I’ve been a little less than satisfied with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) responses in recent months to these recalls. It’s almost as if the agency and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wanted to look the other way as Toyota officials fixed the company’s problems on their own, hoping the issue would quickly dissipate from the national conversation. Yet the longer drivers waited for their Corollas to be repaired, the more we learned of other problems along the manufacturer’s complete line of autos. 

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda will testify before a congressional oversight panel today, prepared to take full responsibility for any safety problems in his company’s vehicles. His group’s president said as much yesterday, and the company has been in full damage control for weeks now, trying to reassure drivers their cars are safe to be on the road.

But they’re not safe. And no amount of elevator music and soothing announcer-talk can mitigate those realities. People are dying! Which only leads me to believe there’s full-scale corruption at Toyota, where profits trump safety, and cutting corners means the company stays on top. That’s a false claim of auto hegemony, and Toyoda himself should be ashamed.

Williams can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Power 169 from 9 to 10 p.m. and from 5 to 6 a.m.

Visit www.armstrongwilliams.com.