Company growth to blame for recalls, says Toyota president


Toyota's president has admitted that aggressive growth was probably to blame for the technical problems which led to the firm's unprecedented global recalls.

Akio Toyoda will tell the US government's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that the manufacturer had prioritised swift expansion over safety, and apologised for any accidents that Toyota drivers had suffered as a result.

In prepared testimony, Toyoda said: "Toyota has, for the past few years, been expanding its business rapidly. Quite frankly, I fear the pace at which we have grown may have been too quick.

"I would like to point out here that Toyota's priority has traditionally been the following: First; Safety, Second; Quality, and Third; Volume. These priorities became confused."

He added: "We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization, and we should sincerely be mindful of that. I regret that this has resulted in the safety issues described in the recalls we face today, and I am deeply sorry for any accidents that Toyota drivers have experienced."

The US politicians that sit on the House Committee are expected to subject Toyota's president to some tough questions as they probe the events which led up to the international recall of 8.5 million cars due to faulty accelerator pedals and braking issues on hybrid models.

The frank apology comes after Toyoda was criticised by Japanese media for not bowing deeply enough at a news conference arranged for him to publically apologise for Toyota's technical problems.