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Toyota’s Big Apology

Posted on Feb 23, 2010
AP / Itsuo Inouye

Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda reacts during a news conference in Nagoya, Japan, earlier this month.

Amid major setbacks leading to massive recalls related to unintended acceleration, faulty brakes and other mechanical calamities, Toyota is shifting into damage control mode. On Tuesday, the Japanese carmaker’s president, Akio Toyoda, made a personal apology before the U.S. Congress, admitting that his company got ahead of itself, prioritizing growth over quality control.  —KA


“All the Toyota vehicles bear my name. For me, when the cars are damaged, it is as though I am as well. I, more than anyone wish for Toyota’s cars to be safe, and for our customers to feel safe when they use our vehicles.”

And he added: “We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organisation and we should be sincerely mindful of that.”

Mr Toyoda also made a personal apology to the family of Mark Saylor, a California highway patrol officer killed along with his wife, daughter and brother-in-law in a crash that led to renewed US government scrutiny of problems with acceleration in some models.

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EJH's avatar

By EJH, February 24, 2010 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

tommy_slothrop - You make a very good point.  Regarding
timing, it is also awfully convenient to have Japanese
companies to trash right now when so many American
companies would like to have their ugly headlines moved
off the front pages.

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By tommy_slothrop, February 24, 2010 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

I wonder if there is any chance that Toyota and Honda are having very well publicized quality-control problems here in the U.S. has anything to do with the fact that the Japanese have recently elected a government that has hinted that it wants the U.S. to remove its military bases.  This might be the U.S. military-industrial complex’s subtle way of reminding them that they can make their lives very difficult.

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By Lil Poot, February 24, 2010 at 10:28 am Link to this comment


Allow me to add some facts to your comments about American workers.

1. Toyota’s Prius is built in Japan.

2. The accelerator pedals involved in the recall were made to Toyota
specifications in Canada.

3. The Corolla, one of the best selling, highest quality cars in the world, is built
in the U.S.

4. Once again, Toyota was on Consumer Reports list of most reliable cars,
including the ones built in the U.S.

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By msgmi, February 24, 2010 at 9:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At least the Toyota kahuna apologized unlike Ollie North, the tobacco tycoons and baseball players who were in constant denial.

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By Robert Mitchell, February 24, 2010 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Toyota doesn’t get it. If they knew their history, Toyota would follow the examples of Ford and GM. That being denial,denial,denial as GM did with the Corvair until Nader came out with “Unsafe at Any Speed” and enlightened the public as to the design flaws of the vehicle. Ford developed the Pinto and set their acuaries to determine the cost of a life of a burned victim in comparison to actually recalling and fixing the gas tank problems. How about Fords Explorers that would tip over because of a top heavy design with inadequate suspension? Hell the son of a bitch could tip overand kill you while sitting in your garage. What about Fords practice of under inflating tires which caused blowouts and then sticking the damage on the tire company. Or Fords cruise controls that would catch on fire while sitting in your garage over night. This was a good one because not only did it destroy the vehicle it would destroy the victim and the victims home. Toyota needs to learn that the game is profits at any price. Screw the public and when you finally go bankrupt from your evil business practices our government will bail them out and blame everything on those evil workers.

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By bachu, February 24, 2010 at 1:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Instead of apologizing to nobody in particular Toyoda should have faked a suicide attempt as a good faith gesture of contrition.

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By LemuelG, February 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment

Ha ha! What’s he apologizing for? Being dumb enough to think they could build cars using American labour that weren’t death-traps?

The outright crappiness of US-assembled cars is an international joke, and has been for decades; and lo - the problems with Toyotas are solely concentrated in the USA…

I guess the demise of the great American auto-companies didn’t mean that American auto-workers would stop assembling killer-cars! (or destroying the reputation of one of the world’s finest car-makers)

Watch Toyota take their operations to Mexico (those which aren’t there already), and leave thousands more out of work.

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By gerard, February 23, 2010 at 4:16 pm Link to this comment

Apologies from Mr. Toyoda are all very well, but what I want to hear before I die is apologies from all those Wall Street financiers and bankers who have driven the American economy into a huge ditch. As a result of their utter blind disregard, tens of thousands of people have no jobs, have lost their homes, can’t pay their medical expenses.  Tens of thousands of kids can’t get a decent education. Thousands are growing up drinking polluted water, eating polluted food, breathing polluted air.  And those who dare to criticize or complain are either ignored or forcibly shushed. Where has all the fairness gone, long time passing?

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EJH's avatar

By EJH, February 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

skulz fontaine - Why the hell should he do that?  Do
you really believe the man deserves to die or is your
hateful post just another example typical anti-Japanese

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skulz fontaine's avatar

By skulz fontaine, February 23, 2010 at 11:45 am Link to this comment

Akio Toyoda should do the right thing here. Ritual seppuku. In public, on live
television, and for all the world to see.

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