Toyota president asks for co-op to overcome crisis

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Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda on Friday called for calm and cooperation from the company' s employees and partners amid a recall crisis that has sent millions of the firm's models worldwide back to dealerships for repairs.

Speaking at Toyota's head office in Aichi Prefecture, Toyoda expressed his hope that the company would overcome its problems through working together. Around 2,000 people from dealerships, parts manufacturers and Toyota factories were present at the meeting.

Toyota Motor North America Inc. President Yoshimi Inaba and Toyota Motor Sales North America Inc. President Jim Lentz were also present at the meeting.

"We have many problems to overcome but I believe we can get over this difficult situation," Toyoda said. "Let us join hands and work together to regain our customers' confidence," Toyoda said.

At issue is a crisis in confidence in the Japanese automaker after faults with the accelerators and brake pedals worldwide have led to the recall of millions of vehicles and a public relations disaster.

Toyoda appeared in Washington in February to explain to U.S. lawmakers what the company will be doing to ensure the safety of its vehicles, and after that he traveled to Beijing to try to reassure Chinese consumers that the company's reputation for quality was guaranteed.

The Friday event was the first time Toyoda has spoken at a large gathering of its employees and partners in Japan about the recall issue.

Toyota's problems in the United States appear to be far from over. On Wednesday, it emerged that more than 60 people had complained of experiencing sudden acceleration in Toyota cars after the vehicles had been taken for repair as part of the recall.

In China, Toyota has started a new promotion to encourage people to buy its cars because of declining sales, in part due to the recall and fears about safety.

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