda – that's Akio Toyoda with a "D," head of the Japanese automaker – will come tomorrow.

If you saved your company $1 million, you'd brag about it, right? How about $100 million? Certainly you'd be looking for a few pats on the back for such a massive sum of loot. A report in The Detroit Free Press reveals that Yoshimi Inaba, chairman and CEO of Toyota Motors Sales in the U.S., allegedly did such bragging back on July 6, 2010, but the topic was "Wins for Toyota" and the subject was safety.

Just yesterday, Toyota Motor Company's president Akio Toyoda (yep, the grandson of the company's founder) indicated that he had no intention of attending a February 24 Congressional hearing before the House Oversight Committee. Instead, Toyoda said that Yoshimi Inaba, president of Toyota's operations in North America, will appear on behalf of of the automaker.

In a press conference on Wednesday in Tokyo, Toyota Motor Company's president Akio Toyoda (grandson of the company's founder) revealed new details of his plan to reform the automaker's quality standards. Toyota has been beset by a trio of high-profile recalls, two of which involve unintended acceleration caused by either floormats or a sticking accelerator pedal and another having to do with the brakes on the 2010 Prius hybrid.

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