Toyota CEO invited to testify

The chairman and ranking members of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee have formally invited the CEO of Toyota to testify next week.

The invitation comes after CEO Akio Toyoda turned down a previous request to appear at a hearing this week on Toyota's mounting recalls.

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"There appears to be growing public confusion regarding which vehicles may be affected and how people should respond," Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) wrote to Toyoda. "In short, the public is unsure as to what exactly the problem is, whether it is safe to drive their cars, or what they should do about it. To help clarify this situation, I am inviting you to testify."

Towns and ranking members Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) had expressed frustration at Toyoda's reluctance to appear before their committee. Issa said he hopes today's invitation will convince Toyoda to appear.

"Earlier this week, Mr. Toyoda signaled that if formally invited, he would be willing to appear before the Congress to answer questions about Toyota’s response to his company’s relationship with U.S. regulator,” said Issa.  “He’s now received letters of invitation from both myself and Chairman Towns, I would assume that qualifies as a ‘formal invitation’ and both the Congress and the American people look forward to hearing from him personally next week."

The hearing, scheduled for the 24th, will focus on problems with Toyota's gas pedals.

Though Towns and Issa haven't explicitly threatened a subpoena, it seems likely they would issue one if Toyoda does not accept to today's letter.


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