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Toyoda Pledges to Restore Trust ...
Toyota President Apologizes Under Fire of U.S. Officials
Cause of Sudden Acceleration Proves Hard to Pinpoint
Hyundai to Recall Some 2011 Sonatas
Only Last-Minute Buyer Will Save Hummer Brand
Ford Looks to Create a Greener Dealership
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Top Stories
Toyoda Pledges to Restore Trust ...

Toyota Motor Corp.’s president endured three hours of questioning by U.S. lawmakers, pledging to restore consumers’ trust without shedding new light on the company’s handling of safety recalls. “I’m absolutely confident” that electronic throttle controls in the company’s vehicles aren’t a cause of unexpected surges in acceleration, (Akio) Toyoda, 53, grandson of the automaker’s founder, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday, making his first U.S. appearance since record recalls of about 8 million cars and trucks worldwide for defects that may cause sudden acceleration. “You have my personal commitment that Toyota will work vigorously and unceasingly to restore the trust of our customers,” Toyoda said in his remarks to the panel.
Source: Bloomberg

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Toyota President Apologizes Under Fire of U.S. Officials

From the moment the witnesses raised their rights hands and bowed their heads, through the halting mistranslations and the offerings of "konnichiwa" – good afternoon – it was clear that the normal rituals of a congressional hearing would be bent, if not broken. Akio Toyoda (Toyota's president) and Yoshimi Inaba, the company's North American president, appeared Wednesday before the House oversight committee to offer an apology and explanation for the defects that have caused their vehicles to sometimes accelerate out of control. In words and gestures, they were nothing if not contrite. Throughout hours of testimony, Toyoda and Inaba used words such as "shameful" when describing past events, and "modestly" and "humbly" to describe how they will approach their responsibility for safety in the future.
Source: The Washington Post

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Cause of Sudden Acceleration Proves Hard to Pinpoint

Congress this week has begun wading into an issue that has vexed the auto industry for decades: Is sudden acceleration caused by driver mistakes, or by problems with cars? The consensus among industry executives and federal safety regulators, embodied in a 1989 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is that most cases of sudden acceleration result from drivers hitting the gas pedal when they meant to hit the brakes. But this week, witnesses at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have said that 21-year-old report is outdated in an age when many vehicles are controlled by electronic throttle and braking systems that didn't exist in substantial numbers back then.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Hyundai to Recall Some 2011 Sonatas

SEOUL, South Korea – The Hyundai Motor Company said on Wednesday that it would recall 46,000 new Sonata sedans in South Korea and 1,300 in the United States, becoming the latest global carmaker to issue recalls. Hyundai found a fault in the front-door latches of the 2011 Sonata, the company said in a statement. It planned to notify the South Korean government and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States about the defect this week. Hyundai said the recall, which will begin in March, was in response to a handful of customer complaints, but added there had been no reports of accidents or injuries connected to the flaw.
Source: The New York Times

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Only Last-Minute Buyer Will Save Hummer Brand

Unless a last-minute buyer steps forward, General Motors Co.'s Hummer brand is fading into history. The sale of the SUV brand with military roots to a Chinese heavy equipment maker has collapsed. GM said it would still hear offers for the company, but potential investors would have to move fast. "In the early phases of the wind-down, we'll entertain offers and determine their viability, but that will have to happen in pretty short order," said GM spokesman Nick Richards. GM said Wednesday that its bid to sell Hummer to Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machines Co. fell through. The Chinese manufacturer said it failed to get clearance from regulators in Beijing within the proposed timeframe for the sale. GM will continue to honor warranties for current Hummer owners.
Source: The Associated Press

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Ford Looks to Create a Greener Dealership

If Ford's new sustainability initiative goes as planned, the dealership where you buy a Fusion Hybrid will be as green as the car itself. At this month's annual National Automobile Dealership Association convention in Orlando, Ford announced its "Go Green" dealer sustainability program, a voluntary project to push Ford, Mercury and Lincoln dealerships to be more energy efficient. The program is part of a larger effort by dealerships across the country to put a more environmental face on an industry traditionally beset with environmental complaints. NADA has been working with U.S. EPA and dealerships across the country to reduce energy output. While dealerships can take traditional, simple steps like installing more energy-efficient lighting, the complex design of dealerships poses problems in crafting any industry standards, said Doug Greenhaus, NADA's director of environment, health and safety.

NADA, at its February convention, highlighted the ways dealers have invested more than $1 billion in eco-friendly changes. NADA partnered with U.S. EPA and the Energy Star program in 2004 to improve facilities. NADA has also given dealerships the option of becoming "Green Checkup" dealers. Those stores would offer free green checkups for drivers to help make their cars more fuel efficient.
Source: Environment & Energy Daily

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Quotable
 
"I'm absolutely confident" that electronic throttle controls in the company's vehicles aren't a cause of unexpected surges in acceleration.

   
– Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda, 53, grandson of the automaker’s founder, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee yesterday, Bloomberg, Feb. 25

"Nothing costs Toyota more than the loss of customer trust in our vehicles."

   
– Yoshimi Inaba, head of Toyota's North American operations, The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 24


"We've been a lapdog for nobody."

   
– Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, responding to criticism that NHTSA has been more aggressive with Toyota than with domestic auto makers in which the U.S. government holds a stake, The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 24

Video Highlights
 

Tonkin: 'Dealers Will Be There'


NADA Launches New Online Magazine


NADA Comes Through in a Tough Year (NADA-TV)


NADA-TV: Interview with GM's Susan Docherty, VP Sales, Service & Marketing


NADA's Trucks for Haiti Campaign Off to Strong Start
 (NADA-TV)

2010 Convention
 

CLICK HERE for Comprehensive Convention News Coverage at NADAFrontPage.com.


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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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