Questions from Congress that Akio Toyoda won't answer. Or maybe he will.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda held a news conference in Japan this morning during which he first said he will not come to Capitol Hill to answer questions about his troubled brands, even as pressure increases for him to do so, but then later said he might consider it if "invited."
Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) invitation to Toyoda, issued last week, must have gotten lost in the mail. So too must have Issa's threat yesterday that he is willing to ask his committee, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to subpoena Toyoda, possibly when he sets foot on U.S. soil.
Issa, his committee and probably most of Congress would like to ask Toyoda some questions about his car company. Here is a list of the questions that Issa sent to Toyota North America President Yoshimi Inaba yesterday:
-- Has there been a breakdown in communications between Toyota Japan and Toyota North America that led to a disconnect in reporting vehicle problems to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)?
-- Why was it necessary for NHTSA officials to visit Toyota in Japan for the company to recognize its obligations under U.S. law?
-- When did Toyota first start looking for an explanation to the sudden acceleration problem, which turned out to be caused either or both by floor mat entrapment or sticking gas pedals?
-- Once Toyota engineers believed they had found the problem -- the floor mats -- did they look for other possible reasons?
-- Does Toyota believe that the floor mats and the sticking gas pedals fully explains the sudden acceleration problem?
-- Does Toyota think its electronic throttles are to blame for the unintended acceleration?
-- When did Toyota first become aware of braking problems in the Prius? When did Toyota notify NHTSA? When did Toyota tell NHTSA of the proposed fix?
-- When did Toyota first become aware of potential steering problems with the 2010 Corollas? When did it tell NHTSA?
-- Does Toyota still believe, as it stated, the uptick in drive complaints filed about the Tacoma was fueled by "publicity?"
-- Does Toyota still believe the Tacoma complaints are only "minor drivability concerns?" If so, explain.
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February 17, 2010; 12:26 PM ET
Categories: Corporations , The Ticker | Tags: Akio Toyoda, Darrell Issa, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Prius, Toyota recall update, toyota, toyota recall model and years
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