Toyota Chief Breaks Silence, Apologizes for Recalls

Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio ToyodaToyota Motor Corp. (TM) President Akio Toyoda finally broke his silence as the Japanese automaker struggles with massive recalls and serious damage to its reputation. At a Friday news conference, Toyoda, apologized to customers for recalls involving some of its most popular models."We are facing a crisis," he said. "Many customers are wondering whether their cars are OK."

Toyoda, the grandson of Toyota's founder, took the helm of the company last year to help energize sales as automakers worldwide suffered from a global sales slump in the wake of the worst economic crisis in decades.

The recall involving "sticky" gas pedals, which has affected about 8 million vehicles, has already taken a toll on sales results. In January, when the recall was announced, Toyota's sales slumped 16%, giving a leg up to U.S. rivals Ford (F) and GM. The sales hit may likely continue in the near term as customers remained unnerved by issues with Toyota's best-selling cars.

For those who already own a recalled Toyota vehicle, the company announced Friday that dealers nationwide have received the parts, information and training they need to fix accelerator pedals in recalled vehicles, and that repairs, which take about 30 minutes, have already begun.

"Nothing is more important to us than the safety and reliability of the vehicles our customers drive, and we are determined to live up to the high standards people have come to expect from Toyota over the past 50 years," said Jim Lentz, president and Chief Operating Officer, TMS.

There is no word yet on what measures the company will take to address brake issues with 2010 Prius models, but the company has reportedly considered a recall.

Full List of Recalled Toyota Vehicles
  • Certain 2009-2010 RAV4
  • Certain 2009-2010 Corolla
  • 2009-2010 Matrix
  • 2005-2010 Avalon
  • Certain 2007-2010 Camry
  • Certain 2010 Highlander
  • 2007-2010 Tundra
  • 2008-2010 Sequoia
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