February 24, 2010

Toyota president before Congress today, on LKL tonight!!

Posted: 07:29 PM ET

NOTE:  Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda testified on Capitol Hill today, and will be our EXCLUSIVE guest tonight!!  What do you want to hear from Mr. Toyoda?? Let us know NOW!!

Filed under: Larry King Live

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A. Smith, Oregon   February 24th, 2010 7:49 pm ET

Toyota makes one of the finest lines of automobiles in the world. It really smacks of nationalism on bashing Toyota on these recall inquisitions. No politician is going to tell the public they are not going to rest until all GM cars are safe. Millions of American's drive Toyota's everyday in America.

The women before Congress telling Toyota shame on you, relates during her testimony that she called her husband on her cell phone while her vehicle was accelerating out of control. She stated she tried to shift it into neutral. I've never seen any Toyota that wasn't able to immediately shift into Neutral no matter what else was going on.

Did that woman Simply Jump on the Brakes? NO
Did that woman Simply turn off the ignition? NO

I suspect that woman's claim is entirely bogus and is just seeking a large monetary settlement with Toyota!

Its really crass for Congress and News Media bashing Toyota for lobbyists working for them and NOT pointing out every single American automaker also has in place massive lobbying efforts of their own.

Its really crass for any News Media anchor to continuously ask his guests, 'Are Toyota vehicles safe to drive'? Yes they answer. 15 minutes later the same News anchor asks the same question to another panel. Yes Toyota vehicles are safe to drive he is told. It seems like the news Anchor is attempting to portray the opposite by continuously asking the question which each guest has repeatedly answered, 'Yes, Toyota vehicles are safe to drive'.

Isaac B   February 24th, 2010 9:52 pm ET

Hi Larry, could you please ask Mr. Toyoda to
Please take a closer look at all Toyota complaints. Toyota/Lexus has a serious molds and bacteria problem in the air conditioner.People are getting sick! The smell everybody is complaining about is a chemical cocktail. Our solders from Vietnam are very familiar with the toxic effects of Mold & Bacteria

Scott Moshier   February 24th, 2010 10:10 pm ET

As someone living in the southeastern United States, I am very greatfull for the jobs Toyota has brought to out community. Mr.Toyota apologized and faced music. They are taking steps to correct these problems. If this were the President of GM having to testify before Japanese officials, would we expect him to be treated this way. Toyota has produced a quality product at an affordable price. I believe this is a political opportunity to kick someone while they are down.

Nancy   February 24th, 2010 10:10 pm ET

We have owned Toyota's for many years. We will continue to buy Toyota.
This is an unfortunate time for the company but we have every confidence Toyota will overcome.

kim Wilson   February 24th, 2010 10:14 pm ET

Thank you Mr. Toyota for not closing your car plant in the USA when our economy collapsed. Thank you for exporting the cars to Saudi Arabia instead. We need all the help we can get with our exports. Your company is important to our economy and I hope this gets resolved soon.

Anh   February 24th, 2010 10:16 pm ET

My family and I have only ever driven Toyotas/Lexus. Each of our vehicles have lasted more than a decade. The current issues are very unfortunate; however consumers should not be discouraged from driving or purchasing them. I plan on buying another one as soon as everything is resolved.

~ Anh of Orange County, CA

Diane   February 24th, 2010 10:22 pm ET

How is it that TOYOTA was not able to recreate the acceleration problem but Prof. Dave Gilbert was able to recreate the problem AND show that the onboard computer did not record any electronic problem. Larry...SHOW HIM THE VIDEO ! I'd love to hear his response!

Theresa   February 24th, 2010 10:47 pm ET

@A,Smith–just because you haven't seen something doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Why are people so upset because Toyota's presently have problems. The biggest concern should be that the problems get fixed If you had a relative or even yourself that had a problem with a Toyota product & it either was ignored by the co. or a lame reason for it were given yoou would be upset. God forbid if someone was killed don't tell me you wouldn't be upset. These vehicles are only machines-why do Toyota owners get soo defensive if someone criticizes the co. & always has to drag insults about the big 3 into every conversation. Toyota messed & needs to find a solution . Case closed. That's all!!

Shawn   February 24th, 2010 10:48 pm ET

I own a Toyota, and I have never had any problems. When I need to purchase again, it will be a Toyota. American cars I've owned prior "problems."

