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Posts Tagged ‘Committee on Oversight and Government Reforms’

U.S. Congressional Hearings on Toyota Postponed

Unlike the Post Office, snow shuts down taxpayer supported Congress and its Toyota Sudden Acceleration Hearings.

by on Feb.09, 2010

Snowed out!

Chairman Edolphus “Ed” Towns (D-NY) and Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) have rescheduled tomorrow’s  hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform titled: “Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public at Risk?”

The hearing will now take place on Wednesday, February 24 at 10:00 a.m.

The latest move, likely not the result of behind the scenes maneuvering in lobbyist-dominated Washington, gives the beleaguered Japanese automaker and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration more time to prepare for what will be grueling questioning over their conduc, contradictory statements and lack of action on safety matters involving unintended acceleration, sticking gas pedals and failed brakes on a growing number of now  millions of Toyota  and Lexus vehicles.

However, time cuts both ways, as it will give the U.S. Senate a chance to pre-empt the House in the interim. Thus far, no Senate hearings have been scheduled, but the snow storm, and storm of controversy surrounding Toyota creates a political opportunity here.

Shoveling Snow, and other Emissions!

The House hearing, one of two scheduled,  when it comes off  is also supposed to “gain a better understanding of the nature of the sudden acceleration problem in Toyota vehicles and what should be done about it.”

“Due to the inclement weather set to impact the DC Metropolitan area tonight and tomorrow, Ranking Member Issa and I have agreed to reschedule the hearing on the Toyota gas pedal recall,” said Chairman Towns. “I look forward to hearing from our witnesses on February 24th.”    (more…)

Witnesses Added for Toyota Safety Issues Hearing

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reforms meets Wednesday on Toyota with the usual suspects.

by on Feb.08, 2010

What should be done? Speculation and answers, maybe, this week.

Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) has announced additional witnesses for a Congressional hearing this Wednesday afternoon, “Toyota Gas Pedals:  Is the Public at Risk?”

The hearing opens as Toyota has begun mailing letters to owners of recalled vehicles to let them know when to bring their vehicles into a dealership for a 30-minute repair for sticking accelerator pedals. It is expected that this recall will take months, or even longer, to accomplish.

Toyota’s five North American factories are once again producing vehicles after a one-week hiatus and affected recalled models are also on sale again. This will be subject to some debate as existing owners wait to be notified for when and how their vehicles will be fixed.

The Oversight Committee claims it will examine the Federal government’s response to the recall of millions of Toyota vehicles due to reports of malfunctioning gas pedals, and to gain a “better understanding” of the sudden acceleration problem in Toyota vehicles and what should be done about it. (Click here for a flinty-eyed view of the hearing process.)

“There appears to be growing public concern regarding which Toyota vehicles may be problematic and how people should respond. Consumers want to know whether their cars are safe to drive and, if not, they need to know what to do about it,” said Chairman Towns.

Both Raymond LaHood, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, and David Strickland
the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are scheduled to testify early in the session. They will face tough questioning on what government regulators knew about the problems, when they knew it and why – if critics areheeded – it took so long to do something about the problems. They will also be asked if the fixes Toyota has proposed are adequate, and are final.

No bouquets coming Inaba's way this week.

Appearing next in the glare of the television lights will be Yoshimi Inaba, President and CEO of Toyota Motor North America.

It is surprising that the committee has not demanded Akio Toyoda appear, since he spoke out on Toyota’s problems at a press conference in Nagoya, Japan last Friday.

Inaba, and whoever sits with him from Toyota, will face the same questions, as well as ones about contradictory earlier statements from Toyota alleging the problem was one of entrapped floor mats and was contained to a limited number of vehicles.   (more…)