Washington Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda apologized personally and repeatedly Wednesday to the United States and millions of American Toyota owners for safety lapses that have led to deaths and widespread recalls. Unimpressed lawmakers blistered the world’s largest automaker with accusations of greed and insensitivity.
“I’m deeply sorry for any accident that Toyota drivers have experienced,” Toyoda told Congress. He suggested his company’s “priorities became confused” in a quest for growth at the expense of safety concerns.
Lawmakers read accounts of customers experiencing unintended acceleration in their Toyotas and being blamed or ignored by the company.
Toyota has recalled 8.5 million vehicles.
The company said Wednesday it will offer free at-home pickup of vehicles covered by the recall, pay for customers’ out-of-pocket transportation costs and provide rental cars during repairs. The deal was initially announced as part of an agreement between Toyota and New York state.