20 Feb 2010

Toyota president to appear before congressional committee

6:15 am on 20 February 2010

The President of Toyota has agreed to appear before the United States Congress to answer questions about massive vehicle recalls by the company.

Akio Toyoda will go before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday.

The BBC reports he had previously indicated he would not travel to Washington, instead wishing to lead the recall from Japan.

Mr Toyoda is now due to appear before a congressional committee on Wednesday of next week.

Chairman, Representative Edolphus Towns (Democrat), said he wanted Mr Toyoda to "clarify" how the recall is working.

In an open letter, he said: "The public is unsure as to what exactly the problem is, whether it is safe to drive their cars, or what they should do about it."

Toyota is continuing to recall 8.5 million vehicles worldwide, including six million in the United States.

It has been hit by three main faults - faulty accelerator pedals, accelerator pedals getting stuck in floor mats, and a problem with the braking system on its Prius hybrid model.

Toyota has been criticised in the US for being too slow in both starting and implementing the recalls.