Theresa   February 24th, 2010 10:53 pm ET

@Kim Wilson-so,it doesn't matter if the product Toyota is producing is defective –you're only thankful because there's employment. It doesn't matter that presently there is a problem that a solution hasn't been found as long as there's employment. I'd rather have wvehicles functioning properly & have employment. People should be saying Mr. Toyoda when will you find the solution instead of bending over with gratitude for a faulty product.

Deb   February 24th, 2010 11:54 pm ET

I own a Toyota, but it is not on the recall list. I have had one minor problem with it in 19,000 miles, but I still worry about it becoming possessed on the freeway one of these days. Just because it is not on the current recall list, does not mean anything.

Mr. Toyoda, who I believe is a very sincere person, said their engineers cannot find a problem with the electronics, nor were they aware of the specific problems in the U.S. There must be a communication gap between the U.S. Toyota dealerships and the Japanese Toyata headquarters.

I hope the engineers can get their hands on the cars where electronics issues were suspected (from the crashes) and also get together with Dr. Gilbert to get to the bottom of the problem ASAP.

Dan McNeil   February 25th, 2010 1:16 am ET

Mr. Toyoda,

Owning a 2003 Lexus ES300 with have 55,000 miles. How can I be assured that for the next 50,000 to 75,000 mile will not have the rapid unintended throttle sudden acceleration. Without the safety features of brake override systems.


Pat   February 25th, 2010 1:19 am ET

Please apologize for the treatment Mr. Toyoda recieved from the self aggrandizing, inept politicians today and thank him for personally attempting to deal with this issue. America's econmy is struggling and pur politicians are unable to accomplish anything of value so instead they lash out at the head of a large provider of American jobs. What happend today was a disgusting and yet another failure of out government to spend thier time on something of value.

A. Smith, Oregon   February 25th, 2010 1:59 am ET

@ Theresa, the breaking power on 4 disk brakes greatly exceeds the maximum power any of Toyota's vehicle is capable of producing. You stomp on the brakes and you'll immediately slow down and stop even if the engine is wide open.

Whatever imagined or rare a throttle issue is with any Toyota vehicle, it would have no effect whatsoever with the vehicles transmission. The driver would always be able to quickly place that vehicle in NEUTRAL.

Drivers 'claiming' their throttles were wide open and were unable to place the transmission into NEUTRAL are either LYING or not willing to state they were not aware of a need to do that and didn't even try.

John Koulouris   February 25th, 2010 2:40 am ET

Regarding the U.S. fiasco, that of which is to criticize Akio Toyoda and the Toyota Motor Corporation, which is an intentional campaign sponsored by U.S. Market interests to downgrade the quality of foreign manufacturers. First and foremost, let me remind you that trying to decive the world population that the U.S. market has better to offer than foreign markets is a huge deception to steal the markets of foreign based manufacturers and firms, which the U.S. has lost a competitive edge over the last decade or so, thatnks to the U.S. governments foreign and domestic policies, which in turn have robbed the U.S. citizen's rights and hard earned working taxes, because of the illegally operated and undemocratic actions of the U.S. Congress and their paying buddies the Federal Reserve. First it was Iraq and weapons of Mass destruction, then it was Osama Bin Laden and Terrorists, and now it is Toyota Motor Corporation.
Want some good advice.... Why don't you start being smart and clean up your 52 Trillion Dollar U.S. Debt, and remind yourselves that should the Germans, Chinese and Japanese decide to lend the U.S. any capitol to run your country, you'll find yourselves living in the Dark Ages.
The U.S. Hardworking Citizens diserve better than what they have been receiving as of the last 40 years from their elected officials and the crooks at the Federal Reserve and Wall Street.

matthew   February 25th, 2010 4:10 am ET

oh my i made out some of the words mr toyota was saying in his language its an insulte be carefull hes trying to trick and play a game do not allow any interepretors they do not have the proper translation remeber that for these other coutries to

matthew   February 25th, 2010 4:18 am ET

boy mr toyota is playing a game used inapropriate language

matthew   February 25th, 2010 4:21 am ET

you may have to get rid of mr toyota that foreign language they think they can fool me ha remeber that for these other countries

matthew   February 25th, 2010 4:26 am ET

get rid of him he said a threat

Rick Acosta   February 25th, 2010 4:37 am ET

Why wont toyota upgrade the software of the of the recalled vechicles with the antibrake lock system to wim coustomer confidence, or do we wait for someone else to be killed ? its alot cheeper to do the upgrade its only software, I paid over 40,000.00 for my 2008 Tundra limited crew cab, which i am not driving because i don't believe it is safe.

