With two Congressional hearings scheduled this week on the subject of Toyota recalls, we think it’s important that not just Congress, but the public too, give the company a fair hearing, allowing it to explain the circumstances and the steps it has taken to correct the problems.
A good place to start is an op-ed from Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Back to Basics for Toyota“:
The past several months have been humbling for all of us at Toyota. We are taking this experience to heart, making fundamental changes in the way our company does business. I can assure you that our response will be comprehensive.
The first step is taking care of vehicles on the road today. But it also means making even safer vehicles in the future—and being more open and transparent about any safety issues that arise.
Since last June, when I took over as president of the company, I have personally placed the highest priority on improving quality, not quantity. All Toyota vehicles bear my name. When cars are damaged, it is as though I am as well. I love cars, and I take the utmost pleasure in offering vehicles that our customers love. I, more than anyone, want Toyota’s cars to be safe, and for our customers to feel safe when they drive our vehicles.
Toyoda’s column summarizes the concrete steps the company has taken to respond to customers’ concerns, and he pledges that Toyota “will set a new standard for transparency and speed of response on safety issues.”
Earlier, in Feb. 9 Washington Post op-ed, Toyoda explained “Toyota’s plan to repair its public image.”
The company’s website, www.toyota.com, has more detail with lots of information for Toyota owners and drivers.
Congressional hearings start today at 11 a.m. with a meeting of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, “Response by Toyota and NHTSA to Incidents of Sudden Unintended Acceleration.” On Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold its own hearing, “Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public at Risk?”
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