Under Fire, Toyota President Apologizes for Safety Missteps

BY Anna Shoup  February 24, 2010 at 3:52 PM EDT

The president of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, arrived Wednesday on Capitol Hill and took “full responsibility” for the safety lapses that forced the recall of millions of vehicles in the U.S.

“My name is on every car,” Toyoda said in opening remarks to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “You have my personal commitment that Toyota will work vigorously and unceasingly to restore the trust of our customers,” he said.

Toyoda was peppered with questions from lawmakers on safety, engineering and consumer practices. According to the Associated Press, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said it was a “very embarrassing day” for Toyota and for U.S. highway safety regulators.

And Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., told the Toyota chief, “It’s one thing to say you’re sorry. It’s another when it seems as if time after time there are pronouncements that problems are being addressed and over and over again it seems like they’re not being addressed,” according to the AP.

Watch Toyoda’s opening statement:

Transporation Secretary Ray LaHood also testified Wednesday at the House hearing, answering questions on U.S. regulators’ role in the safety crisis.

Tune in to Wednesday’s NewsHour for a newsmaker interview with Secretary LaHood.

*For the record, Toyota is a NewsHour underwriter.