Theresa   February 25th, 2010 9:48 am ET

@ASmith-–this occurrence happened to a friend of mine 4-5 yr. ago. She was driving needing to slow down then eventually stop. Instead of slowing down it accelerated. She attempted to put it into neutral but it wouldn't go. Al the while both feet are on the brakes. She eventually veered to the shoulder & bumped into something –I can't remember what it was. No, it wasn't a person or another vehicle. Yes,she was driving a Toyota product. She @ that time was informed it was the cruise control. All I'm sayingis-why can't the diehards actually admit Toyota could be @ fault. One person dying because of a faulty product is 1 too many. Toyota is only a business-because he's Japanese does that mean profit is not of prime concern to him. Maybe when his grandfather was the owner & CEO product safety was the main concern. But when his grandson took over that wasn't the same goal. There is always a margin for error. What makes Toyota so special that they could never make a mistake? I'm very glad all the Toyota owners who have never had a problem love their product. What I don't understand is if a person is unlucky enough to have a defective product-you infer they are @ fault–they'r either lieing or do not know how to drive? You must live in a black & white world with no shades of gray!

vinita   February 25th, 2010 3:06 pm ET

No, I would not buy a Toyota. I have always had a GM car and have been very satisfied with my cars. We have one Lexus as well. All you are paying for is the the name Lexus. I remembers how lawmakers bashed the American car companies when they neede bailout and were accused of not making good products. Why is media not bashing Toyota like they bashed all American companies?

A. Smith, Oregon   February 25th, 2010 4:29 pm ET

@ Theresa, the cruise control automatically disconnects the moment you tap on the brakes. Brakes on = cruise control OFF.

The cruise control is totally independent of the transmission, the person would still be able to shift the vehicle into Neutral.

A driver can also in a emergency shift the auto transmission into Reverse which immediately STOPS the vehicle, although I do not advise anyone trying that as it often harms the transmission.

A driver can also shift the auto transmission into Low which immediately lowers the top speed of the vehicle helping the driver to slow down that much faster thru braking.

GM vehicles are trash, I am spoiled by the excellence and the dozens of extra features in my Toyotas that are never found in GM, Chevy, Ford automobiles. I've previously owned 6 Chevy's (bare features, poor paint, interiors are lacking), 1 Dodge (transmissions were weak and replaced twice), 1 Ford (nice but few features and under powered).

I'm on my 4th. Toyota now, they make terrific cars and 4-Runners. No problems whatsoever. I've towed and jumped many broken American cars and trucks.

Theresa   February 25th, 2010 5:01 pm ET

@A,Smith–I don't care if th e cruise control was off–my friend still couldn't get her car to stop.It only wanted to accelerate. I'm glad you enjoy your vehicle. I.m not saying they're not good cars, all I'm saying is there is a problem & they need to get it fixed –that's all. I've always had success with Chrysler/ Dodge & Ford. That doesn't mean if I won a lottery I might try another make. Toyota informed my friend that is was the cruise control that was the problem. Maybe it was something else & that's the excuse they gavehr. As I've said before-Toyota is a business & we all know their main goal (all Businesses )is profit & if you cancut corners without the public knowing they ALL will do it. Toyota reminds me how Tiger's fans react-both have been put on a pedestal by the public & refuse to accept they both have imperfections. That's all!

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 5:27 pm ET


One word.....MALFUNCTION'S...

Seattle,WA   February 25th, 2010 5:39 pm ET

Larry had some very compelling questions that we all were thinking. I appreciate someone to tackle the issue head on. However, I also think that it was fairly rude to bring up Mr.Toyoda's family. Larry asked whether or not his grandfather (or was it father?) would be disappointed. To us in the United States it would be acceptable to ask a question such as that because we care about what the person is thinking. In the Japanese culture, to bring up a question such as that is almost insulting. The family name must be held in honor and to admit to diminishing your family name in public is incredibly humiliating. It is one thing to admit to messing up in the business aspect but to mess up regarding your family name is a whole other level. LKL is still a very fun show to watch and I will still watch it regardless of this intercultural misunderstanding 🙂

A. Smith, Oregon   February 25th, 2010 5:45 pm ET

There is no electronics on any Toyota auto nor truck that tells the automatic transmission to not be manually shifted into NEUTRAL.

