Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda was already getting ready to “visit the United States over massive recalls of its vehicles,” reported the Nikkei [sub]. Japan’s transport minister Seiji Maehara told U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos that Toyoda would be dispatched to DC. There, he would be ready to “explain the recall problems to the U.S. Congress if asked.”
In a later report, the Nikkei said Toyoda’s trip has been pushed back “to early March.” Toyoda was ready to leave “Japan for Washington as early as Wednesday, but the heavy snowfall in the U.S. capital city ended up delaying those plans. The U.S. House of Representatives has scheduled committee hearings on Toyota’s problems for Feb. 24 and 25, while the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing March 2.”
So far, Yoshimi Inaba, president of Toyota Motor North America, was supposed to appear at the hearings. Today, Representative Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Oversight Committee, said he’s e is inviting Akio Toyoda to meet members of Congress. Issa also said he is urging his committee’s chairman to invite Toyoda to the February 24 meeting.
Most think that Inaba would be the better witness, but both governments apparently think it’s more appropriate to send the boss himself.