Toyoda: 'We Pursued Growth' Over Safety

Toyota CEO is 'deeply sorry' for accidents that may have killed 39
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2010 1:25 PM CST
Toyota President and Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is on Capitol Hill today to make amends for the safety issues that have plagued his company’s cars and are tied to 39 traffic fatalities. Toyoda told the House Oversight Committee that the automaker’s priorities had become confused. “We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization,” he said. “I regret that this has resulted in the safety issues described.”

Toyoda also said he is “deeply sorry for any accidents that Toyota drivers have experienced.” Feisty congressmen made sure to hammer home the scope of the problem, the AP reports. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “failed the taxpayers and Toyota failed their customers,” said Rep. Edolphus Towns, before comparing the death toll unfavorably to the 27 people killed by exploding Pinto gas tanks in the 1970s. Of Toyoda’s apology, another said “he’s going to have to say more than that.”

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