Japanese minister to discuss Toyota's recall with U.S. counterpart

14:25, April 27, 2010      

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Seiji Maehara, Japan's Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, said Tuesday he plans to hold talks with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood about Toyota's recent recalls.

Maehara, scheduled to visit the U.S. from Thursday to Saturday, said at a news conference he is confident the beleaguered automaker's recall problems will not adversely affect the two nations' bilateral alliance or economic relationship.

Japan's transport minister added that he plans to trumpet the virtues of Toyota's business in the U.S., including the positive impact vehicle production has had on the U.S. economy.

In the wake of global recalls of more than 8 million vehicles, over problems connected to unwanted acceleration, braking and floor mats, Toyota has actively tried to push a "safety first" message to repair its tarnished public image.

However, earlier this month Toyota agreed to pay a 16.4 million U.S. dollar fine for hiding, for at least four months, accelerator pedal defects blamed in more than 50 deaths in the U.S.

"Toyota failed to live up to its legal obligations," said LaHood at a recent news conference.

"Worse yet, they knowingly hid a dangerous defect for months from U.S. officials, and did not take action to protect millions of drivers and their families."

Additionally, Toyota has recently widened a recall of two sports utility vehicles -- the Lexus GX 460 and some models of the Land Cruiser Prado -- to 34,000 units worldwide to reduce the risk of potential rollover accidents when cornering at high speeds.

Source: Xinhua


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