Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Tough Times for Toyota
Akio Toyoda was in front of a congressional hearing panel today doing his best to defend his company, Toyota. Sadly, things are not looking so good right now for them. Mr. Toyoda claimed that the company would release its findings after an investigation into the 38 complaints of unintended acceleration in the last 3 years. Yoshimi Inaba, the North American CEO, was present as well. He reassured the panel that the acceleration issues were not due to computer or electrical issues. This is quite the opposite from what James Lentz, the American president of the company said on Tuesday. He claimed the solutions may "not totally" solve the issues. He also claimed that the acceleration issues may very well be due to electrical issues. Either way, the effect of this hearing on the company's standings will be harsh. Earlier I claimed that it would take more to topple Toyota's standing in the auto industry. It seems this problem is bigger than I anticipated. Other Asian automakers are trying to jump into what they perceive as a market opening. In general, all Toyota offered was the usual corporate comfort talk, and in the process, contradicted themselves a few times. Hopefully, the findings of their investigation will bring better news for the company.