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Top committee Republican calls for Toyota CEO to testify to Congress

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Top committee Republican calls for Toyota CEO to testify to Congress

02/10/2010, 2:37 PMBY MARK KLEIS

After the recent announcement by Congress to postpone the two Toyota congressional hearings due to the impending snowstorm, Darrell Issa, the top Republican from one of the committees holding the hearings, has called for Toyota’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, to personally testify at the hearings. Issa is the Ranking Member overseeing the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Issa’s request comes after Toyoda told members of the media in Japan that he would like to personally come to the U.S. to speak to those affected by the wave of Toyota safety recalls.

“It seems as if the delay due to the snowstorm has given us an opportunity to add to this hearing and provide a forum for both Mr. Toyoda and lawmakers to have an open exchange in front of the American people,” Issa said. “This has to be a fact-based hearing, and we may have an opportunity to hear directly from someone who I am sure is eager to communicate with both Congress and the public.”

Issa also spoke in regards to the recent allegations that Toyota may have utilized ties to NHTSA via a former employee to make potentially illegal arrangements in regards to investigations over unintended acceleration instances.

“Given the number of outstanding questions surrounding Toyota’s relationship with U.S. regulators and in the best interests of moving forward, I’d like to help facilitate a dialogue between Mr. Toyoda and lawmakers from both parties and both chambers,” said Issa.

Earlier this week the Washington Post ran an opinion piece written by Toyoda in which he said he takes “personal responsibility” for the wave of recalls currently engrossing the automaker. In addition to taking responsibility for the problems, Toyoda vowed to increase quality controls at Toyota by establishing a special quality advisory panel, in addition to conducting a “top to bottom” review of operations, according to Detroit News.

Neither Toyota or Toyoda have directly responded to Issa’s request for the CEO’s presence at the hearings now scheduled for February 24th.



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