Toyota CEO apologizes to Chinese consumers

By Maverick Chen
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, March 1, 2010
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Akio Toyoda, the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, held a press conference in Beijing at 6 pm local time today, to “reiterate Toyota’s promises of quality and safety to Chinese consumers.”

Akio Toyoda apologized to Chinese consumers in a press conference  

Akio Toyoda apologized to Chinese consumers at a press conference

Toyoda apologized for the sensational quality defects found in gas pedal and brake systems that have caused 75 thousand RAV4 models to be recalled on the Chinese mainland. But he reassured consumers that the Prius, and Lexus (hybrid power type) use different braking systems and are not on the recall list.

Toyoda promised not to hide any facts from the public regarding the problems, and said "the safety of our customers" is his first priority. Besides listening to local consumers and initiating the recall, Toyoda said his top priority is to prevent similar problems from happening again.

Toyoda said the company’s recent quality issues in China and north America were related to its high-speed development over recent years. "Employee training and the growth of the enterprise failed to keep pace with our rising sales, and that was the major cause of the quality problem", Toyoda said, "Every Toyota vehicle bears my family name and it is my personal responsibility to ensure quality and continuous improvement."

"I want to express my personal regret and apology to Chinese customers; and I hope through my efforts, Chinese customers will take comfort," Toyoda said, explaining why he came directly to China to hold this briefing immediately after attending hearings in the US on February 24.

Analysts said the speed with which Toyada moved to apologize in to Chinese consumers reflects the growing importance of the Chinese market to car manufacturers.

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