Issa critical of Toyoda's planned no-show

Feb. 17, 2010 at 4:25 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., was sharply critical of Toyota Motor Corp. chief Akio Toyoda for his decision to skip a Washington hearing on Toyota's recalls.

Issa, the senior Republican on the House Oversight Committee that is looking into a series of massive Toyota recalls, said the Japanese automaker's chief executive officer was "not as eager to give Congress and the American people answers as we first thought."

"It is telling that the only way he will come before the Oversight Committee is by formal invitation," Issa said.

Toyoda had said previously he would explain the recalls involving 8.5 million Toyota vehicles "in my own words," the Financial Times reported Wednesday.

Toyoda, instead, is sending the head of Toyota North America, Yoshimi Inaba. Toyoda said, "I have great faith in our U.S. executives, including Mr. Inaba."

Toyota, meanwhile, said it create a new quality-control group headed by CEO Toyoda. It also pledged to install power override systems in all future Toyota cars, ensuring engines will shut down if brakes and gas pedals are pressed simultaneously.

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