Volkswagen of America CEO Michael Horn testified to a congressional committee Thursday that he wasn’t aware until last month of the illegal “defeat device” installed on nearly 500,000 cars in the U.S. — approximately 11 million worldwide — and that the car company could take several years to fix its cars.
Horn testified in front of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce’s subcommittee for oversight and investigations for more than two hours.
“I would like to offer a sincere apology for Volkswagen’s use of a software program that served to defeat the regular emissions testing regime,” Horn said in a prepared response before answering questions from representatives.
Japanese reaction to the kabuki dance is muted. From the Asahi Shimbun to the Mainichi Shimbun, all papers refrain from any criticism of either side. Except for the occasional “Japan-bashing” comments by readers, officially everybody is carefully sidestepping that trap. Just as Toyoda did during yesterday’s grilling on the hill, when he said that Toyota is being treated fairly in the U.S., contrary to what his wrenching gut said.
Japan’s transport minister Seiji Maehara was likewise diplomatic. He said Thursday he is satisfied with the testimony, reports the The Nikkei [sub]: “As a Japanese and U.S. company, I hope Toyota will ensure accountability and will make efforts to regain the trust of customers.” (Read More…)
This was a rough night and day for Akio Toyoda, chief of the fishtailing Toyota. At around midnight, Tokyo time, the news reached Toyoda-sama that the Honorable Edolphus Towns (D., N.Y.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had formally invited him for a visit on the hill.
This had followed a Japanese version of the “he loves me – he loves me not – he loves me.” It was made even more interesting by the botanical truism that the cherry blossom only has five petals to pick. Here, the chronicle of the deflowering … (Read More…)