There is absolutely no foundation thru electronics that would prevent anyone with their foot planted on the gas pedal from shifting that car or truck into neutral.

Folks are welcomed to try, you'll find that you can indeed always at any time the engine is running, manually shift the automatic transmission into NEUTRAL.

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 6:02 pm ET


Not everyone is of the caliber of expertise you possess. But the fact is there is MALFUNCTION"S CAUSING DEATH'S.

How people encountering those malfunction's is rather mute to the condition. isn't it?

Most aircraft accidents are determined to be PILOT ERROR. That is often an effect to a condition. The FAA does not ignore the cause of the EFFECT!

Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 6:07 pm ET



How people encountering those malfunction's REACT is rather mute to the condition, isn't it? The condition's exist and Toyota is liable, not that they are incompetent!

A. Smith, Oregon   February 25th, 2010 7:54 pm ET

@ Cajazz, people can claim anything including a malfunction with the gas pedal or sudden acceleration of their vehicle.

The people that were interviewed and also those posting of that problem here have stated 'they couldn't shift the car into NEUTRAL' and 'the brakes did not stop the car' and 'they couldn't turn the ignition key off'.

You have multiple unrelated malfunctions being claimed.

NONE have demonstrated that you cannot simply shift to NEUTRAL anytime the engine is running.

NONE have stated their brakes failed nor they suspected their brakes were inadequate prior to their claim.

NONE have demonstrated that you cannot simply turn the ignition key to accessory and kill the engine anytime the entire is running.

Allegations and claims made, what conditions are proven? Doesn't the driver have sole responsibility over the placement of the floor mats in their own vehicles?

Theresa   February 25th, 2010 8:35 pm ET

@A Smith–the floor mat theory is nothing but a JOKE-it didn't fix the problem!!!!

A. Smith, Oregon   February 25th, 2010 9:34 pm ET

@ Theresa, the Toyota recall was a shortened accelerator mechanism that brings the gas pedal further off the floor and out of the ten's of thousands of gas pedal mechanism replacements, how many of those same Toyota owners have since reported a problem?


Cajazz76:24:8   February 25th, 2010 10:41 pm ET


All your solution's are viable. At the time of the event the human condition often evolves with a characteristic know as PANIC. Without spelling it out in past posts, it exists, as apparent as the malfunction, but again I state reaction to the condition is mute, it's the condition as cause and not the effect. Any court in the world would agree. Toyota would be assessed guilty. I too have owned several Toyota vehicles. They were all efficient and were never recalled, but mistakes and failure's occur as unforeseen conditions. A reality of the human condition. Peace!

Ted   February 26th, 2010 9:57 am ET

Pro and contra, and not a person is ready to change its mind!
Sounds like our congress, sticking to their perhaps misguided beliefes.

Mercedes is considered as the best car, at least from its drivers. They are made well, however a great number of parts are manufactured by other firms, outside the control of the car company.
During the 1990s Daimler had to recall hundreds of thousands of their cars because of shoddy quality of part supplies by others.
The company identified and corrected the problems and Mercedes is still one of the best cars in the world.

Toyota produces cheaper cars, but in a much greater numbers.
If a certain component malfunctions, that is supplied by another company, it may not be easy to find the cause. You must go through thousands of items until you find the nasty one, because in most cases only a small number are defective. However, after identification ALL those must be replaced.

I am sure it is in Toyota´s interest to have this fixed in the shortest time and pay those who suffered losses.
However, it is well know all over the world that in our country people use all opportunities to sue someone in the hope of a large unearned settlement.
I remember a case, where a woman bought take out coffee, drove off and spilled it in her lap. She sued the coffeeshop and was awarded a few hundred thousands for her injuries.
Now, any halfway intelligent person knows that fresh coffee is hot and if you dump it in your lap than it is only your own stupidity and cannot blame those who made it. If I was the judge I would have thrown the case out.

If you drive a car it may malfunction, or you may not be able to control it, however the manufacturer will always be blamed.

Ted   February 26th, 2010 10:02 am ET

By the way, I never owned or driven a Toyota, I signed up with BMW many years ago, so I have no vested interest to defend the company.

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