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Top Stories
Toyota Admits Missteps Over Recall
NADA Chairman Emphasizes Frontline Role of Auto Dealers During Recalls
Customer Safety Is Paramount to Dealers, NADA Says in Congressional Testimony
Toyota Dealers Head to Washington
House Panel Says Toyota Misled Public on Safety
Toyota's Lentz to Say Electronics Not to Blame for Acceleration Problems
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Top Stories
Toyota Admits Missteps Over Recall

Toyota will “think differently” in future when investigating complaints about its vehicles and will communicate quicker with customers and regulators, Jim Lentz, head of the carmaker’s U.S. marketing arm, will tell a congressional committee later on Tuesday. Mr. Lentz will be speaking at the first of three scheduled hearings on Capitol Hill during the next 10 days into safety problems that have resulted in the recall of over 8 million vehicles globally. Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s chief executive, is scheduled to appear on Wednesday.

The executives, as well as U.S. regulators, are likely to face close questioning by committee members about alleged delays in making the problems public and inadequate efforts to correct them. In prepared remarks released before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, Mr. Lentz acknowledged "it has taken us too long to come to grips with a rare but serious set of safety issues, despite all our good faith efforts. The problem has been compounded by poor communications within our company and with regulators and consumers." Mr. Lentz disclosed that Toyota’s 1,500 U.S. dealers have so far repaired close to 1 million vehicles recalled for sticky accelerators, out-of-place floormats and uneven braking. Click here for a live Webcast of today's hearing.
Source: Financial Times

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NADA Chairman Emphasizes Frontline Role of Auto Dealers During Recalls

Tonkin: Toyota dealers are working overtime to fix recalled vehicles
WASHINGTON -- The first of several congressional hearings on the Toyota recall gets underway today, with about 100 Toyota executives, manufacturing employees and dealers from around the country in the nation's capital to show their support for the automaker. “We hope the hearings are fair and balanced and held with a view towards rectifying the problem and ensuring customer safety as the primary goal,” says NADA Chairman Ed Tonkin. “It’s important that members of Congress hear directly from Toyota dealers so they recognize the many steps dealers are taking across America to get their customers’ vehicles repaired and safely back on the road as quickly as possible,” he added. Click here for a live Webcast of today's hearing.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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Customer Safety Is Paramount to Dealers, NADA Says in Congressional Testimony

WASHINGTON -- Concerning the controversy of unintended acceleration in certain Toyota models, the nation’s Toyota dealers are playing a crucial role in remedying the recall situation, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) states in written testimony submitted today to the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. “For America’s dealers, the safety of our customers is paramount. While vehicles today are safer and cleaner for the environment than ever before, they are also more complicated, requiring a nationwide network of qualified dealership technicians to service the nation’s fleet,” NADA states. “The value of such a network is never more apparent than when there is a large recall over safety concerns.” “Recognizing that public safety is paramount, we urge the subcommittee to carefully examine the facts related to this recall and, in doing so, help diminish any unsubstantiated rhetoric or shrill alarmism regarding the Toyota brand,” NADA states. Click here for the full written testimony. Click here for a live Webcast of today's hearing.
Source: NADAFrontPage.com

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Toyota Dealers Head to Washington

Toyota Motor Corp.'s embattled dealers are headed to Washington this week to try to convince Congress that what's bad for the Japanese auto giant is bad for America. "Our hope is that Congress doesn't jump to conclusions, that it allows time for the facts to come out," said Susan Scarola, who owns a total of eight Toyota and Lexus dealerships in New York, New Jersey and California ... The country's auto dealers, with nationwide networks that reach into many small towns, have shown themselves to be a potent lobbying force in the last year. Dealers helped champion last summer's cash-for-clunkers program, which boosted auto sales at a cost to taxpayers of $3 billion. Now, Toyota dealers are suffering from plummeting sales. Many feel that U.S. regulators, the press and now even federal prosecutors are unfairly targeting the company over its recall problems.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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House Panel Says Toyota Misled Public on Safety

WASHINGTON — Leading Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee said Monday that Toyota relied on a flawed study in dismissing the notion that computer issues could be at fault for sticking accelerator pedals, and then made misleading statements about the repairs. The comments, from Henry A. Waxman, chairman of the committee, and Bart Stupak, a subcommittee chairman, were made in an 11-page letter to James E. Lentz III, the president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. The representatives, in a separate letter to the transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, said they also were concerned about the competency of investigations into Toyota’s problems by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the federal safety agency.
Source: The New York Times

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Toyota's Lentz to Say Electronics Not to Blame for Acceleration Problems

WASHINGTON -- Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. President James Lentz plans to stick to his guns and tell skeptical lawmakers today that the company's unwanted acceleration problems do not stem from electronic defects, a copy of his testimony shows. “We are confident that no problems exist with the electronic throttle control system in our vehicles,” Lentz says in 2½ pages of written testimony prepared for delivery to the House panel. “We have designed our electronic throttle control system with multiple fail-safe mechanisms to shut off or reduce engine power in the event of a system failure.” His testimony adds that the company's “extensive testing of this system” has “never found a malfunction that caused unintended acceleration.”
Source: Automotive News

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Quotable
 
"It has taken us too long to come to grips with a rare but serious set of safety issues, despite all our good faith efforts. The problem has been compounded by poor communications within our company and with regulators and consumers."

   
-- Jim Lentz, head of Toyota's U.S. marketing arm, in prepared remarks submitted to a congressional committee, Financial Times, Feb. 23
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2010 Convention
 

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Save up to $538 on Select Lenovo Notebooks

NADA members can now enjoy great Lenovo discounts, free shipping and peace of mind technology – all at a great price! Act now and save up to $538 on select notebooks – like the ThinkPad X200 with integrated graphics for only $881. To learn more about these and other specials for NADA members, visit NADA's PC Purchase Program site (member log in required).

 

HP Announces Winner of Mini Laptop

Julia George, the controller at Flagler Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep in Palm Coast, Fla., was the winner of the HP Mini 5102 laptop drawing at the 2010 NADA Convention. HP congratulates Julia and thanks all the visitors to the NADA Pavilion. To see all the HP computer and printer products available to NADA members visit NADA's PC Purchase Program site (member log in required).

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