Akio Toyoda to speak on Toyota quality woes

Akio Toyoda to speak on Toyota quality woes  
Filed under:
on 02/05/2010

Source: Yahoo News

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda will speak about quality control Friday in his first and long awaited news conference since the automaker issued massive global recalls last month, AP reports.

Toyota Motor Corp. said Toyoda and Shinichi Sasaki, the executive overseeing quality, will speak to reporters at the automaker's Nagoya office Friday evening.

Other details were not immediately available.

Criticism has been growing that Toyoda, grandson of the company's founder, has largely been invisible amid the automaker's worst crisis since it was founded.

He appeared in a brief impromptu interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK, when approached as he was leaving a hotel in Switzerland last week. He said he was sorry for the worries he had caused customers and insisted that Toyota cars were safe.

Toyota officials have been bombarded with questions from reporters about Toyoda's whereabouts.

Toyota said this week it is considering a recall in the U.S. and Japan for its Prius gas-electric hybrid, which has been plagued with braking problems.

Nearly 200 complaints have been reported in the U.S. and Japan over such problems. Toyota said on Thursday it was a problem with the antilock brake system.

The problems with the Prius, Toyota's flagship model, follow a global recall announced Jan. 21 for 4.5 million vehicles with gas pedal problems that stick and can cause sudden acceleration.

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