Toyota President ‘Deeply Sorry,’ Prius Recall Possible
February 5, 2010
(ChattahBox)—-Toyota President Akio Toyoda publicly spoke today for the first time, since millions of his company’s vehicles were recalled for dangerous accelerator problems. Toyoda apologized for the sticky gas pedal problems, saying he was “deeply sorry” for the recalls and acknowledged that Toyota faced “a moment of crisis.” Toyoda added that he “deeply regretted” the consumer anxiety over the recalls and he claimed “personal responsibility” to fix the problem. He also indicated that his company is investigating the possibility of recalling about 270,000 Prius Hybrids, which have experienced problems with the brake systems.
Appearing before a press conference in Nagoya, Japan, Toyoda tried to ease consumers’ concerns about the safety of millions of Toyota vehicles. “The recalls are affecting several models in several regions and have caused anxiety among customers who are wondering if their cars are OK,” he told reporters. “For that we are very sorry.”
“Believe me, he said, “Toyota cars are safe.” “We always put the customer first,” said the 53-year-old grandson of the company’s founder.
“We are in the midst of a big crisis and face big challenges ahead,” Toyoda added. Owners of the recalled vehicles must now take their vehicles to the dealership for a fix. Many dealerships are still awaiting shipment of the repair parts and need to undergo training, before performing the fix to the sticky gas pedals with a steel rod.
Many Prius owners have reported problems with a faulty brake pedal when traveling at slow speeds. But Toyota UK’s managing director Miguel Fonseca, said “There are reasons to believe that a recall could be put in place [in the US and Japan], but it’s still early hours and early days.” “There is still an investigation going on with the relevant authorities,” he said.
Toyota estimates that losses from the recalls could reach $2 billion, with a Prius recall adding to the already major financial hit.
Photo Source: Kim Kyung-hoon/Reuters