“I deeply regret that I caused concern among so many people,” Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation, said at a news conference on Friday. “We will do our utmost to regain the trust of our customers.”
He also pledged that the Japanese automaker would soon announce steps to address brake problems on the 2010 Prius.
Akio Toyoda, grandson of Toyota’s founder, spoke in his first formal remarks since the uproar enveloping his company, the world’s largest automaker, and took personal responsibility for the problems.
The company’s stock has dropped about 20 percent in the last two weeks.
Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple and a Toyota Prius owner, has suggested that the “unintended acceleration” problems affecting Toyota’s cars may be caused by faulty software.
The comments, from one of the most respected figures in computer technology, will heap more pressure on the manufacturer, which is fighting to defend its reputation for reliability.
As Toyota tries to resolve issues with “sticky” accelerator pedals, The Times has learnt that the company is also conducting an internal investigation into alleged problems with the brake systems on the Prius.
Under direct instructions from the Japanese Land and Transport Ministry, Toyota is examining 13 instances since December 2009 where the brakes have failed on new Priuses sold in Japan and the United States.
Mr Wozniak stressed his love for the Prius and later downplayed his remarks, but his observations about the electronics could increase concerns that Toyota has failed to recognise the true extent of what has gone wrong.
Source: Times Online