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Calls Increase for Toyota Head to Testify at Congressional Hearing

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A U.S. Congressman has suggested issuing a subpoena for the head of Toyota when he visits the U.S. in March. Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government committee, recently wrote to the committee’s chair suggesting the subpoena as a way to compel Akio Toyoda to answer the panel’s questions about Toyota’s recent safety problems and recalls.

“Whether it is for a microprocessor engineer or the top executive, we have a duty to determine what Toyota knew, when they knew it and if they met their full obligation of disclosure to U.S. regulators and the American people,” the letter said.

As anyone who follows this blog knows, its been a rough few months for Toyota. The car maker has recalled millions cars – including its popular Prius Hybrid – for problems involving sudden acceleration and faulty brakes.

Toyoda – grandson of Toyota’s founder – has already apologized twice for the company’s failures, and promised to strengthen quality control efforts at Toyota. During his visit, Toyoda plans to meet U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and major lawmakers and will also hold a news conference as part of his trip, Reuters said. But the Toyota will not say if Toyoda will agree to testify before any congressional committees.

Issa has invited Toyoda to testify at hearings scheduled for February 24 and 25th, as March 2nd. Issa also offered to schedule another session if Toyoda was unable to attend any of those hearings.

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