Thought the battles between Toyota and the U.S. Congress were over? Think again. Toyota President Jim Lentz was back on Capitol Hill Thursday to discuss Toyota's recall issues, and it appears some representatives are still looking for blood. The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan Congressman Bart Stupek (D) accused Toyota of worrying more about dodging lawsuits and discrediting Southern Illinois University professor David Gilbert than the thousands of unintended acceleration claims that have made headlines the past few months.
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]

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